Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About High C’s

by | DISC Assessment, DISC University

Why do we call them Cautious Charlie? You may have heard the S in DISC described with another word because even though the reports are based on the same science, some DISC reports use different terminology to describe each column. You may have heard these terms used: Dominant, Influencing, Submissive, Compliant. That was the language used back in the 1920’s when the DISC model was created. Times have changed and we prefer to apply words that don’t feel quite so negative. So, we changed Compliant to Cautious.
Defining A Higher C

You can describe Cautious Charlie as logical, accurate, and precise. Attention to detail is their bread and butter, and they excel at meticulous work. They make decisions only after gathering all available data and having enough information to feel confident in their choice. You could also say they are perfectionistic. Because they like to dig down deep, they are excellent researchers and problem solvers. They have a tendency to see what others may not.
Cautious Charlie’s Likes

Individuals with higher C’s on the DISC scale have a preference for rules and regulations, as long as those rules were set by people that they respect. And once they identify those rules, they want to hold fast to them. The status quo is important to them as they navigate their day. Cautious Charlie’s have very high quality standards and enjoy seeing tasks through to accurate completion. They enjoy being self-reliant and prefer independent work to working with a team. They also like to hear that they are appreciated for doing what is expected of them.
Cautious Charlie’s Dislikes

Action just for the sake of action could make Charlie’s eyes twitch. They prefer taking action only when a logical case is made to do so. Delegating can come hard to our Cautious Charlie since they know they can rely on their own focus on perfection. It’s hard to determine if someone else could do the task as reliably as they feel they can. Disorganization Because they deal so heavily in logic, overly emotive people could be taxing for them. They prefer controlled emotions. Higher C personality types dislike being pushed to make decisions quickly since they have a preference for data-gathering and logical decision making.

Cautious Charlie’s Strengths

If you need someone to create and then adhere to a set structure and rules, find yourself a Cautious Charlie. This is their sweet spot. They are consummate organizers and exceptional trouble-shooters. They love to ask probing questions about complex problems, break them down into their core issues, and then create a logical path to resolution. This helps them excel at contributing to planning and strategic thinking. Their penchant for perfection means you can count on them for high quality output, even though you might have to wait for them to complete intensive quality checks. They appreciate perfection in tasks but also in relationships and people. They employ a diplomatic approach to gain consensus.

Cautious Charlie’s Potential Weaknesses

Since Cautious Charlie is always seeking perfection, they might not enjoy being questioned or criticized on their own work. On the other hand they could be overly critical of others since it could be hard to live up to their standards. We established earlier how delegation is tough for a higher C and this could lead to overwork since no one might be capable of providing the level of accuracy Charlie can guarantee. That level of accuracy could take time so Charlie doesn’t enjoy being rushed. And once they settle on a system or process, changing it will take some effort. It most likely took awhile until they decided a system was proper and right, so they’ll need some proof that it’s worth changing.
Cautious Charlie’s Communication Style
High C’s on the DISC scale communicate in a very direct way. They place less importance on conversational ‘fluff’ and more importance on conveying data. You would be wise to match this style by using details and concise explanations where possible. If they ask you a direct question, which they’re likely going to do, provide them with a direct, fact-based answer. And be prepared to back up your answer with comprehensive data. Avoid being confrontational as that may cause them to withdraw. Stick to the facts, back up your opinions, and you’ll gain their respect and keep the conversation flowing.

Cautious Charlie’s Training & Learning Style

If you are training Cautious Charlie on a new system or procedure, be straightforward. Load your presentation with details and specific examples. Higher C’s appreciate when you take the time to explain things in detail. Be prepared and organized since higher C’s can smell disorganization a mile away. Ramp up your patience level for direct questioning. Charlie needs to have all the facts and will not be afraid to challenge you if your data, proof points, or delivery seem weak. Remember that they prefer to work independently, so be sure to sprinkle self-guided work in with the interactive role plays.
What It’s Like To Work With Cautious Charlie

You’ve got a great researcher when you have a Cautious Charlie on your team. They enjoy being seen as a wealth of knowledge so be sure to ask them for help. Just don’t push too hard for a quick result. Respect their need for accuracy and perfection and allow them the time to work at a pace they deem satisfactory. If you do have feedback for them watch your tone and body language. Since they firmly believe in their ability to be accurate, criticism can be tough for them to receive. If you have some higher D’s like Decisive Devon or higher I’s like Interactive Ira on your team, there is the potential for conflict since D’s and I’s typically operate at a quicker pace and could be more spontaneous than Charlie may appreciate. Strive to provide an open environment where everyone has a chance to contribute. It could take Charlie a little longer to feel comfortable sharing, but when they do it’s usually quite valuable to what the team is trying to accomplish.

When you have a Cautious Charlie in your corner, you’ve got an invaluable resource that’s precise and analytical. With self-awareness and personal development, you can help them overcome the challenges they may have with delegation, adaptability, and perfectionism.