Tag Archives: DiSC assessment tool

The Coach is IN (the cafe): 12 tips to: ‘Should I stay or should I go?’

18 Jun

Should I stay or should I go?


Do we marry or is to time to find my true love?

two dinosaurs 'in love'

This was K’s question as we squeezed a chat in between her travels in and out of NYC.   K’s destination:  her relationship’s future with her life-long boyfriend.   I asked about a rumor I’d heard from a man she thought was ‘perfect’ for me: ‘K’ and her boyfriend ‘B’ were engaged!   (He wasn’t perfect – at least for me, and as for them, well read on)

‘K’ and I met during my travels and have occasionally met up over the last few years.  We have an interesting connection, likely due to a shared passion, the focus of her work venture.   With enviable energy and resolve she is pulling people together and ‘broadcasting’ their voices.  She’s young:  mid-twenties and been with “B’ for over ten years.  Romance and problems merge into the expectation they will be together forever.   ‘B’ and ‘K’ have been traveling for the last few weeks – half the time with her colleagues.

First,  how can this single soul  talk about life-long love?

Here’s the true thing about discussing everything and anything:  People usually give opinions, project biases, and share fears.  While it’s part of friendship,  it’s not (always) helpful.

Admittedly I couldn’t help K. from experience.  Absolutely I could help her as a coach.  Coaching focuses on listening , asking the right questions and providing needed tools,  are the best skills to have as a friend, manager, and parent.

'B' and 'K' adventure.  Carnival cruise ship.

‘B’ and ‘K’ adventure. Carnival cruise ship.

Over 2:00 p.m. drinks at a cafe on 34th Street, ‘K’ shared:  ‘B’s grumbles included time ‘K’ spent with their traveling companions, the changing itinerary, and money.’

Doesn’t everyone grumble about money?

Within sips, we’re both tipsy, easing me into coach mode.  ‘K’ said working through their issues was appropriate in a 20 year marriage with kids. Not for them before marriage.

My thoughts:  regardless of whether ‘B’ was the one, understanding the issues and their values (use this activity!) would help them sort out their future and ultimately help ‘K’ get the love she deserves.  Pulling out paper and a pen that didn’t work, I drew my DiSC quadrant diagram.

'K' and 'B' style circled in pink!

‘K’ and ‘B’ style circled in pink!

Here’s a cursory sum:  they’re both task focused.  ‘K’ is Dominant:  focuses on action (often)  ‘her way’ – and why she is successfully launching her innovative venture, and, very personable.  ‘B’ is Conscientious:  logical, and a planner.  ‘B’ hates schedule changes:  and this trip’s itinerary fluctuations.

‘K’ instantly got the simplicity of it all, relaxing her faster than our rum.


80% of conflict is due to style (Dr. Donna Springer):  a HUGE part of ‘B’ and ‘K’s challenges (and for all of us).  Communication style, is part of, but not your whole personality.  Style explains how we behave, act, and react.

People may be jerks (which is how we usually define someone different).   Style identifies specific ‘jerkdom’ behaviors bugging ‘K’ and ‘B’.

couple arguing

Here are 12 tips about style and conflict:

  1. You know that class or book you want to take about dealing with difficult people?  It’s all about their different styles.
  2. People won’t change – will you?  Didn’t think so.  But you can understand them.
  3. Realize that gurgling conflict between you and someone else is about style.  Don’t look at it personally.
  4. Realize that your judgement about someone being ______ (fill in the blank:  aggressive, pushy, flaky, unreliable, etc). is about style – not a character flaw.  Remember you have flaws too.  In fact we ALL have them.  Embrace them.
  5. Be aware of what you judge people about:  it will help you understand your own style better.  ‘K’ doesn’t like ‘B’s inability to go with a flow – but then she often redirects the flow mid-stream without concern!
  6. Don’t judge.  It doesn’t make you superior, right, or better.  You are not.  It just makes you less likely to ever have a meaningful relationship with that person.
  7. If you don’t know the DiSC or have a friend like me  (who is a coach), be aware that those behavior difference you don’t like are likely communication style differences.  I know this is a repeat – it’s that important.
  8. Listen.  That means not talking about yourself and not judging what the other person is saying because it is not about you: what you say, think, or feel.
  9. Be aware of what the other person is focusing on.  That will tell you what’s important to them.  If it’s important for you to relate to them.
  10. Be aware of what’s important to you and what YOU focus on.  This is indicative of your style.  Don’t see it as abnormal or a character flaw if it’s not what other’s expect, especially if it’s different from your family.
  11. Ask questions like ‘Tell me more’.  Then listen – without judgement.
  12. Learn about yourself.  Style is a big part of our identity and explains all those freaky things each of us do that are normal for us based on our style.

