Find out more about our free 2 hours webinars here.
Find out more about our diplomas & programmes
Find out more about DISC.
Links to helpful pages.
Links for existing students.

Dealing with difficult people at Christmas


As one famous Christmas song would have us believe - “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” And for many people it is……. ’Tis the season to be jolly, where families come together and celebrate in the spirit of togetherness and joy but for some, family time together can be awkward, challenging and almost intolerable!

So.... how can you navigate the negativity this year and survive the potential seasonal sadness this might ensue? The answer is….. the gift that keeps on giving at any time of year – DISC!

In this article, we share our time-tested 5-step strategy to help you survive the season and have some festive fun.

The Festive 5:

1. Have a good chat…..with yourself

The first thing to do is have a good honest chat with yourself and recognise (if applicable) that certain people” push your buttons”. Once you have identified them and what they do, you will be in a much better position to work towards a positive outcome.

2. Start with the end in mind

What outcome do you desire? Is it a realistic outcome? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not very important and 10 being an absolute necessity, how important is this to you?

3. Know your own DISC style

There’s an old saying, “Before you can effectively manage other, you need to be able to manage yourself.” In this scenario, it is important to understand your DISC style and how you may come across to others (in this case the ‘difficult’ person in question).

4. Recognise others people’s DISC style

Once you are aware of your own style, you can begin to identify the other person. What is their DISC style? What is their preference in terms of communication?

You can identify their style in the first instance by using the DISC Behavioural Model:

 D Styles - Outgoing & Task

D’s can be very direct in their communication style to the point of being blunt - the good news is that they respect people being (respectfully) direct back with them so are potentially the easiest DISC style to recognise and understand.

I Styles  - Outgoing & People

I’s like to talk, they generally have stories to tell and like to feel they are keeping the party alive. The good news is, they will keep going until they fall asleep watching White Christmas on the telly.

S Styles - Reserved & People

S Styles usually work for a win-win and want everyone to be happy and to get along with each other. Probably the most self-sacrificing of the DISC types and will put the needs of others first - They generally love their family time together and want it to be harmonious and happy.

C Styles - Reserved & Task

C’s are quieter and pensive, preferring to sit back and think things through. They probably won’t express their happiness or unhappiness as they often prefer to internalise their thoughts and feelings. The great news is, if there is a present that requires some assembly - these are your best bet for a successful outcome.

5. Modify to manage

Once you have identified the DISC style of others and understand their communication preferences, you can then adapt your style to help ensure that this Christmas has a better chance of being a happier one for all.

For those of you that want to know more about DISC and how to use this powerful information to better manage interactions with others, join us at our next DISC Certification Workshop.

DISC is included for students as part of The Coaching Academy’s Personal Performance Diploma and is available as a Certification Workshop for non-students.

Places fill up fast so it’s best to book now: https://www.the-coaching-academy.com/discday/