Employee mental health has been all over the news lately because as a society we are still struggling to adapt to the loss, change, and prolonged instability caused by the pandemic. In response, organizations across the nation are working to ensure that employees have the resources they need. In fact, 73% of employers are increasing their behavioral health investment in 2021. This is welcome news, but at Brilliant People, we believe it’s just as important to treat each other with care. We all have emotional needs that don’t go into hibernation just because we’re at work, which means it’s important to understand you and your coworkers’ emotional needs. Looking into their DiSC personality style is a great place to start.

Emotional Needs of The Dominant

The Dominant or ‘D’ style is known for their competitive nature, focus on results, and take-charge attitude. I mean, these people take charge even when they aren’t in charge! Control is important when you’re afraid of being taken advantage of. This is why the D type thrives on competition and needs to be first and/or the best. It can create problems when they step on or over those around them in their efforts to win. Their blunt, ‘do-it-my-way-or-the-highway’ attitude can also ruffle some feathers. 

They can come across so confidently that it’s sometimes surprising to many that realize that they have emotional needs just like everyone else. In fact, their willingness to take charge is actually a clever way of camouflaging their need for control. 

To meet the emotional needs of the ‘D’ style make sure they know you appreciate their go-get-it attitude, and their laser focus. Allow them to take the reins when possible, but also help them to develop their people skills. That way they’ll have the necessary finesse to collaborate well when needed.

The Influencer

The Influence or ’ style is cheerful, optimistic, and very social. They also tend to be amazing idea generators. These people spend their time checking in on other coworkers, organizing birthday celebrations, the weekly happy hour and the holiday food drive. Their desire to be liked and accepted is what drives their behavior. I would venture to say that all people desire to be liked and accepted but for the ‘i’ type, this is a true emotional need because they fear being rejected and ignored. And when these needs aren’t met, you may notice that their cheerfulness, optimism, and activity go into hyperdrive. This isn’t melodramatic behavior. It’s a cry for help. 

So, take the time to let the ‘i’ type on your team or in your department know that you appreciate them. Give kudos for their ability to continually innovate, and appreciation for their non-stop optimism. Interact often to let them know you care.

Emotional Needs of The Steady

The Steady or ’S’ style is the laid-back member of the team. They strive to provide a supportive atmosphere for everyone, making them great collaborators and mediators. They crave stability, peace, and appreciation. This means they don’t like change or conflict. Many Steady types find it hard to voice their opinions, especially if other more vocal members tend to talk over or ignore them. If conflict is constant, this can become a vicious cycle of silence and resentment for the ‘S’ type. And in regard to change, you can help to combat their fears by having a private conversation when change is coming. Giving a heads up early will allow the ’S’ style time to come to grips with the change. As a result, they’ll be less likely to dig their heels in and resist. Then they can use their calming demeanor to help ease the transition for others. 

And lastly, if team members spend too much time pushing their own agenda, they’ll miss out on the fact that the Steady needs to know that people sincerely appreciate their contributions to the team. This could be verbal or in writing. The main thing is to make sure you state specifically what it is that you appreciate them for.  

The Conscientious Style

The Conscientious or ‘C’ style is typically the most logical and analytical person on the team. They approach work and work relationships with a straightforward and unemotional demeanor, purposefully steering clear of high drama or emotion. Instead, they prefer to work alone researching and making sure there are no mistakes or inconsistencies. The emotional need for being correct or even perfect drives the C type and causes them to be sidelined by ‘analysis paralysis’. And in some cases, if the work others are doing doesn’t meet their standards, they may just decide to do it all themselves. What most people don’t realize, however, is that their emotional need for perfection comes from a fear of being wrong or having to settle for less. 

Therefore, to improve relationships with the C type, give them as much independence as possible and keep the office politics/drama to a minimum.  But do encourage the ‘C’ type to actively be a part of the team by communicating often, preferably in person. This will go a long way in helping them feel a part of the team. 

The Importance of Meeting the Emotional Needs of Our Teammates

There is no star personality type. They each have strengths particular to their type. And where they lack strength opens a door of opportunity for another type to fill their gap. But we won’t see this happen in the workplace unless we get to know our coworkers and take the necessary steps to help them feel like a valuable asset. One important way of doing this is to meet their emotional needs. In fact, employees who feel heard and understood are 4.6x more likely to do their best work, and they’re more fun to be around.  When we don’t show the care others deserve, people can quickly devolve into their worst selves. Behaviors like barking directives, steamrolling over others, ignoring teammates and conflict, missing details or deadlines, and retreating to our own silos become commonplace. Over time, these behaviors destroy company culture. 

However, placing an emphasis on meeting each other’s emotional needs will build rapport and trust. And since trust is the foundation of all cohesive teams, it’s a great place to start. In today’s mental health climate, it’s important to get this right. 

Need help identifying the emotional needs of your teammates? Call us today. We offer DiSC assessments combined with personality training to give you the insight you need.

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