Understanding personality styles

The elevator doors are about to close on an eager rider who is trying to get onto the elevator. Four people are already inside the elevator. One of the people is in a hurry and does not want to wait. There is also a bubbly, energetic passenger who holds the door open whilst greeting the newcomer. A third rider is happy either way and smiles, waiting patiently. The final passenger is concerned as he calculates to see if the lift can handle the weight of another passenger. While not perfectly scientific, this scenario illustrates the following personality styles:

D – The dominant, outgoing, task-oriented person who is focused on getting somewhere fast.
I – The influencing, outgoing, people-oriented person who is energized by all interaction.
S – The steady, reserved, people-oriented person who reacts calmly and tries to get along regardless.
C – The conscientious, task-oriented person who wants to make sure that the added person does not exceed the weight limit.

As you can see there are four different people who responded to the same event in four different ways. Who are you?

A modern interpretation of Dr. William Marston’s behavioral dimensions, DISC uncovers four quadrants which examine the behaviour of individuals in their environment or within a specific situation.

  The key is to recognise and be aware of your own behavioural preferences and of those around you – starting with your family, to your staff, existing clients or customers, or those you want to do business with.

Improve your business communication

Fact is that people like people who are like themselves. Therefore, and for example, if you want to do business with somebody who is not like you it is likely that you will struggle to get them on board unless you adjust your style to match the other person. For example, if you are someone who is very driven, task-oriented and focused on getting things done, it is likely that your e-mails will be very compact and direct. Perhaps you have a tendency using bullet points? However, somebody who is naturally wired to be detail-oriented and cautious will not appreciate your approach as you would not have given them enough detail and may have come across as rude and pushy.

Hire the right people by understanding their natural behavioral preference

If you hire someone whose natural behavioural preference does not reflect the main requirements of the job, the person may struggle to keep up with your expectations. For example, you may find it a good idea to recruit a sales manager who is friendly, people oriented and likes to talk. However, did you know that this personality style’s greatest fear is the fear of rejection and the loss of popularity? Again, the key is awareness. Once you are aware of the relevant personality traits you may want to explore how that particular person will close the deal and how they will deal with rejection.

Although we can all adjust our behaviour to do all jobs, there is less effort, more fluidity and a greater performance when people do the jobs which are in line with their brain’s natural wiring. If people are in the right jobs, they don’t need to consistently exert extra effort to adjust to a certain task. As a result, the brain saves energy which it can use more productively doing those tasks it is naturally wired to do. Increased performance, productivity and a sense of real contribution and happiness at work follow.

To find out more go to www.apower3-coaching.com/personality-profiling

Sonja Kirschner

Sonja Kirschner

Sonja Kirschner MA

Sonja Kirschner MA is the founder of APOWER 3 – Confidence Coaching, Resilience Building & Mind Freedom®. She is an accredited coach and is passionate about empowering women leaders.