Teams are the engines that drive innovation, productivity, and success. But what happens when your team isn’t functioning as smoothly as it should? Dysfunctional teams can cause stress and missed opportunities. Plus, they lower morale among team members. This makes identifying and addressing these issues crucial to a harmonious and productive work environment. Because we are huge advocates of the Everything DiSC™ assessment, we’re going to explore how it can help you recognize and resolve dysfunction within your team, with a particular focus on the impact of personality differences on team dynamics. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. People differences trigger people problems! But luckily for you, DiSC can help. 

Recognizing Dysfunctional Teams

A dysfunctional team can manifest in various ways, from poor communication to low productivity and high employee turnover. One of the most significant indicators of dysfunction is the presence of unresolved conflicts and tensions within the team. These tensions can often be attributed to differences in personality and working styles among team members. According to DiSC, individuals fall into a combination of the four main personality types: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. These personality traits can significantly affect how people think, work, and communicate. When these differences aren’t understood or respected, they can lead to conflicts and dysfunction within a team. 

DiSC Personality Differences in Action

So, let’s take a look at some examples of how DiSC personality differences can cause issues among teammates.

  • Dominance (D): Dominant individuals are driven, results-oriented, and often direct in their communication. They may clash with those who prefer a more collaborative and accommodating approach, such as Steadiness types. This can result in tension, as the D-types may perceive S-types as too passive or slow to make decisions.
  • Influence (I): Influential individuals are sociable, enthusiastic, and creative. They thrive in a social environment and may find it challenging to work with Conscientiousness types, who are more reserved and detail-oriented. Misunderstandings can arise when I-types interpret C-types as overly critical or rigid.
  • Steadiness (S): Steadiness types are known for their calm and patient nature. They prefer stability and harmony, which can clash with Dominance types’ assertiveness. The S-types may perceive D-types as too aggressive or intimidating, leading to anxiety and disengagement.
  • Conscientiousness (C): Conscientious individuals are analytical, precise, and value accuracy. They may experience tension when working with Influence types, who are more spontaneous and less detail-focused. C-types may view I-types as careless or disorganized, while I-types may find C-types overly cautious and unyielding.

How DiSC Can Improve Team Culture

Recognizing these personality differences is the first step towards improving team dynamics and fostering a more inclusive and effective work environment. As a manager, you may want to incorporate one or more of the following strategies:

  • DiSC Workshops: Conduct DiSC workshops for your team to increase awareness of different personality types and their strengths. Understanding that diversity in thought and work styles can be an asset rather than a liability and can transform how team members interact with one another.
  • Effective Communication: Teach team members how to adapt their communication styles to better connect with colleagues of different DiSC profiles. For instance, D-types could learn to be more patient and inclusive, while S-types can work on asserting their needs and ideas.
  • Conflict Resolution: Equip your team with tools for resolving conflicts constructively. Make it clear that disagreements are natural, and encourage open and honest conversations that lead to solutions. The DiSC framework can provide insights into why conflicts occur and how to address them effectively.

Be a Role Model for Transparency and Accountability

As a manager, you play a pivotal role in fostering a culture of transparency, accountability, and productive conflict resolution within your team. By embracing the DiSC framework and modeling the desired behaviors, you can lead your team by example. Here are 3 ways for you to do this. 

First, take a DiSC assessment and understand how you show up at work. Then, share your DiSC profile with your team and explain how it influences your leadership style. Being transparent about your own strengths and weaknesses creates an environment where team members feel comfortable doing the same. This openness can help eliminate judgment and reduce tension. 

Second, show that you embrace accountability for yourself and your team. Set clear expectations and hold the team accountable for their actions and commitments. Recognize and celebrate successes, but also address shortcomings and provide guidance for improvement. Encourage your team to do the same for each other. It’s not healthy for the team to just wait for the manager to step in where accountability is concerned. 

Third, show your team that disagreements can be opportunities for growth. When conflicts arise, model the behavior you want to see in your team by facilitating constructive discussions and guiding them toward resolution. Encourage open dialogue and ensure that each team member feels heard and valued. Productive conflict is just the quest for truth: what is really going on and how you solve the problem. 


In today’s diverse and dynamic workplace, recognizing and addressing dysfunction within your team is vital for success. The DiSC personality assessment can be a valuable tool in identifying the impact of personality differences on team dynamics and help you create a more collaborative and inclusive work environment.

We’ve all experienced personality differences at work, and most have witnessed the fallout that can occur. We are all wired differently. The key is to understand the differences so you can work better together. By utilizing DiSC workshops, promoting effective communication, and emphasizing transparency, accountability, and productive conflict resolution, you, as the manager, can play a pivotal role in transforming a dysfunctional team into a highly functional one. Remember that the power of diversity, including thought and work styles diversity, can be harnessed to enhance your team’s performance and innovation.

Are you ready to improve the dynamics and boost the productivity of your team? Brilliant People™ offers leadership development programs that incorporate the DiSC framework to help you create stronger, more effective teams. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can support your organization’s growth and success.

The Culture (R)evolution™ Starts With YOU!

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