What do you know about your behaviour style?

Tonight I ran three workshops at my local school for A’ Level students and their parents at the Career Fair.

I did a whistlestop tour through the DISC behaviour profile tool. It’s a fun workshop to run and gives people insight into their behaviour and that of others. It’s a tool that I use with all my coaching clients and it’s also part of the offering on my Get Back to Work with Confidence workshop.

I start by asking the group to think about whether they are outgoing or reserved and ask the “outgoing” group to move to one side of the room, and the “reserved” group to move to the other. I then ask them to think about whether they are more task focussed or people focussed. Do they want to get the job done? Are they more interested in the people aspect.

I then share how if you are outgoing and task focussed, this equates to the D of DISC. Ds are determined, dominant, decisive, motivated by challenges, appear to be direct and self-assured, and tend to focus on results. They don’t want to appear vulnerable or being taken advantage of.

If you are outgoing and people focussed, this is the I of DISC. Is are influencers, inspiring, impulsive, independent, they prioritise people and communication, are motivated by social recognition, feel restricted by too many rules and regulations, are persuasive, enthusiastic, and optimistic. They fear rejection.

S style are reserved and people focussed. They prioritise people and collaboration. Ss are steadfast, systematic, supportive, tend not to panic in a crisis, can be predictable. They are motivated by stability and status quo and don’t really like change, especially unplanned change.

Cs are reserved and task focussed. They are cautious, conservative, compliant, creative thinkers (problem-solvers), conscientious. They prioritise accuracy. They like to deal with facts, good with detail. They hate unjustified criticism.

All of us have a preferred behaviour style – typically we have two and possibly three more dominant styles. For example, I am a strong C and D. I am conscientious, I value knowledge and expertise, I am an action taker and like to get things done but I want them to be done properly.

Once I have split the group into smaller groups, I give each group a collection of celebrities and ask them to discuss in their smaller group which behaviour style seems most suited to that celebrity. I was working with teenagers tonight and realised I would need to bring my collection of celebrities up-to-date, so well as strong public personalities such as Richard Branson, Gandhi, John McEnroe, Margaret Thatcher and Henry VIII, I introduce some new ones: Simon Cowell, Lady Gaga, and various members of the Simpsons.

It’s fascinating to watch the groups work. The Ds are quick, decisive and always finish first. The Cs take their time and want to get it exactly right. The Is – well they talk a lot and often forget about the task in hand! While the Ss worry about getting in the way and take it more steadily.

Understanding our own behaviour style is so valuable – it helps us to communicate better, but more importantly if you have an appreciation of the different behaviour styles, you can see why different styles might clash. This can then give you the confidence to deal with the situation appropriately. For example Ds and Cs are likely to want to get to the point. Cs are likely to add in much more detail. Whereas the Is may well give you a long story before the Ds will jump in and ask them to “just get to the point”. So when you notice you are always getting annoyed by a particular work colleague or somebody on the PTA or even your partner or neighbour, perhaps you are experiencing a clash of behaviour styles, in which modifying the way you communicate could well resolve the issue for you.

If you want to find out more, drop me a line or give me a call.


8 thoughts on “What do you know about your behaviour style?

  1. You’re so spot on with this. Finding out what people’s personalities and behaviours are like are crucial for relationships to work. Maybe we should do this before dating?! Very useful and something we should all bear in mind.


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