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Posts Tagged ‘behavioral style’

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.

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.

DISC Assessments and Attitude: It’s a profile, not an excuse.

Friday, July 9th, 2010

When you start talking about DISC assessments and DISC behavioral styles it is inevitable that you end up in the land of adjectives: The high D – Active, Direct, Forceful; the high I – Fast-Paced, Emotional, Impulsive; the high S – Agreeable, Cooperative, Friendly; and the high C- Thoughtful, Careful, Thorough. Add a little stress to the mix and some new adjectives from the DISC profile step to the front of the line: D – Impatient; I – Disorganized; S – Possessive; and C – Overly Critical. These words, when included in a DISC profile, are intended to be useful and cautionary – guides, if you will, for gaining insight into your own behaviors and the necessary data to intentionally adapt behavior for improved communication, team building and performance. Yet sometimes these words can be misused as an excuse, a convenient crutch to sidestep taking responsibility for the outcome of behavior. There is a world of difference in the statements “I’m a low C, so I should team with someone who can help me stay organized” and “I’m a low C, so don’t expect me to be organized.” That difference is in the attitude.

Understanding behavioral style via a DISC assessment is tremendously valuable, yet it is still an incomplete predictor of an individual’s impact on a team or success in a position. Going beyond the DISC profile by gauging awareness and attitudes provides vital insight into that individual’s effectiveness and willingness to change – especially when confronted with a behavior that is causing (or caused by) a negative issue. It can make the difference between a team full of “My way, or the highway” dysfunction or a team that embraces the platinum rule: behave unto others in the style that suits them, even if it isn’t the style that naturally comes to you. DISC assessments make you aware of your own behavioral tendencies so when you recognize the styles of others you can behave with intention: more productively and harmoniously.

Ask the Expert: Match My Profile To A Job?

Friday, June 25th, 2010

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

** Is there a resource or tool that highlights jobs that match my disc profile? How can I learn at which jobs I would excel? **

Art’s answer:

The Career Planning Insights instrument is a wonderful user-friendly tool for identifying those jobs most compatible with one’s behavioral preferences (DISC). It consists of three online questionnaires – the first questionnaire is about you, the second is about your current (or most recent) job, and the third focuses on the job you’d like to have. The purpose is to match the behaviors you naturally exhibit with a job that utilizes those behaviors to optimize top performance.

A sample report can be viewed at: http://www.datadome.com/pdf/profiles/careerplanning.pdf

Also useful for career direction is the Workplace Motivators profile, describing your current motivational preferences (this is not a DISC tool). The purpose is to address your current real needs (passions and priorities) with the rewards (compensaion/benefits, work environment, ‘other’ benefits) offered by a job. For example, a person with a high score for “Utilitarian” (the need for money for its own sake, high priority of return on investment) should not consider most teaching positions as the low salaries all too common in that profession would make it unlikely for the Utilitarian needs to be met. On the other hand, someone with a high score in the area of “Social / Altruistic” might find that teaching satisfies the need to influence others.

View a sample report available at: http://www.datadome.com/pdf/profiles/WorkplaceMotivators.pdf

For more information and links to purchase these reports visit: http://www.datadome.com/productscart_careerinsights.php

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.

Family First – A New Program From TTI

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Teenagers and parents, sometimes they seem more like oil and water: What happens when a High C / Strong S mom tries to tell her High D / Strong I son that he can’t go to the mall with his friends because he hasn’t finished his homework yet? You might be able to guess if you’re familiar with DISC (it doesn’t have to be 4th of July to have fireworks) , but you had the advantage of knowing their dominant behavioral styles. Unfortunately, families seldom have access to that kind of information, or any tools-based approach to understanding family behavior and communication dynamics. Seldom that is, until now: Target Training International (TTI) and some sponsors have put together a unique, free program to assist family members to better understand themselves and each other.

TTI Family First is providing the Family Relationships report and debriefing process free-of-charge.

Learn about your family communication style and read recommendations on how to improve internal family communication. TTI founder, Bill Bonnstetter, has made it his life’s work to help people recognize their unlimited potential. He has enabled this free report and debriefing to help young adults communicate their talents and strengths in ways that their parents can understand and helps parents to recognize the behavior styles that can give clues to diffusing some of the stress in family communications.

To get started on the road to your family’s true potential visit http://ttifamilyfirst.com and then encourage the other members of your family to do the same.

Ask the Expert: Adapting, Yes, Stressing, Not Necessarily

Monday, June 14th, 2010

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

** I have a client with significant differences between his natural and adapted styles. I asked him to discuss the stress this was causing him and he was surprised. He said he didn’t feel particularly stressed. He said that he accepts as a given that there are behaviors for work and behaviors for home and that he puts on the façade just as easily as he might put on different style clothing for different situations. Given the large gap between his natural and adapted behaviors, what is your opinion? Is he in denial? **

Art’s answer:

Sounds like he’s being strategic. If he picks up the right signals and is adjusting behavior only when he has to, it might not be for a sustained portion of the day, only bits and pieces. For an example, consider that many successful salespeople encounter clients and prospects with differing styles. They learn to fluidly adapt all day long to an array of different styles knowing that this is beneficial to improved communication, and therefore beneficial to reaching their sales goals. If they know how and when, they are only adapting for small periods. Since this adaptive behavior is intentional and not forced to be maintained for excessively lengthy periods it is not nearly as stressful as one might surmise from an initial comparison of the Natural and Adapted DISC graphs. The best assessment tools have evolved to be highly effective diagnostic aids however they cannot replace the important role a Certified Professional Behavioral Strategist plays in interpreting the results by first discussing and investigating the nuances of an individual’s situation.

