Workplace Conflict? This May Help.


Have you ever had a boss who you could never see eye to eye? Did it seem that everything that you did was wrong? Did you think you were working for the enemy? Many of us have been there at some point in our careers. Some may be there right now. But, hang in there! There may be a reason why the two of you are complete opposites.

As you know everyone is different in almost every different way. People and the way they act and react are due to nature and nurture. In other words, we act the way we do because of our genetics and environment. Our environment includes the way we were raised as children by our parents/guardians, our social involvements with the opposite sex, and and prior work environments. These factors, when all put together, make up who we are and make us unique. The key to getting along with your boss it to first understand his/her values when compared to your own.

In a previous company, I had a colleague who could not get along with a peer on her team. She was a very intelligent individual, worked extremely hard, and desperately wanted to collaborate well within her group. However, their working relationship was in constant conflict. She could never understand why he did the things he did and he felt that she could not accept decisions made. Additionally, given the same problem, they would come up with two completely different solutions.

Fortunately, during a team building exercise, her group participated in a DISC assessment. This assessment is a neutral and universal language of observable behavior that can be described by four main quadrants: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. We all display a degree of behaviors from these quadrants. Using the insights gained from this assessment, a practitioner can tell you to what degree you fall into these areas and how you communicate with others.

The results from the exercise were eye-opening! It was discovered that my colleague and her team member were polar opposites. There was no wonder why they could not get along and communicate effectively without understanding each other’s behavioral styles. They learned a valuable lesson that day. They learned that if they were to get along, then they would have to view each situation from the other’s point of view. Using the assessment results, they were able to positively move forward and better understand each other.

If you think you are working with the enemy, contact us so we can discuss how using DISC may help!

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