Adapting a Natural High I or Low I

by | DISC Assessment, DISC University

While a DISC assessment can give us a glimpse of our basic behavioral tendencies, it would be folly to imagine we could maintain the same behavior day in and day out without adapting at least a little.

A comprehensive DISC report can highlight not just your natural behavior, it can also share how you might be adapting.

Let’s examine what happens to Interactive Ira and Introspective Ives when they feel the need to change their style.

Ira and Ives may feel compelled to change their typical behavior for lots of reasons. They may feel they’re being observed. They may think it’s best to act differently than they prefer to maintain harmony in a relationship. They may think that acting like those around them will help them to fit in. Whatever their reason for adapting, it can manifest in many different ways.

If Interactive Ira is in a situation where they feel the need to really turn on the charm, you could see them be excessively bubbly and animated. Their already trusting nature could be heightened even more and it’s possible they could overshare intimate details of their life with individuals they just met. Ever been in line at the grocery store and in the space of 5 minutes you know someone’s entire life story? That’s an Interactive Ira who might not get out as often as they’d like so they turn up the volume on their already high I so they can cram as much as they can into every interaction.

On the other hand, Interactive Ira might feel the need to soften their I so they can look more like Introspective Ives. They may try to put aside their preference for being social, expressive, and the center of attention in groups, and opt instead for a more measured approach. They could ask more questions and allow others to share. Maybe they’ve realized the grocery store isn’t the perfect place to share all of their hopes and dreams with strangers.

Introspective Ives could be in a situation where they perceive the need to push their I a little higher. Their preference is to rely more on facts, data, and logic rather than fantasy, fabrication, and nonsense. In a social situation where the conversation turns to the latest blockbuster movie the group may not enjoy a dissertation on how the filming of said movie destroyed the local flora and fauna. But they may be interested in hearing how the movie made you feel. Sharing feelings rather than facts can be a challenge to Ives.

Ives could also get into social situations where a dissertation on the pros and cons of paper vs plastic may be frowned upon. They might really want to talk about it as the checker bags 2 items in one plastic bag, but is this really the time and place? They could temper their preference for oversharing data and instead remark on the day’s nice weather or the speedy check out they’re getting. Stressful as it may be to stop themselves from commenting on the harm plastic bags do to the environment, there is a time and place for small talk.

Adapting our behavior is natural. We all want to ‘go along to get along’… sometimes. The key word in that sentence is sometimes. If we adapt our behavior either higher or lower too strenuously for too long a period of time, stress could be the outcome.

It’s important to learn to be true to your I as best you can. And if you are in an environment where that’s difficult or impossible, be sure you have emotional outlets so you can let off steam. The tension of not interacting the way you wish to will build. You don’t want to explode in the wrong environment.