Thursday, October 15, 2015

Doing it with DiSC - I Know My DiSC style…So What?

In my last blog, I showed you how to figure out your DiSC style and that of others. Now you are saying, so what? What do I do with this new knowledge? Why do I care what people’s behavior style is? 
Knowledge is power! Haven’t you ever wished you could have better communication with other people? Your mother? Your boss? Your spouse? Your children? Here is a way to do just that.
Perhaps your person (parent/boss/spouse/child) is a typical “D”. Wouldn’t it be great to have the key to making a positive connection with him/her? Wouldn’t you love to know how your message would best be heard by him/her?  Here are  “D” characteristics:
  • Like to win
  • Big Picture Thinking
  • Want facts
  • Results oriented
  • Value their independence
  • Prefer to delegate
  • Unafraid of conflict
So here are the best ways of connecting well with “D’s”:
  • Be direct, brief, and to the point
  • Don’t waste their time; stay focused
  • Use a results-oriented approach 
  • Identify opportunities/challenges 
  • Use the bullet approach…get to the point 
  • Touch on high points; don’t over use data
  • Provide options 
  • Reduce emotional message 
  • Act quickly, s/he decides fast
“But why should I change the way I communicate?” Because you are the only one you can change. Because if you take 100 % responsibility for how the exchange goes, then you might have a better chance of an outcome you will like. Wouldn’t you rather that in the long run? If you adjust your style to better suit the other person, s/he will better understand what you are trying to say.  Wouldn’t you prefer to be understood?

What if your person is an “i”?  Here are the characteristics of an “i”:
  •  Enjoys involvement and people contact 
  • Disorganized 
  • Concerned with approval 
  • Wants an overview
  • Idea generator
  • Like change and innovation
  • Fun-loving
  • May appear to be emotional
  • Likes to talk; may interrupt with ideas
  • Optimistic
So here are ways to connect well with an “i”:
  •  Let him/her speak 
  • Allow time for socialization 
  • Lighten up; have fun
  • Ask for feelings and opinions 
  • Be friendly and warm, do not ignore 
  • Set aside time for small-talk 
  • Provide clear expectations 
  • Guide conversation to focus on results
  • Provide written details 
  • Set time-line for completion
Characteristics of an “S”:
  • Concerned with stability
  • Demonstrate process
  • Likes personal involvement 
  • Patient 
  • Avoids changes 
  • Accommodates 
  • Prefers helpful working relationships
  • Likes to be quietly appreciated 
  • Favors routine and stable conditions
Ways to connect well with an “S”:
  • Be patient, build trust 
  • Draw out opinions/ideas 
  • Show how solutions will benefit Give feedback and agree on solutions 
  • Involve in planning 
  • Be sensitive to feelings 
  • Listen and be prepared to discuss 
  • Respect personal property 
  • Give explanations, reasons and timelines 
  • Secure commitment step by step
Characteristics of a “C”:
  • Careful; methodical and cautious 
  • Precise; accuracy 
  • Proper; formal, discreet
  • Private 
  • Reserved; somewhat formal and cool 
  • Logical; process oriented
  • Inventive; likes new or unique ways 
  • Reflective; ponder both why and how
  • Cautious and asks tough questions
Ways to connect well with a “C”:
  • Use data and facts; document in writing 
  • Show your reasoning 
  • Disagree with the facts, not the person 
  • Focus on quality 
  • Provide agenda 
  • Avoid personal issues
  • Explain carefully
  • Allow them to think, inquire, and check before they make decisions 
  • Tactfully ask for clarification and assistance 
  • Allow time to find the best or “correct” answer 
  • Provide  the “why” and “how”
So, next time you need to have a serious conversation with someone, figure out your person’s style, then look at the characteristics listed for that style in this blog. Then pick out three strategies from the “How to connect well with a (D,i,S,C)” list. Use those strategies when you talk with them. Begin the conversation with the positive intention to create the best outcome for all involved.  See what happens!

Doing It With DiSC - What’s your DiSC style?

To determine your DiSC style you can take an “Everything DiSC” style assessment to find  out**. Or maybe you are wondering about the other folks in your life—your spouse, kids, BOSS and coworkers. You can pretty readily figure their (or your own) style out simply through some serious observation.

First, let’s revisit the four primary styles in a nutshell*: 

Dominance: direct, strong-willed, and forceful

Influence: sociable, talkative, and lively

Steadiness: gentle, accommodating, and soft-hearted (me!)

