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Posts Tagged ‘behavioral styles’

Good listening: Listen up! It’s more complex than you knew.

Friday, July 6th, 2012

“Well if you would only listen…” “You never listen to me.” “I told you, but obviously you weren’t listening.”

Ah, listening. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but how often have you heard (or said) complaints like those above? Maybe good listening isn’t so simple after all.

So what makes good listening so complex?

If we look to behavioral styles we can find some clues. Observing behaviors through the lens of DISC helps us see that those who exhibit certain styles are demonstrating patterns that can predict how they listen. Many articles like this one on good listening, “How to be a Good Listener”, frame the advice in terms of modifying the behavior to be more effective.

Let’s look at the core styles in the context of effective listening:

High D‘s are oriented around achieving results, and are not shy about making fast decisions or bringing pressure to bear on a situation. If a conversation does not support the high D’s current agenda then that person may lose interest in the conversation. Being forceful by nature the high D is not hesitant to interrupt or walk away when someone is speaking to them. Their observed behavior prioritizes problem solving over social considerations so unless their D is accompanied by a fairly high I don’t expect the high D to be a patient listener. If you want to keep the high D’s attention make your message short, and to the point. Think bullet points, not back-story.

The high I is typically observed to be talkative, but does a talker make a good listener? Not usually. The high I individual is usually counted among the worst listeners. High I’s tend to seek out a lot of verbal interaction, but their focus tends to be more on the appearance they are making, and their social status rather than paying attention to the content of a conversation. When not the one speaking, the classic high I spends the majority of their time thinking of what they are going to say rather than focusing on and considering what is being said to them. A high I with a low S will be talkative and restless in a conversation – they’ll flit around a cocktail party or networking reception making small talk with everyone, but never sticking around in one conversation long enough to absorb much of the conversation because they’re always spotting someone else they “have to say hello to”.

A low S exacerbates the high I’s weak listening ability, but what kind of a listener is a high S? The high S demonstrates behavior that supports good listening: they tend to avoid confrontation, so they are unlikely to interrupt a speaker; they prefer things to move at a slower, steadier pace, and are reticent to upset the status quo – which means you will seldom see a high S walking away from someone who is in the middle of telling a story (no matter how much that story may go on and on). The high S observes, but doesn’t tend to reveal what they have in mind so their focus tends to be on what the other person is saying rather than emulating the high I’s tendency to be thinking up the next interesting thing to say.

Last but not least we have the high C. If high S’s make the best listeners then high C’s are the second best among the core DISC styles. The high C is process-oriented and attentive to detail. A high C makes use of conversations as a form of information gathering. They are very attentive to details revealed in even a casual discussion and will feel compelled to correct any errors made by the person speaking. These could be errors in facts or grammar, but the net result is that the high C can be perceived as snobby for this behavior. The C applies structure to the act of listening, observing rules of politeness and formality, even parliamentary procedure in a group setting. A high C with a fairly high D may interrupt you, but not because of disinterest, they just may feel they have a more efficient way of harvesting the information in the conversation and may tend to turn a chat into a mild interrogation.

Of course other combinations of DISC behavior scores will reveal more complex listening styles, as well as the individual’s preferences for ways of communicating verbally. A high C will prefer to listen to another high C because of the shared affinity for structured presentation and accurate information. One high I may not be listening to the high I that is speaking to them, but they are together more at ease feeding off of each other’s enthusiasm and energy than that same high I might feel in a discussion with a high S.

Going beyond observable behaviors, values and motivators add more complexity to the art of effective listening. If a listener’s values are similar to those of the speaker, then they will be naturally more interested and likely to listen. If they have opposing values, the listener will have a natural tendency to disregard what the speaker is saying. These tendencies may mitigate or aggravate the listening issues predicted by the behavioral styles of the people in question. Once again we find that the Golden Rule falls a bit short when it comes to communication. The effective communicator doesn’t speak to listeners in the manner that the communicator would like to hear, but rather adapts their communication to the listening style preferences of the audience.

To be a great listener able to traverse conversations with colleagues of multiple behavioral profiles and diverse motivations and values generally requires a high degree of emotional intelligence. The more emotionally mature individual may learn how to overcome poor listening skills by developing more empathy for others, and learning to recognize and adapt their behaviors to better suit the situation. They can then be far more effective at listening than one who has not matured yet and is highly self-centered.

