Christmas is a time of year where people love to come together, exchange gifts and celebrate with their loved ones. But Christmas can act like a magnifying glass highlighting relationships and the best and worst parts of them. Whether it is over a competitive game of Monopoly or when deciding which Christmas film to watch, or maybe just someone has had one too many drinks, conflict can arise and spoil the special day.
You may end up spending Christmas with someone you didn’t choose, an in-law that you don’t see eye to eye with or maybe your sibling’s new partner isn’t quite your cup of tea. It is important to understand how your style approaches conflict and how someone who is a different style might react. This can help you diffuse the conflict and still have an enjoyable, drama free, Christmas day.
When feeling conflict:
- D styles can become more direct. It is their way, or the highway and arguments will be heated. A D style might become stroppy and possibly more aggressive.
- An I style will become very emotional. They hate conflict, especially if they feel they have caused upset. I styles will also dance around the problem and try to coax the problem out of you. They will attempt to be optimistic and diffuse tension.
- You will not really know when an S style feels conflict. They may possibly stay even quieter and overthink the issue, avoiding any kind of confrontation.
- When facing conflict, C styles want you to know that something is wrong (you can often tell by just looking at their facial expression), but if you ask what it is, they will tend to shrug you off and claim the problem doesn’t matter. C styles expect you to know what is wrong. They will tend to distance themselves from everyone and go off in a sulk.
It is important to know what to do if you’re feeling conflict or have an issue with someone. Christmas is a special time that only comes around once a year and you don’t want your issue to ruin the day for you and for everyone else.
What to do:
D styles need to take a moment and count to 10. Don’t immediately go on the attack. Pace yourself, think through the problem and the most appropriate way to address the situation. Don’t automatically be aggressive and have a go at someone.
It is a good idea for an I style to also take a deep breath and count to 10. Don’t let your emotions run wild. Calm yourself down and talk about the conflict slowly and directly. Don’t try to force people to talk about what is wrong – they may need a moment before they are ready to come to you.
Don’t overthink about the problem if you’re an S style. Think about it reasonably and try to come up with a practical solution. Don’t be afraid to let people know something is wrong – they probably won’t have a clue and therefore can’t work towards resolving the situation.
Snap out of it! If you’re a C style don’t detach and sulk. Your withdrawal is often louder than words would be and even if you think your behaviour is reasonable, others might not agree. Don’t underestimate the impact of your behaviour on others.
It is important to understand how conflict affects each style, and how people will approach conflict in different ways. To learn more about Productive Conflict you can purchase one of DISCsimple’s Productive Conflict Reports and a peaceful and happy Christmas this year!
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