One of the most challenging, interesting, and rewarding things about working with people is helping them discover the unique combination of personality traits that make them the way they are. There is something so powerful about an individual seeing themselves – sometimes for the first time – as necessary and valuable to their communities and employers BECAUSE of who they are, not IN SPITE of it. I have seen too many people going through life thinking they are somehow wrong or inadequate because they aren’t like someone else.
While the comprehensive view of any individual is much too large and complex to address here, today we are just looking at the four main personality types outlined in the DISC Personality System. Which one sounds most like you?
Being “D” and Getting it Done – The DISC Profile lists the primary traits of the High “D” as Dominant, Driven and Determined. These people tend to be natural leaders who grab hold of a task or project and attack it with enthusiasm. They often don’t sweat the small stuff, and if they’re not careful, your feelings may be “small stuff” in their view. They aren’t afraid of “how we’ve always done it” and are determined to break down obstacles and solve problems. If you are a “D” Type, I would encourage you to remember that others aren’t deliberately trying to slow you down and that if you take the time to consider their feelings, they can help you achieve your goals. If you’re working with a “D” Type, remember they appreciate you telling them the bottom line (save the long story for your other friends) so you can all move forward to success. If you are a “D”, you’re awesome because a lot of great things are accomplished because of you!
Being “I” and Loving It – You can spot a High “I” because they are Inspiring, Influencing and Immediate. They are the cheerleaders in life who can see the bright side and get excited about opportunities and possibilities. When presented with a problem, they’re the first to say, “I have a great idea!” even if they haven’t thought through all the potential pitfalls. They sometimes need a little help from the more detail-oriented types to think through what could go wrong so they can plan accordingly. For the “I” Type, many conversations become “story time” since they often see the fun in ordinary circumstances and can sometimes get a little carried away hearing themselves talk. This quality is entertaining at a party, but may require a little self-control in the workplace in order to keep from disrupting tasks that need to be done. A High “I” may be just the person you need to help mediate a disagreement, because they often see the positives in both sides of the argument, and are more likely to persuade both parties to find common ground. If you are an “I” type, you’re awesome because you keep life fun and interesting for everyone!
Being “S” and Staying Cool – Where would we be without “S” Types? They are Stable, Steady and Soft-Hearted – the kind of friend you go to when life is hard or feeling chaotic. They’ll help you find your equilibrium and prove to be your loyal friend in need. If someone hurts you, it will be your “S” friend who holds a grudge against the offender even longer than you do. You can count on an “S” Type person to show up when they promised and do their part to create a cohesive work team. They are not likely to rock the boat, but rather live by the motto, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The High “S” values predictability and is uncomfortable with change and surprises. If you’re spearheading major changes, it will be worth your while to give your “S” Type employee lots of information on how it’s going to work and a bit of extra time to wrap their head around it. Once on board, they’ll be diligent and faithful. If you’re a High “S” you’re awesome because your “chill” approach to life is reassuring to everyone around you. People depend on you to be exactly who you are, and you never disappoint!
Being “C” and Keeping it All Together – The High “C” personality is characterized as Careful, Conscientious and Correct. Thanks to this detail-oriented, fact-loving and orderly type, the systems that run our organizations and society are in place and keeping us all on track. The eagle eye of “C” Types can spot an error or a flaw and often saves the day by making sure a critical report is accurate and that it lines up with the data. Science and research would be far behind the current norms if not for the thorough research accomplished by our valuable “C” Types. Being a stickler for detail and accuracy can be uncomfortable when other people and circumstances can be so messy and unpredictable, and High “C” Types may feel overwhelmed and express themselves with irritability. But it’s worthwhile to be patient with their occasional complaints, because life is better when the checkbook is balanced, the recipe is followed correctly, and the travel arrangements are accurate. If you’re a High “C” type, you’re awesome because you bring a level of excellence to the world that benefits everyone.
Most of us fall into one of these DISC Type categories as our most dominant trait, but we also exhibit secondary characteristics of another type, which contributes so much to a more well-rounded, versatile way of living and functioning in the world. No matter which Type(s) you fall into, your unique bundle of personality, life experiences, and genetics work together to make you who you are and prepare you to make a difference only you can make.
Understanding the Personality Types can be a very helpful tool as you live with your family, work with others at your job, lead or manage a department or organization, or volunteer in the community. When you can see someone’s differences as valuable qualities instead of thinking they’re “wrong” because they don’t do things your way, you make huge strides in improving your relationships and success.
So, enjoy the diversity in all the people around you, and celebrate how awesome it is to be YOU!
Live, Work and Relate Well!