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.

Executive Decisions – Behavioral Strategy

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Just a quick post to recommend an interesting article from the McKinsey Quarterly: “The case for behavioral strategy” (free registration required to access article). Authors Dan Lovallo and Olivier Sibony present a well-reasoned discussion of the impact of cognitive biases on effective corporate decision making. After first setting the stage by noting that most of the advances in the application of behavioral science to business have been in understanding how others behave – such as in marketing scenarios, here the issue is in how the leadership behaves in making high-quality decisions.

Perhaps most interesting is the discussion of some of the top biases impacting business decisions as spotlighted in the article’s companion pdf: “A language to discuss biases” It’s not hard to see reflections of DISC concepts in terminology such as “Stability biases”, “Action-oriented biases” or “Social biases”. I would recommend this article to any business leader interested in understanding the risks of gut-based decisions and motivated to improve overall quality of decisions by using behavioral understanding to adopt a process that builds-in counters to the most prevalent business biases.

World According To DISC: Facebook and Privacy

Monday, May 24th, 2010

It is hard to miss all the news lately about Facebook and the privacy concerns that juggernaut of the social media world has raised. From the BBC’s report of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s admission that he “missed the mark”, to reports in BusinessWeek, PC World and many other news outlets, not to mention countless blogs, it is clear that Facebook has stumbled and the whole issue of online privacy is now front and center in many users’ minds.

Here at Data Dome we like to look at these kind of topical issues from the perspective of the classic DISC behavioral styles as a means of helping you understand how your employees, or friends and family, might be interacting with social media from a privacy perspective:

Meet Darlene, a high D. She used to consider Facebook a time-waster, but she joined when enough of her clients were there that she felt it would be productive. She got angry when she read accusations that Facebook is being cavalier with user’s private information: If there is one thing she can’t stand it is feeling that she has been taken advantage of. She went right to her profile to lock down her private information, but found the process too cumbersome (patience is not one of her virtues) and gave up, next she tried to delete her account, but that was too cumbersome too, so she simply stopped logging into her account. She has now flagged all social media friend requests as spam.

And then there is Ira the high I. He joined Facebook the very first time a friend invited him. He also tends to skip the details so he didn’t pay much attention to privacy settings when he made his account. He’s been having so much fun playing social games on Facebook and reconnecting with past friends, alumni, and co-workers that he has essentially built his life story online. He’s not happy about the privacy issues in the news, but doesn’t want to abandon all his friends. He won’t move his profile until most of his friends move theirs.

Sandra the high S might surprise some of you. Sandra didn’t join Facebook until most of her family insisted that it was the best way to share family pictures. Some might think that despite any negative press she wouldn’t quit because that would mean making a change. Although she has a real aversion to change and will not normally buck the status quo, in this case her behavior is more strongly influenced by her protective attitude toward her close friends and family. She feels that this flip-flopping on privacy practices and Facebook’s alleged “apologize after rather than ask permission before” attitude on the subject threatens the safety of the relationships she most cares about. Her account is now cancelled (and she might not try another social media site for a very long time).

Last but not least is Charles the high C. Charles was also reluctant to join Facebook, but he gave it a try because he is a model train enthusiast and belonged to a club that had setup a Facebook page to share information on historical routes and timetables and to post photos of train setups so members could rate them according to historical accuracy. He was very thorough creating his original profile, read the terms of service letter for letter, and created the precise profile he wanted. Thus when Facebook enacted changes to the privacy status without prior warning, he felt that they had broken protocol. Feeling a need to reassert control, he first went step-by step through the process of reconfirming every privacy detail of his account. Then, once he was satisfied that his account was now secure, he went ahead and eliminated his profile.

Facebook is front and center in the online privacy debate, but every day we are presented more opportunities and innovative ways to connect with each other online. Tools and their repercussions are constantly evolving at a faster pace than our behavioral styles. We often take a look at the lighter-side of DISC behavior in this ongoing World According to DISC series, but we encourage you to not take your online privacy lightly. No matter what your behavioral style it is far easier to share information online than it is to hide it away again once it has been shared.

