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World According to DISC – Darth Vader: King of the D’s

Friday, November 11th, 2011

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

Okay, make that 34 years ago in this galaxy right here… an iconic character was introduced to the world and he instantly became one of the most recognized and feared (and lampooned) villains in history. I’m of course talking about none other than Darth Vader.

In the original movie, a.k.a. Episode IV: A New Hope, the Lord of the Sith emerges as a character of pure menace, and also one of pure initiative. certainly Vader is not past using a little force, or even The Force, to get things done. Hmmm, where have we heard that sort of description before? Sounds a little like a DISC behavioral style, doesn’t it?

Forceful, decisive, goal-oriented, intimidating… where can we find these terms grouped together? On the DISC adjective chart, of course. Just look in the column marked High D. Yes Lord Vader is a High D – perhaps the king of the D’s. Want some examples:

Forceful – how about the opening scene where his ship overtakes and boards the rebel vessel? Or when he lifts one of the rebels off the ground with one hand to question him?

Decisive – Vader never hesitates when faced with a decision. From field promotions (and throat-crushing demotions) to dispatching the Emperor himself, Darth has never been one to shy away from making the tough calls.

Goal-oriented – When your replacement Death Star is falling behind in production who do you call? Emperor Palpatine knows who the galaxy’s top fixer is – good ol’ Darth is just the fellow to put things back on schedule.

Intimidating – 6’6″ tall, known to choke people to death for failure – even when they’re not on the same starship, a history of violent rages (we’re not saying that a high D means you’re violent, but D’s can get angry when they don’t get their way), handy with a light saber and one of the best fighter pilots in the galaxy. If that’s not enough to intimidate you then you’ve always got the creepy helmet and raspy aqualung breathing to keep you shaking in your boots. No, I don’t think that anyone liked to bring our Vader any bad news.

Battle Briefing or Behavior Analysis?

But even Darth Vader, Big D, that he may be, was not one dimensional in his behavior. Like all of us, he exhibited a range of behaviors that could have been charted on a DISC graph had the Empire had access to some quality DISC assessments. (Ever notice the resemblance between a DISC Wheel and an Imperial chart?)

So what would we find if we looked beyond Darth Vader’s D? Well without doubt a low I: When not leading a boarding party or giving orders he tended to stay in self-imposed isolation in his hyperbaric chamber. There is also that small incident of slaughtering an entire village of Sand People.

What about Vader’s C? He displayed many high C characteristics: he was a strict disciplinarian, demanded rigid adherence to the chain of command, and as the Emperor’s right hand man (even if that hand was artificial) was on a mission to preserve peace and order throughout the galaxy. On the other hand, Darth Vader was not shown to be a micro-manager as are many high C’s. He would set goals and timetables, and although he dealt really harshly with failure, he did give room for the admirals beneath him to take their own initiative and make their own mistakes. As a youth, while still known as Anakin, Darth bridled against the restrictions and discipline of the Jedi Council – something a high C wouldn’t do unless they had their own set of rules which they felt were superior. The times when Anakin breaks the rules he is reacting chaotically and emotionally, not methodically following an alternate rule set. Chances are the adult Darth Vader’s C would measure above the line, but not particularly high.

Finally, what about Vader’s S? There is some real tension here. Darth Vader exhibits some particularly High S tendencies – a reluctance to change or accept change, a tendency to suppress expression – suppress that is until it boils over in uncontrolled rage. He is generally unimpressed with new technology, trusting more in the old ways of the Force, “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed….” Then there is also that “sad devotion to that ancient religion…” When the ways of the Dark Side of the force are questioned he lashes out and intones “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” Few things succeed at provoking a strong response from a High S like Darth quite like questioning his world view.

Some people might be confused by the High D also exhibiting a High S, but as discussed previously in our post on Me-Me conflicts, it is important to keep in mind that the opposite of a High D is a Low D, not a High S.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this installment in our ongoing World According to DISC series, and no matter what corner of the galaxy you’re exploring, may the Force (and the DISC) be with you.

