So how do we as parents bring out the best in our children? Well it takes a willingness to become self aware by knowing our DISC parenting style, and a commitment to keep learning and growing as parents. We are all born with a longing for mastery and meaning. Inherently children are learners, and research has shown that their brains begin learning, actually processing information even before birth. Both you and your child are on this journey of learning together and you can either make it joy-filled or arduous, the choice is yours.
Over the next few weeks I will be introducing you to the four DISC Parenting Styles, some tips to survive step-parenting and character virtues for developing people-literacy in yourself and in your children. Once you know how to create an environment at home that encourages learning and mastery in a self-aware and joy-filled way watch your relationships start to blossom with your children. You see it's not about getting it right all the time as a parent, it's about bringing out the best that is in all of us as human beings, and becoming authentic with our children. It's about respecting differences of style and acknowledging your feelings as they arise.
The late Dr. Edwin Louis Cole, stressed nine attributes that should be adopted by parents if they were going to raise emotionally healthy children. Steven Sisler author of The For PeopleTypes, has taken these attributes and given them definitions.
Here are the nine attributes and their definitions and I have also added what I feel are character virtues that all parents can practice and develop for each attribute (Source: Virtues Reflections Cards App):
GUIDE: Assisting children through potential difficulties in traveling through the formative years in an effort to ensure they reach their destination by practicing PATIENCE - Quiet hope and faith that things will turn out right. We trust the process of life and have a peaceful heart.
GUARD: Keeping children safe from harm or danger; carefully watching over them by practicing PERCEPTIVENESS - Clarity of insight. It is being observant of what is beneath the surface and looking for the deeper meaning.
GOVERN: Exercising a directing or restraining influence over children in order to provide better outcomes through times of peer pressure or difficult decision-making by practicing ASSERTIVENESS - Speaking one's truth with peaceful confidence.
DIRECT: To manage and supervise, or to assist in directing the course of children by practicing KINDNESS - having genuine care for the welfare of others that springs from compassion. We listen for the needs beneath the words.
PROTECT: To defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, or insult by practicing COURAGE - doing what must be done even when it is difficult or risky. Allows us to face adversity with confidence.
CORRECT: To scold, rebuke, or teach in order to improve the effects of ones behavior on self and others by practicing EMPATHY - having the ability to put ourselves in another's place and to understand their experience.
CHERISH: To hold and treat as dear or to care for tenderly or cling to fondly by practicing LOVE - cherishing others, treating them with tenderness. Love thrives on acceptance and appreciation.
NOURISH: To strengthen, build up or promote by practicing ENDURANCE - not giving up or feeling hopeless about our child, and practicing perseverance and patience.
ADMONISH: To caution, advise or counsel against poor decision making by practicing and demonstrating RESPONSIBILITY - the willingness to be accountable for our choices.
Steven goes on to say that, likely children who have received a good healthy dose of all nine attributes during formative years will have a better chance at emotional health and sustenance, compared to those who lack at least three of the nine attributes.
Parents who see their role as teachers and guides while considering their children as learners are more apt to produce socially healthy citizens. So be willing to practice and demonstrate the above virtues by using the language and behaviors for each one, so that your children can also develop these for themselves.
Here's the Basic Principle...
In social situations, behavioral styles that are similar are attracted to each other. People with similar interests and habits are drawn to one another as friends and acquaintances. There's a sense of satisfaction in knowing you're among people who prize what you prize, enjoy what you enjoy, play by roughly the same rules as you do.
If you're a Steadiness Style or Cautious Style, you're a more structured person who's not fond of surprises. Thus, you find stable, predictable relationships more satisfying.
Or maybe you're a faster-paced, more outgoing person, a Dominance Style or Interactive Style who thinks life's too short to worry about whether your tyres are properly inflated, or your socks match your tie. Who the heck's going to know or care 100 years from now, right?
The Big Ten... And How They Perform SOCIALLY
So what happens when these sometimes-contradictory types get together? Well, the four basic behavioral styles mix and match into ten combinations. Behavioral science research shows clearly which combinations mesh or clash naturally.
For starters, people with similar tendencies are most compatible with one another socially. That's because those with common interests, habits, and approaches help reinforce each other’s self-esteem.
So it won't surprise you to learn that the most naturally compatible combinations in SOCIAL situations are:
That pairing does, however, show up in the following moderately compatible category:
Dominance Styles and Interactive Styles share an outward focus and often-similar interests. Steadiness Styles and Cautious Styles, on the other hand, are both inward-oriented and may like the same kinds of activities.
Both Interactive Styles and Steadiness Styles aspire to be in a supportive relationship. Usually, though, it's the Steadiness Style who's in the giving role and the Interactive Style who's the receiver.