Conscientiousness: private, analytical, and logical

Look at the characteristics associated with each style. Then ask yourself, am I fast-paced and outspoken OR am I cautious and reflective? For example, Donald Trump is fast-paced

and out- spoken.  Mr. Spock on Star Trek is cautious and reflective.  If you are fast-paced and outspoken, you are either a “D” – (Dominance) or an “I” – (Influence) style. If you are more cautious and reflective, you are either a “C” – (Conscientiousness) or “S” – (Steadiness) style.

If you are either a “D” or an ”i”, The next step to further determine your style (or the person you are considering) is to ask if you are questioning & skeptical or accepting and warm. If you are skeptical, you are a “D”, if you are accepting, you are an “i” style.
Now, if you are either a “C” or an “S”, ask if you are questioning and skeptical, OR accepting and warm. If you are skeptical, then you are a “C”.  If you are accepting and warm, then you are an “S”.

So, we could add these characteristics to the brief descriptions we have above:

Dominance: Fast-paced, outspoken, questioning, and skeptical.

Influence: Fast-paced, outspoken, accepting and warm.

Steadiness: Cautious, reflective, accepting and warm.

Conscientiousness: Cautious, reflective, questioning, and skeptical

Here are some celebrity examples of the four styles: 


  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (actor/politician)
  • Barbara Walters (TV host)
  • Donald Trump (businessman)
  • General Patton (historical figure)
  • Hilary Clinton (politician) 
  • Albert Einstein (physicist)
  • Bill Gates (businessman)
  • Diane Sawyer (news anchor)
  • Barack Obama (President)
  • Mr. Spock (TV character)
  • Bill Clinton (former President)
  • Oprah Winfrey (TV host)
  • Dolly Parton (singer)
  • Jimmy Fallan (TV host) Steadiness
  • Charlie Brown (comic strip character)
  • Jimmy Carter (former President)
  • John Denver (singer)
  • Mahatma Gandhi (civil rights figure)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. (civil rights figure)
  • Michelle Obama (First Lady)
You might now say, “O.K. So now I know my style. So what?” That will be the subject of my next “Doing it with DiSC” blog!

**Call me at 770-696-3369 to discuss the possibility of taking the Wiley Everything DiSC online assessment for free.

*From the Everything DiSC® Manual by Mark Scullard, Ph.D. and Dabney Baum, Ed.D.
Saturday, June 20, 2015

Doing it with DiSC

In the beginning… 

When I entered the workforce (back in the Dark Ages) it felt like I stepped into a jungle of strange people, places, and things.  Most of the people were not like me.  
I go out of my way to please people and keep harmony.  I enjoy teaming up with and getting  other peoples ideas.  I dont mind taking a back room support position.  When people make mistakes or aren’t real accurate, I seem to have patience in these matters.  But to my wide eyed amazement, other people weren’t always like this.

If someone had introduced me to the DiSC Model when I was 18, it would have saved me a lot of heartache, frustration, and conflict.  I didn’t know that there are “styles” of behavior.  If as a young adult I’d understood some people would rather slit their wrists than work well with others my feelings wouldn’t have been hurt so much!

Somehow, learning that other people respond to situations in styles different than mine makes it all easier.  (Its like when you accept that life is difficult, it isn’t quite so hard.)  Recognizing that people operate using different behavior styles made it easier for me to understand that a lot of other peoples actions and reactions have more to do with “them” than to do with me.  That is big.  Suddenly interaction becomes less challenging on every level.

An early psychologist named William Moulton Marston wrote a book in 1928 titled Emotions of Normal People.  It did nothing to further his interesting career*, but it eventually became the basis for the DiSC Model.  He identified what he called four “primary emotions”.  These evolved into what we know today as Dominance (D), Influence (i), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C).  

The 4 Primary behaviors in a nutshell**:

Dominance: direct, strong-willed, and forceful

Influence: sociable, talkative, and lively

Steadiness: gentle, accommodating, and soft-hearted (me!)

Conscientiousness: private, analytical, and logical

The process of measuring these behavior styles has also evolved over the years.  There is now a validated and reliable DiSC Assessment tool which has been taken by millions the world over.

This blog will be about using DiSC knowledge to communicate and relate to other people better.  For example, using DiSC to resolve conflict, to be better heard, and to sell things more effectively.  Stay tuned for my next blog when I share how to determine a persons style, including your own.

*Marston was an interesting character.  He was a feminist, invented the systolic blood pressure test which was a component of the original Polygraph Machine, and originated the Wonder Woman comic strip.  He also lived in a polyamorous relationship with two women.

**From the Everything DiSC® Manual by Mark Scullard, Ph.D. and Dabney Baum, Ed.D.