Having a good working relationship with your boss is essential for getting anything done at work, whether it’s finding the support you need, opening up opportunities for career progression, or simply having a positive work life.

If you and your boss aren’t seeing eye to eye, it’s time for a change of strategy. The DISC Personality Assessment is your cheat sheet to help you build a better relationship with your boss. If you can understand your boss’ core DISC style, you can figure out how to communicate with them in the most effective way and win them over to your side.

If you’ve ever sat down with your boss and realized you have nothing in common with them,  this article is for you. Here’s how to build a better relationship with your boss based on their DISC style.

The Drive Boss

Known for being ambitious, goal-driven and self-assured, Drive bosses can be demanding to work with. They’ll judge you on your results and very little else, so you’ll need to earn their respect to get them on your side. That means working hard, showing you’re committed, delivering what’s needed and advocating for yourself at work. While a Drive boss can be intimidating, if you can foster a good working relationship, they’ll help you learn more, deliver more, and advance in your career.

How to connect with your Drive style boss

1. Know what you want

Drive types are known for their confidence and assertiveness and they appreciate people who can match that energy. The secret to getting on better with your Drive boss is to know what you want and have the confidence to ask for it. Before you go into any interaction with a Drive style boss, work out exactly what you’re asking for and what you want to get out of the conversation so you can go into it with clarity and confidence.

2. Don’t beat around the bush

If there’s one thing Drive types are lacking, it’s patience. Whenever you approach your Drive boss, you need to skip the small talk and get straight to the point. Whether you have a question about a client, you’re looking for more training opportunities or you want a pay raise, be direct and be clear. Your Drive boss will appreciate it.

3. Embrace the bluntness

Drive types are never going to be "touchy-feely," emotionally sensitive bosses. But if you can embrace their bluntness and learn to appreciate their straight-talking management style, you can build a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with them. It’s nothing personal, it’s just their way.

The Influence Boss

Enthusiastic and outgoing, Influence style bosses prioritize relationship-building above all else. They enjoy networking, connecting with people and working collaboratively. This means they’re easy to get along with if you’re willing to put in the effort, be upbeat and sociable, and can match their can-do attitude when it comes to any and all challenges at work. 

How to connect with your Influence style boss

1. Come with big ideas

Influence style bosses love creative problem-solving and collaboration at work. If you want to impress them, bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table and actively participate in meetings and brainstorming sessions. Don’t be afraid to think bigger when you’re working with an Influence boss. 

2. Be more sociable

Influence styles are all about creating connections. That means you need to put in the effort to be sociable and friendly when you’re working with an Influence boss, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Embrace the social environment that they create and enjoy it – you never know who you’ll meet and what it could mean for your career!

3. Stay flexible

When you have an Influence boss, be prepared for things to change fast. The Influence DISC style is known for being full of ideas and always looking for the next opportunity, adapting to changes easily and with enthusiasm. To build a better relationship with Influence styles, you need to match that energy and be ready to pivot.

The Support Boss

Support bosses are known for being caring, patient and cooperative. They’re extremely easy people to work with thanks to their calm management style, but they can also get overwhelmed by overly aggressive or competitive employees. Prioritize teamwork, kindness and consistency to win them over.

How to connect with your Support style boss

1. Be reliable

If you have a Support style boss, the best thing you can do is be reliable. Support types value people who are dependable, responsible and caring, and they look for these attributes in their employees. Show up, do the work, and be consistent to win their respect.

2. Avoid confrontation

Among the DISC types, Support styles are the least confrontational. They avoid confrontation and find it hard to connect with people who are too argumentative or blunt. Unlike with Drive and Influence styles, if you want to get along better with your Support boss, you’ll need to work on being more patient and use a softer approach to make your opinions heard.

3. Do things by the book

Support types tend to be methodical and like to follow established systems and procedures. That means you need to play by the rules when you’re working with a Support boss and do everything by the book.

The Clarity Boss

Detail-oriented and meticulous, Clarity bosses are all about accuracy. They value logical, methodical decision-making and they always pay attention to the small print. You will always know where you stand with a Clarity boss – they demand detailed, structured work and they value people who take the same amount of care as they do. They also make their standards clear from the start, so you’ll never be confused about what’s expected of you.

How to connect with your Clarity style boss

1. Use facts and data

If you want to help your Clarity boss see your side, you need to use facts and data to demonstrate your point. For example, if you’re asking for a pay raise you need to be prepared to demonstrate with concrete data exactly why your request should be granted, with examples and figures to show what you’ve achieved and what your career goals are.

2. Avoid too much emotion

Don’t expect an emotional relationship from your Clarity boss. To connect with them at work, avoid bringing emotions into your conversations and instead focus on clear facts to help you to build a productive working relationship and avoid uncomfortable conversations.

3. Focus on the details

Clarity bosses are sticklers for detail so don’t try to take shortcuts at work. It’s great to be a big-picture person but to connect with your Clarity boss, you also need to have a handle on the details and be ready to answer any questions or concerns they might have. Clarity styles set high standards so if you want to win them over, you’ll need to ditch the slapdash approach and work on matching their organized, methodical working style.

Use the DISC Personality Assessment to win over your boss and achieve more!

The secret to building a great relationship with your boss is knowing what makes them tick. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be best friends, but if you want to get more done at work and have a better time doing it, it’s important to build a stronger bond with your boss. By understanding and appreciating their DISC style, you can adapt your behavior, communication style, and approach to match their personality and achieve more at work.

Elizabeth Harris
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at bethharris.com