“Life Experiences and Personality Traits That Enhance My Effectiveness in Facilitating Conflict Resolution”

 

The DiSC profile assessment was at once incredibly fascinating and quite disarming. My initial expectations for the assessment were limited. However, the results were alarmingly accurate; so much so that I felt like someone went into my closet and pulled out all the skeletons that I have tried to diligently to keep hidden. However, I would not go so far as to say that the results were enlightening. But where it came up short in this regard, it did provide a great deal of reassurance and comfort relative to my self-perception.

The profile assessment rated my highest dimension as Dominance. Also, I was assessed to have the Result-Oriented Classical Profile Pattern. The adjectives used to describe my score on the ‘D’ Dimension are as follows: domineering, demanding, forceful, risk-taker, adventuresome, decisive and inquisitive. The adjectives used to describe my score on the ‘I’ Dimension are as follows: generous, poised, charming, confident, convincing, observing and discriminating. The adjectives used to describe my score on the ‘S’ Dimension are as follows: eager, critical, discontented, fidgety, impetuous, restless and change-oriented. Finally, the adjectives used to describe my score on the ‘C’ Dimension are as follows: “own person,” self-righteous, opinionated, persistent, independent, rigid and firm.

Given my nature of being results-oriented it would seem that my giftedness ought to lead me away from having conflict-resolution skills. My own personal observations would agree with this. I tend to be impatient and even intolerant with people whom I determine to not conduct themselves appropriately (particularly in my previous secular employment). I was either the absolute favorite or absolute least favorite boss. There seemed to be little in-between.

However, in a touch of irony, my specific experiences say differently. Prior to entering ministry full-time, I worked as a leader of a large team. I had eight direct-report managers and approximately 125 employees under my general supervision. To say that I have experience resolving conflict is an understatement. There were days that it seemed like that was all I did.

This assignment is interesting and helpful in that it forces me to pause and reflect on what factors contributed to my success. Was it my “personality,” life experience, some combination of the two or some additional factor? I will say that in a round-a-bout way my childhood does claim some responsibility for whatever skills I may have acquired. Briefly, I could summarize my childhood home as oppressive and abusive. Negative conflict was a constant and it was routinely handled in an unhealthy manner. While this could have skewed me in the wrong direction, I feel that I am much more sensitive to people than I might otherwise be. Also, I am much more empathetic to people and their concerns.

This ties in interestingly to the negative or potentially negative “side-effects” of being high in Dominance and Results-Oriented. According to the assessment, I am at a risk of being insensitive to people, their needs and feelings. However, while I do tend to be impatient and intolerant with people under certain circumstances, I do not fit that profile assessment. In this regard, I can say that my experiences “win out” and help me to have a better shot at being a productive conflict negotiator. Simply put, all things being equal, I care deeply about people and don’t want anyone to be faced with any undue hardship.

In terms of serving specifically as a conflict negotiator in a ministry setting where I often have no vested interest (i.e. relationship counseling, etc.), my experiences mentioned above prevail and help me to remain patient, calm, discerning and empathetic—traits that lend themselves to successfully leading people through conflicts.

However, it terms of serving specifically as a conflict negotiator in a ministry setting where I have a vested interest, my DiSC profile assessment seems to kick in. In this regard I am quite comfortable exerting influence through emotional intelligence or pure force of personality in order to ensure that the best negotiation settlement is reached. In short, if I am convinced that there is a specific “best” result, then I am usually able to bring that about.

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