Look before you leap
We will never truly have all the information we need to make great decisions, but that does not mean we must leave everything up to chance. People are simple but complex beings by nature and many years of research have gone into mapping out the behaviours which drive them. The means exist for us to stay well-informed even when looking at the complex variables that make up a person’s habits.
When you are seeking to recruit someone to join your team, you must consider their experience, character, attitude, potential value to your business and team, and all manner of little behavioural tells and cues which make up a good hire.
Valuable, contributing team members are a true asset, whilst misaligned individuals can delay progress, frustrate other teammates, make costly mistakes, treat your customers badly, and negatively impact group culture. A good team is worth far more than the sum of its parts; but in order for a team to perform effectively, its members must be working in a complimentary fashion. When all the parts of a team are contributing effectively, the combined effort will create the desired results.
You are not forced to go in blind. People are complex, but they have enough recognizable behaviours to form an estimate on how they plan, communicate, deal with structure, act, and react. Over the course of decades, our profiles have been studied and tweaked to provide the best possible insight into a person’s behaviours. We have a strong track record for identifying habits and outlooks which people did not necessarily even know about themselves. While we certainly make no claims at being able to perfectly predict how someone will take to a situation or what their interrelations will be, we areable to find the most likely results with very good accuracy.
An organisation which understands itself and all of the elements which go into it can make informed decisions about what paths are available for it to take, what it can accomplish that another group might not be able to, and what its current limitations might be. To know all of these things gives you true freedom to explore all the possibilities which you can make real. With these tools at your disposal, you can make the leap knowing that you are ready for whatever might come your way.
Getting to know more about your work behaviour style (DISC) – Part One
Important Note: Your work behaviour style must not be confused with your personality. Your personality has an influence and is reflected in your approach to work.
Keep an open mind to explanations and look for lessons to learn – get to know yourself.
Reading and understanding your three graphs is not as easy as it looks – see it as an x-ray, with a lot of depth that you will get to know and understand as you work through our information pieces.
Let’s start with the basics:
Each graph consists of two halves (Top and Bottom). Each half indicates a different strength. The top half indicates your work focus and the bottom half how you approach your top (work) focus.
The top and bottom ends of the graph (indicated here with blue) express “extreme” behaviour or opposite behaviour. More about that later on.
The area indicated in Yellow will be explained later.
All graphs show our strength and “shadow” sides.
Big (spread-out) graphs are healthy and tighter graphs indicate change or issues that need attention. A large graph has one or more of the factors closer to the top blue zone and one or more at the bottom closer to the bottom blue zone. Most of us have a graph somewhere in between, as we are always a work in progress.
When the highest factor is a D, I, S, or C (Work Focus):
DRIVE (DOMINANCE – High D – Direct and Guarded) – People with the “D” style place emphasis on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to achieve results. The High D Style tends to be direct and decisive, sometimes described as dominant. They would prefer to lead than follow, and tend towards leadership and management positions. They tend to have high self-confidence and are self-starters, risk takers, and problem solvers, which enables others to look to them for decisions and direction.
INFLUENCE (High I – Direct and Open) – People with the “I” style place emphasis on shaping the environment by influencing or persuading others. The High I Style is not afraid to be the centre of attention. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, talkative, persuasive, impulsive, and emotional. This style will trust others naturally and functions best when around people and working in teams.
STEADINESS (Supportiveness – High S – Open and Indirect) – People with the “S” style place emphasis on cooperating with others within existing circumstances to carry out the task. The High S Style is known for being steady, stable, and predictable. They are even-tempered, friendly, and sympathetic with others.
COMPLIANCE (Conscientiousness – High C – Indirect and Guarded) – People with the “C” style place emphasis on working conscientiously within existing circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy. The High C Style are accurate, precise, detail-oriented, and conscientious. They think very analytically and systematically and make decisions carefully with plenty of research and information to back it up. The high C has very high standards for both themselves and others. Because they focus on the details and see what many other styles do not, they tend to be good problem solvers and very creative people.
When the lowest factor is D, I, S, or C (Support and approach to work focus):
Important note: We only refer to the lowest factor, not all the other factors that might be below the middle line.
Low D’s are indecisive, have a major dislike for first time confrontational decisions, prefer to avoid conflict and rely upon past history and common ground. Low D’s also tend to be slow to make decisions or take action. They are conservative, low keyed, cooperative, undemanding, cautious, mild, agreeable, modest, and peaceful.
