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Management: DiSC profiles and related readings

As you transition from individual contributor to manager, you shift your focus from solving technical problems to solving people problems.

—Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Suggested DiSC and related profiles:

DiSCProfiles blog categories: Management, Leadership


Tips for managing difficult employees, TalentGear
Handling difficult employees require many skills on the part of the manager: good communication, conflict management, listening, and an understanding of the workplace culture.

Teams: Rewards and recognition, TalentGear
Let’s move beyond individual performance appraisals and find ways to rewarding a highly productive team and ways to motivate a struggling one.

Why Do So Many Managers Forget They’re Human Beings? Harvard Business Review, January 2018
“Our research showed that a global movement is taking place in the C-suites of thousands of progressive organizations like Accenture, Marriott, Starbucks, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. The leaders of these organizations ask themselves ‘How can we create more human leadership and people-centered cultures where employees and leaders are more fulfilled and more fully engaged?'”

How you can spark motivation at work, London Business School, January 2018
“The best performers are motivated by work that is rewarding in itself: work that gives meaning to their lives or develops their skills.”

10 Hard Truths About Management No One Tells You, Hubspot, December 2017
“Giving constructive criticism, conducting performance reviews, resolving conflicts, making sometimes unpopular decisions — managers have to do a lot of things that aren’t exactly a barrel of laughs.”

How to Improve the Engagement and Retention of Young Hourly Workers, Harvard Business Review, December 2017
“The job satisfaction of the young people we surveyed was driven in large part by how they thought their manager treated them. They said that being treated fairly and with respect was even more important than their income. Yet nearly 50% of the women and 40% of the men surveyed reported that they struggled at work because they felt they were treated unfairly by their manager.”

Our 6 Must Reads for First-Time Managers to Hit the Ground Running, First Round Review, November 2017
From “Good managers give a damn” to a 90-day plan, this article provides a synopsis and link to each of six great article for managers.

How New Managers Can Send the Right Leadership Signals, Harvard Business Review, August 2017
“Step back and think about your leadership presence and if you are thinking, saying, and showing up as you most hope to and intend. Set a values-based leadership goal, increase your emotional intelligence and situational awareness, be direct with respect, and find strategies to maintain and sustain a stable and grounded presence.”

Small Talk Is an Overrated Way to Build Relationships with Your Employees, Harvard Business Review, July 2017
“Instead of relying on long lunches or happy-hour drinks, build good relationships with your employees by making sure they feel heard: Get to know what your people are thinking. Solicit feedback from them.”

5 Things New Managers Should Focus on First, Harvard Business Review, May 2017
“Do you feel excited and empowered because you now have the positional authority to tell other people what to do — or are you more excited by the prospect of helping others reach that same place?”

If You Want to Motivate Employees, Stop Trusting Your Instincts, Harvard Business Review, February 2017
“… while the science of motivation is robust and well-established, it is rarely applied to real-world management practices, which tend to be based on managers’ intuition and subjective experience.”

What Great Managers Do Daily, Harvard Business Review, December 2016
“Our data is a start, highlighting some traits of good managers that are actionable on a daily basis. The opportunity is huge for better-run organizations and a higher quality of life for workers.”

Is Your Employee Ready to Be a Manager? Harvard Business Review, October 2016
“You have an ambitious team member who’s asking to be promoted to manager. He’s great at his job, but is he really ready to lead? How do you judge his skills and experience? What’s the best way to measure his potential?”

Every Manager Needs to Practice Two Types of Coaching, Harvard Business Review, September 2016
“Confirmation that companies are on the right track in demanding frequent coaching sessions comes from Google’s ‘Project Oxygen,’ the company’s rigorous, data-based analysis of what makes great managers. Technical expertise made a difference, but only a small one. The single most important differentiator between good and great managers? ‘Be a good coach.'”

Almost All Managers Have at Least One Career-Limiting Habit, Harvard Business Review, September 2016
“The difference between the career you’ve got and the one you want likely is just one or two bad habits.”

8 Mistakes Managers Make, According to Their Employees, Inc., August 2016
“In essence, these are the eight biggest mistakes leaders make that suck the life out of their teams. 1. Micromanaging.”

