Dealing with Differences

March 1, 2016

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

Meet Deb

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Leaders, have you ever been totally exasperated with a member of your team?

Employees, have you been equally exasperated by your leaders?

It is a common thread through time, and I’d like to tell you I have the cure…but I can’t.

What I can tell you is that this exasperation generally comes from one root cause: people are different. We have different personalities, different life experiences, and different strengths and weaknesses.

I am a D-wired leader. I move fast, and I get things done. Now if I’m not careful, I can leave a hurtful wake. The fact is, in the past, I have plowed over the very people trying to help me – the people who had my back. This is where DISC profiling has been of great value to me. It helps me understand that there is merit in going fast and getting things done quickly; but there is also merit in getting things done right, as I have learned from my C-wired friends.

If you are a D-wired leader, here are some ideas to help you deal with the different members of your team – so that neither you nor they will feel exasperated.

D to D – You will find a D-wired employee just as strong-willed as you, and you may be one who likes to “dish it out but can’t take it”, as they say. Your best approach is to, first of all, realize this WILL happen. There will be standoffs. Secondly, allow your D-wired employee to make decisions in certain areas. This creates a win-win situation.

D to I – As a D-wired leader, you’ll often find your I-wired employees talking in the midst of a crowd. To you, this is highly unproductive, and it may well be unless you are strategic. If you have an I-wired people person who loves to talk, give them a job that allows them to do just that. That takes their unproductive behavior to a very productive level.

D to S – To a D-wired leader, an S-wired employee appears “lazy”. They move smoothly, not swiftly. Their desk is relatively clear, so they appear to be unproductive as well. What we D’s do not realize is that under that peaceful exterior is a mind that is highly organized and process oriented. While we may exhaust ourselves running in twelve directions at once, an S-wired person can outperform us by virtue of having an organized, efficient system. As a leader, treat your S-wired employees kindly, and they will be your best friend. When it comes to doing the work and covering the details, they will have your back.

D to C – Let’s face it, D’s and C’s are polar opposites. D’s move at the speed of light, and C’s can spend hours thinking and never move a muscle. D’s want it done now, and C’s want it done right.  But I can pretty well guarantee that a majority workforce of C’s got us to the moon. How do I know this? Because we made it there safely, and that took an enormous amount of thinking, attention to detail, and analysis that this D for one does not possess.

Our jobs as D-wired leaders is to keep things moving, but to keep them moving based on input from those with complementary strengths. Give your team the chance to work within their strengths zone and give them time to formulate solutions, and you just might be amazed.

A team of different individuals working together in this manner can do amazing things. They will get things done…but done right, with an efficient process, and they’ll have fun along the way to serving others.


To learn more about DISC profiling and how it can help your team, click here.