I have been a fan of DISC and certified behavioral consultant for almost thirty years. I think I was drawn to it because I wasn’t like most girls. I wasn’t moody, emotional and into typical girl activities. I was drawn to sports and being competitive. I was a natural-born leader, organizing and guiding others in everything I touched. Back in the day, being direct and confident was looked down upon for girls, and I was left feeling like something was wrong with me instead of knowing I was just made differently.
Thankfully, today we have excellent role models for young girls to be strong and take on whatever it is they want to do. But what if your daughter is quiet, shy and submissive? Does that mean something is wrong with her? NO! She is just a different personality style, and all styles have strengths. This is what I love about DISC – it uncovers everyone’s greatest God-given gifts.
I encourage parents to understand the four distinct styles and how to love and discipline your child accordingly because it matters…a lot. If you are unfamiliar with it, I have a short but helpful pamphlet called Your Child Has Style! that celebrates your child’s uniqueness and gives you guidance on how best to interact with them.
As a society and employers, we shouldn’t stop just at understanding people’s styles but also help nurture the areas they aren’t strong in to create well-rounded individuals. Let me explain. Our God-given temperaments are natural to us. It is just how we were born, and I call it “free money” because it takes no effort to be who you were designed to be. You don’t have to persuade an outgoing, interactive, high “I” to socialize. You may, however, need to help them learn how to listen because they naturally want to talk.
Each of us has areas needing improvement. It’s the opposite side of our trait. Whatever makes us good at one thing can make doing something else a challenge. Those who are detail-oriented and structured may struggle being spontaneous. Yet, with some coaching, mentoring and practice, each of us can learn how to be better. We will probably not want to live in our opposite trait, nor should we, but visiting is okay.
Without knowing it, parents have a huge influence on their children and ultimately how their personality style develops. For instance, I had a very high “C” mom, meaning she was strict and everything had to be just right. I was born low in this category, but because my mom hammered me on it, I improved. I wouldn’t encourage you to use my mom’s tactics because they weren’t loving and kind, but I would suggest you create situations that require your child to learn how to do something that is hard for them, like sharing. When they have tried (regardless of the outcome), reward them for their efforts!
As employers, we need to understand that people can only improve so much. When something isn’t a natural behavior, it takes energy to perform. People can’t continue pouring energy into areas that aren’t their strengths. Yes, they can make improvements, but why would we want them to change completely? I’m assuming you hired them for the exact traits they had, so foster them more. I have conducted thousands of DISC assessments through the years and have found the most stressed people are those operating out of their strengths. This is why understanding each style and what it brings to the table is critical when hiring.
Each of us has a great resource for balancing out the four styles and being well-rounded: Jesus. In our weakness, He makes us strong. This is exactly where God meets us. He doesn’t need to help us in our strongest traits, but He is always available to walk with us in things that are challenging. I’d go as far to say that many of our troubled times are opportunities for us to gain insight into our weakness and how we can be more like Jesus in them. Jesus was the ultimate example of using all four styles strategically throughout His minister here on earth.
As a fast-paced, high-energy person, I have had to learn how to slow down and smell the roses. God sent me Kuma, and being his mom has been one of the best things for me. I’m more balanced and whole. Waiting is still difficult for me, and I find God giving me plenty of ways to work on this area of my life. What area is God trying to improve in you? We have great assurance that if we put a little effort in, He will bless us, and we will be the better for it!
My book, Leveraging Your Communication Style, helps you identify your communication style and then unpacks what that means for you. I also offer coaching where we celebrate your strengths but build up those other areas to give you the competitive edge in the workplace. Give me a call, and we’ll get an assessment going on you.