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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.

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