When people review their initial DISC results (Dominant, Influencer, Steady & Compliant), they might say, “hey, I’m all four of the styles.” That’s very true, most of us access all four styles on a regular basis, particularly Sandler-trained people, because they have learned to adapt their style to match up with the style of others.
Now is a good time to be reminded that many of us will go to our “comfort styles” when we are under pressure. Those are our “above-the-line styles” that are most natural to us. However, we would urge you to consider that your comfort-style might not be the best choice in every situation right now. Further, each of the four primary DISC styles can be “overused.” That is to say, we may demonstrate a “hyper-style;” like a style on steroids.
The high D style will go into hyper-control mode when under stress. For obvious reasons, with the circumstances we all face right now, trying to assert hyper-control over everything and everyone around us can be futile and lead to ever more frustration. The high D can recognize this overuse, and channel their S to “let go of the rope,” and instead, focus more on their relationships and people around them, rather than trying to control them, trying to help them.
Overuse of the high I can result in high I’s ratcheting up their energy and enthusiasm to the point of a manic state. For those of us who have interacted with a people like this, they can be draining to be around, not to mention, they can experience an equally depressive let down after the manic upswing.
High I styles might channel their S style to be mindful of how their high energy and enthusiasm may have a negative effect on others. They might also access their C style to supplement their natural positivity and energy with more planfulness so their energy can be directed most productively.
In times of stress and challenge, it is not uncommon for a high S style to become withdrawn, even apathetic. Not to mention, sad and melancholy. Depending upon the situation, it may be no time for the S to withdraw into a world of safety and security. They may be best served by using their D style to put an action plan together and force themselves out of their comfort zone to make necessary decisions, take needed action, or help those they are closest to, to do the same.
High C styles are most comfortable in a world with order, where rules are followed and time and care are taken to make the best decisions and come to the best conclusions. You won’t be surprised to know that “paralysis by analysis” can be the downfall of the C style in overuse. This overuse can take the form of high criticism of others for taking actions that don’t seem to be as well thought out as the C style would like. Sometimes, when stressed, the C style simply cannot “pull the trigger” on making hard decisions for fear of looking bad, or worse, making the wrong call.
In these instances, the C style can access their D style to be more action-oriented and suppress their inner voice that worries about losing face or making the wrong decision. The mantra for the C at times like this can be “sometimes you’ve got to do something, even if it’s wrong.” The C style may even experiment with accessing their I style to bring a bit of levity to the table.
If you’re Sandler-trained, chances are, you and your team (and perhaps even your family), already use DISC day-to-day to improve your communication and how you adapt to one another. If your assessments haven’t been reviewed in a while, now might be a important time to review them to remind your team to be mindful of overuse, and also to be on the lookout for customers and family members who are overusing their DISC styles. And remember, one caution, when we adapt away from our natural style(s), it burns a lot of mental calories. Be prepared to be a little mentally worn out from adapting. But if you are worn out, you’ll know you’re doing it right.