Meanwhile, the fast-paced, extroverted Dominance Styles and Interactive Styles commonly find it hard to develop rapport with the easygoing, quieter Steadiness Styles and Cautious Styles, who are less decisive and enthusiastic. And the Steadiness Styles and Cautious Styles, in turn, find the Dominance Styles less desirable because they're too pushy, too loud, and often demand too much of them.
Therefore, of all ten combinations, these three pairs are often the least naturally compatible SOCIALLY:
What's more, even when relaxing, the Cautious Style wants to do all things right. Whether it's just grilling hot dogs, chatting about politics, or setting up the croquet wickets, the Cautious Style sets standards and judges himself and others by how they meet them. The Cautious Style, in the eyes of the Dominance Style or Interactive Style, is not living as much as he is just serving time. By and large, never the twain shall meet - at least unless and until The Platinum Rule is practiced - Do unto others as they want done unto them.
Learning from each other
On a positive note, there is a fascination factor in these three pairings, and bridges can be built. Given positive energy, the natural differences can fuel attraction, particularly when one style sees what it can learn from another. A Dominance Style, for example, may see how he can become more patient and responsive to others by taking a cue from a Steadiness Style. A Steadiness Style, meanwhile, may be able to draw on the Dominance Style's strengths for taking charge and accepting risk.
It all comes down to not judging another’s behaviour. Just observe it and then demonstrate it if you are looking to adapt your style for being a certain way in a situation.
Similarly, a sensitive Interactive Style can see how she can learn discretion from the Cautious Style, and the Cautious Style perceives that she can become more relaxed and sociable by being around the Interactive Style.
Perhaps the most difficult hurdles socially are posed by the Dominance Style-Cautious Style relationship. For it to work, both must yield their personal control needs, with the Dominance Style deciding to give the type of space the Cautious Style needs, and the Cautious Style learning to be much more direct and open about their concerns with the Dominance Style.
It's Different when it comes to TASK
When it comes to tasks, whether it's doing a project at work, purchasing a family car, or just balancing the checkbook the dynamics differ dramatically. Here, the “likes” who are drawn to one another socially don't necessarily attract as much as they compete or even conflict.
Now their similarities can get in the way because they have the same needs. After all, to complete a task, one must have resources, rewards, time, space, and attention. But there are only so many of those to go around.
So when those needs aren't met, tension and conflict can result. When one partner feels a need to “win,” for instance, the other one may sense he or she's been shortchanged. The frequent outcome: resentment.
But, before getting into which pairs clash, let's look at the most naturally compatible combinations TASK wise:
See a pattern here? You bet!
The Steadiness Style gets along with everybody in a task situation. He or she's the universal antidote for disharmony. It's the Steadiness Styles' most distinctive trait. They're supportive workers who exert a calming, stabilizing influence. Naturally interested in others and in making a contribution, they enjoy being productive partners. No wonder they're everybody's favorite.
The moderately compatible combinations, as far as working on TASKS together, are:
Interestingly, Cautious Styles figure in many of the least compatible combinations socially, but among the highest in tasks. This suggests that others appreciate the quality and thoroughness of their work, even if the Cautious Styles aren't always viewed as being a lot of laughs.
Last come those combinations that are least compatible because they tend to see one another as competitors:
As for the Dominance Style-Cautious Style, there's a fundamental clash in the Dominance Style's need for speed and control versus the Cautious Style's penchant for being slower paced and systematic.
Notice that while the Interactive Style-Interactive Style pair was ranked as among the most socially compatible, now they are likely to be the least productive as far as working together on tasks. That's because neither is motivated to deal with task details.
Similarly, Dominance Styles and Interactive Styles also have moderately high social rapport but plummet to the lowest rungs of compatibility when tasks are involved. That's because they both tend to want to delegate.
But don't give up yet on those whose personal style may not be a perfect fit with the situation. With some effort at understanding and applying The Platinum Rule, you can adapt your compatibility so that you can work successfully with anyone.
Some of you might like to purchase The Platinum Rule a book written by Dr Tony Alessandra by CLICKING HERE
What if people knew how to “read” people better when on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites? Wouldn’t it help them to increase their business and their productivity and ultimately, not only increase their cash flow, but also improve their personal and business relationships?
So how does one learn the art of people reading?
First before I tell you how, my PeopleSmart World business partner and dear friend Carol Dysart happened to mention to me about this guy she saw on the news one night on TV. This guy had worked as a flight attendant for 20 years and had lost his cool with a surly passenger, who got up before he was supposed to. The grumpy passenger hit the attendant on the head who was trying to prevent him from pulling down his luggage, in getting ready to exit the plane!
The attendant got so mad that he shouted a rather not so nice word, grabbed a beer from the galley, opened the emergency door, deployed the chute, and then out he jumped! He slid down and off that airplane before anyone knew what had happened!
