These situations happen every single day with many different people you will interact with. You could be a mother who is bubbly and outgoing and likes to verbalize, and you can’t deal with your own daughter who prefers to keep to herself, does not like to talk much, and tends to be more sullen than upbeat and excitable. Your daughter thinks you are a big phony, while you think she is an ungrateful, unhappy child.
You could work for a boss who is all about the rules. Everything must be done to his quality standards. He corrects everything you put in front of him. He takes out his red pen and circles all of the errors you have made. Your style is more creative, more open-minded, and you enjoy trying out new things.
You don’t worry so much about the details and you do make a mistake from time to time, but you don’t think it is a big deal. Your boss reminds you that the devil is in the details, but you just think your boss’s detailed approach is the devil itself!
This dynamic is rooted in the research outlined in a profile called DISC (Dominance/Problems, Influencing/People, Steadiness/Pace, and Compliance/Procedures). DISC is a behavioral tool that shows a person’s preference on scales of behavior from 1-100. There are four scales of behavior – problems, people, pace, and procedures. Where someone falls on the scale will dictate how they are likely to approach that particular scale of behavior.
If you are high on the problem-solving scale and someone else you know is very low, you may view them as “stuck” or “unwilling to try new things” or “slow to act”. By contrast, they may view you as “pushy” and “too aggressive”. Depending on these preferences, you will behave in a predictable way. You may expect others to behave as you do, and when they don’t, you label them in negative terms.
Understanding this dynamic affords your choices. You can choose to look at the person’s behavior in a more objective manner. Particularly if you are in a customer-facing role, or in a relationship you are trying to salvage, it is important to step outside yourself and try to understand the viewpoint of someone who communicates differently than you do.
Learning about this dynamic will not mean you like everyone and get along with everyone, but it will mean that you may understand more thoroughly the view from someone else’s seat.
Written By Beverly D. Flaxington Originally Appeared In Psychology Today