Storming Through Life …

February Sunday Morning 6Recently, on a very interesting LinkedIn group for folks who like and use the DiSC profile, Paula Switzer asked a very interesting question:

“How would each of the DiSC styles handle being cooped up in the house after a major snowstorm?

This question may have been inspired by the snow storm then sweeping the county.

At any rate, I had great fun responding and want to share my thoughts, with tongue somewhat in cheek, on how these four primary behavioral preferences work out when the snow is flying. 

I have included a very terse description of each preference for reference, in case you have been stuck on a desert isle somewhere and are not familiar with the DiSC model … and yes, the colors do matter.

DOMINATING: Results, results, results that I desire … the rest is mere detail …

The D … would not allow themselves to be constrained by weather. They would be at work, whatever the weather, or monopolizing Internet access. In either case, they would be noting who is taking advantage of the snow day for future reference. Nothing would stop or slow down the wheels of progress toward their goals … not for long anyway.

INFLUENCING: Enthusiasm plus people equals action … and a party!

The I … would create the largest snowball fight in the history of the block, followed by prodigious amounts of hot chocolate and brownies (or Girl Scout cookies, in a pinch), creating and sharing of playlists of great winter wonderland films and tunes, capped off by a very large and very innocent sleep-over involving most of the neighborhood.

SUPPORTING:  Dependable and sincere supportive relationships are the key …

The S … would wear themselves out shoveling walks and driveways for others, checking on anyone who is not visibly moving about, and sharing their food and beverage supplies with all. Then they would settle in for a long, quiet, and very intimate conversation in front of the fireplace with whoever was around. After that, a good book and off to sleep.

CONSCIENTIOUS:  Quality comes from competence application of proven measures …

The C … measuring snow depth, temperature ranges, monitoring all channels for additional forecasts and emergency information. Making spreadsheets of the data and publishing hourly updates through print and electronic media. Noting which people have not yet shoveled their driveways and notifying whoever the authorities are, if it does not happen to already be themselves. Analyzing expenditures of supplies and estimating survival chances.

Of course, this is really not about snowstorms … I know we all sit around drinking hot chocolate or a hot toddy, while watching all the stuff stacked up on our TIVO when the snows piles up outside.

However, consider the general form of the behavior above.  You will see it in work situations every single day, if you are paying attention.

Of course, identifying the general styles of behavior and all the variations caused by our unique combinations of the styles is just the start …   

Once you understand the differences, you have to analyze how your preferred behavior affects others and learn how to modify both your own and your expectations for the behavior of others.  

But that’s a post for the next snowy day …

If you are a DiSC person or just want to learn more, I can recommend Paula Switzer, who regularly helps professionals “Go Deep With DiSC”, her online certification course.   In spite of extensive prior experience with one or another version of this tool, I learned a significant amount and enjoyed the course thoroughly.

Just waiting for another snow storm to check my assumptions about people behavior in the Heartland ….



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