Understanding the other person

I attended a supervisory management course today on effective communication, goal setting, delegation, motivation, performance appraisal and coaching. The material centers around the DISC psychometric profiling of ourselves and the people around us.

We were taught the importance of having an acute awareness of our profile as well as those we work with. In addition, we also experienced first hand the necessity to modify our behavior when approaching colleagues of a different profile.

I knew for certain that I am low D (for Dominance) in nature but was somehow surprised to find out that I am high I (for Influencer) when it comes to work. My C (for Compliance) and S (for Steadiness) are also moderately high but not as significant as the I-factor.

I was surprised because I don’t see myself as possessing an outspoken personality and really thought that I functioned more on being organised, logical, accurate and patient in a secure environment. At least that was the case in my previous employment in a financial institution and even way back during my school days.

However it seems that has changed when I entered the public sector. What would have probably been moderate in a private sector setting is more pronounced in a government agency where, according to the trainer, most of the staff fall into the category of S and C.

I now see the light with regards to my strained relationships with my direct teammates whom I identify as high S and C. Perhaps I come across as being too insincere, flamboyant and demanding for immediate change. The lack of personal connect and constant challenging remarks from them certainly didn’t make things any easier. My greatest fear apparently is that of personal rejection. How true.

So now that I have identified the cause, how can I solve the problem? Unfortunately I cannot haul them all to attend the course or tell them my profile and suggest ways they should behave with me – ‘show me more acceptance and recognition gals…’ So I have to resort to the next best thing. Modify my behavior.

I have been through these material on paper before but the series of role plays did help to identify the stark differences between profiles when they communicate to each other. We as a group of high I supervisors were assigned to convince a high S subordinate to take on larger responsibilities.

As I took a step back to listen to the suggestions from all my high I peers, I realised there is a tendency for us to share our experiences and decide that others should follow our example. In addition, we unconsciously rattle on enthusiastically which would actually come across as being insincere to the high S staff.

One important takeaway for me is the need to introduce change gradually in modularised bits because apparently people who are high S hate abrupt change and those who are high C hate chaos. I guess God has His way of telling me that I still don’t know alot of things.

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