SCENE
It’s a busy Wednesday afternoon at ABC Technology, Inc. a mid-sized software and IT company based in Philadelphia, PA. STEVE, a quiet, yet successful Sales Manager, is walking down a long hallway to the coffee station when he overhears a shouting match going on between two of his employees. He finds them and the rest of his sales team in a nearby conference room.

STEVE
(Entering the conference room)

Woah! What’s going on here? What are you guys fighting about? I could hear you from down the hall.

JEFFREY
(Walking over to STEVE)

We were originally discussing an idea that Marsha had come up with, but she became irrational when we pointed out the flaws in her plan.

MARSHA
(Quickly standing up and pointing at JEFFREY.)

I did not get irrational! That’s just like you, Jeff. You cut me off when I’m speaking, and don’t expect me to continue with my thought. I hadn’t even gotten halfway through saying my idea before Pete started tearing it to shreds!

STEVE
(Turning to PETE, looking surprised)

Pete, is this true?

PETE

Not entirely. You see, I was merely informing Marsha that her idea needs much more fine tuning before being presented to the rest of the group. For example, when she states…

MARSHA
(Becoming more frustrated)

See, Steve?! He’s doing it again. How am I supposed to be creative, when I’ve got these guys pointing out every imperfection?

STEVE
(Turning to MARSHA)

Now Marsha…

JEFFREY
(Yelling)

Relax, Marsha! You’re being overly emotional.

STEVE
(Turning to JEFFREY)

Now Jeff… wait a second…

MARSHA
(Eyes watering. Fighting back tears.)

I am NOT being overly emotional, Jeff!

(MARSHA begins to cry and darts out of the conference room.)

STEVE
(Looking confused, STEVE turns to APRIL who is sitting quietly at the conference room table.)

April, have you really been in here this whole time?

APRIL

Um… yeah. Should I… still be taking minutes?

Take a minute to think about what you just read. Do you side with anyone in particular? Where would you fit into this situation? Would you be battling it out like Jeff and Marsha, or would you watch the war unfold like Pete and April?

The point of the story is that, although dramatic, these situations can happen when varying personalities work closely together on a daily basis. Even the most effective groups will have the occasional conflicts and misunderstandings.

Whether you’re approaching an important deadline, undergoing organizational changes or bringing in a new employee, additional stress can mean more tension and more conflict. It’s working through those difficult times that really prove your group’s strength and your abilities as a manager.

Unnecessary disagreements can cause:

  • Unhappy employees
  • Unspoken resentment
  • High turnover
  • Lower productivity
  • Smaller bottom line!

What can you do to reduce conflict?

Understanding your team members is the first step to reducing and resolving conflict within your group. The better you know your group, the more you’ll be able to anticipate and avoid blow-ups like this or hidden resentment from your team.

Once you understand your group, you will be able to:

  • Create an environment that encourages your staff to respect each other.
  • Get a good grasp of your team members’ priorities, interests and fears.
  • Improve your ability to recognize conflict.
  • Learn how to effectively resolve conflict.
  • Offer tips and techniques to employees on working together.

If you’re not utilizing DiSC within your organization, you are missing out on vital information that will help you better understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses. DiSC is a great way to find out more about your group in a fun, comfortable atmosphere. Your team will learn more about themselves and how they relate to each other, and you’ll learn how to effectively manage a team full of varying behavioral styles.

This blog series will introduce you to each of the D, i, S and C styles and how they influenced the characters’ behaviors in our story.

Be sure to be on the lookout for our next post, in which we highlight the D behavioral style. I wonder which character in the story represented the D style. Take a guess by leaving a comment below!

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Download a copy of the script, and use it as an icebreaker with your group! Start a discussion about conflict, personality differences and teamwork.