Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict

Posted by William Harshman on

What is conflict?  What comes to mind?  Anger, Gossip, Hurt feelings?  Let’s look at a couple cornerstone principles:

  • Conflict comes down to a difference of opinions involving strong emotions
  • Conflict is an inevitable part of workplace relationships, and it can also be productive
  • Conflict interactions may be influenced by other factors such as: hierarchy, culture, business atmosphere, personal experiences, etc.
  • Your response to conflict is in your own control

If there were only a way we could accept our DiSC® style AND process conflict effectively.  Well, there IS a tool that helps you do that!

PC Model

Introducing Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict.  As you guessed, it uses Everything DiSC® as the engine.  Productive Conflict teaches you about your and other people’s DiSC® style to help you understand conflict behaviors.  My goal here is to increase your understanding of the Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Profile using specific results from an actual assessment. 

We are different styles.  And, those different styles process conflict differently.  Let’s take a look each of the four DiSC® styles and just ONE way in which they respond to conflict:

  • As a Dominant style, you want to shape your environment. In conflict, you often take control and overshadow others. 
  • As an influence style, you tend to be lively and enthusiastic. In conflict, you openly express your frustration or hurt, often needing to release what’s building inside.
  • As a Steady style, you are generally patient and even-tempered. In conflict, you are quick to compromise and accommodate others.
  • As a Conscientious style, you tend to be analytical and private. In conflict, you rely on facts and objectivity.

Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Profile isn’t about conflict resolution; rather, it’s focused on helping you curb destructive thoughts and behaviors so that conflict can become more productive. 

The eight words around the Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict map are priorities.  They include:  Assertion, Expression, Reassurance, Harmony, Stability, Objectivity, Justification, & Control.  These priorities are unique to the Productive Conflict profile.  In other words, they are the primary areas where people focus their energy depending on their DiSC® style.  They are the instinctive priorities that people – given their DiSC® style – are likely to use during a conflict.

Everyone has at least three priorities; some have four to five.  Having more is no better or worse than having three.  Your Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Profile is unique to you and based on your results.  Priorities simply help us understand how our style might be reflected in “motivations and behaviors” given real-life work scenarios.  The important thing to remember is that when things get foggy (such as when stress or uncertainty appear) we seek the priorities associated with our style.

Breaking it down further, we see the 3 priorities assigned to each quadrant, respectively.  A first look at the model shows the following priorities identified with a primary style:

 D:  Justification, Control, Assertion
 i:    Assertion, Expression, Reassurance
 S:  Reassurance, Harmony, Stability
 C:  Stability, Objectivity, Justification

This approach can at least provide you high-level understanding of priorities associated with the four quadrants before we even know a person’s DiSC style.

Let’s suppose that we have a participant whose name is Bernie and initial review of his Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict results indicate he’s in the D style quadrant.

PC Model_D

Priorities are where Bernie focuses his energy.  For example, as we introduce our participant, Bernie, we see that his D style has the following 3 priorities of Justification, Control, and Assertion.  These priorities are the lenses through which he views various situations and interactions.  AND, they influence his automatic responses, without conscious thought.

All the profiles begin with a very good summary of the DiSC and what the 4 quadrants mean in terms of basic styles.  Then the profile provides several paragraphs of helpful information and context unique to Bernie to help him understand the unique nuances in his personal Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict report.

Then, the report provides a detailed summary of each of Bernie’s 3 priorities.  Following is a focused look at Bernie’s 3 priorities.  This is where Bernie’s 3 priorities are fully explained.  I’m choosing ONE to share an excerpt for your understanding:

  • As someone with the D style, because you have a strong vision of how things should be, you likely have a desire to take control of conflict situations. Therefore, to prevent others from influencing your agenda, you may take charge of the conversation . . .

Referring to that particular “control” priority, the report lists what is important to Bernie during conflict:

  • It’s important to take charge of discussions and have control
  • You want justification of the other position
  • You want freedom to assert your opinions directly . .

Continuing with that particular “control” priority, the report lists what you may value during conflict:

  • Standing up for your point of view
  • Having authority
  • Convincing others
  • Elevating your argument
  • . . . .

Wrapping up with that particular “control” priority, the report lists what drains your energy during conflict:

  • Feeling you have to censor everything you say
  • Lacking control
  • Having your ideas challenged
  • Dealing with people who place emotions over facts
  • . . . .

Then you see an overview which shows the destructive and productive conflict tendencies that are typical for each DiSC style.  I’ve broken out Bernie’s “D” style for more detail:  (click to enlarge)

PC Tendencies_D


  • Destructive tendencies include: insensitivity, impatience, creates win-lose situations, etc.
  • Productive tendencies include: straightforward with opinions, acknowledges tough issues, etc.

Then, the report provides a one-page summary for conflicting with each and all the 4 Basic DiSC® styles

  • What drives that style in conflict?
  • Compared to You, people with that style tend to be:
  • How can you have productive conflict with that style?
  • . . . .

The report also provides a one-page summary of “goals, overuses, and fears” while in conflict.  Then the report discusses destructive responses, recognizing automatic thoughts, changing your response, and choosing productive responses.  Click to enlarge:

PC Summary

If you’d like a PDF sample of the Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Profile, just let me know your DiSC® style via email at info@traininglocation.com.

As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DiSC® is understanding your and others’ styles and then using that knowledge for improved interactions.

If you would like a live, complimentary webinar (online) for your team or organization, please send an email to info@traininglocation.com.  If you’d like to purchase the DiSC®, visit  DiSC® Classic or Everything DiSC® at our website.  And, check out our products from The Ken Blanchard Companies as well.


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