We have all experienced stress at some point in our lives. And some styles deal with it better than others.
Stress is a very broad and complex issue, and a detailed examination of all its aspects lies beyond the means of the DISC profiling system. Nonetheless, by closely examining an individual's profile, and especially the variations between their External and Internal Profile graphs, it is possible to glean some information about the amount of stress a person is currently experiencing, and their likely reactions.
Before continuing, we should define what is meant by 'stress'. In terms of the DISC system, this term has a meaning different from, but related to, 'pressure'. Where pressure results from a short-term problem, stress is considered to be related to the longer term, persisting over weeks, months or even years. Examples of sources of stress might be a conflict in the workplace, difficulties with home life, or ongoing financial concerns.
Where an individual is experiencing great stress, it is not unusual for one or more of their DISC graphs to become 'Compressed'. If this is the case, the techniques described in this section are not applicable - the stress is simply too great to be measured by these means.
While DISC can be used to provide an approximation of stress in a profile series, the preferred approach is to assess the 'Profile Tension' between the person's Internal and External Profile graphs. This gives us a measurement of the extent to which they are adapting themselves to their work or home conditions - the greater the adaptation; the more likely stress is being experienced. The degree to which this applies to an individual is dependent on their innate adaptability. By definition, more adaptable styles are better able to adapt themselves to different conditions and situations.
All types will find this kind of tension debilitating if it reaches sufficient proportions, but some types are able to deal better with it, and actually find small amounts relatively invigorating. Specifically, the lower the Steadiness score in a candidate's profile, the more adaptable that candidate will be.
Click her to gain an understanding of the four primary styles.
Each person has an Adaptability threshold: the point above which Profile Tension will be likely to show a negative effect on an individual's performance. Dominant types typically have a high Threshold.
By examining which of the DISC factors shows the strongest adaptation between the two Profile graphs, and the direction of that adaptation, it is possible to estimate the most likely source of that adaptation, at least in general terms.
For example, if we find that a person shows very low Dominance in their Internal Profile, and much higher Dominance in their External Profile, it is clear that they feel the need to present a more assertive, dynamic and efficient approach.
Why not take a DISC Assessment Report to see what style you are and to see where and if you are adapting. CLICK HERE
I have just finished facilitating our PeopleSmart Solutions International, adolescent programme DISCovering Me and I have come away feeling as if I have been playing and having fun for two days! I love working with children of this age! Compared to adults they are for the most part like human sponges, all I need to do is provide new information, (the water) and they willing soak up whatever they can....they are for the most part, always willing to give new things ago.
So what happens as we grow into adulthood.... what stops us from being in the world in an experiential way, of seeing the magic in what we do?
What were you raised to believe as a child?
Did you PERCEIVE your environment to be friendly?
Or not friendly? Favorable? Or Antagonistic?
Did you think tasks SHOULD be handled by taking control of or dominating the "how it got done? Or did you the decide that “things should be taken care of and handled CORRECTLY and guarded? Or not?
Were you raised in a CULTURE, an ECONOMY, a WORK ETHIC with STRICT or LENIENT RULES to follow? What story did you make up about yourself, your parents, your siblings and yourself?
Once you felt a strong sense of comfort, was it an emotional feeling that you could confidently keep behaving from your favorite of the four DIMENSIONS of DISC – and how often was that feeling reinforced? Or not? Did you keep having to try something new? Or did you know at a very early age exactly who you were and what you could bring to life around you?
Over time, what did you find that worked for you? Was it easy to get others to love you, accept you, approve of you for most of the time? Were you blessed with a level of satisfaction that others seemed to envy?
Or are you still looking for that because no one anchored it for you very solidly as a child. Or did you already know who you were? Either way, you would have continued to "Gather Evidence" to prove that your way of doing things was “right.”
And were you given a profile that identified your style? Or was it mostly by “trial and error?” Those who are lucky enough to have a teacher trained in the PeopleSmart DISC Method for Understanding Self and Others™ automatically recognize people’s primary style – AND they have a good idea of what underlying emotions are running them – or the other people around them. Without training, the emotional response is all you have to go on – and those do not give people a sense of stability or security. It certainly is not “fact based”.
So what is this Method?
The system we call the DISC Personal Styles was seen, researched, noted and described by a Dr. William Marston in the 1920’s. An Amerian who identified the four most common patterns of behavior - Problems, People, Pace and Procedures that describe the main focus of the DIS and C primary styles. He gave us this new language to use so we could start to understand why we are most satisfied and happy when operating in our COMFORT ZONE – being called on to use our greatest gifts – and it is what we go back to anytime we are under any sense of pressure, fear or fatigue.
