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  • Writer's pictureL. Darryl Armstrong

How to Handle Conflict and Tension with a “Driver”

So now you know you have a “driver” personality and/or management style person you need to deal effectively with — how do you do it?

First, remember these people don’t want you to spend a lot of time talking to them. They want you to focus on the “payoff” of the situation. So get to the point in as few words as possible.

Second, practice your presentation before you deliver it. Don’t spend a lot of time developing rapport. A “driver” personality not interested in your weekend, your family problems or your health.  Just get on with the discussion you need to have. If you go to their office to have this discussion don’t sit unless asked. Always be brief and succinct. Be rationale in the delivery of your messages and remember they don’t care about what you “feel” the problem is they want you to “think” about the problem.

Third, give them options, if you are proposing solutions or alternatives. Position the alternatives in the order you want them selected. Most drivers will only hear the first alternative presented to them.

Finally, show them how taking the alternative will deliver specific and immediate action. Then tell them specifically yet succinctly what you will do to fix the problem.

Also, if you can’t fix the problem or don’t know how to do something — don’t ever bluff them! Simply tell them you can’t do whatever needs to be done. They will respect you for your honesty and directness.

Until next time.

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