Low I’s prefer to use machines – computers, email, text messages, voice mail and other forms lacking in human interaction. They are naturally pessimistic and prefer pure logic with little to no emotion involved. They lack trust in both themselves and others. Low I’s avoid human interaction and prefer not to make phone calls or give presentations. They tend to influence others more by data and facts, and not with feelings. They are described as reflective, factual, sceptical, logical, suspicious, matter of fact, pessimistic, and critical.
Low S’s enjoy change, trying out new ways of doing things, living as a fast paced and multi-tasking machine. This can lead to a higher sense of urgency when their D is higher. The low S seldom says no to any task, project, or opportunity – however, they have limited understanding of the natural flow and order of processes (Shadow side). They enjoy new and changing environments over consistency and routine. They are described as restless, demonstrative, impatient, eager, or even impulsive.
Low C’s are independent and can show a strong will. Lacking the need for detail or accuracy for that matter, they prefer to use guidelines and rules as suggestions rather than being set in stone. They are willing to set or develop rules for others, they just have trouble following the rules set up by others (and themselves). Due to showing little to no fear about anything, others believe they are self-confident. Challenging the rules and wanting independence, low C’s are described as self-willed, stubborn, opinionated, unsystematic, arbitrary, and unconcerned with details.
Hope you enjoy getting to know more about your approach to work. As you get wiser you will be able to develop your own growth plan to change your habits and work behaviour to best suit your current and near future work expectations.
GETTING TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR WORK BEHAVIOUR STYLE (DISC) – PART TWO
Knowing more about yourself can only be empowering for an open-minded individual. Open-minded individuals believe they can grow and adapt their style to suit the situation (environment) they have to operate in.
Your work behavioural style feedback is based on your own inputs. You have decided which of the 4 adjectives best and least describe you.
Our feedback report provides you with three different insights (Lenses). Get to know the differences and use the feedback smartly. The first lens (Graph One) – How you believe you need to behave to achieve your work delivery expectation; the second lens (Graph Two) – How you “perform” (react) when under pressure; lastly, the third lens (Graph Three) – your Natural or preferred style.
Graph One – Work Mask or adaptive approach: This graph provides you with insight into how you adapt your style to fit the team and work environment that you are a part of at the moment. You believe this is the best style to deliver results. This graph might not be the same as your Natural or Under Pressure styles and that is fine as long as it fits your team and work conditions.
Graph Two – Under Pressure style: All of us have a pressure threshold that is unique to ourselves. This graph indicates how you will act or react once you have crossed your pressure threshold. With the level of anxiety and uncertainty in the world and even the work place this graph might be the truest reflection of your strengths and what you can offer a team.
Graph Three – Natural Self style: This profile is your preferred style – how you would like people to know and remember you.
Note: Do not stress if the shapes of your three graphs are not the same. As you gain more experience with interpreting your graphs you will start to understand how the different shapes support one another.
A Point in Time: Remember, the profile is a reflection of your behaviour at a specific moment in time, strongly influenced by your mindset and behaviour (response to the environment) of the last 3-6 months.
Trend: We do not know the direction of your personal development or growth trajectory when you completed your work behavioural style assessment.
You have to decide which one of the following three trends you believe you are in now: Are you in a maintenance stage of doing the same things with no personal growth and development, an upwards growth and change trajectory, or are you moving downwards as you are not coping well with what the world and or the business environment is throwing at you?
It is important to be honest about your trend as you need to take it into account when interpreting your 3 graphs.
A few extra basics in reading your graphs:
Blue zone: If any of the 4 factors shift into the blue zone at the top or the bottom, it indicates small short-term behaviour changes. Normally you will express the opposite behaviour than expected. Example: Blue Zone with a top D will show indecisiveness. Only you will know what triggers those behaviours. Get to understand the triggers that lead to the short-term changes so that you can work on them. Especially if they are disruptive.
If more than one of the same factor moves into the blue zone, the behavioural change is more permanent, but normally outside of work.
Yellow zone: When all 4 factors are squashed into the yellow zone, it indicates 3 different possible concerns the individual is dealing with. In the Work Mask, it indicates a sense of insecurity or that the individual has just started a new job or is reporting to a new boss. In the Under Pressure graph, it indicates that the individual is finding the going tough. Find out in a discussion – often it relates to personal issues or finances. Finally, in the Natural Self graph, it indicates frustration. The individual feels that they can contribute more than what they are allowed to do. They report to an autocratic boss, have more than one reporting line or cannot express themselves.
Overshift: All four factors appear above the middle line. This individual is trying too hard to impress their direct leaders or followers. They are trying very hard to be everything to everybody – pleasing people – not very healthy.
In some cases it could be that the position or role is just too big for the individual to cope with.
