Every single one of us has our own very distinct gene pool that sets us apart from the world. To my knowledge, the ability to create exact clones has not yet been mastered. Therefore, we each remain one-of-a-kind beings. Sure, life would be so much easier if we were a bunch of robots and didn’t have to figure out how to interact effectively. But that’s not the case, which means we have to work smarter in order to improve our communication skills.
I’m a big fan of the many assessment tools available to us for learning more about ourselves and how we can adapt our personalities and behavior styles to those with whom we communicate. In fact, over the past few months I’ve become even more intrigued with the power of these tools. In my case, it has been the DiSC Profile.
Elliott Connection was retained to conduct some workshops for a large national company. Learning of the wide diversity of the company, it struck me that bringing in a subcontractor who is certified and well-versed in behavioral profile systems would be just the answer. Enters my friend, Jon, and our team was set. It’s been a great ride. He facilitates DiSC Profile training while I focus on the importance of being able to identify personality characteristics to be successful in connecting with others.
Fortunately, there are no styles that are what one could consider bad or flawed. You cannot fail in life because you score “F” on the personality profile test. It doesn’t work that way. But you can fail if you can’t relate with others in a congenial fashion, just as you can soar if you’re able to adjust to adapt to the circumstances.
All of the tests use different descriptive indicators. One might use animals, such as an owl, fox, deer, lion, sloth, octopus, cat. Another might use colors. I’ll use what I’m most familiar with – the DiSC, which uses a quadrant map:
• D for Dominance – Person places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, confidence. This person likely has behaviors such as
– Sees the big picture
– Can be blunt
– Accepts challenges
– Gets straight to the point
• I for Influence – Person places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships. This person likely has behaviors such as
– Shows enthusiasm
– Is optimistic
– Likes to collaborate
– Dislikes being ignored
• S for Steadiness – Person places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability. This person likely has behaviors such as
– Doesn’t like to be rushed
– Calm manner
– Calm approach
– Supportive actions
• C for Conscientiousness – Person places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency. This person likely has behaviors such as
– Enjoys independence
– Objective reasoning
– Wants the details
– Fears being wrong
• And combinations of any of these
For those who know me, it should come as no surprise that I am a high I-D. I’ve taken this test numerous times over the course of years, and my score never changes. You would think that maturity and new directions in life would perhaps make a difference, but in my case – not. So I’m convinced that it’s in the genes. Though my dad left this world many years ago, I have no doubt that our scores would be very similar.
Given what little description I’ve offered you above, where are you – in your very humble opinion? Are you someone focused on details who must know how/why the clock was built? Then perhaps you are primarily a C. If you strive to serve your boss in the best way possible, you demonstrate S tendencies. If you are in sales and just love interacting with people, you will surely have some I in you. And if you are a CEO focusing on the bottom line, you’ve got some D qualities.
You don’t live in a bubble, so think about the people around you. Who are they and where do they align? Look at your team members. Are you in sync with them by making the necessary adjustments in order to be more effective?
I’ll share with you how I deal with my team members. Though I have not performed DiSC on any of them, I’ve got a very good feeling about where we are.
One team member is VERY detail-oriented, and he must explain his thoughts well beyond my comprehension. I, of course, being an I-D, lack the patience and comprehension to get through his explanations, though I truly respect his attention to details. I asked him to bullet point his recommendations and tasks. And he did, but he also color-coded them. WOW – that was way over the top for someone like me! So how did I deal with this wonderful team member? I assigned him to two other team members who are more S-C. It turned out to be the perfect solution.
Have some fun. Figure out what your profile is. Then use that knowledge to decipher how you need to adjust your strengths and your weaknesses to best connect with your target audience. As I reflected on my personal situation, some of my strengths are actually weaknesses in dealing with my team member. If I had not made changes in either myself or the circumstances, I can guarantee that we would not have the great working relationship we have. I would have definitely driven him away with my natural God-given personality. I needed to make adjustments or arrangements to make our relationship healthy. And it works – in spades!
By Linda Elliott