Does anyone have advice on improving the "D" and "i" parts of one's profile, to improve effectiveness?

Unfortunately for me, the traditional "manager" personality is not one of my strengths. As you can see from my DISC profile (2-2-4-7), I like rules, long winded explanations, annoying the high Ds around me with over-analysis, etc. :roll: I think my personality is less effective in some non-technical situations, or when time is short, etc. I've been a manager for a long time, and this has always been a problem for me. I have not had a boss who has coached me on this to bring about improved affective behaviors.

I would really like to improve in this area. While I can't think of any specific behavioral examples right now, I hope you get the idea. Any advice is welcome. Pull no punches, fellow managers!


WillDuke's picture
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The advice won't be as helpful without specifics, but I'll offer up the following:

Make a list of the behaviors you want to be able to exhibit and when it's appropriate to exhibit them. Then look for opportunities to do so. Then do so.

That ought to appeal to your High C. :)

WillDuke's picture
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And remember, we can all choose to act anyway we want to when we want to. You're not limited by your DISC profile, it's just how you'd respond if you didn't think about it.

jhack's picture

And be disciplined: pick one behavior at a time, and get better at it. Some examples of new "rules" you can follow:

Use BLUF: force yourself to summarize your points up front. One sentence only. Then stop, and let your colleague ask for more.

Stand up when you talk so you radiate more energy.

Practice the art of conversations (a la the podcast) once a day.


Mark's picture
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I'm traveling, but will answer this tomorrow or Saturday.


Peter.westley's picture
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I can identify with your quest to try and be more 'D' on occasions - I know how you feel (see my profile below!). I have felt that it sometimes limits how I can go about getting things done in certain environments (especially high 'D' environments). I recognise very well that I have the most difficulty in building good relationships with high 'D' people but it's not impossible.

However, what I [i]have[/i] found is that trying [i]to hard[/i] to be a high 'D' when you're not, can come across as insincere. People can tell that you're trying too hard from a mile away and this only serves to reduce trust they may have had in you.

I think the best way to start overcoming this is to PREPARE. I know you can't always do that but when you know you're going to have a meeting with a high 'D' or high 'I', think through what they will expect. In theory High 'I' could be less of a challenge for you because you do exhibit moderate 'S' - just be willing to do the social chit-chat and listen to her stories before getting down to work! Then, forget about showing them heaps of data, tell them how it will make them look good (tongue in cheek here!) and ask for approval.

For the high 'D', come prepared with answers (have the data, but only pull it out if it's specifically needed) and be prepared to have a short meeting with a quick decision. If they refute your decision, push back, say "I have the data". They will respect you for it.

Now of course this is all said without knowing your specific circumstances but given the common '2' level for our 'D' behaviour, this is what I've found helps.

Again, bottom line is don't try too hard to come across as 'D', it will be seen through!

refbruce's picture

My thought is that finding the balance between adapting to meet the styles of those around you and maintaining integrity with who you are is important. This is partly the issue of diversity in thoughts is important.

I would also suggest finding someone (preferably a peer) whom you can trust (or your boss if s/he will do it) and explain the behaviors you don't want and the behaviors you do want, and ask that person to provide you feedback on that. In some cases, depending on the trust level, you may be able to do that with directs as well. I have a tendency to long-windedness (despite the fairly high D nature), and was once nicknamed the "Verbitron". In my current situation, I've given some of my directs and a couple of peers some ways that they can clue me in when I'm being too long-winded. It helps because I get information about the behavior immediately, which is much more effective in helping me to change than getting information even an hour later.

Another thing I've done that helped was that I went to a course a number of years ago which involved videotaping the participants during a several hour problem solving exercise. After the first hour or so, we forgot about the taping and fell into relatively natural behaviors. The course staff then had us watch the tapes and helped us see different behaviors and how others reacted to those behaviors. It was a 2x4 upside my head.

lazerus's picture


Thanks everyone for all the advice. Fantastic. I have already been implementing some of these tools to great effect.

I'll let you know how it goes, soon as I collect all the data (one or two months). :lol:[/color]