Adapting a Natural High D or Low D

by | DISC Assessment, DISC University

Have you ever interacted with someone for a full day and they maintained the same behavior for every single minute of it?

Think about your own behavior for a second. Is it possible for you to move throughout your day on a totally even keel, always acting exactly the same no matter what happens to you?

We’re guessing not. We all adapt our behavior based on outside influences. The input you receive affects the output you express. Might remind you of an old acronym: GIGO or Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Now, we’re not saying that adapting your behavior is garbage, but it is something to be aware of for yourself, your direct reports, your teammates, your family… basically anyone with whom you interact.

We’ve already explored the basics of adapting. Today we’ll look closely at what it might look like for Decisive Devon to act more like Deliberate Dani and vice versa.

Devon with their high D has a preference for action and quick decision-making. They naturally appear very direct, results-oriented, and like to jump in and take charge.

If you put Devon in a high volume, high stress situation it’s possible for them to adapt their D even higher. They may push themselves harder than normal to be more direct, more take charge, to the extent that they appear forceful or impatient.

If however you ask Devon to tone down their natural preference to jump in and take charge, you’ll be pushing them but in the other direction. You’ll be asking them to adapt their natural D down. Maybe you need them to listen more, practice patience, show empathy, or seek collaboration rather than being the lone wolf they might usually prefer.

Either way, you’re asking Devon to adapt. While this might be necessary in some instances, it’s important to recognize the long-term effects of adapting.

Too much adapting higher could cause Devon stress making them not too pleasant to be around.

Too much adapting lower could result in the same not-so-happy Devon.

Interestingly, the same could be said of Deliberate Dani if they were in a high stress environment. In their natural state, Dani can be described as cooperative, collaborative, and adaptable. If you push them to be more assertive, independent, and inflexible, Dani might stress out.

The same could happen if you remove collaboration and interpersonal dynamics from Dani’s world. You’ll also see signs of stress because they’re not able to be who they prefer to be in their natural state.

When an individual can operate true to their authentic self, they are able to do their best work and are usually happy when they are doing it.

Use DISC to determine an individual’s (or your own) behavioral sweet spot. When you do, you can create an environment that allows their authentic self to shine through.