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Using DISC Profiling to Manage Your Manager - Part 3 of 4


A must for Business Coaches to read : Part 3 - Managing the S-Style Manager

When I first read the Forbes article that stated:

“People Leave Managers, Not Companies”

It was one of those light-bulb moments for me. It summed up in one line what I had been helping people with in the corporate environment with for years.

Lots of individuals leave their job and get exactly the same job with another organization. In so many cases I have found that these people leave, not for more money or promotion but to get away from their boss!

If this is you, what can you do?

Understanding the DISC model of human behaviour is the first step.

By gaining the knowledge of DISC, you can begin to unlock the people puzzle, build better rapport with those you find ‘difficult’ to be with or work with and understand how they are ‘DISC wired’. Armed with this information you can begin to improve your working environment at any time.

Who’s managing whom?

To have a productive, effective, harmonious relationship with your boss it is important to understand that they are not just managing you… YOU are managing them too!

It’s a fact that oftentimes we learn how to or how not to approach a manager by experience. You might get a pat on the back or get your fingers burned but at the end of the interaction, you will have some knowledge of how to or how not to do things in the future.

Fast track

Isn’t it better to have some inside knowledge to ensure the best possible outcome more often?

Identifying an S personality type (Reserved & People Focused)

An S boss is:

  • Someone who has good steady pace at work and is generally people orientated
  • Someone who likes to have a harmonious team
  • A person who likes to work as a team to achieve tasks
  • Wanting to preferably complete one task at a time
  • A person who will want to achieve a ‘win-win’ whenever possible
  • A very good, attentive listener
  • Sensitive to the needs of others
  • Keen to ensure enough detail is gathered to deliver a task successfully
  • A supportive individual
  • Someone who thinks rules make things fair and safe
  • Thoughtful and reflective
  • An individual who does not like discord within the team or organisation
  • Stubborn if they do not agree with an idea or activity
  • Sometimes a person who can be passive/aggressive when in conflict
  • Someone who will defend others to the hilt when they believe in them
  • Not always or reluctantly direct when delivering bad news
  • Friendly but will only have a small circle of friends that they really know, like and trust.

How to manage the S boss? – Here’s how

  • S bosses like e-mails which give them enough information to make an informed decision – this can be bullet points with additions
  • Take care not to overload with detail
  • If there is a problem, suggest a solution
  • Look for a win-win solution
  • Face to face – an aggressive approach won’t work
  • Stay calm and measured in your communication
  • Be a team player
  • Complete your tasks
  • Be supportive of others
  • Do not challenge them publicly
  • Express a genuine interest in them as a person without being intrusive
  • Give them time to process change or make decisions
  • Present ideas or changes in a non-threatening manner
  • Give them answers to ‘how’ questions
  • Be sincere in your approach and dealings.

For D styles, the S can be frustrating at times as they are not direct enough for the D.

D styles must learn to be more relational with the S style and less threatening. You will get better results if you slow down your speech patterns and give them time to think things through. If you do not give them time you may see a slowing down from them. This is an attempt to control the situation – you may read this as reluctance but it may not be. They can speed up for sure, but try not to keep them at a speedy pace all of the time if you want to get results from them long term. Remember, as a D, you may like to take risks from time to time however, the S styles are more risk averse and seek a tried, safer and more secure route.

For I styles – make sure you don’t do all the talking! The S styles are great listeners but that doesn’t mean they haven’t got important things to say. You could walk away from a conversation with an S style thinking you’ve done a great job at winning them over and building great rapport, but they could well be thinking “I’ve not said a word”. Present your plans and ideas taking into consideration that the S styles generally like a win-win and to look after people. Don’t oversell to them.

For other S styles, it’s important to cultivate a relationship where you can be respectfully direct and develop a productive culture. If you don’t do this, you may not get your point across or will wish you had said something after your meeting.
S managers may well have learned to adapt their S style over time and could be more direct than their style would normally suggest.

C styles will probably like the fact the S style manager is team focused, safety focused and generally likes to gather information before making important decisions. The C and the S styles have DISC things in common, they are both on the reserved side of the model, as a result often get things done quietly and effectively. When communicating with an S style manager, try not to overload with detail and be prepared to talk things through. Quietly and calmly.

One very important tip when dealing with S-Style managers: Do not mistake kindness for weakness.

Want to learn more about the power of DISC Profiling?

Become DISC Certified with Master Trainer Dave Pill - https://www.the-coaching-academy.com/discday.