Almost All Managers Have at Least One Career-Limiting Habit, Harvard Business Review, July 2016
“The difference between the career you’ve got and the one you want is often just one or two bad habits. If you learn to think more carefully about the causes of your behavior, you’ll be far more successful at changing it.”

The Principles of Quantum Team Management, First Round Review, June 2016
“… instead of approaching management like being a therapist (only with more process and politics to deal with), I could think of it from a problem-solving perspective.”

Saving Your Rookie Managers from Themselves, Harvard Business Review, April 2016
“As these new managers internalize their stress, their focus becomes internal as well. They become insecure and self-focused and cannot properly support their teams. Inevitably, trust breaks down, staff members are alienated, and productivity suffers.”

Proof That Good Managers Really Do Make a Difference, Harvard Business Review BLOG, April 2016
“For one thing, they found that the reason well-managed firms have better employees is not just that they hire better people but also that they do a better job of getting worse ones to leave.”

Are You Sure You Want to Be a Manager? Harvard Business Review blog, November 2015
“Think about your future before you give up the present. The deepest regrets I’ve heard from those who took the job were the loss of tribe and simplicity.”

When Your Employee Doesn’t Take Feedback, Harvard Business Review blog, November 2015
“… start giving feedback on how the employee receives feedback. After all, in today’s fast-changing workplace, a commitment to improvement and growth is just as critical a competency as strategic thinking, communication and collaboration.”

New Managers: Embrace Your Rookie Status, Harvard Business Review blog, October 2015
“The best way for new managers to avoid these mistakes is, ironically, to accept, and even advertise, that they are rookies. Instead of pretending to know, they should assume the role of the learner.”

The Differences Between Managers Who Motivate and Those Who Demoralize, TLNT, September 2015
“Motivating managers explain the why behind decisions, projects, and tasks.”

3 Things Managers Should Be Doing Every Day, Harvard Business Review, September 2015
“And these key elements (we call them the “Three Imperatives of Leading and Managing”) are not quick and easy wins – they are substantial and fundamental to one’s ability to function effectively as a leader.”

How to Sell a New Layer of Management to Your Team, Levene Coaching, March 2015
“There are really 7 ways that new and effective managers add value…”

Asking Open-Ended Questions Helps New Managers Build Trust, Harvard Business Review, September 2014
“To win the trust of their direct reports and corporate leaders, these new managers and others like them need to swiftly adopt a repertoire of leadership behaviors.”

Giving and receiving feedback with less pain, Talent Gear, September 2014
“Giving feedback can be a difficult task if you want to be both heard and respected for giving it. It’s hard to predict how a person will respond. How can we make giving feedback a frequently undertaken and comfortable task?”

Why Some Bully Managers Last, The Trust Ambassador, August 2014
1. Weak Leadership Above, 2. Sufficing, 3. Being Clueless

The Skills Leaders Need at Every Level, HBR Blog Network, July 2014
“Are some skills less important for leaders at certain levels of the organization? Or is there a set of skills fundamental to every level? To see, we compiled a dataset in which we asked 332,860 bosses, peers, and subordinates what skills have the greatest impact on a leader’s success in the position the respondents currently hold.”

Make Your Team Feel Powerful, HBR Blog Network, January 2014
“…leadership support, recognition, constant communication, and trust were essential to creating a thriving environment where front-line employees felt they had the autonomy to make a real difference in the organization.”

If You’re Not Helping People Develop, You’re Not Management Material, HBR Blog Network, January 2014
“Good managers attract candidates, drive performance, engagement and retention, and play a key role in maximizing employees’ contribution to the firm. Poor managers, by contrast, are a drag on all of the above.”

Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give, HBR Blog Network, January 2014
“… people want corrective feedback, as we’ve defined it, even more than praise, if it’s provided in a constructive manner.  By roughly a three to one margin, they believe it does even more to improve their performance than positive feedback.”

The “Instant Referendum” That’s Undermining Your Leadership, HBR Blog Network, September 2013
“The water cooler hasn’t vanished; it’s simply become virtual, transported into the cloud. What’s fundamentally different, of course, is the new speed and scalability of sentiment.”

