That guy with the bold new plans

A guy in your office loves to come up with bold new plans. He’s always enthusiastic about them to the point of being pushy or even rushed. He’s friendly enough and likes to collaborate, but sometimes you wish he would be a better listener.

You’re conscientious and you like to do things right. You want to make sure the new initiative is a quality one, so the company doesn’t have to go back and fix things later. It’s a bit of a challenge when you ask critical questions about the bold new plans. Your skepticism is not always appreciated.

This scenario plays itself out in workplaces everyday. It’s a question of personality styles. Both people are valuable to the team with their own unique insights. However, without some awareness of your style and the other person’s, you may end up clashing.

At Public Speaking for the Professional, we use a personality styles assessment called Everything DiSC to help clients gain both understanding and skills in working with other people. It’s a research-validated model that is easy to remember since it uses a quadrant. 

Here’s what the acronym DiSC stands for:

  • D – Dominance – likes getting immediate results and taking action
  • I – Influence – likes expressing enthusiasm and encouraging collaboration
  • S – Steadiness – likes providing support and maintaining stability
  • C – Conscientiousness – likes ensuring accuracy and challenging assumptions

A graphic showing the four quadrants of the DiSC personality styles system.

People tend to prefer their part of the quadrant. Some folks feel comfortable being active and fast-paced, while others feel better being thoughtful and methodical. Some folks are more questioning, while others are more accepting. 

Even though people have their tendencies, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have skills or capabilities in the other areas. Also, each of us can develop communications skills that will bridge the divides.

Why would we want to do that? Improved communication doesn’t just make your day go more smoothly, it also makes your team stronger and your work product better.

Let’s go back to the example above. That guy with the bold new plans could help take your department or your company to the next level. You can appreciate his willingness to pitch fresh ideas. At the same time, you may have legitimate reasons for caution. Your co-worker should listen to your objections to help the company avoid costly mistakes. Both you and he have valid ideas that should be considered.

It’s helpful to begin to recognize your own style and those of your co-workers. Developing these understandings will help you reduce friction, get more done, and enjoy your work days.


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