Objective assessments give us the ability to measure all of these factors and can be tremendously valuable in predicting effective listening skills and identifying opportunities to coach individuals in improving this ability. For an example of a well-rounded assessment that can be useful in this manner see this sample report.

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.

Sales and DISC Behavior – It’s Easy to Sell to People Like You

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

(but not necessarily easy to manage them)

As discussed in our previous articles, “Sales Hiring Mistakes” and “Sales: What Makes a Great Salesperson (for You)?“, businesses that can sell well tend to do well – so it is not surprising that there is a lot of interest in making the sales process more predictable. Yet try as they might, salespeople and sales managers are often puzzled as to why some deals seem to go like clockwork while others feel like endless uphill struggles. They blame the market, they blame the people, they look to the 80/20 rule and see that 20% of the people bring in 80% of the profit, but can’t determine how to reliably duplicate the effective ones.

Communication is often the cause at the root of sales successes and failures. The fact is it is generally easier to sell to someone who shares the same communication preferences, that has a similar behavioral style, as you do. Comfortable communication is an important factor in establishing the trust and credibility needed to create a sale. By default we all tend to approach sales communication from the old golden rule “treat others as you would like to be treated,” however that old expression overlooks the idea that “others” may not want to be treated, in behavior or communication, in the way that makes you yourself feel the most comfortable.

DISC opens the door for us to understand that the behaviors or communication modes that feel natural to one person may cause stress to another. With this insight we can amend the golden rule to say “treat others as they wish to be treated” and use this idea to build a better foundation for sales success. Teaching salespeople to recognize their own behavioral styles and those of the clients they interact with gives them the opportunity to adapt to a mode of communication better suited to the client’s need. As the salesperson’s skill in recognizing and adapting to the styles of others increases so will their ability to build trust and credibility in relationships that were previously difficult and puzzling. Although the salesperson’s natural behavioral style will remain their same they will learn when and how to adapt for better results.

Recognizing that people have different natural behavioral styles also helps us understand a mistake that is unfortunately quite commonly made by businesses: they take their best performing salesperson and promote him or her to sales manager. Consider that the track record of the person in question indicates that the behaviors demanded to be a top sales performer are well-aligned with their natural behavioral style. Does a sales manager perform the same behaviors? What would indicate that the roles are interchangeable? As an analogy would a pro football team promote someone to quarterback because they were a great receiver? Not likely – the skills, the reflexes, the behaviors wouldn’t fit.

Let’s examine a scenario from a DISC perspective to further illustrate the point. At Company X the top performing sales people tend to be people skilled at keeping people happy and emotionally vested while driving for quick decisions and buy-in that keep the process moving forward rather than slipping into stasis. Meanwhile the successful sales manager at Company X must assert authority and accountability to the team, following a strictly defined process to assure fairness in hiring, firing, and compensation systems while also tracking the endlessly detailed expense reimbursement process. In the language of DISC that successful sales person is exhibiting high I (Influence) and high D (Dominance) behaviors while the sales manager’s role requires a low I and a high C (Compliance) – essentially opposite attributes. An individual might be able to adjust temporarily to fit the requirements, but quickly the stress and energy drain of maintaining that adjustment so strongly away from the individual’s natural behavioral preferences will cause the situation to either erode or explode. Reverting to natural behaviors the ex-salesperson now manager in question starts to try to make the salespeople she is responsible for as happy as she liked to make the customers she used to interact with, she grows restless handling the details and uncomfortable enforcing the policy and procedures because her C isn’t naturally high. Simply put, the former star receiver ends up being a lousy quarterback through no fault of her own.

At Data Dome we specialize in using the science of DISC behavioral analysis to unlock the keys to better performance, improved team dynamics and creating the best fits for your organization to thrive. Contact us to find out more about training and tools that can improve sales performance while helping you understand the success criteria for different roles in your organization.

Retaining Key Personnel: Understanding The Risk of Boredom

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Keeping your top performers, those key employees that really help keep your organization moving, is an item that is always near the top of any executive’s priority list. Yet the workplace is always subject to change and sometimes yesterday’s motivated MVP can become today’s flight risk.

