Advice on how to relate to a High C Boss

I was made redundant over a year ago, and have struggled to obtain interviews both in and out of my area of expertise (IT Project and Programme Management).

I have, however, managed to obtain an interview with a cycling engineering company as a General/Sales manager. I feel confident that my skills are transferable, having spent most of the last decade carefully planning my skill acquisition in order to get out of IT back into the real world.

Feeling that my DISC profile met the requirements of the position I decided to include it with my resume and commendations/recommendations on my account on application and feel that the DISC profile helped in obtaining the interview. 

I have received a question from the internal recruiter.

"The owner's style is more Alan Sugar. Being a perfectionist and having run his business for two decades and naturally feels uncomfortable in delegating.  How would I manage the relationship knowing this."

Seeing the perfectionist and deducing from the other characterization of an Alan Sugar-a-like, deduced that my prospective new boss is a High C. The recruiter picked up on my High C/High D in my profile and noted  the potential clash and inquired on how I would manage the relationship with my boss (C) and rationalize it with my High D trait.


In my draft response I have explained:

  • that the DISC model describes the default tendency and that anyone can modify their behaviour (which is particularly effective when considering relationships with others)
  • that I would attempt to build up trust between myself and my boss by phasing the delegation in allowing him to have constructive reviews tied in with one-on-ones to progress the delegation of all the tasks in the job description.
  • for more reluctant delegation, I have suggested a trial task. Delegating a ONE OFF task to perform to increase his confidence .... maybe with constructive correcting feedback to me and a second trial if appropriate. Then looking to make things more permanent as his confidence grows.
  • Whereas my High D would be quite happy to be dropped in the deep end (as my recent resume shows)  my understanding of the DISC model allows me to understand how potentially uncomfortable a High C could be with such an handover and how I can use the model to modify my behaviour to make at ease such a person.
  • I have been in a similar situation several times before (quite common in project management when you are the new PM on the account).


I would appreciate any further advice.


Ian Stanley

6145 DISC



Fitch's picture

Hi Ian,

best of luck with your app.

Could I suggest that Sir Alan is probably a high D, probably more than high C (of which I'm sure he also is).

I'd be a little more reticent about your reply - are you quoting the DISC model itself?  If we're talking Sir Alan I can imagine him being quite dismissive and 'modifying your behaviour' is not what he's going to want to see.

I'd also be quite cautious about suggesting how your boss should build up trust in you.  My experience is the boss will basically give you as much rein as he wishes and when you've proven yourself he will give you more etc.

You also have to think do you actually want that job?  If you thrive on being thrown in at the deep end, could you actually work with someone who's reluctant to delegate? Might you feel stifled.

Sorry to be a little negative there, but maybe that's why you're interviewing for a general manager job, and I'm not :)