Whilst out walking at the weekend, I was reflecting on the difference that sunshine can make to what we see in front of us. Sunglasses protect our eyes from the glare, but change our view as a result. It’s the same when interacting with others; it is often based on our own view of the world and we assume others see the world in the same way. But some of us are wearing metaphorical sunglasses and others aren’t, which means we can see exactly the same scene differently.
How often do you look around and see others talking over each other? Or dealing with a colleague, client or supplier you find really difficult to build a relationship with and you’re not sure why?
Understanding yourself and your personality style is fundamental to communicating more effectively with others, and DISC is a versatile tool that can help you understand people in a matter of minutes, rather than months! DISC can be used in a wide range of situations, from helping people understand how to work better with others, improving team performance, or finding the right candidate for a job role.
The modern DISC model was developed in the 1920’s by William Marston. At the heart of his theory was the idea that behavioural expression of emotions (and therefore personality types) could be categorized into four types: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C).
The four personality types sit on a matrix with the axis splitting between task /people orientation and outgoing/reserved. It’s not uncommon for people to be a mix of types, or to change styles in personal vs professional settings. Each profile has different strengths, motivators and fears.
Characteristics of each type
· D’s are outgoing and task orientated - decisive, direct, driven, goal focussed and competitive.
· I’s are outgoing and people orientated – influencing, sociable, innovative, impulsive and optimistic.
· S’s are reserved and people orientated – steady, supportive, sensitive, reliable, and loyal team players.
· C’s are reserved and task orientated – cautious, competent, compliant, analytical, accurate and organised.
In his book ‘The Chameleon’ Merrick Rosenberg likens the different types to birds, so D’s are eagles, I’s are parrots, S’s are doves and C’s are owls. Look around your team or group of friends and see if you can identify the different ‘birds’ in it!
When it comes to communication, each style has clear preferences and dislikes, so here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help guide you:
The associated benefits of improving communication across an organization include efficiencies leading to reduced costs, and increased employee engagement which can result in lower staff turnover.
Click here to contact me and find out more about DISC personality profiling and how it could benefit you and your business.