Hello MT,
I have an experienced high C direct who has always assisted as a knowledgeable advisor for two recurring meetings. He has done this prior to me joining the firm and taking over as manager. He creates an incredible amount of tension and nervousness amongst all who are on the calls because of his monosyllabic answers and matter-of-fact approach. They are intimidated to ask questions and it is affecting the team. He has no problem pointing out if someone is wrong, and I understand his approach is that he only wants to be factual, but the manner in which he does it offends and upsets others.
In summary, this person is not too strong with relationship building and often upsets people (often without realizing or caring).
I've just started to introduce negative feedback for the teams and I'm now stuck at a crossroads. 
Option 1: Do I try to use negative feedback and get this person on track to being more amicable and friendly?
Option 2: Do I simply move this person out of the meetings to do other things (which is viable) and move someone else in who can do it in a more friendly way?
I can't help but think option # 1 is a long, difficult road that may offend him and prove too difficult; some people are just not cut out to be friendly and build strong relationships and inspire others. #2 is convenient for me, but I wonder if that may make this person feel isolated and disincluded unless I frame it in a particular way.
Any advice? Thanks MT.

FerdyPro's picture

That is difficult, perhaps a more expert manager can answer. Good luck and do well. 

Chris Zeller's picture


You haven't shared your DiSC profile with us, so I have 4 responses for you:

High D: Dude, you're not paid to do what's convenient for you or to avoid conflict. Step up, and do what's effective for your organization and your direct report. Who cares if he's offended? Use the tools, give the feedback, and do your job. Please.

High I: Wow. This is a great opportunity to put the MT theories into practice. It's an almost textbook-example and you've got both objective behaviors and feedback that you can provide. Long and difficult roads are challenging. And they're incredibly rewarding once you're through and can look back on them. Let's brainstorm when and how you can start taking action and moving the needle on this thing. Once it's all played out, you can summarize things and give a report to the other managers so that they can see the value in what we do and adopt simialr practices. At the end of the day, we'll all be better off for it. It'll be great!

High S: I hear you. And it's good that you're concerned about your direct feeling isolated and disincluded. Caring for your team and showing empathy is critical if you're going to get great results from your people. You've done a solid job mapping out possible next steps and it's a tough choice. You've got lots of resources and a great community backing you up. I have confidence in your ability to take the more difficult path and ultimately succeed. Let me know how I can help.

High C: Clearly, your direct's inabilty to communciate effectively is having negative effects on the rest of the organization. This is both inefficient and ineffective. Your obligation as the manager is to provide the necessary feedback to help him understand this and improve his performance. Next time you observe the behavior, use the MT Feedback Model to communciate the consequences of his actions and ask for improved behavior going forward.

Now, of course, I'm curious. Which response is right for you? And does it correspond with what you know of your own DiSC profile? 

vwelch's picture

"...because of his monosyllabic answers and matter-of-fact approach."

"...but the manner in which he does it offends and upsets others."

You should get the bad behavior well articulated and then give negative feedback. It's not very clear to me from your description what he's doing to provoke the issues you describe, hence it's probably not going to be clear to him either. Expect pushback in any case, but if you don't have the behavior well defined, you'll get nowhere.

Good luck, Von