Ask the Expert: Lowering your S

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

A reader from the healthcare arena recently used our Ask the Expert form to ask:

** What does it mean if you have a Naturally high S, but your Adapted S is significantly lower? **

Art’s answer:

If you are seeing a DISC report with a Natural S that is high and an Adapted S that is much lower then you are actually seeing one of the most common behavioral adjustments in corporate America today. In the DISC spectrum the S reflects our preferences for different paces. When the S factor drops to a strong degree, it typically means the pace you’re encountering is greatly increased, that the variety of the work you are doing has increased (juggling lots of assignments at one time), or possibly your priorities are changing rapidly.

A person with a high Natural S likes to know what to expect – they are more comfortable knowing what’s going to happen well in advance. But if you are responding to the environment with a low Adapted S then it sounds like you might not be able to predict what you’ll be working on from one moment to the next, or have so many things on your plate, you may not be getting the closure you like. I often recommend those making this adjustment either get a bigger staff or do their best to prioritize their projects and takes some things off their plate. This isn’t always easy, particularly in today’s job climate where so many people are being asked to shoulder larger burdens and compensate for the missing productivity of people who have been let go, but not replaced, due to economic constraints. However, forcing someone to sustain an Adapted style that is drastically different from their Natural style can cause severe stress and loss of morale, especially if the person in question is pushed into this state frequently and for long periods of time. Frustration and resentment can increase in these situations.

It is also important to remember that the issue isn’t as much the direction of change, as it is the magnitude of change and the amount of time spent in the Adapted state. We often see executives with lower Natural S scores, who become frustrated and restless if they find themselves in a situation that causes them to have a higher Adapted S. Often an executive in this situation will make a move and quit the position as soon as they are able to because boredom is generally the least tolerable adapted state.

What’s your question?

Data Dome’s resident expert is our founder, Art Schoeck. A member of TTI’s prestigious International Faculty, Art often receives questions through our Ask the Expert form. We try to answer questions here on this blog that are representative of common questions regarding DISC and other assessment tools.

Do you have a question about DISC? If so please submit it via the Ask the Expert form. Although it may not be possible to answer every question individually, we use the “Ask the Expert” category of this blog to answer the DISC-related questions most important to our readers.

Good DISC vs Bad DISC

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

In his upcoming book on DISC practice, The World According to DISC, Arthur G. Schoeck, founder and CEO of Data Dome, Inc., offers answers to the question, “Are all DISC tools created equal?”

All DISC behavioral assessments and related tools have their roots in the work of Dr. William Moulton Marston and therefore share a common foundation. Most DISC systems in use today are provided by a handful of companies, DISC publishers, whose businesses cultivate certified DISC experts who then resell the assessment tools to corporations for use in consultative work on various people problems faced by organizations. Despite the shared origin and similarities of business models it is an uneven field in regards to quality of assessments and reports as well as training and certification of practitioners. In short, although all DISC shares common roots and principles, no, not all DISC is created equal.

The Basics
To understand what makes some tools better than others, let’s review some basics. DISC is based on four behavioral factors: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. A person may score high or low in each of these four areas. The high scores tend to get the most attention, but good DISC practice recognizes that an intense low score is just as indicative of behavioral traits as is an equally intense high score.

Understanding Intensity and Precision
What DISC tools measure the intensity of each of the four behaviors and then correlate the results with a corresponding report. Some DISC systems provide for more gradations in the intensity in each category, some provide a larger number of report variations – and the range of this number of reports is surprisingly broad: some DISC publishers provide tools capable of generating as few as 12 reports, while one offers tools that match behaviors to hundreds of possible profile reports.

Even Great Tools Need Skillful Operators
People typically exhibit greater intensity in one of the four DISC areas, however it is a mistake to ignore the measures in the other three categories. It is also a mistake to oversimplify the process: Using a refined DISC system with hundreds of report variations still requires the facilitator to be skilled in properly debriefing and interviewing the participant to assure accuracy in the information provided. Even a good DISC system will yield mediocre results if the DISC practitioner is simply taking the report at face value without verifying accuracy with the participant.

Simplification and Vagueness
There are incentives for DISC publishers to pursue systems that involve a smaller number of different reports. Less variations to manage means training is easier, but simplification brings vagueness. Using a tool that can only categorize to a dozen or so reports encourages vagueness similar to a newspaper horoscope – it may provide answers that on the surface seem satisfactory, but in the end don’t hold up well in terms of providing practical, actionable insights.

