DiSC Insight: Adapting

A main point with DiSC and understanding your (and others’) behavior preferences is to increase effectiveness.

In a Professional Development workshop using the DiSC last week, I was asked at the end what my style is. I asked them to guess and I was reminded of one of my favorite moments with DiSC coaching and training.

Years ago, a client’s assistant called me one day and asked, “Debbie, what is your DiSC profile?” “Why are you asking?” I wanted to know.

It turns out that she and her boss (who hired me regularly and paid me well) were in disagreement about what my DiSC would look like. I asked her what she thought. “I think you are a D,” she said. And her boss? “He is adamant that you are an S.”

DiSC Prifile workshop

Debbie works often with groups using the DiSC–it is one of her specialties and is consistently helpful for personal and group growth.


When working with or for others, meeting their needs and hearing their questions and solving their problems is the greatest way to be successful (and to be invited back, if you are contracted to train or coach). This man is the epitome of high D and I. He is strong and opinionated and runs at a fast pace. And he was very successful. When I was around him, working for him, training his staff in working as a team, I was focused on his needs and the goals he had articulated for the time I was with his team. I was not thinking of how to get my own needs met.

Evidently, I did a good job of adapting to the needs of my client by not asserting my own thoughts and outcomes. (Fortunately, he never said or did anything that I was strongly opposed to so I was able to contain my own opinions!)

DiSC is not for making excuses for self-centered behavior or as a license for using your strengths in excess. It is for understanding your own style so that you can adapt to making other styles successful when that is the goal.

When there is mutual respect and clear desired outcomes, it can be smooth sailing.

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