Shifting circumstances in the work environment can force changes in the default DISC behaviors of your people. This can lead the employee to experience one or more of these four states:

1) Frustration – the individual feels thwarted by the change, unable to act in a preferred manner or feeling that the opportunity to be successful has been sabotaged.

2) Elevated energy expenditure – the shift in the work environment has pushed the individual to adapt away from her natural DISC behavioral style to a new profile of behavior, this requires energy to sustain and can be draining if required for an extended duration.

3) Stress – change brings uncertainty, disruption of the status quo, this can provoke a stressed emotional state that can be expressed in multiple ways such as anger, fear, agitation, impatience, withdrawal, etc.

4) Boredom – change can shift an individual into a state of weariness and restlessness due to lack of interest.

Of the four, the last one, boredom, is the one to watch. It may sound relatively innocuous – certainly stress gets more attention than boredom due to the linkage of stress and health issues – however, it is boredom that is in fact the least tolerable state of the four. It can be a greater indicator that an employee is about to quit or otherwise change their situation than the other three change reactions mentioned above.

Consider for a moment, how well do you personally tolerate boredom? How would you react if confronted on a daily basis with lengthy periods of tedium? Most dynamic leaders squirm at the mere thought of enduring a boring meeting, let alone an extended work session. Many leaders, although not all, have a high score in the D column of a DISC profile indicating a behavioral bias towards action. They feel boredom is a harbinger of wasted time, inefficiency and a lack of productivity and they will do anything to personally avoid it. When boredom seems inescapable the individual will take action to shift the situation, that action is all too often announced with the phrase “I quit!”

Every day talented individuals quit tasks, projects, teams, and, yes, even their jobs because of boredom. The turnover and loss of knowledge and experience is incredibly costly for organizations and much of it could be avoided with timely intervention. But how do you know when someone is bored? It is easy for you to know when you, yourself, are bored, but it isn’t always easy to outwardly observe when someone else is bored. This is an area where DISC profiles can be a valuable tool not just during the hiring process, but in the ongoing development and retention of your staff. Using DISC assessments as part of a routine employee development process allows DISC styles to be tracked over time. When anomalous shifts in behavior profiles occur they will be recognized and may provide the critical insight needed to rescue an employee who is sliding down the funnel of boredom toward the door marked exit.

In the DISC vocabulary S stands for steadiness – If in our tracking we see a strong increase in an individual’s score in the S column it is often an indicator of entrenched boredom. They may shift from a low S dynamic style to a non-demonstrative high S style indicating that the individual may not have enough to do, or may require more variety of tasks. The individual may have grown in skills and is no longer sufficiently challenged by the current activity or they may have been moved into a role that runs contrary to their behavioral profile. For example take the DISC style of a high D person who is used to driving activity in pioneering ways and putting them in a role where they have large amounts of tedious “busy work” and no options to change things or delegate the activity – we’ll see the unchanging grind lead to boredom that is expressed as an elevation in the S column. It is in this state when they feel boredom is inescapable within the situation that they start directing energy toward getting out of the situation.

Without regularly administering DISC behavioral assessments, the bored amongst your key personnel can remain a hidden, yet “at risk”, population in the work force. I’ve compared my observations from teaching in management and leadership development classes, with those of other faculty in management programs; we concur that boredom is a prime motivation for a large number of the participants enrolled in such courses. We estimate that 45 – 60% of those paying for additional education around their current working situation are doing so because they are bored in their current position and are intending to use the educational opportunity to change their current situation. Doing whatever it takes to make a change.

In summary, to keep your top performers keep them interested. To keep them interested recognize when they’re bored. DISC assessments, if used properly, can provide the objective data to help you identify when your best employee is about to yawn their way out the door.

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 and Motivators: Keys to Competence

Friday, September 24th, 2010

In a recent post by John G. Agno for Coaching Tip: The Leadership Blog some interesting, survey results are brought to light indicating that an alarming 33% of employees consider their managers to be incompetent. The article goes on to suggest that communication problems and recession-induced organizational changes may have much to do with the very high incompetence rating.

