Several times over the years clients have contracted us for DiSC coaching with project team members who are antagonizing to others. Three of these particular instances the employee had already pushed the other party’s buttons enough where it had become physical.  The cases were with co-workers and another with a sub-contractor.

New construction and renovation construction are both challenging. The commercial sector has its own challenges which are different from the different levels of residential work, yet emotions play a part across the board. According to an article in Business Weekly, even 12% of married couples that do construction projects together end up in divorce during or immediately following the project. No matter what size your project team and the corresponding parties of consultants, ownership representation, sub-contractors, trades and governmental officials is, each person communicates differently.  Each person has their own agenda despite the common goal to complete the project.

The DiSC profile is a tool that can be used to help each individual understand their communication style, priority scale, motivators and stressors and how to take the lead when communicating with others to achieve timely mutual results.  Tips are provided to assist with behavioral challenges until such time the person who may be antagonistic develops the skills to discover that one gets more bees with honey than one does with vinegar.

Telling certain project managers and superintendents the well-known honey saying goes in one ear and out the other.  Sometimes more extreme illustrations communicates the message better.

One time I told a knowledgeable project manager who was saying the right things, but was delivering his message to others like he thought they were all idiots. If he could picture the others he is addressing as fragile ballerinas.  If he did not approach them with kindness and respect, they would not be able to dance and may even cry if he speaks harshly and inconsiderately to them.  The goal was to plant an image in his head that would prompt him to adjust his attitude and choose his words along with the delivery of the words wisely.

Fragile ballerinas may be extreme. It did get the point across, and the project manager was able to focus on improving his ill-disposed behavior in addition to providing a sincere apology to those he was belittling.  It changed this man’s reputation in the workplace and took a hostile work environment focused on the inappropriate behavior of one man to a united team focused on the success of the project.

Every once in a while, I will hear another story about a superintendent that walked off a job site in the heat of the moment.  I can’t help, but wonder if it is just because they didn’t get their way or is it because if they didn’t walk off, they might do something they regret either verbally or physically?   Either way, if they learn how to communicate their emotional needs, it will help them to maintain respect with their associates.  Sometimes communication of emotional needs can be saying “Would it be okay if I took a few minutes to gather my thoughts, cool down, check on the job site etc. then I will be happy to work with you to resolve our difference?” A simple question can often defuse the tension and allow all parties involved time to back away and see the forest through the trees, uniting again within a reasonable timeframe to resolve the issue mutually.

If you would like to know more about your communication style, your stressors, motivators and your top motivating priorities click here.  The assessment package includes a coaching session review either in person, skype or facetime.

Visualizing others in the office or on the job site as fragile ballerinas might not be what works for you. Coming up with a personal reminder when you heat up quickly due to someone or something slowing you down, will help you remember that pushing them won’t do anything, but alienate the other party. Assisting others to understand your needs and communicating with them to understand their needs, provides a collaborative platform instead of a combative one.

Are you antagonistic?  We’re here to help.

Suzanne Breistol and the FLCC Team!

2 Comments
  • Shelley

    “A simple question can often defuse the tension and allow all parties involved time to back away and see the forest through the trees, uniting again within a reasonable timeframe to resolve the issue mutually.”

    So true; this is a good article!

    • flccadmin

      Thank you Shelley, 100% agree!

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