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I have been listening to Manger Tools for about a year and appreciate the topics. As a new manager in a very top-level team, I appreciate good advice for tricky situations.  I especially liked the recent podcast on the meeting dominator, and all the information on dealing with "high D's," as these are the kinds of folks I find most difficult to manage.  I suspect I am a high-S.

I have a couple of requests for a podcast, both dealing with the high-D as a direct.

The first one: What are some good feedback patterns for dealing with a high-D?  I have a high-D, and he is a excellent worker, but a pain in neck to manage.  He likes to tell me what to do, and when I give him feedback, he says, "I'm going to X anyway and I won't tell you."  Don't say, fire him.  I won't.  It's not the kind of job where I can just find a replacement.  It takes about 1-2 years to train someone who very talented to begin with for this job.  I also like him and care about him, and really want him to succeed.

Things that have worked for me is having doing a variant of "shot across the bow."  Last one-on-one I had with him, I asked him to make his argument and said I'll think about it, and left it right there.  I didn't let him define the conversation, while at the same time, putting him on the spot to use his skills to put forth a good argument.  I'm going to tell him "no, we're not doing it," and I'm expecting that he will do what he can to get around it.  I'm looking for other ideas to get him into line.

Second question, I'm doing end of the year performance reviews.  I'd love some insight on how to deal with performance reviews of employees (same high-D) who made two very important mistakes on two crucial accounts over the year.  One was a difficult situation, and one was a simple case of the high-D was a jerk, and nearly lost a top customer.  I had to reassign the account and things are better.  The day-to-day tasks of the direct were excellent, he did his work, was fun to be around, kept the mid-tier customers very happy.

So I want to give mixed review.  Any thoughts on doing a review on the high-D?  

Dani Martin's picture

Hi TIMBURNSOWLMTN -- You've asked some good questions here. Thanks for being a part of our community.

Before I give more specific guidance, it would be helpful for me to know more about the situation. You mention that you're a manager in a top level team. How high level? How big is your company? How big is your budget?

We do have a podcast on how to give effective feedback to a high D. It's called "Improve Your Feedback with DiSC" (http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/02/improve-your-feedback). The podcast covers how to adjust the "Here's what happens" step in the feedback model with each profile to make it more effective. I think you might also find the podcast "How to Handle Conflict with a High D" helpful: http://www.manager-tools.com/2012/05/how-handle-conflict-with-a-high-d.

We don't have any recommendations for giving reviews to high D's, however we do have several casts on preparing and delivering performance reviews:
http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/12/get-going-on-performance-reviews
http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/12/performance-reviews-part-2
http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/01/delivering-the-performance-review-p...
http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/01/delivering-the-performance-review-p...

Regarding your question about giving a mixed review, almost losing a top customer is very serious and should be noted in his review. And the good stuff he did should be in there, too.

I hope this helps. If you can provide additional details, I'll be happy to respond with more specific guidance.

Thanks,
Dani