The DiSC method of understanding is potentially powerful tool. While there are all sorts of online assessments that will give a basic reading of a person’s behavior style, and plenty of fat personnel files in HR offices, I still prefer to have at least an hour-and-a-half and a paper version to take people through a bit of practical personal discovery.
The paper version I use is self-scoring and has several built-in ways to validate the information. It is not threatening and can actually be a lot of fun, with people who are open to understanding themselves and are willing to be understood.
My goal, when I take a person or a group through a DiSC workshop, is to fill each person’s personal, relational toolbox with new tools.
Here are a few:
- Understand that you are wired a certain way and you will function best within that style.
For example, a young woman came up to me at the end of a presentation and began by saying, “I don’t usually seek speakers out…”. Then, she went on to tell me that all her life, she has been told that she always has to be right, as if that were a weakness. “Now,” she said, “I realize that I am simply wired to be thinking ahead of others and that it is a strength, not a weakness.”
- Understanding your style can help you identify energy sources and drains.
When my husband was a pastor, we finally realized that extended people-intense times drained him. When we moved to the country and he had space and quiet in nature to re-energize, he overcame a long struggle with depression. In an opposite way, there are types who recover with socializing…..hence happy hours, I suspect.
- Knowing that other people have unique styles, possibly different than my own, gives understanding and a lot of freedom.
No wonder some people love a meeting and others dread it. No wonder some people actually like to research facts and others prefer to fly by the seat of their pants. No wonder shopping is fun for some and like pulling fingernails off to others. We are wired with different strengths and preferences.
- Embracing my own preferential pace and focus helps me find my sweet spot for success.
An “S” needs peace and a predictable environment. An “I” wants interaction and celebration. A “C” has to have quiet and wants to have their work validated. A “D” thrives with independence and a challenge. Just knowing that I shouldn’t expect to enjoy, much less be productive in random environments, allows me to create my own space for better results.
Quality tools make your relationships, your work, and running in your strengths easier.
Assuming is one of the biggest mistakes we all make in relationships.
We often assume that the person we are around is the same as we are. We assume we know what they are thinking. We assume they will enjoy the same things we enjoy… will appreciate the same gifts, the same food, the same approach.
Assuming is rarely helpful. Unless it is assuming the BEST, until proven otherwise.
In contrast to assuming, understanding is key to any relationship. And DiSC is one of the best tools for understanding that I have ever come across.
A concern some people have about taking the DiSC assessment is that they don’t want to be labeled. There can be temptation to “label” some obvious people-traits. However, the reason to learn about your pre-wired behavioral preferences is to understand yourself and others and that should trump the fear of a few people misusing information. And, it can help you avoid making assumptions.
I write about DiSC and behavior preferences so we can all grow in understanding… we can all getting along… we can all succeed.
» Understanding that a “D” will come up with quick solutions helps you to be ready to tap into that potential problem solver.
» Understanding that an “I” will process information verbally helps with patience in hearing them out.
» Understanding that an “S” fears conflict and will usually look for the compromise helps make use of their strengths.
» Understanding that a “C” is thinking while others are talking helps as a reminder to access that brain trust by opening the door to hear their ideas.
As a manager, as an employee, as a leader, as a team member, as a coach, as a friend….in any relationship, awareness and understanding from DiSC can give you an edge. It is much more effective than making assumptions.
Grow in your understanding by discovering your unique wiring.
Understanding where your energy comes from and
where it goes is key to living life well.
Do you know what drains you? It is a first step in managing your own energy.
The DiSC is a personal assessment tool we can use to understand the way we are wired. We are each a combination of D and I and S and C. Understanding these basic 4 types of behavior styles is the first, really great step in understanding your own personal wiring.
For D’s and C’s, too much time with people contact is a drain. D’s are fast paced and can manage people and time well, as long as it is attached to getting something done. Just to “hang out” or be entirely social can be a drain. C’s generally are drained by any type of prolonged people contact. Meetings, parties, shopping, chatting…..all deplete a C.
