DISC Personalities and Personality Flexing

The key to unlocking the value of the DISC test is to use it in ‘personality flexing.’  While most of us are score as ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ in two categories (at least), almost everyone scores ‘weak’ to ‘moderate’ in two categories as well.

Learning to function in those personality dimensions will help you become a much more effective at coaching people and communicating at work and at home.

This article will show you how to start personality flexing.

If you haven’t yet written the DISC Personalities assessment, you can do it for free, complete with a downloadable booklet, here:

DISC Personalities™ Assessment

The DISC test helps you understand yourself

The DISC test is used to help you understand yourself.  That’s a really valuable use of the tool.  You’ll find out what you’re good at and what you need to improve in.  It helps you discover where you should be spending the bulk of your time, and which tasks you should be avoiding.

However, it’s often misused.  You’ll hear people who understand their DISC profile still say:

  • Sorry, I’m an ‘S,’ I don’t do conflict
  • I know you feel offended, but this needs to get done and I’m a ‘D’ so live with it
  • Oh, I’m golfing. Forgot about that meeting, but after all, I’m an ‘I’ so what do you expect?
  • You may feel like I’m too picky, and you might think I’m a micromanager, but I’m a ‘C’ and it has to be done perfectly

This is the biggest and most common misuse of the DISC personalities test.

People use the DISC Personalities test to excuse their bad behavior.  Not cool.

The primary purpose of the DISC Personalities test is to be effective with others

Fine, you know yourself.  You know what you’re good at and bad at.  You read your results to your spouse of friends and they nod knowingly.  It’s accurate.

But, the primary purpose of the DISC test is to help you be effective with others.  We already know that you’re good at ‘speaking’ in your primary language.  If you’re:

  • Dominant, you speak in terms of goals and accomplishment
  • Inspiring, you care about ideas and persuasion
  • Supportive, you care about interpersonal harmony with others
  • Conscientious, you care about accuracy and detail

But are you getting better at speaking the language of other people?  That’s the point of DISC; how can I be more effective when communicating with others?

Everyone has some of each personality dimension

While you might say, “Sorry, I’m not a ‘C,’ I don’t do detail.”  That’s not actually true or accurate.  You may be lower in the Conscientious dimension, but you do have some of it.  Everyone has some of every personality type.

While you have each of the four types in varying degrees, you’ve got some of all of them.

Ideally, you want to spend most of your time working in your areas of strength, but you do have some of each dimension of personality.

The saying goes: Work on, not in your area of weakness.

You must learn to flex into your weak areas

Here’s the key skill.  Getting better at responses that you’re not naturally inclined to give is what makes you a better communicator.

So, if you’re dealing with a:

  • D, don’t waste their time. Talk about goals and accomplishment
  • I, let them talk. Let them discuss ideas that they are captured by
  • S, get to know them. Build trust and you’ll be instantly more effective with them
  • C, be sure to get the detail right. Do a good job, thoroughly and well

Once you start to access the dimensions of personality that you score lower in, you will gain credibility with others, earn respect of people you’ve clashed with in the past, and see your effectiveness as a leader soar.

In summary:

The DISC personality tool is a really valuable self-assessment that helps you communicate better with others, and helps you understand yourself too.  But that’s not the primary purpose of the DISC personalities test.  The primary purpose is to learn personality flexing, and discover how to communicate better with other people.

The DISC test helps you understand yourself

The primary purpose of fhe DISC test is to be effective with others

Everyone has some of each personality dimension

You must learn to flex into your weak areas

Man in Library

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at www.professionalleadershipinstitute.com https://www.professionalleadershipinstitute.com/

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068

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