>>PRODUCTIVITY – (March 2020) – Whether you are a business leader, government official, mentor, teacher, spouse or parent, the common denominator in any relationship is people. We must learn to relate, interact and connect with others and rely on them to fulfill our roles and purposes in life.
The Carnegie Foundation released a study revealing that 85% of a person’s success in life is based on his or her ability to relate well with others. When we accept another person’s perspective in order to build healthy relationships or establish mutual trust, we’re more likely to encounter success. That’s possible when we understand the priorities and patterns of other people, when we develop the right attitude toward them, and when we show we value them.
Having a common language we can use to discuss our needs, motivators and communication styles empowers us to do just that. The DiSC models of behavior, illustrated by the DiSC assessment, provide a starting point for you to better understand others and the chance to reflect on your own personality and work style. Based on a series of questions in the assessment, you can determine which combination of the four DiSC personality types applies most to you: dominance, influence, steadiness or conscientiousness.
These types can explain whether someone works best alone or with others, on one task at a time or several, quickly or slowly. When awareness of this information is enhanced, understanding and communication become that much clearer, thereby accelerating execution.
People-Oriented vs. Task-Oriented
The DiSC personalities can be divided into two priority types: those that are “task-oriented” and those that are “people-oriented.”
Those who are task-oriented, the D and C types, are driven by results, actions and to-do lists. They develop trust and respect for others based on accountability and the results of their work. They are direct, determined, focused and proactive. Those who are task-oriented may find it helpful to go out of their way — and their comfort zone — to ask others how they are and get to know those they work with. While it may not be directly related to the task at hand, it may be exactly the kind of interaction those who are more “people-oriented” need to do their best work and feel valued.
Those who are people-oriented, the I and S types, are driven by relationships, interactions and harmony. They are focused on the feelings of others. They develop trust and respect for others based on demeanor and consideration for others in their workplace. They are optimistic, energetic, loyal and supportive. In order to keep that harmony they value so much, those who are people-oriented should be sure to check in once in while with themselves to be sure they are not overcommitting or stretching themselves too thin in order to appear more amiable. Taking on tasks they can complete, being honest about expectations and focusing on the truth as much as they focus on feelings can make their interactions with task-oriented people much more rewarding.
Outgoing vs. Reserved
The DiSC types work at two different paces: outgoing and reserved. Outgoing individuals, the D and I types, are fast-paced, talkative, quick to respond and animated. Those who don’t share this trait may read this as aggressive or even reckless, but they are often just excited about a project or idea and want to engage others with it.
Reserved personality types, the C and S types, are more reflective, take more time to process information, speak more quietly and may seem more guarded. To others they may seem too cautious or inactive when they are weighing the pros, cons and possible outcomes of a situation.
These two types can greatly complement each other with careful attention to communication. Outgoing individuals can benefit from slowing down a bit to look at the details of something, while those who are reserved may find that those who are more outgoing can provide much-needed motivation to take action.
Accept and Embrace
Whether it be through nature or nurture, we all have different ways of approaching a situation and conducting ourselves in the world. None of these viewpoints is right or wrong. They are just different, and those differences can be an incredible asset to a team when everyone takes the time to understand and acknowledge them. Through curiosity, understanding and trust, your team can listen, learn and work together more effectively. At the end of the day, it’s important to get things accomplished, but it is twice as important to build healthy relationships in the process.
Bill ‘Roto’ Reuter served for nearly 30 years in the U.S. Navy as a test pilot and as commander for its premier training and development organization. He is now the president of R-Squared Solutions, where he and his team facilitate dynamic workshops that empower organizations to reach greater success. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.