I’s and S’s are drained by having to focus too much on the task. Sitting and staring at a computer, in an office while everyone else is at lunch, working on a project alone can be a sap on energy for those that are people-oriented.
We can’t always avoid the energy drains,
so we have to know how to replenish our energy.
For I’s and S’s, energy comes from interaction with others. I’s like a party. They like groups and action and noise and fun. They get energy from being in a crowd and interacting. S’s like connecting, one-on-one and with some depth. They value serious conversation and true friendship.
For D’s and C’s, energy comes from a task. D’s like to start things and to solve problems. They like competitive games that move fast and then end. C’s like research and detailed plans. They like computer games that require concentration and knowledge and that can be played alone.
With some simple tracking and awareness, you can identify your draining times and activities. Once you’ve identified what is zapping your energy, you can limit your exposure to those sources and, more importantly, be intentional and schedule time for replenishing activities that give you life.
It has been said that understanding DiSC is learning to practice the Platinum Rule. If the Golden Rule is to “treat others as you would be treated,” the Platinum Rule is “treat others as THEY would like to be treated.” Ahhh. Slight (yet, big) difference.
Early in our marriage, I threw my husband (High C and High D–not so much energized by people) a surprise party with a lot of people attending. He thought we were going to our friends’ for a 4 person dinner. When we walked in and there were 20 or so people there, his first thought was, “How will we get rid of all these people so we can eat?” We had to tell him that everyone was there to celebrate his birthday and he still had a hard time loosening up and believing the fact that some people actually might enjoy this sort of thing.
I have never done that again.
We do tend to think that others will enjoy what we enjoy. So, when we are thinking of doing something nice for someone else, our initial thoughts will be to do for them what we would enjoy. If I would enjoy a party, won’t everyone else? If I only enjoy one or two people at a time, doesn’t everyone? If my way of dealing with stress is to clam up and put my nose to the grindstone, isn’t that what others want me to encourage them to do? If I am most effective when processing while I talk, won’t others be happy to listen to my musings?
Assuming that the high “S” project manager wants to be interviewed on camera because her high “I/D” boss would love it, does not make it accurate. Assuming that a high “I” will love researching the best route because their high “C” partner wishes they had the time, may not tap into strengths. Giving an I, who is in charge of the annual picnic, a strict budget to follow on their own may not have the best outcome. Expecting a “D/C”, task-oriented birthday man to think 3 hours of conversation and games is a good way to spend an evening just might not result in the most appreciative attitude.
Learning my own DiSC pattern and how that affects my choices of behavior is crucial to my success.
Learning the preferred behavior and motivation of the people I live and work with is the key to successful relationships.
Without conscious attention to differences, it is easy to assume others are just like me. But, sameness would be boring, if we are honest. The variety in our relationships is what gives success and breadth and growth and enjoyment… IF we recognize and value the differences. When we recognize and value the differences we can treat others as they would like to be treated.
Learn more about the DiSC Personal Profile System and Understanding Your Wiring HERE.
In my long-time pursuit of fitness, I have done a lot of different activities. I loved sports when I was younger and that was enough, along with being active with my 5 kids, for a long time. But when I was recovering from a neuro-muscular disease and needed to rehab shrunken muscle fibers, I found that I really loved weight lifting. I liked the evident progress that came from increased strength. I loved it so much that I would make myself do some cardio before allowing myself weight time!
A few years ago, I discovered classes that I enjoyed. “Women and Weights” was at one gym. BodyPump with 800 reps in an hour was at another. There came a time, though that my more strenuous weight lifting and bouncy cardio was giving me some new aches and pains. My lower back was often achy. I found myself limping some when my right hip complained. It was time for something with less impact.
So… I tried a yoga/tai-chi/pilates class. Two things happened:
- My aching back and sore hip got back into behaving as they should.
