How to get along better with your co-workers

Everything DiSC® unlocks the secrets of what makes people tick

Everyone has someone they just don’t get along with—a co-worker or boss, or maybe an in-law or neighbor who creates too much drama or comes off as arrogant and dismissive of others. Maybe it’s nothing overt exactly, just someone with whom we simply can’t get on the same page.

While individual relationship challenges may be different, when communication breaks down the impact on our workplaces—and on us, personally—are likely the same. We become frustrated and distracted. Our work environments can become dysfunctional or even toxic as we struggle to work together effectively. Interpersonal conflict with a colleague can leave us feeling exhausted and undervalued, adding to the stress that already dominates so many of today’s workplaces.

So why is it so important to understand personality styles and behavioral preferences?

The key to building stronger relationships and overcoming our counter-productive communication challenges is to both understand more about ourselves, as well as others—what motives us, what stresses us, what drives us to achieve our goals. Only then can we be fully prepared to have the types of crucial conversations necessary to build trust and develop a common language that connects us all.

If we could become more self-aware of our own style of working and communicating, and then discover the most effective communication methods for working with others, we could make real, sustained progress in reducing stress, creating more collaboration, and building healthier and more productive workplaces.

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Here’s a story of how two colleagues at a software company in Denver used DiSC to smooth over some workplace tension and get to a better place. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Letty was a brand new supervisor at TTA Solutions. Her boss, Zane, received some feedback that their Lean Program seemed to be “stalled out and needed improvement with regards to maturity and actionable results.”  Zane wanted Letty to succeed and did his best to support her in those efforts.  You see, Zane wanted his boss to see that he had a deliberate and thoughtful action plan to improve this crucial organizational-wide program.

Letty and Zane sat down and discussed the feedback about improving the Lean Program. Zane thought the meeting went well and sent Letty off to develop a revised action plan. A week later, Zane saw her plan and was less than thrilled. It just wasn’t what he had envisioned. Zane was expecting more structure, detail, and analysis. They sat down again and Zane provided some “soft feedback” to let her know his expectations.

Here’s where things got complicated.

Letty was working on multiple projects at this time and Zane was overseeing all of them. During this period, Letty was giving several presentations about the progress her team had made. At one of these presentations, Zane felt it was lacking structure among other things. Instead of talking to her about it, he decided this time to write down his feedback and email it to her. When Letty read this email full of feedback she felt attacked. Letty was upset. She felt that she and her boss were totally out of sync.

A new day…

Zane and Letty actually had the same goals. Zane wanted Letty to succeed in her new role. Letty wanted to turn her company’s Lean program into a globally recognized program.

After that interaction, Zane referenced DiSC and remembered that he and Letty were on nearly completely opposite sides of the DiSC circumplex.  He requested a meeting, but this time we had something else on the agenda. Zane wanted he and Letty to review and discuss their DiSC styles using a comparison report to pinpoint ways that they could work more effectively together.

A change

As they went through the comparison report, they identified challenges and opportunities and developed a priority for each of the trait areas.  During the conversation, they each gained a better understanding of each other’s styles.  Furthermore, Letty now learned why Zane was looking for more data, detail, structure, and analysis.  Zane also learned why Letty was moving so fast versus his slower, more methodical method.  They had different styles.

Now Letty and Zane had an action plan to ensure a more effective working relationship. Both of them has a much deeper understanding and appreciation of each other’s styles. All it took was using DiSC tools to enable business success.


Everything DiSC® is one of the most effective and widely-used research-validated personality assessments available that can help anyone improve the quality of their interactions with others and make a more positive contribution to their organization. It is a very simple—and memorable—model made up of four basic styles: D for Dominance, I for Influence, S for Steadiness, and C for Conscientiousness. And each year more than 1 million people worldwide use the family of Everything DiSC tools to inspire, energize, empower, and transform.

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Specifically, Everything DiSC Workplace® measures preferences and tendencies that shape the workplace experience in important areas of priority such as collaboration, accuracy, enthusiasm, stability, action, challenge, and results. And in a richly-detailed 20-page customized report, results from the assessment paint a clear picture of a learner’s personal style and priorities. The online assessment and profile examines his or her motivators and stressors and identifies key strategies for making more meaningful connections with colleagues of various styles.

Ready to learn more about how Everything DiSC® can help you have the crucial conversations that will build more effective work relationships and healthier workplaces? Download a sample profile to see for yourself.

 

Access Everything DiSC Workplace Sample Report

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Brett Cooper

Brett is the visionary President of Integris Performance Advisors, a professional development firm he co-founded to expand the existence of healthy organizations and great places to work. By creatively bringing together concepts from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (by Patrick Lencioni), The Leadership Challenge (by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner), and Lean Six Sigma, Brett and his team have influenced thousands of people in government, non-profits and corporate America to work together in more productive, more effective and more human ways. Outside of his role at Integris, Brett dedicates time to serving others in need. He is a volunteer coordinator for the East Bay Stand Down and Stand Down on the Delta, two non-profits serving the needs of San Francisco’s homeless Veteran population. He is also board member and financial sponsor for Partners in Sustainable Learning, whose mission is to bring early childhood education to marginalized communities in the developing world (current projects are underway in Nepal).

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