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We all have communication tools and tactics that we use when trying to navigate a difficult situation that is fraught with a variety pack of personalities. Take a minute to consider the communication tactics you typically use. Do you shut down and wait for others to start offering solutions? Or do you jump in and start looking for blame? Whatever your typical behaviors are, do they include careful consideration of the personality styles of everyone involved? If you haven’t tried it before, communicating with personality styles in mind will offer a new alternative to tired patterns that don’t usually work.

Difficult Situations and Personality Types

Mastering gracious communication in the face of a difficult situation is an important part of your overall professional presence. If members of your group receive communication in a personal way, feel bad, or get emotional, you have already lost the opportunity to row the boat together as a group. Make sure that your message is received well and offers a springboard for solutions by learning to anticipate and prepare for your counterparts’ reactions.

Here are keys to working with each personality type, while in the throes of conflict or a difficult situation:

Dominance: places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, confidence

Influence: places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships

Steadiness: Places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability 

Conscientiousness: Places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency

The foundation of personal and professional success and conflict resolution lies in understanding yourself, understanding others, and realizing the impact of personal behavior on others. For nearly 30 years, the Personal Profile System® has unlocked the door to productive communication and relationships for over 40 million people through its DiSC® Dimensions of Behavior learning approach.  An extremely powerful and comprehensive course which utilizes DiSC is Increasing Personal Effectiveness.

The Personal Profile System® helps people assess how much they use each dimension of behavior in a particular situation. The instrument that provides feedback designed to help people in your organization:

Here is a sample report that shows the practical results from assessing ones personality style.

IPE Video Increasing Personal Effectiveness

Here is a video that shows how you can crack the code of communicating with your coworkers and anyone else you come in contact with, by understanding their personality type and your own, and how those two interact with each other.

Constructive Feedback vs. Criticism

It’s easy to assume that the only difference between constructive feedback and criticism is that we’ve all started using a new term to make criticism go over more smoothly with its recipient. Not so. Constructive feedback is focused solely on desired outcomes. So the next time you need to call in a staff member because of something they’ve been doing wrong or a behavior that must be changed, don’t bother pointing out where they’ve gone wrong. Go right to letting them know what they should do that will replace the unwanted behavior or habit.

What to Do When You Make a Mistake

Mistakes happen. How do you typically face them? First, explain what happened. Next, make sure that you don’t put it off. This only exacerbates the problem. Then, take responsibility for the mistake, and remember that excuses typically negate apologies! Enjoy an excerpt from Personality Styles at Work to learn more style strengths and shortcomings, how to flex your style, and communicate effectively for each personality type.

Boost Personal Effectiveness

“Conflicts and mistakes shouldn’t be hidden or minimized. Instead, use them as a catalyst for practicing flexing communication for different personality types and welcoming change from employees.” Suzanne Updegraff, CEO, Employee Development Systems, Inc.

Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years.

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