How to Speak So People Will Actually Listen (Using the DISC)

Master Effective Communication with the DISC Assessment
How to Speak So People Will Actually Listen (Using the DISC)

Would you like to learn how to improve your communication with others using the DISC assessment? It’s an excellent tool for understanding what motivates people, their biggest fears, and how they make decisions. In this crash course, I’ll walk you through the four categories of the DISC assessment, which are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

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It’s important to note that nobody fits perfectly into just one category. Most of us have a mix of two or three prominent traits, along with some lesser traits. Additionally, our DISC score can change over time.

Let's Dive Into The 4 Categories

D = Dominance

A high D personality, such as Richard Branson, is characterized by a Type A personality, a desire for things to be done quickly, and a direct and decisive approach. They prefer variety in their activities, seek out prestige, authority, and freedom, but can also be argumentative and pessimistic. Their motivation is to get things done, and their greatest fear is being taken advantage of.

When communicating with a high D, it’s important to match their directness, focus on facts, and keep it positive. Avoid discussing emotions and get straight to the point.

I = Influence

An individual with a high I personality, such as Oprah, is an extrovert who wants to be the center of attention and seeks social esteem and acceptance. They are creative problem solvers, encouragers, cheerleaders, and peacemakers. However, they may be more concerned about being liked than achieving tangible results, and they can be inattentive to details. Their biggest fear is rejection, and their greatest motivation is recognition and social approval.

When communicating with a high I, build rapport and be friendly. Allow them plenty of opportunities to talk through their ideas, but avoid getting into the nitty-gritty details. If you need to provide criticism or feedback, do it in the most gentle way possible and sandwich it between two positive anecdotes.

S = Steadiness

A high S personality, like Mr. Rogers, values security, appreciates others, and prefers routine and steadiness. They want things to be done the same way every time and identify with being part of a group. They are reliable, dependable, loyal, good listeners, and team players. However, they may need time to adjust to change and can hold a grudge if criticized. Their greatest motivation is to get along, and their greatest fear is loss of security.

When communicating with a high S, build rapport and be personable. Give them time to process and ask questions. Provide specifics and clarification to make them feel secure in what they do. Avoid being confrontational or reprimanding them in public.

C = Compliance

A person with a high C personality, like Bill Gates, is task-oriented, accurate, and precise. They value autonomy, logic, and independence, and prefer a controlled work environment. They care about doing things the right way and can work slowly. High C personalities be defensive when the quality of their work is questioned, and their greatest motivation is getting things done while their greatest fear is criticism.

When communicating with a high C, focus on facts and come prepared. Discuss the details, as they care about specifics and numbers. Avoid being vague, criticizing their work, or being confrontational. Provide constructive feedback in a respectful manner.

Your Turn

I have provided a general introduction to the various DISC styles and effective ways to communicate with them. If you’re interested in discovering your own DISC profile, you can purchase the PeopleKeys DISC for just for $25 on the  Hire LAB website.

Have you determined your DISC profile yet? What about your supervisor’s or assistant’s profile? Understanding these can greatly enhance your ability to communicate with the important people in your life.



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