A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article titled On the Job, Nice Guys May Finish Last. The title immediately caught my attention, and I had to take a look.
In reading the article, I saw an immediate connection to my work and for other people interested in using the DISC model in their professional and personal lives.
The point made in this article is particularly significant for people with supportive tendencies (people who are people-oriented and reserved).
People with strong supportive traits are great at building relationships, easing tensions, helping others, and holding a team together. And, as Dr. Christine Riordan says in the article I mentioned above:
People with this natural personality trait may be less likely to face confrontation or other difficulties at work.
I'm not suggesting that having the supportive trait is a problem (it happens to be a strong secondary trait for me). I am suggesting that people with this trait commit themselves to learning the skills of assertive communication.
People with supportive traits often use passive communication strategies in an effort to ease tensions and reduce conflicts. While these strategies are sometimes useful and necessary, I recommend learning to use them intentionally when appropriate rather than as a default because they are more comfortable.
Consistently passive communication and conflict avoidance can create situations where conflicts go unresolved and continue to simmer under the surface until they explode and destroy a team or family. In addition, passive communication can make people, like the lamb pictured above, susceptible to “predators” in the workplace. Both scenarios can have major negative impacts on your career.
Learning to apply assertive communication techniques can improve the odds of successfully confronting and resolving conflict situations at work by stopping the spread of destructive conflict and confrontation.