In today’s workplace, it’s rare that you complete a task by yourself. Instead, you usually end up collaborating with several different people to get a project finished, and when you get a group of people together everyday conflict is inevitable. You’ll soon find out that not everyone works and thinks the same way as you do and a battle of behaviors can ensue.
And when two people are caught up in a behavioral battle, the whole team can feel it.
The resulting tension not only makes the team dynamics awkward and uncomfortable, it can also negatively affect your business’ productivity. Karen may be avoiding Carol because she can’t deal with her level of disorganization or Tom may be intimidated by Jennifer so he never confronts her about completing deadlines and the whole team suffers… the list goes on.
So how can you start to manage these inevitable conflicts? By looking at two people’s BE Success Survey, you can easily detect potential conflict and provide your employees with awareness to help them anticipate how to best manage it in a healthy and helpful way. Let’s take a look at some charts!
Comparing two charts
One of the wonderful things about our BE Success Survey line chart is it’s visually easy to see people’s contrasting behavioral traits given the nature of the line graph. Looking at the two charts below, you can immediately recognize the difference in the curves. We also have a great Overlay tool that allows you to see both curves on the same chart as well. However, for our purposes right now we’re going to look at them separately:
Looking at these two charts, there are many behavioral differences between these two people. However, a good place to start is to look at some of the most extreme values on the chart (i.e; the highest and lowest points). In these two examples, these are a few extreme clashing traits that are going to create conflict: Dominance (Dom), Support (Sup), Aggression (Agg), Submissiveness (Sub) & Criticality (CY). If you look at these points on the chart, you’ll see that these two people are completely opposite in these areas.
Key Behavioral Attributes
When two people have such drastically different scores on scales, this can be a good indicator of potential conflict because their innate behavioral tendencies are in direct opposition of each other. In this case, these two people will have very different ways of going about the world and dealing with conflict; Chart #1 is going to be much more likely to escalate conflict while Chart #2 is going to avoid it like the plague. Let’s see how these differences could manifest between these two people in more specific ways:
Dominance (Dom) : The desire to take control whenever and wherever possible.
When one person is higher in Dominance, they have a need to be in charge and make the decisions. They have strong opinions and often feel their way is right, which may lead to conflict. It suggests they may feel like they are always insisting on their way. The other may have trouble speaking up, often going along to avoid a fight.
Support (Sup) : The ability to be encouraging and kind in a way that attempts to benefit others.
When one person is higher in Support it suggests they thrive on and need encouragement, kind words and nurturing. The other often fails to see the value in these soft skills, which can lead to conflict.
Aggression (Agg) : The desire to be assertive, stretch limits, test boundaries, be competitive, and push others to their limits of tolerance.
When one person is higher in Aggression it suggests the other may feel like they give in too much, which often leads to hurt feelings developing into resentment. Compromise and true conflict resolution is unlikely.
Submissiveness (Sub) : The desire to conform and defer to others.
When one person is higher in Submissiveness it suggests they give in too often and do not share their point or view enough. The other can be too stubborn and insist on their own way. This misalignment will often lead to frequent misunderstandings.
Criticality (CY) : The desire to be critical of people and things, and to pick them apart in great detail.
When one person is higher in Criticality it suggests they tend to judge and be critical. The other may often feel judged and is likely to feel unsafe in sharing new ideas or feelings.
If you’re facilitating the BE Success Survey in a group setting, becoming aware of these behavioral differences can be a very enlightening (and even fun) experience for team members. By having your team members write down their key behavioral attributes from their chart and how they add value to the team, and then comparing them to other peoples, you can promote a new and beneficial self-awareness that will encourage a collaborative, compassionate work environment. By using a tool like the BE Success Survey, you also take away the pressure for people to directly confront people about their behavior in the heat of a conflict- the data does all the difficult talking and explaining before a conflict even occurs. Although these two people will never have the same behavioral tendencies, they can now understand why the other is the way they are and anticipate how they will respond to certain things. Just by knowing this, people can learn to be more compassionate toward one another and work toward meeting each other in the middle.
Want more advice on how to best manage two people like this? Contact us today!