The past few weeks I’ve addressed the personality styles and shared some tips on how to connect with your children in a way that resonates with them. Now, I want to talk about the graphs. When you do a full profile with me, you’ll find three graphs. You’ll see that typically 1-3 are above the midline, and we tend to identify personality styles based on the third graph, which is a summary of the first two.
For those of you who have not yet taken the DISC profile, it’s a simple list of adjectives you select to describe you. There are 24 groups of adjectives, and you simply pick the ones that are most like you and the ones that are least like you. From that, you get a 25+ page profile that is pretty incredible with the insights you can get. (See a sample report here).
There is something so, so powerful about these graphs. Something significant. You see, the first graph is our public self. It is who we think others see in us. If you’ve ever put your best self forward – to impress the boss, your significant other, or anything else, this is what this graph shows. This is based on the answers you say are most like you. We tend to stew over and really think what is most like us, and can get stumped on how we can see ourselves being quiet and reserved in one situation, and outgoing and loud in another. To get the most accurate report, you want to go with your first gut reaction.
The second one, though – this is based on the responses for adjectives that are least like you. And this is, to me, the most significant graph. It’s easy to say “that is definitely not me” – and in knowing this so well about yourself, this tends to be the most accurate. And, when under stress, where you find that any strength can become a weakness, you will see the weaknesses arise in the style that is the highest for you.
To the right is my personal graph. This shows that I’m a high D/I. I’m outgoing, highly driven, and comfortable in leadership positions. I am a risk-taker, I love adventure and change, and am always up for a challenge. However, put me in a stressful situation and my default is to react quickly. And sometimes, that’s not a great thing. Sometimes, my initial response is really, really, not a good idea. Sometimes, I want to fight. I want to confront, to call out, to criticize, condemn, and take over. Sometimes, that high D can turn into a super high B (i…t…c….you get my drift).
When I face a crisis, I can shut off emotion and handle triage like a champion. You need a decision maker? Check. Need someone to make sure everything is handled? Check. That lady screaming hysterically in the middle of a tornado? That’s not me (that would be very literally one of my sweet daughters…we’re working on it) – I’m the one directing everyone on where to go, managing the chaos and navigating us out of it. I’m the driver.
And in doing this, I can barrel over everyone. I can push and shove and react and only allow anger to surface, because that’s a driving force that can get shit done. And oh, how devastating that can be. I can take one look at the world and see how far hate and anger has taken us. I don’t believe hate drives out hate, and I don’t believe that fighting really changes people – it simply eliminates them. So, in my own life, I can choose to completely shut off and shut out anything that stands in my way, or I can choose to listen…and to learn. I can choose to not become the weakness. I can choose to not allow the negative aspects of my personality to be my driving force. And when I can recognize them, this is the first step to keeping them in check.
And today, I came across this note scribbled on a piece of notebook paper tucked in the bottom of my computer bag. Some little nugget I gleaned from somewhere…and today was the day I needed to see it:
This speaks to my soul. We all know that actions speak louder than words. Be true to yourself, and recognize that what you do is the essence of who you are. So when you sense the negative side of your strengths coming to the forefront, remember this: In your doing, your being becomes. Don’t become a person to be avoided. Don’t allow your own toxicity to get in the way of relationships. Go back and look at the fears of each personality style and recognize that when those fears are played into – loss of control, rejection, loss of security and criticism – you can become your worst self. And your actions will create the person you are.
What are you doing? Who do you want to become?
Today, this is a reminder to myself. We are all works in progress…until we choose to not see it that way. Always, always remain teachable, and recognize that lessons come from everywhere and everyone. And through each struggle, crisis, broken relationship or disaster, what you take from it, what you do in the midst of it…that is a step toward the person you will become.
What will you choose, and what words will describe you?