Establishing Context for Better Results
DISC training to be effective must stress objectivity in its application. In many cases simply identifying the DISC profile of a given subject is not enough; measuring and understanding the behavioral context that predicts success for a given role or application is also needed. Too often a manager’s personal biases (or a consultant’s) will color the decision and favor either behavioral attributes which are similar to their own, or conform to some (false) idealized profile, which may have little to do with the actual behavioral patterns needed to succeed in a specific job.

Going Natural, or the Importance of Adapted Behavior
Natural behavior can be thought of as an individual’s default style, whereas Adapted behavior is the behavior they exhibit in response to the environment or workplace. Some DISC publishers offer reports that merge this information into a single approximate diagram. Others ignore the difference altogether and simply present a single graph, yet large shifts between a person’s Natural and Adapted behavior styles can indicate stresses, energy drain and anxiety caused by something in the work situation. Since the Natural style typically changes little over time and the Adapted style is very responsive to situational changes these are often important clues to diagnosing problems and recommending solutions. Bad DISC systems offer broad brush reports that appear less complex because merged data means fewer diagrams, but these fail to provide effective actionable data.

For the full Good DISC vs. Bad DISC article and a list of questions you should ask before selecting a DISC provider, visit

Ask the Expert: Me-Me Conflicts?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Art Schoeck was recently asked the following question via our Ask the Expert form:

** What do you mean by the Me-Me Conflict? Could you flesh that out a little? **

Art’s answer:

There are certain DISC behavioral styles that pose a “Me-Me” conflict, meaning there exists internal incompatibilities between behaviors. The Me-Me conflicts occur when an individual displays behaviors that are at odds with each other, that interfere with intended outcomes or reframe the behavioral dynamics due to the combination of conflicting behaviors.

To illustrate this idea let’s examine some scenarios:

An individual who wants to like people (DISC profile = high I) and looks at others with warmth and emotion, yet has high standards with which she judges things, data, and… people (DISC style = core C). So she wants to be liked and wants to like others, but she holds others to high standards, which may relegate her associates to those with high standards for instance she may date only those who pass her strict checklist of criteria. Here we see the Me-Me conflict in the competition of the core C behavior with the drive of the high I behavior. However, as in the dating example mentioned, the result might not be one behavior preventing the other, but both behaviors combining, hence the C-driven checklist criteria applied to the I-driven dating.

An individual may have a sense or urgency to get immediate results (DISC style = core D) while at the same time desire perfection (DISC profile = high C), which takes time to achieve. They constantly have internal conflict of rushing to complete, which can increase the likelihood of infractions or errors, vs slowing the pace down adequately to perform in an error-free compliant manner. The high D wants results and action now, which is in conflict with the high C behavior of making sure things are done in adherence to the standard of perfection.

One more example, although there are many more Me-Me conflict variations, can be seen with people who look at things, data, and products in an emotional way, yet look at people logically and analytically. The may buy things based on their emotions, yet look at others with skepticism and a “prove it to me” attitude. Changing situational dynamics can reframe the conflict.

Sometimes people are confused by the mention of Me-Me conflicts in part due to the explanation that accompanies the DISC Success Insights Wheel in some reports. The wheel will sometimes have the word “Cross” on it along with arrows pointing to spots on the wheel (see this post for a deeper look at the Success Insights Wheel) this can indicate the potential presence of a Me-Me conflict, because we are seeing three of the four DISC factors above the line with the individual’s core (or most prominent) DISC factor and the factor that is directly across from it on the wheel constituting two of those three factors that are above the line. The confusion can come from the use of the word “opposite” which in the Success Insights Wheel’s explanation is meant to refer to the style which is on the opposite side of the wheel, however this is not actually an opposite of the DISC style: D and S are across from each other on the wheel, as are I and C, but these are not opposite behaviors. The opposite behavior of a high D is not a high S, it is a low D. Likewise the opposite of a high I is a low I, etc. There can be some similarities between a low D and a high S but the behavioral basis is different.

What’s your question?

Data Dome’s resident expert is our founder, Art Schoeck. A member of TTI’s prestigious International Faculty, Art often receives questions through our Ask the Expert form. We try to answer questions here on this blog that are representative of common questions regarding DISC and other assessment tools.

