Demystifying DISC Personality Style Compatibility...
How come there are some people we meet for the first time that we like instantly. And there are some that we just wished would go a way!
Compatibility, or the lack of it, is not such a mystery. Both rapport and tension are rather predictable, once you know what to look for. 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. You get your needs met by being around those who won't embarrass you by, say, showing up in a magenta sports coat, or asking deeply personal questions upon first meeting you.
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:
Where, you ask, are the Dominance Styles? Well, they also tend to flock to one another - at least for a while. But they possess such a strong competitiveness that even the Dominance Style with another Dominance Style relationship isn't quite as naturally harmonious as the others.
That pairing does, however, show up in the following moderately compatible category:
Compatibility doesn't come quite as naturally in these cases. Some relationships that we find ourselves in especially in a work environment need nurturing. But with effort, progress is possible and, in fact, success in working with less compatible individuals can be an esteem builder for some.
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:
To the Dominance Style, who just wants to get things done, and to the Interactive Style, who just wants to have fun, the Cautious Style and Steadiness Styles can be drags. While Steadiness Styles often resign themselves to tolerate the forwardness of Dominance Styles and Interactive Styles, the Cautious Style frequently just prefers to be alone.
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 would have you do 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:
Cautious Styles loom large in this second grouping. While not as easygoing as Steadiness Styles, they are sensitive to others' feelings and have a passion for excellence that others usually recognize.
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:
Dominance Style-Dominance Style combinations work fairly well socially but when it comes to tasks, a Dominance Style's competitive nature and need for control can stymie cooperation, especially with like-minded Dominance Styles.
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.
To find out what style you are why not do a DISC Profile Assessment CLICK HERE
Six Games of the Ego
We all have an Ego or put another way, the Ego has us! You know that voice in your head that is always telling you things.
Things like "if you are not right about this one you are going to look stupid" Or "the boss will think I'm great if I make him look wrong about that"!
Here are six games that the Ego plays to survive in the world, or should I say survive in YOUR world!
1. Dominating others
Domination of others is a natural game for the Ego to Survive. We normally dominate others by saying we are parents, teachers, spouses, leaders, employers, officers, head of the family, etc. Our position as parent, a teacher or a leader gives us the excuse to dominate others frequently. Most often in the pretext of concern for the organization we are working for, or as concern for the other person, our mind subtly allows us to dominate others. In many of our relationships, more often that not, we are unaware of this subtle interference of this Ego.
2. Refusing to be dominated
We need to understand that it is the Ego that refuses to be dominated by others. This is another subtle and dangerous game that the Ego plays. In the absence of Ego, we would happily surrender to domination by others. But most often we do not like to be dominated in any way. Because we are afraid of what might happen – the mind says “I am feeling unsafe here I need to leave”, or “I must fight to survive being dominated”. It is known as flight or fight.
Put another way, in order not to feel dominated we dominate or we withdraw from the other person that is trying to dominate us. This game is nothing but the Ego playing inside us.
3. I am Right
Our Ego always wants to prove that 'we are right'. Again and again, we argue or try to prove a point or to justify our thinking to be right. We have many explanations in order to prove our “rightness”. Start to become aware of this Ego Game when we try to prove that we are right.
Why should we ever prove we are right? If we are really right, there is no need at all to prove it. Nature or the Universe will prove it for us in some way and at some time, once we become aware of this game of Ego playing out inside us.
4. You are Wrong
This is the other side of the above coin. Just as we like to prove we are right, we also like to prove that the other person is wrong. This is nothing but the Ego playing its game inside us.
Ultimately, the Ego in order to survive inside us will simply lead us into thinking that it is playing none of the above games. Ego will always justify itself. The mind will lead us to think that we are not at all bound by Ego, or that we are absolutely right in our egoistical approach to life - when we are in relationships, when we are parenting our children or when we are managing people at work.
Very often we cover up our Ego by commenting about others or finding fault with others. Become aware that it is the Ego and the hurt we have felt in the past, that is finding fault with others. Here we are not talking about practical and functional faults. We are talking about characteristic judgments and blaming or labeling others.
Is EGO Good or Bad? Is it possible to be free of the EGO and still function in the world?
Many of you might be sitting with questions such as, without Ego is it possible to survive in this modern world? Or if we are not egoistic how can we still be successful or be a part of this competitive world that we live in? Well the good news is yes you can! In fact if you were free of the ego, you would be extremely successful.
Let me explain, as there are two distinctions here to understand. We have to distinguish between The Self and The Ego. The Self has an ambition - the will to fight it out or the will to achieve.
The Ego on the other hand makes you positional.
When you become positional, you do not understand what the other person is talking about. Or even have the willingness to listen to what they have to say. There is no listening. Hence, there is no learning. Therefore you have every chance of losing. You have every chance of losing a customer or client. You have every chance of losing a relationship. You have every chance of losing a good insight. You loose the opportunity of people contributing to your life in some way. Here, we are not talking of the Self. The Self must be there if you want to achieve success in the world. We are not talking about that.
We are talking of the Ego and its games, which is harmful in the process of achieving success. So, you must learn to distinguish between the two.
What does taking a position look like? Let me give you an example. "You make a choice and take a stand that a certain kind of medicine is good for you. Then somebody comes and convinces you that this may not be the right medicine, they say, “why don't you explore homeopathy instead?” You say ok, I will explore that. This is being non-positional. That is you had a certain point of view, but now you are prepared to change it to another one.
But then along comes your Ego and interferes, saying “no, no, I can not be wrong, if I agree to what she says I will feel inferior, I will be wrong, and she will feel superior, therefore, no, no, my choice is the only right one”. Then ego plus position becomes positional. There is no movement in that choice. Such people will never learn in life.
So, a person must become flexible and be able to change their position to a different point of view.
Ego plays six games; I am right you are wrong, wishes to dominate, and refuses to be dominated. And if these games add to your position and you become positional you are going to enter into some form of conflict – with your spouse, your child a co-worker or a friend. This conflict happens when you become positional.
Take a father and a son. The son must realise that his father belongs to another generation. And the father must realise his son belongs to another generation and that his perceptions are different, and he must be willing to accommodate that. If the son stands to his position because of his Ego, he will think 'father is dominating me' and the father will think 'he is refusing to be dominated'. Then there is a conflict.
Once you become aware of these games, automatically the mind will become non-positional.
Have you ever come across people that leave a lasting impression in your life? You know, the ones that you may not have met in person but have influenced your thinking and how you are choosing to BE in the world. I often look to Mahatma Gandhi for wisdom. His gentle approach to life is testament to the fact that strength does not equal physical capacity. In the western world, we're taught that to be strong, we must be ferocious in attitude and vehemently go after what we want in life. His life story has proven that it’s possible to remain gentle in spirit, yet simultaneously command a huge amount of strength and respect. He says: “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
In a world in which authority is valued over authentic leadership, I believe we have a lot to learn from the man who fought for a nation with his mind alone.
Gandhi’s philosophy was not purely based on theory; instead he lived by rules of pragmatism. He practiced what he preached every day of his life. What an inspiring, authentic way to live! BEING authentic is the key, when it comes to style, know matter what style we are. If you own who you are BEING it is much easier to be authentic. The following Mahatma Gandhi quotes are some of my favourite and I see all the styles within them. See if you can to...
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...