What’s your style?

How can style help you decide if you should stay or go in love and work? 

A Talk in the Park – Volume 2

27 Jun

“I saw you first time you walked through, but needed to come up with a question”, the young woman to his right said as she motioned me over.  N. has short red hair, smallish hip glasses, and a huge smile.

Energized after my coaching session with George and his exciting quest to promote freedom and opportunity through education at his church I was ready for another session.   My optimism for finding a new ‘client’ paid off quickly!

I settled in and waited for her to present her question:  ‘Have I thought of everything?’ (a slight paraphrase)

Sit down for this one:  N. and her boyfriend are picking up, packing up, and heading north to start a business in a small town!  Employing ‘if not now when’ mindset, they were ready to leave NYC and willing to take the risk on a new venture.  Amazing, huh?

Currently secured is a location, business plan in process and timeline.  As N. ran through the details in place, I was impressed yet baffled.  It seemed they had

A final and scary step to jump into a new unknown venture! When was your last time?

thought of absolutely everything even as we talked about when she would give notice at her job.

So why the need for a coach?  A reason many of us would need:  Reassurance and a chance to both voice plans and share a touch of trepidation.  Don’t get me wrong, N. and her boyfriend are very excited and very well prepared.  So why?

Style.  Communication and behavioral style to be specific (N. was hip-ly and coolly attired for a warm June day in NYC.    Communication styles explain how we communicate, act, react, and behave.   identifying and understanding communication styles can seem like someone has a magic eye peering deep into your soul and psyche.  Connecting style to behavior and actions can turn judgement into peace.  I think understanding communication styles is one of the most amazing and important tools anyone and everyone can use to understand him/herself – and – everyone else.

Listening, N.’s question suddenly made sense.  Taking stock of her logical and

The DiSC summary. Be sure to click one of the links below to take the assessment.

thorough planning, the flushing out of details along with the ‘need’ to uncover ‘unknowables’, I realized N. is Conscientious, a ‘C’, according to the DiSC assessment model for identifying and understanding ‘style’.

Conscientious people like N. are brilliant organizers who not only develop plans, cross ‘t’s and dot ‘i’s’, but ensure that there are contingency plans and back-ups.  The ‘what if’s’ that some of us blow off can stall and immobilize a ‘C’.

Explaining the power of communication styles to N. made sense.  As she said, she’s not the type of person to go off and ‘do something like this.’   On one level she certainly knew this.  This coaching conversation put words and structure to what she already knew.

Did she find this helpful?  Shrugging her shoulders, she wasn’t sure – actually typical response for Contientous types.  (And good to know for those of us who need and like POSITIVE reinforcement!

How helpful is the DiSC?    I’ve used it with a family owned manufacturing

So true for the DiSC. Though technically DiSC is NOT a personality test!

company that was about to go out of biz because of conflict.  Our first session was tense – by the third session everyone could look at each other and smile – by the fifth session:  laughter and the ability to talk!  More important:  I’ve found it helpful to explain how and why I do things, able to move beyond that ‘there’s something wrong’ shroud.   Try it, you’ll like it!

Here are some sources to take the DiSC assessment free!  If you have any questions about your results, the test itself, or how to use it with a partner, kids, or colleagues, email me:  communicationessentials@earthlink.net


http://www.personalitystyle.com  – Great tool that gives you a nice summary of your style!!  It will take about 15 minutes and  you’ll get a written report.

http://www.disc-personality-testing.com/test/free-test.html – Nice and quick – only 14 questions and you still get a nice read on your style.

In case you’re wondering, I’m NOT conscientious!  (I could use N’s help with planning as many of you know!)

  • Tell me what you think my style is after you take the assessment.
  • Tell me what you your style is and how your characteristics have helped you be successful and what your ‘challenges’ are.
  • What will you do differently based on your style?
  • How can knowing your style help you at work and in your relationships?

Leave a comment with your thoughts, and, If you have any questions about your results, the test itself, or how to use it with a partner, kids, or colleagues, email me at:  communicationessentials@earthlink.net

Who knows where my next coaching “A Talk in the Park’ will lead!  Stay tuned and don’t forget to vote for your communication preference:  tongues vs. thumbs -just scroll down to vote !  And unlike Chicago, it is okay to vote for your friends.