Do you have a question about DISC? If so please submit it via the Ask the Expert form. Although it may not be possible to answer every question individually, we use the “Ask the Expert” category of this blog to answer the DISC-related questions most important to our readers.

World According to DISC: New Year’s Resolutions

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

DISC profiles help us understand ourselves and each other. In our continuing World According to DISC series we like to examine the lighter side of life through the lens of DISC core styles. As we bring 2010 to a close and begin to look ahead to 2011, it is a time when many will think about themes, goals and resolutions for the coming year…

Donny the high D is bold and ambitious, he’s not thinking about resolutions because he’s already got several projects in motion. He does have a goal though: to not just make the president’s club again this year, but to beat last year’s sales champion, by at least 10% thereby regaining the number 1 slot.

Irene has high I DISC profile. She loves to talk about the new year with everyone she meets. In fact, Irene just loves to talk. She has been talking with all her friends, asking what their plans are and comparing their resolutions for the coming year. When Jane paused her jog to say hello, Irene told her that she’s going to rejoin the gym and go every day. When Doris gave her a nice bottle of wine she shared her resolution to take a class in wine-tasting. When she ran into Bob in the frozen food aisle she told him how 2011 was going to be the year she stopped eating out so much and cooked more at home. She told Henry at the bank that she’ll be cutting coupons… Marcel at Starbucks that in 2011 she’s going to learn to make espresso at home…

Sylvia the high S was just starting to get comfortable with writing 2010 and now she’s looking at the new 2011 calendar she got from her college alumni association. She’s been hanging them beside her refrigerator every year since she graduated. Her father used to make 3 resolutions every year, 1 for work, 1 for himself and 1 for the family. She has continued that tradition every year since he passed away. This year at work she plans to start coming in earlier in the hopes that her boss will notice and give her a raise. For herself, she’ll finally finish that sweater she’s been knitting for years. For her family, she’ll continue to volunteer at the church to make sure her kids aren’t sneaking out of Sunday school.

Christopher’s DISC profile reveals he is a high C – he is very mindful of rules and procedures. He only ever has one resolution, to monitor the 13 virtues as defined by Benjamin Franklin: Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity, and Humility. He has been spending a good portion of the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day planning his calendar for the coming year to make sure proper time has been allotted for work, family, hobbies, personal development, exercise, and once a month he has set aside 20 minutes for spontaneity.

Remember, in real life people exhibit a blend of behavioral styles, not just one single dominant trait. Examining their DISC graphs and profile reports will reveal how much that blend of behaviors can adapt from a home (or natural) state to a work (or adapted) state.

No matter what your DISC behavioral profile we at Data Dome wish you a happy and prosperous 2011.

Happy New Year!

World According to DISC – Guide to Holiday Shopping

Monday, December 6th, 2010

‘Tis the gift giving season so we here at Data Dome want to help you find the perfect gift for all the different DISC profiles on your list. Not everyone has disc profiles as extreme as these, but thinking about DISC styles may help you choose a better behaviorally-fitting gift.

A high D DISC profile is likely to respond well to a gift that helps further a goal, but not if it adds complication to the process: Last year, Danny the High D was looking to start exercising more so his wife thought a new bicycle would be the perfect gift. It would have been if it had come pre-assembled, but Danny wanted to exercise not decipher an assembly manual. He’s now running 3 miles a day, but the bike is still in the box.

A high I DISC profile likes to be around people, interacting, talking and having fun. Good choices are gifts that either prompt a social gathering or elevate the high I’s social status, but follow through and attention to detail may not be strong with the high I. Last year, Irma the high I found out that several of her friends got together once a week for a knitting circle so she dropped a lot of hints about knitting to her husband. He dutifully got her a starter kit of knitting needles, a knitting video, several balls of beautiful wool and a book of knitting patterns. She was delighted and excited to join her friends at her first knitting circle, until she found out how hard it was as a beginner to knit and talk at the same time. She continues to enjoy meeting her knitting circle, but as of this writing she has yet to complete her first scarf.

Persons with a high S DISC profile aren’t very demonstrative and may seem hard to shop for because they haven’t outwardly expressed what they would like. Sam is a high S and last holiday season his wife noticed that the lining was shot on his winter coat. She thought it would be nice to get him a new coat that was more in-style than his old one, but she knew he wasn’t into fashion and that he tended to resist change so instead she got the old coat relined. When he opened the box he was confused for a second to see his old coat in a new gift box, but when he saw the new lining he smiled and quietly slipped the coat on over his pajamas.