Undershift: All four factors have moved below the middle line. This individual is experiencing serious confidence problems, leading to a very low self-esteem.
Undershift is serious in Graph One, more serious in Graph Two, and very serious in Graph Three.
Whichever graph an undershift appears in, provide the individual with support and possibly professional help.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”Aristotle
Getting to know more about your work behaviour style (DISC) – Part Three
“We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.”John C. Maxwell
Remember, you complete your work behavioural style assessment reflecting your present state of mind and how you believe you need to “behave” in order to be successful at what you do or deal with the situation you are in.
Below are more insights to possible graph shapes you might experience with your profile or those of some of your team members.
D and C equally high.
A strong drive for perfection. You are finding it difficult to make up your mind on whether you should push for results or focus on completing the task to perfection.
You might find yourself in a position where you vacillate, asking yourself: “Do I move or stay?”
D and C equally low.
Your indecisiveness will cause you lots of pain and inaction.
Understand that you are a peoples’ person (high I), a good listener (high S) and very caring (low D), needing time to consider all options. Not good when movement and action are needed.
Very persistent, stubborn, and immovable individual.
If you are still up for a challenge and open-minded then you will exhibit a can-do attitude – “Do not tell me it cannot be done – I will show you.”
If you have a fixed mind, you could come across as difficult, obnoxious, and unpleasant to be around.
C lower than the S – S below the middle line:
This individual is difficult to work with as they want to be independent and different for the sake of it.
A very difficult team member who does not want to be managed.
Why do you need this person on your team?
Low S with an equal or higher C:
It is great to have individuals on your team with a profile of this shape.
This individual loves change, likes to solve problems in a constructive manner, and will conform or fit in with the way the business wants to get things done.
With the world in a continuous state of flux, causing anxiety and stress, it is important that you firstly look at the second graph (Under Pressure) and then at the first graph (Work Mask).
How an individual responds under pressure – when they cross their pressure threshold – and how they adapt to succeed at work is critically important. Knowing this will help you to lead and guide them smartly.
Getting to know more about your work behaviour style (DISC) – Part Four
“What you do has far greater impact than what you say.”Steven Covey
Your highest factor indicates your work focus and your lowest factor how you intend delivering and supporting your work focus.
In this set of notes we provide you with “key phrase” insights when we combine your highest and lowest factors. These are very short snippets which provide a quick look into how a person’s factors blend and affect one another.
When reading the notes below, read D/I as D being the highest factor, and I being the lowest factor.
D/I = Efficiency: direct and assertive, but with little or no interest in personal matters – wants to see results
D/S = Self-motivation: action – person feels a need to be active the whole time – urgency – impatient for those who are unwilling or unable to keep up with their urgent pace – reacts quickly to new developments.
D/C = Independence: feels frustrated by rules and regulations – prefer to follow own ideas – often works alone or in positions of isolated authority.
I/D = Friendly individual: strong communicator – outgoing and extroverted – finds it easy to focus on mundane tasks – easily distracted by the opportunity for social interaction.
I/S = Enthusiasm: have much in common with friendliness (I/D), with added dimension of energy and pace – effusive nature can act as a motivating factor for others – (friendly + (energy + pace))
I/C = Self-confidence: rarely experiences self-doubt – feels at ease in any social situation – mixes easily with strangers – at times becomes over confident, leading them to act impulsively.
S/D = Patience: little sense of urgency and slow paced – can work in situations that are dull and repetitive – submissive – ready to accept that some things cannot change.
S/I = Thoughtfulness: plan words + actions carefully – never act impulsively – find deadlines and other constraints difficult to deal with – very reliable and steady.
S/C = Persistence: deal particularly badly with change – find it difficult to break out of status quo – will defend the status quo.
C/D = Cooperativeness: rule orientated – needs to be absolutely sure of their position and seeks to maintain positive working relationships – needs practical support from managers, friends, and colleagues.
C/I = Accuracy (Caution): hates making mistakes – checks and re-checks their work – prone to correct errors in other people whether or not they have been asked to do so – will never take a risk unless absolutely necessary– cautious when they communicate – rarely revealing more about themselves than the bare minimum
C/S = Sensitivity: extremely aware of their environment and changes taking place within it – have a very low boredom threshold and are very easily distracted.
Do not underestimate the power of the remaining two factors, which are not the highest or lowest, as they also play a significant role in your way of working and dealing with people.
We hope that with every set of notes you are getting to better know yourself and your team members. It should allow you to question your leadership style, how you impact your team culture, how you communicate, and more.
In the notes to follow we will provide you with more insights into a range of issues which should help you to become a more effective leader or specialist and understand your impact on other people.