Agno seems to be on the right track. Communication is an essential managerial skill, but what is often overlooked are the DISC behavioral underpinnings that can make all the difference between a distrustful and unhealthy communication culture and one where information flows freely, encouraging trust and a sense of inclusion around the office.

Relationship dynamics within the workplace can be impacted by conflicting motivations and communication that isn’t adapted to the diversity of DISC behavioral styles amongst the staff. When a worker doesn’t understand a manager’s motivation or is expected to digest information that runs counter to the worker’s DISC style then the worker may come to a conclusion that the manager is in fact incompetent.

For example, let’s say the manager is a high C who is operating with strong Utilitarian/Economic motivators and the employee is a high D with strong Individualistic/Political motivators. The manager may announce a cutback based on a cut and dry procedural determination – profits are down, so cut costs – while the high D employee is focused on the goals set forth for the department and has a hard time seeing how they can be achieved with less staff. Without adapting communication that reconciles these points of view and behavioral biases it’s easy to see how a conflict could arise. The high C boss could take the high D employees natural resistance to the cutback as a disregard and disrespect of procedural authority and even a naivety in the face to the dollar and cents facts of the situation. The employee in turn could see the manager’s action as callous in difficult times and sabotaging of the ability to reach important objectives.

So how might this go differently? If the manager above were a more skillful communicator and was armed with the kind of knowledge that assessments can provide about employees she could have adapted her style to better communicate with her employee – putting the platinum rule in action. Tools like DISC assessments would have uncovered the manager and worker’s DISC styles and a tool like Motivation Insights could have revealed how each rated the six value categories in the spectrum of Workplace Motivators. The manager could have made the employee more involved in the decision and discussed how the best way to help most of the employees was by pursuing the overall goal of keeping the business alive – a goal which necessitated the cutback. The two could then move to a more productive conversation of how to adjust strategy and tactics under the changed circumstances. The improved communication changes the employee’s perception of the manager as an incompetent, uncaring, dictator who ignores business objectives into a new appraisal as a competent leader willing to make tough decisions for the overall good of the many.

We’ve discussed here how the same decision communicated differently could change the perception of competence. Adapting communication based on an understanding of workplace motivators, values, and DISC behavioral styles can go a long way toward improving office morale and trust within the company culture.

World According To DISC: Ellen the I

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Last week the entertainment industry was surprised by the announcement that Ellen DeGeneres was leaving American Idol after being part of just one season on the highly popular show. So what’s behind this move? Well if we look at it from the vantage point of the World According to DISC it becomes clear that we are seeing some classic High I behavior:

DeGeneres was quoted in Variety as saying, “I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting, and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings.” This is a common sentiment for those whose DISC assessment reveals a high measure in the Influence (or simply, “I“) category. High I‘s tend to avoid social rejection – they don’t like to make people feel uncomfortable nor do they like to feel socially uncomfortable themselves. Some of the negative attitudes and harshness associated with the show’s critiques would cause stress for someone with an I-oriented DISC profile as Ellen appears to display.

In the same article Ellen DeGeneres is also quoted on how she left things with the show’s producers, “I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next.” Again this fits right into familiar High I territory – there is a strong impulse for the High DISC style to avoid being seen as “the bad guy,” they would prefer to part on good terms and do what they can to ensure that they will continue to be well thought of even in a situation such as quitting.

It is not hard to glance at our DISC adjective chart to see words under the “I” column that are commonly associated with Ellen, such as: gregarious, pleaser, warm, enthusiastic and magnetic. However, much as we would love to have Ellen DeGeneres visit Data Dome and take one of our DISC assessments, these World According To DISC observations made here are based solely on her general media presence and some of her quotes in the entertainment press.

Behavioral Style Analysis – The Parent Trap – Part 2: The Parents

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Last post we discussed how behavioral style analysis is an instinctive part of parenting – at least the observational skill, if not the vocabulary and structure. In the discussion we mentioned that the parent’s own behavior profile can indicate a tendency to “side” with one child over another if that child’s communication preferences are driven by a similar behavior style as the parent’s style. It is important to realize that behaviors are not necessarily inherited. Just because Mom is a High D, doesn’t mean that her kids will share that behavioral emphasis.

