How do you handle disagreements or conflict with a High D?
I recently got an email from a friend, whom we will call Joe, which read:
I would like your advice.
We had a meeting to make sure everyone was on the same page with our new payroll process. Just my boss, his wife, and me. I had everything prepared for them in such a way they were both really happy. Problem for me: at one point my boss says, “we need to not make careless mistakes. Like putting vacation in sick, that was a careless mistake. We need to not be careless.” I couldn’t really respond because their three kids came in at that moment. I know my mistake was human error. Calling it careless says to me I didn’t care enough. But I did care! My husband thinks I need to send my boss an email. But I want to make sure I’m interpreting things correctly, with the whole D spin 🙂
I have other examples when he indicates something negative about me because of what I’ve done, not done, etc. And the times I’ve tried to explain the “why” behind what I’ve done he either looks at me blankly, gives a half smile, or just reiterates his original opinion. Please help, oh great D!
Eight Tips to Effectively Handle Conflict/Disagreements with High D’s
Here was my advice to Joe.
First, don’t send an email. Odds are you will be too lengthy and you will have no idea how he reacts (it’s all in his face).
You will gain 10 times more respect (and build some confidence) by talking to him face to face.
With that in mind, here is how to approach him.
- Approach him on his turf. This means his office. Go to him where he is most comfortable.
- Ask permission to speak with him. “Is this a good time to talk?” There are only two answers. Yes and no. If yes, proceed. If no, ask “When is a better time for you?”
- Stand if possible. But not if he is sitting. Don’t impose. Stay level with him. I would stand for 10 seconds and if he doesn’t stand, pull up a chair close to his desk. Make sure to show that you are moving close.
- Get right to the point.
- Stay future focused. No attacks. This does not mean you cannot reference a past event, but it should be in the context of the future.
- Practice ahead of time.
- Stay calm. (DO NOT tell yourself not to get emotional…the words in your head are important here). You have practiced, it will go great.
- Repeat the outcome you want as though it is happening. As you practice, continually repeat a positive outcome in the present tense.
Remember, you cannot control him. He could thank you, smile, and get back to work. He could cuss you out. He could be blown away and change. It’s not up to you. Only your actions and emotions are up to you.
What tips do you have for Joe or anyone in handling conflict or disagreements with high D’s?