DISC Personality Types

By: Janet Reeves-Wilson

Now that you have defined, clarified and are on the way to creating your superhero or cohesive team, let’s take a look at the members of the team.

As a coach and consultant, I use the DISC and Motivators behavioral assessments to help my clients become a superhero or cohesive team. These assessments provide a lot of valuable information about the individual members of the team. Listed here is some of the information that is revealed using these assessments;

1. What each person’s behavioral type is.

2. How each type prefers to be communicated with.

3. Whether they are people or task oriented.

4. The pace that they are most comfortable working at, (fast or slower).

5. It also tells us whether they are open, (wear their feelings on their sleeve) or guarded, (they don’t share much personal information), direct, (tell you what’s on their mind) or indirect, (not divulge what’s on their mind for fear of reprisal).

We all have some measure of each behavioral style, and more often than not we are a combination of styles. Secondly no one style is better than another, and lastly, we need the gifts and strengths that each style brings to the workplace to create a superhero team!

Let’s take a closer look at the four behavioral styles and their characteristics.

Dominant*or “D” style-guarded and direct, concerned with the bottom line, and they are oriented toward productivity and goals, (picture Lucy of the Peanuts cartoon). They tend to take control of other people and can have a low tolerance for other’s feelings. Their primary strengths are their ability to get things done, their leadership, and their decision-making ability. Their areas of weakness are inflexibility, impatience, poor listening habits, and a tendency toward workaholism.

Influential* or “I” style-open and direct, fun loving, sociable, can inspire others to take action, (example Snoopy) and care about people, (after they have finished talking about themselves). Their strengths are thinking on their feet, optimism, intuitiveness, and creativity. “I” styles areas of struggle are; creating formal reports or keeping detailed records. They also dislike re-doing anything once it’s been done and any type of restriction.

The “S” or Steadiness*style is the glue that holds the team together. This style brings harmony to group situations. They are also friendly, sensitive, great listeners, and they like working in teams. The “S” style dislikes change and competition. Their areas of struggle are; slow to make decisions, dislike working with dictatorial or unfriendly people, and are not comfortable with change or competition. Picture Linus with his trusty blanket.

The Conscientious* style or “C” style is best described as being highly organized, (they even plan spontaneity), quick to think, but slow to speak, and they plan thoroughly before deciding to act. What’s difficult for the Conscientious style is working with unpredictable people or in disorganized environments. They also struggle with being outgoing and or open, working with others or in groups, and being given incomplete or unclear directions. This style is best represented by Schroeder the piano playing heart-throb of Lucy.

See which type you are!

So, do these descriptions sound like you or anyone you know? They could be and probably are part of your team; your fun-loving co-worker that organizes all of the parties and adds levity when it’s needed. The take charge teammate that tells others what to do even though she/he isn’t the lead tech. The supportive team mate that is always willing to listen and help others, or your analytical teammate who takes charge of making sure everything is ready for inspections, or who knows how to troubleshoot the stains and the equipment.

In part 3 of this series, I will discuss ways to adapt your style to the styles of others to create a “superhero team with a Teflon coating!

If you are interested in learning more about the DISC behavioral model, check out Workshop #46 at NSH's Symposium/Convention, Using DISC to Decode and Diminish Conflict.

*Reference materials for the DISC behavioral styles adapted from Youtube video “How to Read a Person Like a Book” by Dr. Tony Alessandra 2015.

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