If everyone would be just like me, we would all get along so well. Yeah right! Aside from being terribly boring, I’d be even more frustrated with other people.
Have you ever met or interacted with someone and thought, ‘that is one weird bird’, or ‘for some reason, I do not like that person’? Maybe you’re right and that person was just weird or unlikable. But chances are, the other person is simply different.
The nature of my personality is one where I have very little patience with people and I don’t understand people that aren’t like me and just don’t “get it”. Luckily, a few years ago I came across a personality profile ‘system’ that changed my perspective of others.
The system is called DISC profile. Immediately after reading through DISC profile, my perspective towards others changed. I went from a typical state of frustration and lack of understanding to a state of acceptance and understanding.
DISC profile helped me understand that people weren’t weird or ‘stupid’. They were just different. My frustrations were rooted in them not being like me. Once I understood why they were the way they were, my world opened up. I have actually become somewhat tolerant / patient with people that aren’t like me. Ask Taryn. There is a huge difference.
There are many different personality profiles out there, but my favorite is DISC profile because it is so simple and concise. Yes, that’s part of my personality. I don’t need the details. I just need the big picture and let’s move on. For the detail folks out there once you get done fully digesting DISC, you can do a search for Briggs Myers. It’s like DISC on steroids – too much info for me though.
As you can see in the image, DISC profile groups people into four different categories:
- D – Dominant
- I – Influencer
- S – Steady Relator
- C – Critical Thinker
You can also notice the following in the image:
- D & I are “Big Picture”
- I & S are about “People”
- S & C are about “Details”
- C & D are about “Tasks”
Here is a list of some characteristics of each of the profiles:
- D – Dominants (The Conductor)
Direct, Driven, Risk Takers, Goal Oriented, Fast Paced, Impatient, Want to Be In Control, Competitive, Aggressive, Embrace Change, Confrontational
- I – Influencers (The Promoter)
Fast Paced, Outgoing, Woo! Hoo! Let’s Party!, Unfocused, Enthusiastic, Spontaneous, Friendly, Optimistic, Verbal Communicator
- S – Steady Relaters (The Supporter)
Slow Paced, Want Everything to Run Smooth, Want Everyone Happy, Friendly, Do Not Like Change, Share Feelings, Avoid Risk, Great Listeners / Counselors, Avoid Confrontation
- C – Critical Thinkers (The Analyzer)
Fact Finders, Data Driven, Problem Solvers, Conservative Paced, Want to Be Right, Cautious, Accurate, Non-Verbal Communicator.
You might be thinking to yourself, I kinda fall into more than one category. You’re probably right. Typically, people fall into one main group and also fall into a secondary group. For example, I’m D-C. I’ve taken a formal DISC assessment and my “D-ness” is almost off the chart. But I also have a lot of “C” in me. Taryn is an “S”, but she can also be D and even sometimes I.
This is how you can describe combined profiles:
- D + I = Persuader
- I + S = Relater
- S + C = Coordinator
- C + D= Implementor
Natural State vs. Unnatural State
The profile(s) that best fit you are the ones that you are most comfortable in your natural state. For me, when I am in “D mode” or “C mode”, I’m in my natural state. It’s easy for me to function in those states.
The profiles that least fit you are your unnatural state. My unnatural state is “S”. My personality is as far from S as possible. But just because I’m not S doesn’t mean I can’t be an S when I need to be. It just means it’s going to take me a lot of energy.
The preacher at our church is a very high D. He had told me for years that after preaching twice on Sundays he’s exhausted on Sunday night. I suspect that his exhaustion has nothing to do with having to preach – he’s been doing it for over 20 years so I think he’s in shape.
I suspect the exhaustion is from the fact that he spends the majority of each Sunday in “S mode” – a very unnatural state for him. He spends the whole day worrying about everyone else, making sure they’re happy, making sure they’re getting what they need, etc… He does it with a smile on his face and you would never know it’s not his natural state. But it exhausts him.
So why spend any time outside of our natural state? Well, you don’t have to, but people like people that are like them. Sometimes, it makes sense to conform to another persons personality for the benefit of the situation.
Let’s say you’re a “C” and you’re at a social function for your spouse. You’re natural state is not a social one, so you would rather sit at the table by yourself or hang out on the edges of the room. But does your spouse need your support? You may have to toughen up and be an “I” for an hour or so.
Let’s say you’re an “I” and your spouse a “C”? Your spouse is putting together the budget for the month, and needs your help. That is a great time to slow down a second and make the effort work through the details with him / her.
Take some time to understand these different personality types. Figure out the personality types for the following:
- Your spouse’s
- Your children
- Your friends
- People you’ve just met
Force yourself to spend time in their personality style – it will make them feel much more comfortable around you. And it may make you a little more understanding of them.
If you’re interested, you can take a free online DISC assessment here.
Question: What’s your DISC profile? What is the personality type you struggle dealing with the most? Leave your answers in the comments below.
If you have questions about DISC profile, feel free to ask in the comments section.