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Submitted by DRD282 on


BLUF: How do you know if you have a "good" relationship with a High D direct? Especially if I am a High S?



One of the big questions that was asked when I attended one of the EMC conferences was "If the point of O3's is to build a relationship, how do you know when your relationship is 'good'?" The litmus-test answer was "do you know the names of the directs kids (spouse, pets, etc), who are probably the most important thing in their life" or something along those lines. 

However, the very basic guidance for O3s is "the direct talks about what he/she wants" and the specific guidance for High D's is "they will probably just talk about work, often with just a list of tasks that have been or need to be completed." This does not really lend itself toward using the standard litmus test.

I am a High S manager. One of my (newer) directs is a very high D who is very experienced in his/her area of knowledge. Excellent worker, although we have clashed a few times which I think was largely due to our diametrically opposite DISC profiles.

My Question:

How do I know if my O3s are effective and if I am building a "good" relationship with this person? What I think of as a "good" relationship as a High S is most likely *very* different than the High D direct's. So what criteria do I use to know how strong our relationship is? This will become very important down the line as we get in to feedback and especially coaching.

mrkrogers00's picture
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Great question!

While it may be difficult to quantify the relationship in the same manner, knowing your direct is a High D puts you in a good position to communicate with them in a manner they will respond more favorably to. After some time, the direct may respond more openly to you.

Also, being a High D myself, I know getting to the point where building relationships becomes a priority takes time. As their manager, you can provide feedback that promotes relationship building as a tool to get noticed and maybe get a promotion (feel free to paraphrase).

Hope this helps.


naraa's picture
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 To know if you have a good relationship with a high D ask yourself the following question: "If I ask him/her to do something, does he do it?"  If he does you have his/her respect which is either through a good relationship or a power position that he/she conforms too.  Now if he or she reports back to you with regards to what you have asked him/her to do, specially without you inquiring about it (which could be as simple as: the stuff you asked me to do is done), you know you have a good relationship and he/she cares about you.

You will always have an argument, a discussion or an engaged conversation (which seems like an argument for a high S or high C but is not in th high D´s perspective) with a high D.  That is like the air he/she breaths.  I would be more worry about the quality of the relationship if you were not having those arguments.  I would take the although out and rephrase your sentence above:

"Excellent worker.   We have clashed a few times due to our diametrically opposite DISC profiles and different way of seeing the same problem.  That is part of the way we function and complement each other."