Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint (and awareness).
— Lewis H. Lapham

Words matter; styles and behaviors also matter. Are you familiar with the DiSC model and how our behaviors and preferred styles impact our degree of effectiveness?

The DiSC theory was developed by psychologist William Marston and focuses on four different personality traits: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C). An assessment was then created that identifies and provides an understanding of our preferred behaviors in specific environments.

There are four basic dimensions of behavior in the DiSC profile.  They are:

D –   DOMINANCE   People who display the Dominance behavior shape their environment by overcoming opposition and challenges in order to accomplish results.  They like control, and they don’t like being taken advantage of.

I –     INFLUENCE  People who display the Influence dimension enjoy interacting with others. They shape their environment by persuading and influencing others and by building alliances. They like being involved and being recognized, and they don’t like rejection or loss of approval.

S –   STEADINESS  People with the Steadiness dimension of behavior are accepting of other people’s ideas, and they like a predictable environment with methodical approaches. They like security and stability, and don’t like sudden change or the loss of security.

C –   CONSCIENTIOUSNESS  People with a high Conscientiousness behavior value quality and accuracy, they analyze situations, and seek tactful, diplomatic interactions. They like accuracy and order, dislike a lack of procedures and standards, and may not be open to critical feedback.

If you’re thinking that all four behaviors add value, you’re absolutely right. Each of us has elements of each, but to differing degrees, and an ideal, well rounded team would be comprised of all 4 styles.

This is a very brief overview, but now you have a baseline understanding of “What’s DiSC”?. What behavior(s) do you most identify with? What about your colleagues? Do you want to take it to the next level?

The DiSC model is a very practical and user-friendly theory of human behavior. It creates a common language and a framework to better understand ourselves and others. It is completely non-judgmental with no good or bad categories, or high or low scores.