A parent’s style might match one child, but not another. On the one hand this similarity might make for a strong bond of empathy with the one child, but on the other hand could lead to behavior-based communication problems with the other. Stress will induce different communication issues among people with differing DISC profiles, regardless of whether the relationship is between parent and child, siblings, or among co-workers.

What if the parent’s DISC behavior differs from all the children? Imagine a High C father with a High D daughter and one son who is a high S and another who is a high I. The father values credibility, procedures and attention to detail, the daughter is bold and authoritative, one son is gregarious and demonstrative, the other is passive, but resistant to change. So what happens when each of these kids breaks their curfew? The father is irate because of the disobedience and disrespect for established rules, He’s perhaps overly critical of the excuses: well not in the daughter’s case because as a High D she offers no excuses – simply states what her objectives in staying out late were and has difficulty understanding why they are an issue. The High I son stayed out late to curry favor with his friends, he’s extremely apologetic and willing to make amends with his father, because that’s who he is in front of right now, but he is likely to bend to the peer pressure again should the occasion arise. The High S son on the other hand probably only stayed out past curfew because of some unusual stress or necessity – it’s not in his nature to break routine – his father’s frustration is only compounding an already distressed state.

Of course this is a hypothetical scenario, but the point is that for all of us, behavioral patterns can lead to very different perspectives on a given situation. Parents that are aware of this can provide guidance that is aligned with the child’s behavior instead of carrying an expectation based on the parent’s own DISC profile. By recognizing the daughter’s competitiveness and boldness, the one son’s political behavior, and the other’s tendency to be non-demonstrative, he will be on the path to attaining the insight to temper his initial over-critical response with one adapted to each child’s individual DISC style.

Behavioral Style Analysis – The Parent Trap

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Often when I give lectures or training classes I’ll ask the parents in the room, “for those of you with more than one kid, at what age did you realize they didn’t act the same?” Usually they laugh and say they realized in the first few months, some even say they noticed the difference before the younger child was even born. I tell them, “see… you’re already practitioners of behavioral style observation.”

If you’re a parent it’s only natural, you’re going to become out of necessity a keen observer of your children’s behavior. Day after day of close inspection and interaction are bound to define your reflexes based on behavioral expectations: you figure out that your daughter is very detail-oriented in the way she carefully arranges her doll collection, or you note that your youngest son always seems to be directing his friends as to which game they’re going to play today. Or another parent realizes that his daughter always wants the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every day, while his son never cares because he always swaps his lunch because he seems to be friends with every kid in school. Mothers and fathers get to put in lots of hours observing and comparing, but what they may not have is the vocabulary to identify that the girl with the super-organized dolls is a high C, the boy who is setting the playtime goals is a high D, the girl who likes to stick to the same routine for lunch everyday is a high S, or that the boy who knows every kid in school is a high I. Yet vocabulary aside, the parents clearly understand the differences that each child expresses through his or her actions, but without the blueprint of a structured approach to understanding behavior as provided by DISC profiles, they are in a disadvantaged position when handling collisions of behavioral style.

When the High I boy with tons of friends takes his sister’s PB&J sandwich to trade with his buddy who said he likes peanut butter, he’s just following his impulsive behavioral pattern of trying to please and influence, not realizing that he may be creating an avalanche of stress for his sister, the High S, who is now very distraught to have the reassuring stability of her expected sandwich being unexpectedly replaced by her brother’s turkey on wheat. Further, if the parent is unaware of his or her own behavioral style they may fall into a biased reaction to the incident. If the mother is also a High I, she might be led by her behavioral disposition to take the son’s side, while the High S father might see the issue as stress-inducing his daughter does.

The parental dilemma grows as the kids get older and are exposed to an increasing number of influences and experiences that are outside of the parent’s sphere of observation. Expectations set by past patterns of behavior may be jarringly disrupted by the emergence of behavioral shifts so often seen during the teen years. Here again, the trained DISC behaviorist has an advantage in deciphering the puzzle of disruption due to inconsistent behavior. Proper DISC profiling examines and charts both natural and adapted behavioral profiles – shifting environments and peer dynamics are as likely to cause behavioral adaptations as any stressful office – understanding modifications of behavior and the gap between natural and adapted styles can give the experienced behavioral strategist data points for understanding that a typical parent wouldn’t have at their disposal.

On the other hand teenagers are just weird :)

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