Sunday, January 30, 2005

Winning against a Big Ego (3)

Another in the occasional series (#1, #2) of musings on how we little people can survive in the shadow of the Big Egos -- and perhaps even win a bout or two.

The DISC model uses four character dimensions to come up with fifteen personality profiles. Each profile is a different mix of the four dimensions: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.

Executive leaders tend to score high in Dominance and Influence. These are their strengths, but also their weakness.
  • People with the "Inspirational" pattern, for example, set out to control their environment and audience. They're very high on Dominance, and also on Influence. They care about the projection of personal strength, character and social power. By the same token, they fear weak behavior, and loss of social status.
  • Those with the "Persuader" pattern seek authority and prestige; they revel in growth, and like to sell and close. In this case, Influence is higher than Dominance, but both dwarf the other two dimensions. Persuaders fear a fixed environment, and complex relationships.
Riffing on these DISC attributes, here are some tricks that might help level the playing field:
  1. Suggest that taking the course of action you oppose would make them look weak, or threaten their status.
  2. Present your proposal as leading to dynamic change, and their inclination as perpetuating the status quo.
  3. When on the defensive, draw them into the complexities of the topic. Beware, though; if they're intelligent and able to handle complex thinking, you may be outplayed unless you're at the core of your competence, and they're not.

No comments: