Seeking advice to overcome an internal mental block regarding a poor attitude toward one of my employees.


  • High Di (6524)
  • Generally very direct and outgoing. Like digging into details when interesting but otherwise I just want the bottom line.
  • 15+ years experience with 5 years managing people and 2 years as a M-T manager


  • Dc (6315)
  • Very methodical speech patterns. Very detailed in presentation of information.
  • <3 years out of school. All work experience at our company within 2 small groups



Our relationship

Has reported to me for 3 months. We have weekly O3s. I know the basics of her personal life (not a huge sharer). We have not yet begun feedback given the newness of the relationship but my plan is to start this month with the feedback rollout process.

Our team

Newly created function within the department last year. We are literally making it up as we go along in regards to the work we perform. We are a small team (just 2 directs)


The "issue"

I find myself immediately on guard when she sends emails, brings up ideas in meetings, or discusses projects. It's like I am prepared to be annoyed before the idea is even out on the table. Because of this I find that I am more critical of her thoughts/ideas/information than I normally would be.  Why am I on guard? I find her personal communication style to be robotic and overly detailed. 

I have listened to the "I'm a D, My Direct is a C" and "I'm a C, My Manager is an I" casts. These have helped me understand a bit of why she does things they way she does. But I am still challenged to be open and receptive to her ideas. It's exacerbated because the other team member has reported to me in the past and we already have worked out many of the "kinks" of a new manager/direct relationship. So I often feel that I appear to be favoring the other direct. I don't know if that is perceived by them but I would guess it is. It's not that I favor the other, it's the we already have a more established rapport and she understands a bit of what I'm looking for already so there are not as many speedbumps. 


Advice on how to shift my attitude? 

Kevin1's picture


Have you introduced her to DiSC?  Getting her to better understand the differences in the way people like to communicate will allow you to introduce your own preferences within a framework that she'll be able to understand.

As you are already familiar with the beauty of DiSC, then you are aware that you and her need to come closer together.  She's not currently aware of this, (I assume) and she is therefore communicating with you in the detailed style that she thinks is best. 

Have you shared techniques like BLUF with her?

Are you modifying your own behaviour somewhat in order to accommodate her communication style?

Kind regards