Adapting a Natural High C or Low C

by | DISC Assessment, DISC University

Stress does funny things to you. Here you are rolling through your day checking tasks off your to do list and then here comes the monkey wrench. What you do next affects not only you but those around you.

If you’ve taken a DISC assessment test and already know your basic inclinations, you’ve got a sense of how you’ll react when life is good and without stress. Insert stress and you could either adapt your typical behavior higher or lower. Let’s look at what happens to a higher C and also a lower C when they are faced with something out of the ordinary.

Cautious Charlie rests at the top of the C scale. They appear meticulous, dependable, and responsible. They may react to outside pressure by adapting their already high C even higher and push themselves and the team to achieve absolute perfection having zero tolerance for errors and rework. This could slow an already slow process down even further. It’s fine if you have the time, but if time is short this might not be possible. This could cause Charlie to stress out.

There are times when Cautious Charlie makes the choice to adapt their higher C down. In these cases they could choose to make some of their own rules instead of following someone else’s. They could decide to forego perfection and relax their usual strict standards. Be aware that even though it appears they are choosing to act out of their norm if they are required to do so over a longer period of time it could lead to role dissatisfaction and performance issues.

At the lower end of the C scale we’ll find Challenging Carmine. They typically enjoy carving their own path instead of following set rules. If they are forced to adapt their C higher, you’re asking them to abandon this preferred way of thinking and acting. You’d better be prepared to make a solid case for why the rules are so important. You’re asking someone who prefers to be a free spirit to operate inside someone else’s mold. This may not be a pleasant place for them long term.

Ask Challenging Carmine to adapt their C lower and all of the rules can head right out the window. This is where creativity can be at its finest. Just make sure you have someone (maybe a Cautious Charlie) in the room who can take notes and document the mayhem that may ensue.

The next time you’re under duress, take a minute and note how it feels. Is your heart rate up? Are your palms sweaty? Do you have a frown on your face? Are you feeling productive or stuck? Look at your DISC scores to find your behavioral sweet spot and have a chat with your manager to seek their help in keeping you there. You’ll both be better for it.

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