How to Manage Someone You Don’t Like, HBR Blog Network, August 2013
“If the behavior is a performance issue, there’s a straightforward way to address what’s irking you — but what do you do when it’s an interpersonal issue? Is it possible to be a fair boss to someone you’d avoid eating lunch with — or must you learn to like every member of your team?”

Don’t Neglect Your Power to Bring People Together, HBR, July 2013
“The funny thing about this anxiety is that most managers don’t hesitate at all to call meetings for their own direct staff and those who report to them. But bringing together subject matter experts, decision makers, and stakeholders from areas that don’t report to you is much tougher: ”

Data is Worthless if You Don’t Communicate It, HBR, June 2013
“Most audiences neither understand nor appreciate those details; they care about results and implications.”

Seven Rules for Managing Creative People, HBR, April 2013
“Although every organization claims to care about innovation, very few are willing to do what it takes to keep their creative people happy, or at least, productive. So what are the keys to engaging and retaining creative employees?”

That Was Horrible! What Makes Feedback Work… or Not? Psychology Today, March. 2013
“When giving feedback, use behaviorally specific language.  We have a tendency to be vague with our language when giving feedback.”

7 reasons people hate being in meetings with you, PR Daily, October 2012
“The first step in healing is to recognize you have a problem. Here’s a list to help you recognize why people hate being in meetings with you.”

Overcoming the Peter Principle: 5 Tips for First-Time Managers, Brazen Careerist, January 2012
“If you find yourself in a similar position, where you don’t really know what you’re doing just as all eyes are set on you, then here are a few tips based on my sometimes-bungling-but-never-boring experiences.”

Reverse Mentoring Cracks Workplace, Wall Street Journal, November 2011
“In an effort to school senior executives in technology, social media and the latest workplace trends, many businesses are pairing upper management with younger employees in a practice known as reverse mentoring.”

5 traits of a great boss, HR Communication, Oct. 2011
“A new survey released this week finds most executives, employees, and educators have positive relationships with their bosses.”

‘Tis the Season to Deliver and Receive Feedback Effectively, Chief Learning Officer, November 2011
“… a comprehensive list of tips that can be referenced and followed when communicating and receiving feedback.”

Soapbox: Old Habits Die Hard, Training Magazine, Oct. 2011
“Somebody needs to be in charge when it comes to helping employees remember and use what they learned. Managers need to step up their training reinforcement efforts. ”

Workplace Perks: How Are Companies Keeping Their Talent [Infographic],, July 2011
“From concierge services to pub clubs and surf outings, check out this infographic that details what some companies are willing to do for their employees.”

Managers’ poor communication blamed for low staff motivation, Personnel Today, June 2011
“The survey, by people development company European Leaders, found that more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents said that they fail to understand their company’s vision, leading to a lack of motivation and reduced productivity. In addition to this, almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents claimed that they could, and would, work much more efficiently with better motivation.”

5 Communication Mistakes New Managers Make, Integra Leadership, March 2011
“Communication skills are not usually taught, much less monitored for impact on employees. Most new leaders are a little insecure within their new leadership position and this can lead to behaviors that are perceived as either over-assertive or under-assertive.”


Using Performance Appraisals to Increase Employee Engagement, Reduce Frustration,, 2013
“Managers and supervisors hate conducting employee performance appraisals for two main reasons—they’ve never learned the value to be gained from employee appraisals or a system for successfully conducting them. That creates big organizational problems when employee performance development is inconsistent and appropriate performance documentation is lacking.”

Know Your Team’s Motivational Mindset, HBR Blog Network, July 2013
Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, urges leaders to look at the psychological factors that influence behavior at work in order to propel teams to success.


How to Manage a Micromanager, Professional Women’s Network
Thirteen suggestions from members of the network.



  1. Electro Bass 7 years ago

    Thanks for some great information reagrding this

  2. mahda 1 year ago

    thanks for publishing and sharing knowledge by articles.
    I read a lot of them. How can I access to Disc test questionnaire and its interpretation, especially one of them that assess managers? Would it be possible to answer me by e-mail? thanks a million.

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