The high C DISC profile can be intimidating to shop for because the high C can be meticulous and critical about quality and appropriateness of a gift. Last year, Clara, a high C, was dismayed when her friends in the office gave her an expensive planner from Franklin-Covey – they thought it would be a big hit because she is so organized, but she felt insulted that they thought she needed someone else’s system to stay on top of things. This year they did better, giving her a subscription to Consumer Reports so she can always have the data to make the most informed purchase decisions.

Here are a few more just-in-fun gift ideas –

The gift they want:

  • High D – NASCAR fantasy camp driving lesson, air horn, watch with built-in stopwatch
  • High I – Tickets to the Oprah show, karaoke machine, a huge holiday party
  • High S – Grandpa’s pocket watch, a family holiday dinner, savings bond
  • High C – Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine, statistical graphing calculator, US Chess Federation standard chess set

The gift they need, but don’t want:

  • High D – meditation retreat, biofeedback machine, chamomile tea
  • High I – time management system, accountability coach, Social Media blocking software
  • High S – home organizer session, procrastination-busters class, Toastmasters membership
  • High C – empathy training, improv class, mud-wrestling tournament entry

As always with the World According to DISC series, we like to keep it light while sharing some instructive, yet one-dimensional attributes of DISC behavior. In reality people are multi-dimensional and are influenced by a range of motivators and attitudes in addition to having a mix of behavioral styles.

Whatever your DISC style we at Data Dome wish you and yours a very happy holiday season!

World According to DISC – Thanksgiving Edition

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means it is time for another episode of our continuing series – the World According to DISC. DISC profiles are an invaluable tool to help understand an individual’s behavior at work and at home, when relaxed and when stressed. Let’s meet one family and see how their behavioral styles influence their holiday celebration.

Don is a high D who works in sales. It’s been a slow year and the imminent arrival of Thanksgiving is a big reminder that most of the year is gone and time is running short if he is going to make his numbers for the year. He’s frustrated that so many people will be off of work, because every day between now and the end of the year counts so much toward hitting his targets. The one saving grace in his opinion is football. He’ll have a hard time keeping his seat at the dinner table because he’s focused on getting in a big dose of big screen football time. Since he can’t make any sales call on Thanksgiving Day anyway he’ll be diverting all his attention to cheering on his favorite teams.

Irene, Don’s wife, is a high I. She loves Thanksgiving mostly because it means the holiday party season has arrived and she loves to go to parties. She’s actually doing her best to try to turn the family Thanksgiving celebration into a party – she has invited just about every neighbor on her block to drop by and share dessert with them after the big turkey dinner. In fact, she’s starting to worry that she won’t have enough desserts and she’s rushing to the store to do a last minute shopping with her daughter, Sally in tow. Although Sally’s not enjoying the hectic scene at the supermarket, Irene is in her element – she’s run into several friend’s and is now happily chattering away with the cashier.

Daughter Sally is a high S and although she seems calm on the outside, she’s cringing on the inside at the turmoil in the supermarket. She didn’t really want to go, but her mom was in such a sudden panic about not having enough for dessert that she didn’t want to make a fuss. She’s looking forward to seeing her uncle and cousins who come to their house for Thanksgiving dinner every year. The lead-up and preparation is always a bit too hectic for her and her sister, Connie, is always snapping directions at her. Sally feels more comfortable after the big dinner when everything slows down. The football fans crowd into the den to cheer their favorite teams while Sally visits quietly with her cousins as they take their time clearing the table and putting away the leftovers.

Connie, is Sally’s older sister and has a high C disc profile. She has been snapping and fussing all day trying to put things in proper order for the big feast. She can’t understand why Sally takes so long to set the table when the process should be clear. She would do it herself, but she’s too busy because a few years ago she took over the cooking duties from her mother. Irene is a friendly person, but she can’t follow a recipe and Connie is now in charge of the Thanksgiving menu. She’s also planning on asking Don if she can carve the turkey this year – she thinks he makes a mess of it and she has been studying the proper procedure online for how to get the most meat off the bone in a neat and efficient manner. She’s set up a work area on the dining room sideboard with a platter and all the carving tools. She’s timed the turkey to be ready at 5pm exactly and she’s going to throw a fit if the bird is dry because Irene and Sally are late getting back from the supermarket.

