In today’s DiSC® lesson, we’ll share “A Day in the Life of a C (Conscientious)”. For simplicity, let’s call our C style Charlie.
My goal here is to show you how to apply DiSC® wherever you are. Use of DiSC® is about choice and intention. For example, I can go around all day being a D, leaving other styles in my wake by not choosing to use DiSC® and not being intentional. Once you make the choice, it implies an intention to prepare for mutual communication success. Here is a quick review of a couple points before we start our “Day in the Life of a C.”
The first are the Cornerstone Principles that we have discussed before:
- All DiSC® styles are equally valuable
- Everyone is a unique blend of all DiSC® styles
- Your unique style is also influenced by other factors such as life experiences, education, and maturity
Second is the Basic DiSC® Styles Model. A person’s DiSC® style is decided by the intersection of two dimensions of observable behaviors (body language, tone of voice and expression, and word choice). The first dimension is known as outward activity level (or PACE) described as either “Fast-paced & Outspoken” OR “Cautious & Reflective.”
The second dimension is known as your agreeableness quotient. This means those who are “less agreeable” place a lower PRIORITY (concern) for cooperation and social harmony and we refer to them as “Questioning & Skeptical” on the left end of this dimension. Those who are “more agreeable” place a higher PRIORITY on cooperation and social harmony and we refer to them as “Accepting & Warm” on the right end of this dimension.
**It is the interaction between these TWO continua which forms the 4 quadrants (or basic styles) of the DiSC® model and by which you identify a person’s DiSC® style.**
Our person today – Charlie – took the DiSC® assessment which shows Questioning & Skeptical with Cautious & Reflective, making him a C (Conscientious) style. We see his descriptors inside of the dashed outline in the C quadrant.
I want to start with a definition of Conscientious that we are likely familiar with. Oxford defines Conscientious as: (of a person) wishing to do what is right, especially to do one's work or duty well and thoroughly.
I’d say that’s a pretty good starting point from our daily lives. And for other words that may appeal to you, we go to the thesaurus:
With that basic definition, we can now look at the DiSC and see what other details emerge for a Conscientious style
Let’s expand on what we know about Charlie as a Conscientious style from his DiSC® 20-page assessment results. We know he has a cautious / reflective PACE with a questioning / skeptical AGREEABLENESS quotient. His other characteristics include:
- Priorities: ensure accuracy, maintain stability, challenge assumptions
- Motivated by: using expertise, gaining knowledge, attention to quality/systems/standards, independent work
- Fears: criticism, slipshod methods, being wrong
- Visible traits: precision, analysis, skepticism, reserved, quiet
- Limitations: overly critical, tendency to overanalyze, isolates self
- Motto: Do It Right
Charlie can get stressed by having little private time, dealing with chaos or conflict, & interacting with emotional or erratic people. Now we have a pretty good description of our Charlie as he starts his day with other DiSC styles.
Let’s see how Charlie applies this model throughout his day. Charlie’s first interaction of the day is a phone call with Dawn, Manufacturing Supervisor at one of Charlie’s customer companies. They are discussing a staffing need. The two have never met, and Dawn is hoping Charlie might have a recommendation for her employee need.
Dawn says, “To tell you the truth, the last guy we had in here just couldn't get the job done. I want someone who can just take things and run with them. I don't have time to mess around with this stuff. I need to know that we'll have a pretty quick turnaround, so when we need something, we'll have it right there.”
Charlie thinks to himself, “Dawn is fast-paced and outspoken. She asks for quick turnaround and is straightforward about her expectations. In addition, she is questioning and skeptical, as evidenced by her forceful demeanor and her no-nonsense attitude.”
Charlie begins to track what he is observing on the phone call (tone of voice, expression, and word choice) and determines that Dawn’s style is D or Dominant. Now, Charlie can understand and track to Dawn’s firm, strong-willed, forceful behavior.
Charlie recalls the model which now shows him the following:
- He & Dawn differ in their PACE, however, they share
- Agreeableness of Questioning & Skeptical.
- As the C, Charlie is about ensuring accuracy, maintaining stability, challenging assumptions. The C motto is “Do It Right.”
- As the D, Dawn is about having forward momentum and variety. Dawn likes to “get things out the door quickly.” The D motto is “Do It Now.”
A C interacting with a D requires a little “stretch.” Charlie tends to be calmer and more careful and may not appreciate when Dawn pushes insistently for results. Charlie’s preference for a consistent, accurate work environment needs to be considered in order to collaborate with Dawn. Charlie remembers from the webinar that if he needs to be more effective with a D style, he should consider:
- Talking to Dawn about the big picture and the bottom line, rather than getting caught up in the details
- Show Dawn that he can move more quickly when necessary
- Charlie can voice his concerns, but avoid pointing out why every idea won’t work
Armed with this DiSC® knowledge, Charlie is much better able to understand Dawn’s concerns and move toward processing a solution.
