Personality conflicts

Four Tips to Solve Personality Conflicts

In a recent blog post, I mentioned how understanding personality style can improve relationships.  This is especially true if you are trying to relate to someone who has the opposite personality style to yours.

Lets say that you are a D and you have to supervise someone who is an S. What are the things about the way they approach their job that are most likely to annoy and frustrate you?  For starters, I bet you are very impatient with the speed with which S workers move.. and I don’t mean around the building.  While D’s are quick and decisive, S’s take much longer to process things and like to consider all sides of a decision before they commit.  I can hear all the D’s tapping your foot and muttering “Hurry UP!”  right now.

On the other hand, what if you are a C personality and you are supervising an I personality style?  There is a lot of room for problems here.  C’s like to follow the rules and procedures.  They like to have structure and are hard conscientious workers.  You can bet that they have dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s when a job is done.  I’s…  well like the Cyndi Lauper song “Just wanna have fun”  which doesn’t mean they won’t get the job done.  It just means that they will probably take longer than you would like and will have a party along the way.  I can just hear all the C personalities rolling their eyes and muttering, “Just what does he DO all day anyway?”

What if you are an S personality supervising a D personality?  This is a tricky situation because S’s are sensitive and tend to wear their feelings on their sleeve.  I’m guessing you are a little intimidated by the D who is so bossy and domineering. Meanwhile you wonder how you can best rescue all the co-workers who come to you with complaints about how unfeeling the D is and ask that they be given work that doesn’t involve having to deal with her.

Finally, what if you are an I personality who is supervising a C personality? Just as he was frustrated with your lack of structure and attention, I bet you are annoyed with the C worker’s over attention to detail and always following the rules and procedures.  You think they could get the job done much faster, more creatively and with less stress if they would just lighten up a bit and relax already.

Is there an answer to these dilemmas?  Yes actually there is… Here are some guidelines to get you started:

  1. Recognize the personality style for what it is.  So often we attribute unnecessary and incorrect labels to others because we don’t recognize how they are wired:  D’s are bossy and insensitive, I’s are unfocused and silly, S’s are emotional and people pleasers and C’s are strict and uptight. These are negative labels that don’t serve anyone.  Instead…
  2. Recognize and encourage each personality style to work in their strengths:  D’s make great leaders and love challenge and competition. Use those qualities to motivate them.  I’s bring fun and energy to everything they do.  Use them as cheerleaders to motivate and grow your team.  S’s bring a a sensitive, intuitive spirit and a concern for others to the group.  Use them to encourage and support the team.  C’s bring structure and focus.  Use them to keep your team on track and aware of deadlines.
  3. Recognize each personality style’s ability to lead in their own way: D’s lead from the front with vision and direction. I’s lead from within with enthusiasm and energy.  S’s lead from behind with encouragement and support.  And C’s lead from the side by providing structure and guardrails.
  4.  Recognize each personality style’s contribution to their opposite’s work ability.  D’s help S’s move forward and make decisions while S’s help D’s recognize feelings and empathize with others.  C’s help I’s with structure and accountability while I’s help C’s have a life with fun and playfulness.

Want to know more about your personality and how to work in your strengths?  Take an online profile, then let’s talk.  I’ll interpret the results and help you determine how to best work in your strengths.  Grab your assessment and interpretation here.

Want to use the DISC profile in your business to improve  work interactions and culture?  Email me and lets talk about a plan for assessment and training at your place of work. 

Erin Shaw

Wow! Lynne’s expertise in personality styles, mindset and priority management is a powerful combination.  The interactive and personalized format was engaging and gave me tools I can use and actions I can take right away. I am able to more clearly articulate what my business is (What do you do?) and who it serves (Who is your ideal client?), and I have come away with a system for building my business (How do I do it?) Erin Shaw


  1. Holly on August 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    This is wonderful Lynne! I love the way you lay out how each type’s strengths in a leadership role. It really helps to put it into perspective.

  2. […] Understanding personality style can give an organization insight into the valuable contribution that each member makes to the team.  It can inspire coworkers and develop transforming attitudes that bring out each individuals’ leadership capacity.   […]

Leave a Comment