A CHILDREN’S MINI ME DISCovery profile shows us where a child tends to be most of the time in the four primary dimensions or FOCUS’s of life.
Our DISC graph shows the intensity of our needs to use any one of the four dimensions as either LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH. And these four style-types become our friends!
Early this year I started working with a local principal who first invited me to profile the teachers. Because of what value the staff were getting we decided to explore and give exercises to the 11 and 12 year old students to better prepare them for entering high school. The goal was to illuminate and bring into awareness these four dimensions of DISC and it turned into an overwhelming success according to the children and teacher involved!
The children responded intuitively and enthusiastically, because they recognized and identified with the strength of their own unique style characteristics.
Every child, teenager or adult needs to know that we are OK - just the way we are and are not!
Through the teacher identifying each child's primary style by answering a MINI ME Profile Questionnaire and the children sharing their style with each other to help them see and identify theirs and other's strengths and their most typical styles... we were able to point out that they are not ALWAYS any one way - and they don't need to feel "Stuck" with the style they are using. There were smiles all around after that!! The quiet shy children now could see that they could change if they had the desire to.
In fact, by just learning how to recognize each of the four major style types, children learn quickly that they are not limited by any one of them and they can truly adapt and adjust their own behaviors, thus resulting in harmony, caring and understanding types of behaviors consistently and in different ways – regardless of whom they are with!
Once anyone can see their behavior (and know that there are three other styles that others have that they do not), they can begin to CHOOSE the appropriate behavior for the situation they find themselves in - and they DANCE ON THE DISC!
Both Carol and I have a feeling that the DISCovering Me Programme is going is to be the access that helps us live out our mission that "children around the world are raised by families and teachers who help them value and understand what is special and unique in both themselves and others."
CLICK HERE to read what the children that have participated in the DISCovering Me Programme say about themselves after just two three hour workshop sessions... these comments were written by the children to introduce themselves to their new teacher...
Some conversations tend to be one sided. That is some styles like to do all the talking, and some styles just don't like talking at all! So how do we overcome this when managing a group of people?
Here is the answer...
It is called a WHAT I FEEL LIKE SAYING process or a WIFLS.
This process is great to use when starting and finishing a meeting, or for using when there is conflict in a team that must be cleared or when a team needs to align on something. The process has certain steps and each step uses specific words or statements the person speaking must use. It is a positive ritual that any group can gain value from.
Clearing the mind of clutter
Each time a group meets, go through this ritual to help everyone clear what is on their mind, so they can be more present and engaged with the group, and to feel heard by other people. Go over the rules in advance when using the process for the first time. It may take a few times for people to learn to trust the process.
Rules of the WIFLS process
NO ONE ELSE CAN SPEAK or RESPOND when the Person is sharing. Then it will go quickly and the leader will be able to see if anything needs to be handled outside of the group meeting.
Person #1 starts and says...
“What I feel like saying is...."____ " They share for a minute or two whatever is on their mind. Whether it is good, bad, or indifferent. It can be anything from... “I burnt the toast”, or “I got cut off on the freeway…” or “My kids are so great – today I got…” or “I’m ready to have a melt down I feel so ……”
And NO ONE SAYS A WORD TO THEM. Everyone else just LISTENS.
Then the person speaking finishes up by saying, "And that's what I feel like saying."
Group says... "Thank you (name)"
The person that was sharing turns to the person on their left and says... "And what do you feel like saying, (name)?"
Person #2 says...
"What I feel like saying is...... _______"
"And that's what I feel like saying."
etc., around the group.
WHY THE WIFLS PROCESS IS SO VALUABLE TO DO AT THE BEGINNING OF EVERY TEAM MEETING:
Even though to some it will feel like it takes too much time, this process is a very good investment because it actually gets a team of people into alignment and understanding what’s going on with each other so they:
After everyone has shared, Leader can judge if the energy is still high and ask if the group wants to go around another time. Or can ask if anyone still has a “burning share.”
If someone has shared something disturbing or upsetting to them or someone else in the group, the leader can seek them out later and ask if they may speak with them about the issue. But if the person says, NO, then they should honor the space agreed to not to discuss anything more about it.
This process is a version of “clearing” processes and is taught in Money & You®.
For questions or more explanation about how to apply and use this process, CONTACT Sandra Davis
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
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...