Using DISC for your own development
Where there is light, there will be dark… where there is sun, the moon will surely follow… and so I welcome you to the 3rd blog in which we will explore how each of the profiles will have common development areas and potential pitfalls that can be avoided, or better still eliminated.
So while I squeeze into my Star Wars Yoda costume I would like you to go and get yourself a strong drink (coffee, of course!), open your mind and prepare yourself for a journey into the other side of DISC and understand the development areas for each of our profiles; Dominant, Influencer, Steady and Conscientious.
Right, the Yoda outfit is well and truly on (it’s a bit tight – I’m not that short!). The great Yoda once said; “In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”.
Perhaps the quote is a little too bleak but I do like a bit of drama (I’m a high “I” remember) and it makes the point rather well in that sometimes thinking about our development areas, it can be scary and yet the only solution is to understand and increase our knowledge. Let the lesson begin…. Right, I’ll just put that pulpit away now and get down to the serious stuff.
The best place to start is a little bit of psychology and getting inside our own brains. For each of our profiles there is likely to be a distracting thought that will limit and restrict our ability to focus on getting better. So here they are:
If you know your own profile you will recognise these statements and they will resonate with you. Sometimes we may want to be a bit defensive and say “that’s not me” or “I’m not like that” but let’s be honest here – we are here to look at how we get better and if we can remove any of these potential barriers now a big chunk of reality and honesty will put us on the right track. Did somebody just drag that pulpit out again?
We know from the last blog that our Dominant personalities will be confident, decisive, direct and assertive, but what about the flip-side of this?
Typical development areas for our Dominant personalities are likely to be:
- Empathy and understanding the other persons point of view
- Building conversation and rapport
- Receiving feedback
When it comes to the Influencer personalities we know that they will be enthusiastic, motivational, visionary, and persuasive. OK, so what’s the other side looking like?
Typical development areas for our Influencer personalities are likely to be:
- Time Management and planning
- Managing emotional responses
- Talking too much
OK, it’s the Steady guys next. What they get right is; empathy, loyalty, patience, and reflective. When it comes to development they will need to focus on…
Typical development areas for our Steady personalities are likely to be:
- Managing conflict
- Swiftly adjusting to change (if at all sometimes)
Logically we now only have the Conscientious types left. Their strengths will be; Precise, analytical, systematic and quality focussed. So, the bits to focus on will be:
Typical development areas for our Conscientious personalities are likely to be:
- Giving too much detail to others
- Focussing on the task and not the people
- Reacting swiftly
Most of you will have probably noticed that all of these development areas are behavioural and are ‘softer’ skills as opposed to understanding excel or building a physical item (Hello IKEA lovers!). So, when it comes to improving these behavioural skills a challenge can be the measurement as without the measurement we are unable to demonstrate or see if we have moved backwards or forwards. So, I would like to share a very simple technique with you that enables us to ‘measure’ behaviours like assertiveness, aggression, and potentially even happiness!
All you have to do is give yourself a score out of 5 on that behaviour when you leave the office or go to bed each night. For example, if I wanted to be less aggressive with people I would reflect as I take my hot chocolate up to bed, hang on, we are talking about aggression, let’s make that a stress ball! Anyway, back to the technique, I would think “what score would I give myself on being less aggressive” (a “5” would be totally non-aggressive and a “1” would be equal to ogre and evil). If I score myself a 3 then I just need to start thinking about “what did I do that was too aggressive today and what can I do about it?”. Also, write it down.
After a week or so you can look at your scores and see if you are improving, the other element that is useful is that you will be able to start linking what happened that day to your score and this way you can begin to see patterns and the type of things that increase your aggression or reduce it. To take this technique to the next stage you may want to include others in getting them to score you, remember though, you may not like what they say but if you engage your ‘development filter’ you’ll be able to hear the bits that will help you get better and filter out the bits that don’t.
So tonight, when you are sipping your evening beverage of choice just think; “Was today a good day? What would you give it out of 5?” If it’s not the perfect 5 think of the fun you’re going to be having in a couple of weeks as those scores improve!