When Carol told me how she could read what she saw from his behaviour and that she predicted why it had happened, it just fascinated me and I asked her to tell me more.
Carol said, “Here’s what I got…When I looked at him, I read his style as somebody who was what we call a High C – or someone who puts most of their energy into doing a great job by complying to rules.
Since the report said that he’d been 20 years in that field I also knew that this meant he had been dealing with all types of people for many, many years – something that is not too comfortable for people with that personal style. He had to have had some social interest, but what I could observe was that he didn’t have an open, smiling face. He displayed a furrowed brow and a scowl. I was guessing at his “C-ness” which is compliance to rules, and that he was a cautious style. Because he had blown up at the customer showed me that he was also at the end of his patience.
Carol has always been intrigued about the fact that the DISC model is something that you can use anywhere, because it’s about observable behaviour. The man that invented the system called DISC, Dr. William Marston in the 20’s said, “You can tell what motivates a person if you can observe their presenting style.”
But just to finish the attendant’s story, part of his style is that he’s a High C – the Compliant, cautious type of style, and he holds things in. He doesn’t like to share personally, he’s very efficient, probably he does his job extraordinarily well, and yet when things bubble away too long and are held in, yep that’s right, he exploded! That was what happened. He just exploded for no reason, supposedly, in the moment.
But who knows what was going on in his personal life before that? It was just a quick observation. The art to “people reading” is to look and watch somebody, and ask a few questions. When someone asks you to join their networks or be their friend on Facebook, do you read their personal profile? If I’m on Facebook I can start to see who a person is in their profile just by the kind of words they use.
In the past it used to be how you looked on paper for example on your resume, the credit report, or in the newspaper, all those things. But now it’s more about how you look online.
For those reading this that know nothing about the four DISC personality styles, here is a snapshot. DISC is an acronym for the following words, “D” stands for dominance, “I” stands for influence, “S” stands for steadiness, and “C” stands for compliance.
D and I people are both outgoing and direct, and they’re more proactive. The C and the S people are the more cautious types. They’ll choose a more indirect approach. If you can imagine them at a party… the C and S will not rush into a brand new group of people and start introducing themselves. At a networking event you can spot them. They’ll be cautiously in a corner or sitting down at the table or they’ll be really grateful if you take the initiative and go and introduce yourself and introduce them around.
So the question is how do you recognize the different styles on Facebook or Twitter?
Let’s first talk about the outgoing and direct and indirect types of people. It’s in their faces, first of all. If they put their face right in the middle of a picture of themselves up close, you know that they have a strong and outgoing personality. These styles want you to see them and they probably have what we call strong ego strength. Now that doesn’t mean ego, like a bad thing. Ego strength means they have a strong sense of “I am,” (who they are).
The S and the C styles may know who they are but they won’t tell you. They’ll let you find out about them. So the C and S photos online will be a little more reserved. They might be cautiously smiling; you can see it coming through their eyes. They’ll have, maybe, a pleasant look on their face if they like having their picture taken.
Usually if you see in a picture someone that isn’t smiling looking very powerful and indirect, it’ll either be the C style or the D style. Remember in this model, the D’s and the C’s focus on the task. Again, D is dominance to problem solving, I is influence with people, S is steadiness to the task, and C is compliant to the rules. These are four very different qualities. We have all of them in our style, and we can use all of them, but we use them in different levels of intensity, depending on the situation.
Because DISC is NOT a psychological model but rather a way to predict one’s needs-motivated behaviour, once we understand and can recognise, which one of the four major styles is primary for them – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness or Compliance, then our chances of accurately guessing what interests them and what things they focus on increases.
The D’s and C’s are focused on task rather than on winning friends. It isn’t that they aren’t able to be friendly. It is just that other things have higher priorities - like getting the job done quickly or getting it done right! They are bottom line people whereas the I and the S are more focused on people, so that makes them more open, they smile more and are more interested in how people feel. You could say that the I and the S-style of people are into aspects of BEING-ness while the D and the C are more into DOING-ness.
So look at their online profiles. You can start to look for clues in what they say or promote. They are giving out clues if you know where to look. What types of things do they report doing? What are they proud of? Are they talking more about things of a bottom line or technical nature? Or is it more about people or teams or ways people like being supported?
Start being open to what DISC is really saying about you and know that your style is walking through the door with you (it’s nothing you can hide)! People go, “Oh I don’t want to have people see my profile” and I go, “Why not? You see, they already know it the moment you come through the door or post online!”
Here's to your success in all relationships!
Carol and Sandra
P.S. For those of you that would like to complete a DISC assessment for learning what DISC style you are click here
Sandra is very passionate about supporting others to be the best they can be through sharing her stories and experiences she has gained along the way...