Charlie’s next interaction is with a new adjunct faculty where he teaches part-time – Isaac – whom he met at today’s faculty presentations. Isaac teaches a class similar to Charlie’s. Isaac boldly went up to Charlie after his presentation and said, “Wow, people were really impressed and it got me thinking. Would you be willing to come to my class and do that same talk for my students? I’m sure they’d love it, and it would be fantastic to have you in there and get a demonstration of your teaching style.”
Charlie is a bit busy, and the invitation couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just then, Charlie remembers the Basic DiSC® Styles Model and notes that Isaac is fast-paced, enthusiastic, and accepting. He is positive and focuses on people and feelings. To Charlie, this identifies Isaac as an i or Influence style.
So, Charlie also knows the following: He & Isaac share neither PACE, NOR AGREEABLENESS. We know Charlie’s style from the previous interaction with Dawn.
To Charlie, Isaac seems charming, enthusiastic, social, optimistic, maybe a little bit scattered, and talkative. The i prioritizes enthusiasm and thrives on spontaneity. The i motto is “Let’s Have Fun”.
As a C, Charlie exercises what I call a significant amount of “stretch” needed to be more effective with Isaac’s i style, and reminds himself to consider the following strategies:
- Recognize the value of Isaac’s energy and spontaneity
- Focus on the positive and avoid appearing aloof
- Join Charlie’s and Isaac’s collaborative efforts to show Isaac that you don’t discount the benefits of teamwork
Charlie’s presentation was well received by Isaac’s class. Charlie realized that going forward he needs to be more open to Isaac’s creative solutions, however also help Isaac see the potential consequences and reassures himself there is a solution to everything. And, does Isaac know anything more about this thing called “DiSC®”? No, but he (And Charlie) certainly benefitted from it.
Charlie’s last scheduled interaction today is with a new vendor, Samara. They have never met and Charlie will host a Zoom meeting set for 1PM today to discuss the vendor’s offerings. As the meeting begins to wrap up, Samara shares, “So these are the options that are left open. And you don't have to decide on them right now. If you want to pick them up in a month or so, just give me a call.”
So, Charlie has chosen to use his Basic DiSC® Styles Model to see who and what he is dealing with in Samara. Wisely, Charlie begins to track what he is observing (body language, tone of voice, expression, and word choice) and determines that Samara is more Cautious & Reflective, while also seeming Accepting & Warm, which identifies her as an “S” (Steady) style. Now, Charlie can better understand and track to Samara’s even-tempered, accommodating, and patient behavior.
So, Charlie knows the following: He & Samara share a PACE of Cautious & Reflective, however differ in their AGREEABLENESS. Again, we know Charlie’s style from the previous interactions today. Samara’s S style is even-tempered, patient, and relationship-oriented. The S motto is “Let’s Do It Together.”
To Charlie, Samara seems calm, humble, and compliant, and whenever there is a question, Samara is always patient and eager to help. However, Charlie is focused on facts more than feelings. The S approaches change cautiously, and avoids rushing into things. Furthermore, the S wants everyone to feel included, so they may mistake Charlie’s somewhat silent, detached approach for disapproval or dislike.
As a C, Charlie exercises what I call the “stretch” needed to be more effective with an “S” style, and reminds himself to consider the following strategies:
- Gain Samara’s trust by showing interest in her ideas and opinions
- Charlie needs to remember that he may have to ask a few times before Samara will tell him what is really bothering her
- Avoid appearing too aloof, since they may take it personally
The Zoom meeting concludes on time and successfully, with Charlie having not only a good understanding of Samara’s style, but also a good understanding of what she brings to the table as a vendor. And, does Samara know anything more about this thing called “DiSC®”? No, but – like the rest of Charlie’s interactions today - she certainly benefitted from it.
I hope this overview increased your awareness, knowledge, and familiarity of DiSC®. Whether your needs include Employee Engagement, Conflict Management, Team Building, or simply Communication, DiSC® is the research-based, proven, leading training solution.
As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DiSC® is understanding your and others’ styles and then using that knowledge for improved interactions.
If you would like a live, complimentary webinar (online) for your team or organization, please send an email to email@example.com. If you’d like to purchase the DiSC®, visit DiSC® Classic or Everything DiSC® at our website. And, check out our products from The Ken Blanchard Companies as well.