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Productive Conflict – Defensiveness

Productive Conflict – Defensiveness

The Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Reference Guide talks about Defensiveness in its series. The guide says:

“When we trust that things will be okay no matter what the outcome of the conflict, there’s no reason to be defensive. We can be open to different opinions. On the other hand, at the heart of defensiveness is insecurity. We don't want to admit failure or weakness or inappropriateness. When our brain is telling us that the stakes are incredibly high, we cover up any vulnerabilities or weaknesses. And even when we recognize our defensiveness, it can still be difficult to ask ourselves what, beneath it all, we are really afraid of. Ask yourself: What am I really afraid of?"

I admit, this is typically my first response to criticism or conflict. Who likes to admit that they were, what’s that word again… WRONG? There lies the point of insecurity. When we instantly become defensive to conflict, we are placing the burden on ourselves and looking inward. It could possibly be that the conflict has nothing to do with us and is a reflection of the other person’s state of mind. In my experience, defensiveness breeds defensiveness and it only escalates from both sides. Instead, when conflict arises, taking a pause to step back and assess the situation may reveal an entirely different reason for the stressful situation, and this could lead to determining a better approach that will result in a productive outcome.

To view the previous blogs in this series, click the link below:

You can find more information including a video on Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict here:

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