Despite Connie’s worry, Irene and Sally manage to get back in plenty of time with a sackful of holiday cookies and an apple pie for the dessert crowd. Connie thinks that a homemade pie would be more appropriate, but agrees there wouldn’t be enough time to make one. She’s delighted that her dad has agreed to let her carve the turkey, and Don is delighted to have one less distraction from the day’s football watching. Sally finishes setting the table with the help of her cousins. As they quietly put out the fine linen napkins they save for special occasions and her mother’s good china, Sally takes comfort in the familiar objects and relishes the calm moment before the chaos of a crowded table. Irene forgets all her anxiety about being unprepared as she happily gets caught up on all the family gossip with her brother, who arrived while they were at the store.

Looks like it’s going to be a pleasant Thanksgiving after all. We at Data Dome hope you enjoy the lighthearted looks at prototypical DISC behavioral profiles that we feature in the World According to DISC series, and we wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!

World According to DISC Halloween Edition

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Well folks, it is almost Halloween – that means it is is World According to DISC time again. Time to carve your pumpkins and pick out your costume for the Diabolical DISC Masquerade Party (costumes required, of course). Devils and princesses, movie monsters and pop-stars, comic book characters and astronauts will be in your neighborhood Trick or Treating. What will this year’s most popular costumes be? Perhaps a look at one family through the lens of DISC behavioral profiles can give us a hint:

Young Dennis is a high D according to his DISC profile. He’s set a big goal for his candy gathering escapades: twice as much candy as last year. To meet his goals he has enlisted his dad to take him to the next subdivision up the road where more of the residents have kids and therefore more houses giving out treats. He’s also delegated carrying a spare sack to his younger sister, Samantha, just in case he fills up his first candy bag. Dennis’s costume choice: Darth Vader.

Irene, Dennis’s mom, took a DISC assessment at work – she is a high I and she’s excited because she is going to go to a huge costume party the night before Halloween where tons of her friends will be. She is in the costume shop now having trouble deciding what to wear. She’s chatted with every employee in the store and most of the other customers asking their opinions of what they like best and which costume would most people love to see her in. She knows she doesn’t want a big heavy mask because she wants to easily see everyone who’ll be at the party and she’s afraid that if she wore one nobody would recognize her. In the end she settles for an attention getting Marie Antoinette outfit with a little handheld mask on a stick.

If Samantha the younger sibling were to take an assessment her DISC behavioral profile would show she is a high S. She’s nervous about going with Dennis and her dad to the other neighborhood because she’s comfortable sticking to the neighbors they’ve always visited for treats in the past, but in the end she agreed to stick with Dennis’s plan because they go Trick or Treating together every year. She sometimes wants to be the one to push the doorbell, but Dennis always does that and she doesn’t like to make a fuss about. Samantha was going to dress up as Lisa Simpson like she did last year, but the costume didn’t fit anymore so this year she’s going as Snow White.

Charlie is Dennis and Samantha’s dad. His DISC style indicates he is a high C and not a big fan of Halloween. He gets grouchy thinking about all the unruly kids running across his well-manicured lawn and the inevitable toilet paper that will be lobbed across his carefully trimmed hedges. He has set a rigid timetable up for taking the kids Trick or Treating and he will inspect every piece of candy to make sure nothing has been tampered with. He’s dreading going to the party Friday with his wife, partly because the babysitter always ignores his instructions regarding what time the kids are supposed to be in bed and what TV shows they are allowed to watch. Since Irene is going as Marie Antoinette he thought it would be only right to go as Louis the Sixteenth, but none of the costumes at the shop were authentic enough for his tastes so he is going instead as Cardinal Richelieu.

Well, before we wrap up this lighthearted look at DISC behavior during one of our favorite holidays, here’s a few more quick takes on DISC meets Halloween:

The Wolfman – Low I, Low C
Dracula – High D, Low I, High S
Dr. Frankenstein – High D, High C
The Creature (Frankenstein’s Monster) – Low D, Low I, High S, Low C
Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde – High C, Low D / Low C, High D
Batman – High D, Low I, Low S, High C
Princess Leia – High D
Little Red Riding Hood – Low D, High I

And remember no DISC Halloween celebration is complete until somebody dresses up as Dr. William Moulton Marston’s other invention – Wonder Woman.

