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Posts Tagged ‘DISC Assessments’

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.

Re-Podcast – DISC Assessment Expert Visits Personal Branding Show

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Originally broadcast on July 26, 2010 – Our very own DISC Behavioral Expert and founder of Data Dome, Arthur Schoeck, was interviewed by personal branding maven David Cohen for the Internet radio program “Be a Beacon: Personal Branding with David Cohen.” The 35 minute discussion covers topics ranging from establishing yourself as an authority in your field to how DISC profiles and assessments designed to measure values and motivation can be helpful in understanding your personal strengths and weaknesses, an essential foundation for establishing your personal brand.

Schoeck and Cohen also discussed how DISC profiles and motivational assessments can provide insights into preferred communication styles – valuable information for aligning your intentions with the reputation that you are building with each interpersonal interaction.


DISC Profile Expert Arthur Schoeck interviewed by David Cohen – Download mp3


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.

The World According to Kettle Corn

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

It’s festival season in Atlanta and over the weekend I indulged in one of my favorite treats of the outdoor food court: kettle corn. There is just something about fresh kettle corn that is magically addictive. The sweet and the salty playing off of each other in that perfect crunch. It’s not just one flavor, it is the balance of two strong notes that make the kettle corn such a sweet and savory symphony. It sort of reminds me of DISC.

DISC? What does DISC have to do with kettle corn? When we talk about DISC it is often our habit to explain things in the simplest term. We isolate each of the behavioral categories, the D, the I, the S and the C, and discuss each as if they existed in a vacuum as a shorthand for revealing the attributes and adjectives associated with each behavioral measure. It is often a necessary conceit as time and available space seldom allow for an article or chart to go into an analysis of every possible permutation and gradation in the DISC spectrum. Even when we’ve discussed the low-end of DISC scores (The Low Side of Stress Styles) we’ve simplified the discussion by treating each of the four categories as if they were the only one reflecting the behavior of an individual. However, just like kettle corn, real people are seldom just one flavor.

In the past we’ve discussed the importance of understanding your low scores as well as your highs (DISC: Get to know your low). It is also important to not just focus on your most dominant score (the one furthest from “the line” whether that is above or below), but also pay attention to what’s revealed in all four categories. It is not unusual for an assessment to reveal that not just one, but two or more areas are significant in understanding a complete behavioral profile.

What’s the salty to your sweet? Are you a high I with an almost as high S or high D + low I? If you want to get the full crunch out of your assessment it pays to understand the interplay of all the behavioral flavors. Now pass the kettle corn – I’m hungry for more! 🙂

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.

The World According to DISC: The Low Side of Stress Styles

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Sometimes around the office we find that people are “reaching their limit” or “at the breaking point”, but we don’t know why or how things got so out of control. Understanding the impact of various situations and how they relate to differing behavioral styles can help you to better understand your coworkers and perhaps recognize and avoid repeating patterns that in the past were inadvertently causing stress levels to rise.

Previously, as part of our “World According to DISC” series we discussed ways in which one can “stress out” a classic High D, High I, High S and High C (The World According to DISC™: How We Stress Someone Out in Style). But what if someone’s most telling category is one in which they score significantly low instead of high?

How to stress out a Low D:
Tell them that they have to “step up and take the reins”. Put them in charge of a team. Let them know that everyone is counting on them to the lead the way.

How to stress out a Low I:
Ask them to cheer up a co-worker or plan an office party. Give them a big enthusiastic pep talk. Give them projects that involve lots of team interaction. Ask them to drum up enthusiasm for a new initiative among the staff.

How to stress out a Low S:
Force them to work a highly repetitive task. Ask them to work a rigid checklist of activity. Make them wait for extended periods. Demand multiple layers of process and approval for very action.

How to stress out a Low C:
Put them on a quality initiative. Tell them that every fact must be rigorously checked and documented. Ask them to provide detailed annotations. Request that they adhere strictly to the facts and avoid injecting opinion.

Behave Responsibly
We certainly don’t advocate setting out to “stress out” your coworkers, but what we hope is that you will find these examples helpful in recognizing that sometimes, without meaning to, we can say or suggest the wrong thing in the wrong way and end up adding significantly to our coworker’s stress levels.

DISC profiles are powerful allies in learning how to adjust your communication and management style to meet the needs of your employees. Without taking the time to learn the styles and how best to communicate to each, it is too easy to find yourself bringing anxiety and stress when you thought you were bringing solutions.

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