Conflict Resolution Based on the 4 DISC Personality Types

Employee Engagement Feb 01, 2021

The art of conflict resolution lies in your ability to understand, persuade, and compromise the other in a way that can benefit you both. To strengthen this ability, knowing about different personality types is such a great help.

And have you ever heard about the DISC behavior assessment? It includes 4 personality types, and has proved to be an effective tool for management in the workplace.

But what does conflict resolution have anything to do with these 4 DISC personality types? Let's find out more in this post.

Dominance (D-type)

D-type people value integrity, straightforwardness, and quick conversations. They may seem intimidating for you to raise concerns with, but they’re actually very open to honest conversations.

The best way to approach D-type is to go straight into the point and communicate with quick, precise points. D-type people dislike details (and too many details), so making your points precise is a must.

As D-type people are generally quite self-assertive, sometimes the conversation may get too heated. What you should do in this case is to show them your best efforts in taking their views, and give counter-arguments in a proper manner. They will appreciate your efforts and hold you in high esteem.

Influence (I-type)

I-type people are energetic and love to interact with others. They are friendly and accommodating friends that you want to have. That’s a great thing, because you won’t be afraid to have conversations with them.

But you need to be careful. One thing that I-type can’t stand is rejection, so any disagreement or conflict must be raised carefully so as not to hurt them. Going straight into the point is not the way to go here.

You can start your conversation with positive things. Ask them about themselves, what’s up lately, and most likely they will excitingly interact with you. As you raise the concern with them, be sure to focus on the concern, not on themselves. Add a few jokes and show your empathy to make them calm. They will react more positively to a friendly conversation.

Steadiness (S-type)

S-type people hate conflicts. Having values as cooperation and stability, S-type people hate any disruptions or disagreements to their work.

So how should you approach S-type people? Most of the time, they will try to agree with you during conflicts, regardless of whether they actually believe in what you say. But their frustration does pile up—you don’t want to force S-type people against their beliefs too much, because the result can be terrible.

Instead, what you should do is to make a compromise. Start with what you agree first, then move onto what you disagree. Remember to show your willingness to cooperate and encourage S-type to speak up your minds.

Conscientiousness (C-type)

Details, analysis, accuracy, expertise—those are what matters to a C-type person. C-type people are often extremely careful and thorough in whatever they do, which means questioning their work won’t be easy.

You should first acknowledge the work they did, and then focus on the aspects that they may have not considered. Explain why you think it’s important and be ready to answer these questions.

C-type people will likely go down into every single aspect of your arguments. This takes time, but hang in there—patience is much needed in order to work the problem out with C-type.


So the next time you encounter a conflict, take a step back and think “What DISC personality type does my employee and colleague belong to? And how should I approach him/her?”. It’s only a simple act, but the benefits go a long way in your conflict resolution and management.

Besides, you can discuss conflict resolution and the DISC assessment with your employees. This can strengthen communication and understanding among colleagues, and prevent unnecessary conflicts in the workplace.

Read more about different leadership styles based on 4 DISC personality types here.