- I was sore! I thought that I was in great shape and that yoga would set me back, but not so! I was using muscles in new, and evidently, better ways for my over-60 body.
Now, I am a regular yoga practicer (practitioner?). Sometimes in a class, sometimes at home with a video. I recently tried a “power yoga” class that stretched me (pun slightly intended) and went to a new level. I love the instructor who gently corrected some of my poses and encouraged me with my progress.
If you have been wanting to try yoga but don’t know where or how to start, here is an idea.
I am a featured writer for sixtyandme.com, a huge on-line community of women over 60. I am happy to pass along this information about the gentle yoga video series they offer. This is definitely beginning yoga, so have no fear of being sore or needing to be super limber or strong to begin.
Check it out at HERE.
This might just get you moving more with fewer aches and pains!
*****Of course, if you are a beginner and under 60, you might like them, too!
What is the story you are telling?
I am at an age where I have told my story a number of times, in a number of places, to a number of people. My story has become more and more consistent as I have worked hard to define what is important to me and what I believe deeply. “Worked hard at” means faced fears, listened to criticism, changed behaviors, stood my ground, moved, cried, laughed, stayed, left. I determined long ago that I would live my life with intention rather than letting my life live me. And that has taken work.
I determined long ago that I would live my life with intention rather than letting my life live me.
The most important people in my story are my husband and my kids… though none are “kids” any longer. And I don’t think of any of them as “kids” at all now, but as adults to be admired and valued and respected, each in their own right. Their lives, intertwined with mine, are the fabric I wear now. It surprises me, because “family cohesiveness” has never been a stated goal for me. The theme of my story is responsibility and choices–and personal discovery so that my choices are intentional and so that I am responsibly being the very best human being possible. My modus operandi? Grace and truth, always finding the balance.
What story are you telling?
We are all telling a story. To tell it with purpose and with as little regret as possible is a worthy goal. That isn’t easy… but it is worth the effort… continually.
I wanted to do something fun and slightly edgy to celebrate turning 65. I decided to take a break and relax. I weighed lots of options and tossed around a lot of ideas and finally settled on going to Cuba.
Always interested in the history of this little island and remembering the turmoil of the late 50’s with Fidel and Che’s revolution, recalling the Cuban missile crisis and the Bay of Pigs, I decided I wanted to visit Cuba before Starbucks is there.
It took some planning. I had to arrange to cover a significant amount of real estate business, details at home needed planning, travel matching with Dave’s schedule took some discussion. We finally got it all together and off I went to meet Dave in Merida, Mexico where he was hosting a small group of travelers. We met up, spent a day with his group, then flew to Havana for three days. And flew home.
Merida was beautiful. Cuba was interesting. The food was phenomenal. The weather ideal.
The trip was short. The travel days were long. There was a lot of walking and waiting. It was exactly what I wanted.
I was completely satisfied.
And, surprisingly, it was relaxing.
As I reflect on the relaxing part, I realize that there was an element to the trip that was not relaxing, at all. It started with a 15 hour travel day, followed by cars, planes, taxis, late nights, and more long days.
The relaxing part was that I made the decision to completely unplug for the time we were in Cuba. Using my phone would be possible, but expensive. We read that internet is sketchy at best. So, I just turned everything off; I took a break.
No phone. No email. No texting. No facebook.
No communication….for 52 hours. Nothing.
That is not a very long time… but it was lovely. And relaxing.
I have a job that requires communication. I have family I want to stay connected to. I’m curious and love to research and write and read and have information ready when I need it (or want it). I’m involved in our community. I love having a smart phone and a laptop and a tablet.
Those 52 hours make me think about how stressful and energy-sapping being plugged in constantly is. I am going to be better at intentionally giving myself regular quiet time with no connections for better energy and real relaxation.
What is one thing you can do to create space in the rhythm of your life to unplug and recharge?