There are five hot buttons included in our online Hot Button test:Conflict Dynamics Profiles, Training and Workshops at Talent Tools

  • Abrasive

  • Aloof

  • Self-Centered

  • Unappreciative

  • Untrustworthy

These are but a subset of the total Hot Button test included in the Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP) so you may have other hot buttons as well.

In addition to hot buttons the CDP provides a comprehensive overview of both constructive and destructive responses to conflict as well as organisational perspectives on conflict behaviours. We invite you to learn more about the CDP instrument, reports and training.

Below you will find information about your particular hot button, and how to cool it. This information is taken from the book, Managing Conflict Dynamics-A Practical Approach, which comes with the CDP. and provides practical advice for how to deal more effectively with conflict.

Your hot button is ABRASIVE

Rude am I in my speech, And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace. Shakespeare (Othello)

Abrasive people have an unpleasant interpersonal style, and their lack of social skills often results in rude or curt interactions. Abrasive individuals are undiplomatic, insensitive to others, and have an arrogant attitude that can make contact with them quite demoralising. Through sarcasm and insults disguised as "humor" or "constructive criticism," they ridicule, blame, and put other people on the defensive. An abrasive person may even be able to goad others into doing something they will regret.

Abrasive people may also tend to be pessimistic and discouraging. While their negativity can be contagious, it also has a benefit: abrasive people can often quickly and accurately identify problems and obstacles. While they may, unfortunately, focus on problems to the exclusion of solutions, they have a skill not to be overlooked in today's workplace.

Cooling Strategies

Begin with Reflection Questions.
  • Why is the abrasive Button Hot for me rather than Cool?
  • The next time my abrasive Hot Button is pushed, how do I want to feel? How do I want to respond?
  • Why might the abrasive person be acting this way (self-doubt, insecurity, a need to be liked or admired, anger, frustration, etc.)?
  • In what alternative ways do I want the abrasive button pusher to behave?
  • Given my understanding of my abrasive Hot Button and the button pusher, which Cooling Strategies would be most useful?

Look beyond the abrasive style and examine the substance.

  • Analyse their messages. Are their criticisms valid or important?
  • Ask trusted others about the validity of the abrasive person's criticisms.
  • View valid criticisms as constructive feed-back and make the necessary changes.

Refuse to be a victim. Directly address the abrasive behavior or remarks.

  • "I may well be wrong. Let's examine the facts."
  • "Calling each other names is counter-productive. Let's focus on the issues."
  • "That's not funny; it's hurtful. I can take a joke but not meanness."
  • "Rather than assigning blame, let's brain-storm about how to solve the problem."
  • "Do I understand from the expression on your face that you disagree with me?"

The negativity or pessimism associated with abrasive people can be contagious. To avoid it:

  • Remember with whom you're dealing. They're the ones with the problem, not you.
  • Acknowledge their point of view. Don't say, "You're wrong." (They may not be!)
  • Counter their negative comments with optimism or humor.
  • Invite discussion and creative problem-solving.

Be a role model.

  • Consider others and their points of view.
  • Be optimistic and encouraging.

Never express cynicism or sarcasm.

Dynamic Fact: Over 50% of those surveyed in our research said they were considerably or extremely upset when working with someone who is abrasive. Only 2% said they were not upset at all.

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