EVER WONDER WHY? PART I, by Jerry Houston

Ever wonder why there is conflict on your team?  Why is it that your team members sometimes disconnect and are at odds with each other?  Why can’t these grownups just get along?

The simple truth is that conflict is sometimes caused by behavioral differences, brought on by emotional responses.  Here is how that works:

The DISC behavioral system is a widely used and well-established method for determining the behavioral style of an individual.  Every one of us humans possesses four quadrants of behavior. They are:

  • Dominance – how we approach problems and challenges
  • Influencing – how we approach and interact with other people
  • Steadiness – the pace of performing actions
  • Compliance – willingness to follow rules and procedures set by others

So, problems, people, pace and procedures and the intensity of each on the scale determine how we act and react in our interactions with others.  In addition, all of this happens through our emotions.  The simple truth is that all decisions and reactions happen through the part of our brain (amygdala) that controls emotions.  On the chart below you will see a display of emotions, based on where your particular plot points might fall on the DISC graph.

As you can see, emotions vary, based on the positioning of your plot points, and differ from others.  If a person is high dominance, they may be very quick to anger (and they get over it just as quickly).  By comparison, let’s presume a person they interact with is low dominance, slow to anger (in fact, if the dominance is low enough they will even want to avoid conflict).  Can you see a potential for challenges on a team?  Can you see that people can be very opposite of each other and natural conflict occurs?  This is especially true when individuals are not aware of what is causing the conflict.  Just the same, it impacts interactions and causes conflict in teams on a daily basis.

Tune in next week and I’ll share even more examples of conflict on teams created by behaviors and what you can do about it.



1 Comment

Comments are closed.