DISC Profiles: How low can a Low C go?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The DISC Profile world is rife with examples and explanations of the various behaviors found on the high side of the charts. High D, I, S and C behaviors are the staples of behavioral consultants and organizational designers, but we here at Data Dome want to make sure you understand that very low scores in a behavior category can be just as predictive as the high DISC styles. Fortunately for us we’ve got a couple of great celebrities to look to for examples of Low C DISC profiles in action…

It almost seems that Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are having a contest to see who’s DISC behavior profile displays a lower C.

Let’s first look at the DISC adjectives to get a feel for what a low C DISC style is like:

  • independent
  • opinionated
  • unconventional
  • uninhibited
  • free-thinker
  • unconstrained
  • avoid detail
  • self-governing
  • defiant/rebellious of rules set by others
  • careless with details

Both actresses have been noted in the media for outrageous behavior and a lack of discipline in business dealings. Paris, famous for being famous, was described in an article on the 10 worst celebrity business owners as having “failed at the business of being herself.” According to the article, acting in an unconstrained way, inattentive to the details of endorsement deals has led her to being sued for millions in damages. And with several scandalous pictures and tapes floating about on the Internet, one would hardly categorize Paris Hilton as “inhibited.”

Similarly, Lindsay has had numerous run-ins with authorities, has shown flagrant disregard for public safety in her use of drugs and alcohol while driving. Despite her talent and creativity she has been called “officially unreliable” and unprofessional on movie sets. The notion of self-governing seems like an apt description of someone who smokes despite being an asthma sufferer since the age of two. With nude photo-shoots as Marylin Monroe and a movie role as a stripper, Lohan also fits the “uninhibited” adjective.

I imagine they would both nod their heads in agreement when they read in their DISC profiles: “Respect my defiant nature”.

That is they might if they bothered to show up to fill out the DISC assessment.

World According to DISC – Labor Day Edition

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

It’s Labor Day on Monday so we thought we’d put the World According to DISC lens on a family preparing for their annual cookout:

High D, Dad, is on a mission to make this the best Labor Day ever! He wants to throw a big cookout so he can show-off the big gas grill he is going to buy at a big Labor Day sale using the big bonus he got for blowing away his numbers last quarter. He hit his goal and then some and he’s ready to celebrate, so nothing is going to stand in the way of his long-weekend projects: mow the lawn, sweep the driveway, finish the deck, buy the grill, conquer the cookout.

High I, Mom, is right on board, now that all of her friend’s are back from their summer vacations she’s been anxious to get energized with a big gathering. A Labor Day cookout is the perfect excuse to bask in the approval of friends and neighbors. She’s trying to remember everyone’s favorite side dishes, desserts and drinks so that everyone will talk about what a wonderful time they had at the party. Last year someone wanted pickles and she didn’t have any so sent her daughter to the store in the middle of the party so the guest wouldn’t be disappointed.

High S, Daughter, is happy too – they do a cookout every year and in her mind it is a sacred family tradition. Sure it is a break from the normal routine, but she’s looking forward to helping her dad sweep the driveway and mom prepare the hamburgers, potato salad and special family recipe cole slaw like they do each year for the cookout. She’s a little concerned though about her dad getting a new grill – the old charcoal one always worked so reliably…

High C, Son, is indifferent about the occasion, but adamant that if you’re going to do a Labor Day cookout then you should do it right. Despite his mom’s suggestions that they get chicken to put on the grill because her friend said it was much healthier for a cookout, he insists that hamburgers are the proper choice due to their faster cooking time. An important consideration, he continues, because after studying the assembly instructions for the grill his dad plans to buy he estimates that it will take 3 hours and 20 minutes to complete the assembly and that the extra cooking time for the chicken would risk delaying serving the guests at an appropriate time. He shows his mom his proposed timetable for the day and she has little choice, but to agree.

So there you have it a family of disparate DISC styles coming together in perfect harmony to prepare for a traditional Labor Day cookout. We at Data Dome hope that you enjoy these glimpses into the lighter side of DISC and that you and yours enjoy a happy and safe holiday, and don’t forget the pickles!

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