Wallflowers. Party Animals. Party Organiser. Blenders. You probably know which one of these might be you and we’ve seen many variations of these themes in our lives, but can we really spot similar groupings in other environments? It’s harder to identify homogeneous behaviours in groups of people because people generally behave differently at parties as they would in other situations. Added to that, we have the many filters through which we see the world - work, family, money, spouse, possessions (Covey 1989, pp 119-121). There also are differences in tempo and behavioural norms when we enter businesses and deal with unfamiliar or formalised environments.
The science behind unlocking which party person may be seated at Boardroom Alliance table, interview or work site was introduced in last week’s One Week At A Time. The groups were identified as Conscientious (C), Influencers (I), Dominant (D) and the Steady (S). This week we are able to further explore those profiles and place them in the following quadrants:
From this table we can see that those who have a skew toward “D” or “I” have an outgoing nature, however those with “D” prefer activities with tasks with or without people, and those with “I” prefer activities mainly involving people. If the skew is toward “C” or “S” the person has a more reserved nature, and in the case of a “C”, may be very reserved or introverted. The main idea behind DiSC is that no matter which quadrant a person mainly prefers, knowing the team around them means they can quickly adjust their behaviour with the other types for a desired outcome.
There is Steady and there is S-t-e-a-d-y
Each person who undertakes a DiSC will be asked a series of questions, and as we touched on last week, different scores will be assigned to each of the 4 main quadrants. The score which is the highest is considered the “high” score placing a person into the category of a High D, High C, High I or High S. The number itself can be very high on the scale or mid range but still the highest of the 4. For example, a person with a very high S score (80) may be more pronounced as an “S” type than a person with a lower level of S (53). However as both have a main preference to S, you will still find both of them standing together by the water cooler exchanging stories about their 10 year Cricket Club Anniversary or the annual boating trip they went on with their friends from school.
Trainspotting DiSC Profiles
There are many traits which are associated with the main DiSC profiles. To spot one of the 4 “high” displaying types you’ll find the below traits shine through:
- High D’s They are unstoppable! A doer with drive and determination. Fly the flag and see it sail out to sea. On the other hand they can be arrogant but deep down they won’t care much about that, too busy blazing trails (or at least delegating to other people to blaze the trail for them).
- High I’s Super fun loving and entertaining. Great to have around because when the party is on, its ON. But they like to take that spotlight and point it over their own heads for a long time. Good news is that they won’t know they are doing it - they’ll be too busy enjoying the attention.
- High C’s Detail is the name of the game. Doing it right and to a high degree of accuracy and criticism. However, they prefer to look at the glass half empty, questioning why their glass has 50% less in it and could someone please explain if this an experimental glass, and if so, are they the “control” glass….bla bla bla bla and so it goes on.
- High S’s These are the steady people, your “buddy”, and they take it slower than the rest of the pack because they aren’t afraid of letting life do its thing. Around 70% of Australians are S in profile.Their nature can be confronted sometimes by those “bossy” conversations that need to happen.
It’s now easier to see how people can display certain DiSC profiles - we come across varying levels of these kinds of people everyday. Many Business Leaders have used the information from DiSC about their staff and were able to start to devise a plan of how to manage them better, transforming the workplace and producing a well-rounded team.
Chipping away at the iceberg
DiSC also shows us with a fair amount of accuracy, what a person is likely to do or decide when we first meet them. The iceberg (the exposed section of a personality) is the first thing that we see when we first meet people and more often and not, behaviour is all we have to go on to evaluate a person. In business we can use DiSC to find the best people to work in areas such as recruitment, sales, operations, management, marketing, administration...anywhere. When teams become unstuck it is at times when they don’t understand each other’s behaviours and can’t respond effectively to each other in times of stress or when they are in a wave of never-ending orders. As a Business Leader we need to be confident that the people around us are what they say they are, and will do what we hope they will be able to do at the moments of truth. The High D drives us, the High C checks, the High S keeps it all rolling, and the High I breaks up all that seriousness and tells us all to lighten up - you’re not saving lives (unless you are, and in that case, it’s a joke in poor taste).
Covey S. R. (1989) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The Business Library, Melbourne Australia.
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