Ask the Expert: North of the Border, Adapting above the Line

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

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

** I recently completed a DISC assessment that I found to be very insightful; however, on the Success Insights Wheel my Adapted Behavior was “non-placeable.” My Adapted Behavior was just above the line in all categories. Other than telling me that it is “rare,” my assessment administrator didn’t have any further insight. Can you help me understand this? I would love to know why my Adapted Behavior is “non-placeable.” **

Art’s answer:

When all points are above the line, it usually indicates that an individual, at the time of completing the assessment questionnaire, feels a need or desire to act as “everything to everybody”. That is, the individual’s behavior is adapting to an elevated level across all DISC categories. In essence, they are trying to be all of the descriptors around the wheel at the same time. This indicates a lot of pressure and may stem from a temporary situation or role being played. That is why it is “Non-placable”.

This result with adapted marks being all “north of the border” is not as rare as it once was. Many organizations are trying to make do with less people: With fewer employees doing the work of what used to be many more, they are required to cover more ground, and so we are seeing more shift into this adapted behavior of actually trying to be everything to everybody. This is also appearing amongst candidates during the job application process – as the job hunt and economic stresses linger on, some candidates begin to feel desperate and express that via a willingness to adapt behavior in this all things to all people manner. When encountered it is often necessary to apply further diagnostics to better understand the situation and the impact on behavioral style.

In a workplace scenario, if an individual’s Success Insights Wheel showed adaptive behavior that was above the line on all categories, a worthwhile next step would be to review the behavioral job description to determine if the subject and the supervisor agree on the role the individual should be playing and the commensurate behavioral expectations. This would involve a customized and personal interaction facilitated by a Certified Professional Behavioral Strategist.

What’s your question?

Data Dome founder and member of TTI’s prestigious International Faculty, Art Schoeck, 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 will be using the “Ask the Expert” category of this blog to answer the DISC-related questions most important to our readers.

World According To DISC: Mother's Day Behavior

Friday, May 7th, 2010

You know we like to have a little fun here at Data Dome, especially with this World According to DISC series of posts and articles. We like to take look at some illustrative examples of the four key behavioral categories when they are expressed in the extreme and conjecture on how these behaviors could be expressed in familiar scenarios. We hope you find them both instructive and humorous – particularly if you recognize a little bit of yourself in any of the behavioral examples. This post however deals with serious business: Mother’s Day.

Yes the holiday that built the greeting card industry, the day that’s bigger than Christmas in the floral world, the day of overcooked pancakes served in bed and overloaded phone lines, the day we collectively celebrate our moms, even Mother’s Day is not immune to the revealing power of a DISC behavioral profile:

Consider for example Danny the High D – he’s set up his mom in the best retirement community in Florida and he’s already told his assistant to arrange for two dozen roses and a fruit basket to be delivered to her on Sunday. He won’t be going down to visit himself because he’s got to whip his sales team into line during the mandatory 7am sales meeting he instituted for every Monday morning and he just won’t have the time to get back and forth. But don’t worry his son is under strict orders to remind him to call her before noon on Sunday. Interestingly Doris, his High D mom ended up sending the delivery guy back to exchange the roses for some “decent looking flowers”, because she’s not going to let some cheap florist pull one over on her hard-working and important son.

Now by contrast Isabel the High I hasn’t bought any flowers. She hasn’t remembered yet that it is Mother’s Day, because she misplaced her planner, which was mostly blank, but was in a cool shade of pink-dyed leather that people always remarked on so she liked it as a conversation starter. Coincidentally she happened to call her mom anyway, and has been chatting happily with her for the last hour and a half without even realizing the occasion. Her mom, Irene, is also a high I and suddenly had to rush off the phone when she realized she was late for the garden club meeting (which had been rescheduled anyway, but Irene hadn’t checked her email in a couple of days).

Stan the High S on the other hand traveled to his hometown to see his mom like he does every year. He always flies Delta with his family and then rents a sedan from Enterprise every year. This year they were out of sedans and he was very upset about it, but he didn’t want to upset the person at the counter. He ended up getting a subcompact, which is what the rep at the counter recommended even though he thought the mini-van might be more practical for the weekend, but the rep guaranteed that the subcompact is easier to park and that the kids and the luggage would all fit fine so Stan didn’t want to make a fuss. Stan’s mom, Stella, is also a High S. She dutifully stayed in bed on the big morning awaiting her breakfast even though she had already been awake for 2 hours – she didn’t want to break the family tradition.

Catherine the High C arranged a month ago for a bouquet to be delivered at exactly 10am on Sunday morning. She chose irises because her research had shown her that for her mom’s region of NJ this weekend was the optimal blooming time for locally grown irises. She’s planning to call her mom at precisely 10:15am because her analysis of past call logs have shown that is the most likely time to reach her mom still at home, but not still asleep. Charlotte, her High C mom, loved the irises when they arrived, but noted one had a longer stem than the others. She pulled out her tape measure, verified the length of each flower stem, trimmed the excess off the longer plant, remeasured to verify they were now all the same length and then put them in a vase.

Okay, so maybe we weren’t that serious. In fact we were hoping to make you smile, but understanding DISC profiles can give you a serious advantage in building stronger, more balanced and effective teams within your company. And remember, no matter what your DISC profile says your behavioral style is… it’s always nice to behave like a good son or daughter on Mother’s Day! :)

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