Minimizing Group Conflicts
In our discussions with business leaders, they often express frustration with the inability of people in their department or company to work together without distracting conflict. They say:
- Why don’t they work well together?
- Some refuse to even talk to a particular individual.
- I don’t understand why people act the way they do.
- Why don’t they see things the way I do?
Overcoming these issues is never simple, but the common approach is referred to as team building. This approach is often accompanied by direct types of game planning, where team members participate in a variety of activities. The games are helpful exercises, after which a facilitator helps the group discuss the lessons learned. We have used this technique on several occasions and we find the results interesting.
Another approach, which we prefer, is the assessment of the personality types within a group, and then discuss the results of those assessments with those involved. During that discussion, they first learn that they were not all created with the same personality traits and, in fact, this would be a very dull world if we were. As we continue, an understanding of the various personalities in the group develops and how to best interact effectively with others in the group is learned.
Although there are a number of assessment tools which we us, the DISC exercise has proven to be the most effective. Members of the group are asked to perform the assessment prior to a scheduled seminar. The results are then distributed to the individual participants but initially not shared with the others. The facilitator then helps the group understand the results and how they should be interpreted. As the discussion continues, the participants feel more comfortable with sharing and some great conversations develop. By the end of the session, many of the interpersonal barriers have been overcome. Of course, we cannot report that the group does go back to work singing kumbaya, but the stage is set for better relations.
The DISC assessment measures for dimensions of behavioral styles, they are:
- Decisive-your preference for problem solving and getting results
- Interactive-your preference for interacting with others and showing emotion
- Stability-your preference for pacing, persistence and steadiness
- Cautious- your preference for procedures, standards, and protocols
A review of the completed Disc Assessment can provide insights for the participant in a number of areas. For example, it can provide ideas for being more effective or on how to stay motivated. It can reveal a preferred training and learning style or areas for continuous improvement. Insights are provided not only for the members of the group but for the individual participant.