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 ALOOF

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Those who are aloof isolate themselves, do not seek outside input, and are not open with others. They are detached and distant. Communication with an aloof person tends to be formal and sparse. When an aloof manager delegates tasks, for instance, s/he may do so without providing enough guidance as to what to do, how and when to do it, and within what limits.

Aloof individuals' "hands-off" style may also result in a lack of feedback regarding performance, and this can leave people with a great deal of uncertainty about where they stand and whether their work is acceptable. This style can also, however, be beneficial, in that it encourages independence and self-sufficiency. Take advantage of your freedom from oversight and guidance; become self-reliant.

Cooling Strategies

Begin with Reflection Questions.
  • Why is the aloof Button Hot for me rather than Cool?
  • The next time my aloof Hot Button is pushed, how do I want to feel? How do I want to respond?
  • Why might the aloof person be acting this way (shyness, anxiety, hostility, self-doubt, places a high value on self-reliance and independence, etc.)?
  • In what alternative ways do I want the aloof button pusher to behave?
  • Given my understanding of my aloof Hot Button and the button pusher, which Cooling Strategies would be most useful?


In a non-accusatory yet direct way, tell aloof individuals you want more contact with them.

  • Explain that their help will allow you to do a better job.
  • Be specific about what you want (weekly planning sessions, delineation of your authority, increased supervision, etc.).
  • Be specific about how this will help you, them, and the organisation.


Emphasise that you:

  • Value their knowledge and experiences.
  • Sincerely want their opinions, insights, and guidance.


Encourage participation in discussions by asking open-ended questions such as:

  • "What's your opinion?"
  • "How do you view the task ahead of us?"
  • "What problems do you foresee?"


Counteract an aloof person's attempts to postpone an issue or problem.

  • Acknowledge his/her feelings: "I know this may be uncomfortable for you, but we can't ignore the problem any longer."
  • Stand your ground. Firmly state: "We need to resolve this right now."


Make an effort to get to know the aloof person.

  • Start small. Greet them with a smile and a friendly "How are you today?" Listen to the answer.
  • Make small talk at a time and place that will be comfortable for them.
  • Ask about their families and hobbies. Be interested and friendly, not intrusive.


Be a role model.

  • Foster an atmosphere of open communication.
  • Offer your opinions, insights, and guidance.
  • Get to know your co-workers.


Dynamic Fact: According to our research, managers are more irritated than non-managers by co-workers who are aloof.

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