By Kevin Drolet
Recently, I retook my DiSC Profile test. It’s been over 12 years since my last one and my hopes weren’t too high. In the past, profile tests like DiSC have made me curious but also seemed like too much work to apply in real life. I remember the last time I took the assessment, it was only briefly gone over by the trainer. Our group had a laugh at finding out “who we really were” but didn’t go much deeper than that. My manager even hid his because he didn’t want us to learn how different his behavioral styles were inside and outside of work. In reality, we laughed a bit too much when this test really could have improved our team’s communication. Including and especially my manager’s communication challenges!
This time the experience was not the same. To go through the profile was like stepping out of myself and looking back into how “Kevin” behaves. So much of it was dead on the mark it was scary. Granted it wasn’t perfect, but having this kind of honest feedback was eye-opening. Feedback is something we crave as growing professionals but rarely get. Here is what happened from looking at my reflection in the DiSC reality mirror.
I changed. After many years of success in sales and digital marketing, starting my own successful digital media company, raising a child and dedicating myself to consistent martial arts – I had changed my behavioral style. While I had thought of myself one way – I had really transformed into another behavioral style. Thinking that I was communicating as a S (Supportive style), which tends to be calm and steady, when really I was more of a D (Dominate style), someone that can be more blunt and to the point. These are totally opposite and I can immediately think of several examples where I got myself into trouble.
I had to let go. Understanding how I thought about myself and how others perceive me was illuminating. Let’s face it, our ego and self-identity is important but when in a sales situation it’s all about the other person. By highlighting where I had some challenges in my communication style, I’m able to adapt and adjust.
It reminded me of a recent experience when my agency client called me to say the client we were doing work for didn’t appreciate my tone in a meeting. In fact, the client was really mad and I was in jeopardy of losing an account. In the meeting, I told a truth about the shortcomings of the client’s website and acquisition strategy. I thought I had been the supportive “S” in that meeting – helpful calm and providing good information. In fact, I was a high D, insisting they change their silly ways and stop wasting money. To make matter worse I didn’t understand the behavioral styles of the clients – including know what would set them off. I was lucky enough to be able to apologize and my agency client forgave me.
Using the right key to open the right lock. This is the most powerful lesson I learned through DiSC training. We all have different personalities and views of the world. When looking at it through the eyes of DiSC, you are able to identify and understand someone else’s perspective and communicate to them so they will best receive that information. Let’s face it, the golden rule is dead. You don’t need to treat others how you want to be treated but instead how THEY want to be treated.
Remember, there is no “right” profile. Instead what is right is the better we understand ourselves and understand each other, the better we communicate and have successful conversations, relationships, and clients. That’s why we use a powerful tool called CrystalKnows. It allows us to identify and understand someone’s DiSC type before we go to a meeting or send that email. With templates customized by personality, powerful insights to help plan your meetings and tools to clarify your communication, CrystalKnows takes our DiSC communication to a whole new level. Start your free trial today.