When the going gets tough, the smart get learning!

By: Alison Coleman, 6 July 2023 Categories: Learning, development & personal growth

There is always more to learn about ourselves, and the DISC personality profiling system can offer a wealth of insight into understanding our own behavioural characteristics, as well as the behaviours of the people around us. Here at The Juniper Co., we often refer to how useful the personality profiling tool can be, especially for helping us cope under pressure.

One of the great things about DISC profiling is that it not only looks at how we react when things are going well and we are ‘in control’, but also how we react in more challenging moments when we are ‘out of control’. Whilst it can be more appealing to identify our ‘in control’ traits and seek to maximise them, we potentially learn the most in our ‘out of control’ moments – the things we want to work on.

For those who haven’t come across DISC profiling before, the system breaks our behavioural traits into four personality styles – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. All of us display each of the traits to varying degrees, however, every individual has their own natural preferences. The DISC assessment measures the intensity of each of the four behaviour traits within our personalities – the higher the score, the more intensely that trait will be expressed. The assessment takes the form of a fifteen-minute questionnaire, with the premise that you don’t spend too long on each question and answer the four multiple-choice options with the one which speaks most strongly to you.

Understanding the outcomes of the DISC assessment can be a useful tool, since the more self-aware we are, the better prepared we can be in any given scenario. It can also help us to understand others’ personalities and how we might adapt and collaborate to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. We can only change our own behaviour, not other people’s after all!

For each personality style, it is possible to identify certain characteristics that are likely to come out when we are challenged. For example, someone who exhibits a strong D style may be hugely valued for their ability to be assertive, to the point, and a powerhouse in getting a deal over the line whilst in their comfort zone but put them under pressure and they may quickly begin to show signs of impatience, anger, aggression and even bullying.

Out of control traits to look out for:

For the D style

  • Angry
  • Aggressive
  • Impatient
  • Reckless
  • Overbearing
  • Bullying
  • Unapproachable
  • Rude
  • Blunt
For the I style

  • Over-optimistic
  • Over promising
  • Insincere
  • Manipulative
  • Unrealistic
  • Undisciplined
  • Changeable
  • Distracting
  • Gossip
For the S style

  • Stubborn
  • Passive resistant
  • Reluctant
  • Indecisive
  • Slow
  • Resentful
  • Uncommunicative
  • Dependent
  • Reliant
For the C style

  • Awkward
  • Cold
  • Stuffy
  • Inflexible
  • Fearful
  • Critical
  • Picky
  • Compulsive
  • Suspicious

Being conscious of our less appealing personality traits empowers us to proactively work to manage our behaviour. Greater awareness and greater understanding enable us to play to our strengths during difficult times and deliver better outcomes for ourselves and our colleagues.