In any busy role, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to really get to know everyone you work with and understand how each individual likes to be communicated with. As a result, our approach is often to go for a middle road, which in attempting to amalgamate elements of lots of different styles and personalities, can jar with almost everyone. Because if there’s one thing that my years in coaching and veterinary practice have taught me, it’s that there’s no such thing as average!
Much better to flex your approach and communication style subtly for each person, reflecting their own traits and preferences in order to forge a connection that will deliver real results and ensure a more harmonious working environment. DISC profiling is a simple and effective tool that helps you do just that, providing a 90-95% accurate insight into the behavioural styles and personalities of each member of the team. It enables you to communicate clearly with everyone, without confrontation; making you a more influential and effective team player, manager and leader. Given enough time (and without your daily business getting in the way!) you may well be able to develop these skills through trial and error, but the truth is that DISC profiling helps you to understand people in minutes rather than months.
An appreciation of how everyone in your team reflects the four DISC styles to differing degrees will change constant clashes into an acceptance of, and respect for, your differences. Ultimately DISC profiling will help everyone manage both his or her personal and professional lives more smoothly by:
- Understanding what drives you
- Identifying how you cope with stress
- Appreciating the effect and impact you have on others
- Flexing your leadership style to get the best out of individuals
- Becoming a more effective leader and motivating presence
- Improving communications with colleagues
- Making working with others easier and more enjoyable
- Boosting team morale, by creating more harmonious, effective and happier teams
The concept of personality profiling in some form is used widely across many industries, professions and cultures. And it’s not new – throughout history, various physicians, philosophers, psychologists and educators have identified factors that they believed influenced how people think and behave – almost always in fours:
- Empedocles in 444BC (4 ultimate elements)
- Hippocrates (4 body fluids or ‘humours’)
- Galen (4 temperamental categories)
- Jung (4 psychological functions)
- Marston’s 1928 “Emotions of Normal People” – the first illustration of DISC theory.
How does DISC profiling work?
DISC profiling is predominantly used to optimise team performance and improve individual wellbeing – the DISC tool enables you to better understand yourself. It isn’t about pigeonholing you or measuring aptitude or intelligence – it’s simply about being more aware of your preferred environment, what motivates you, how you like to be communicated with and managed.
DISC profiling is quick to undertake, simple to use and extremely accurate. The associated questionnaire takes just seven minutes to complete, and determines innate personality and behavioural preferences through four core areas:
D – Dominance, Challenge
D people are direct and strong-willed; assertive, to the point and just want the bottom line.
I – Influencing, Relationships
I people are engaging and great communicators; optimistic, friendly and talkative.
S – Steadiness, Consistency
S people are good listeners and great team players; steady, patient, loyal and practical.
C – Conscientiousness, Compliance
C people enjoy gathering facts and details and are always thorough, precise, sensitive and analytical.
The DISC model finds that everyone’s personality and behavioural style can be described using these four themes: you are either outgoing or reserved, and are either people or task orientated. Some people have a pure personality trait whilst many others have blends of two or more traits.
Importantly, DISC recognises that everyone is different – this isn’t about putting you in a box – but crucially the model recognises that we are predictably different. Each of the four styles possesses a common set of characteristics and thus by understanding which ones shape your own preferences, as well as those of your colleagues, family and friends, you will be able to flex your style to reflect the preferences of others when it comes to:
- Potential challenge areas
- Preferred working environment
- Preferred communication style
If you would like to take control of your life and career, my online personal development programme MyLifeStrategy can help you to overcome the personal and professional challenges you face on a daily basis and learn practical skills and techniques to make a real difference to you and your life.
I’ve developed the Understanding the People Puzzle module to help you to understand why people behave in the way they do, what’s behind your own and others’ behaviour, how to build positive relationships and get the best out of others and how to make the most of all your relationships.