A part of a series on my participation in the Putnam County Leadership Academy.
The academy got under way last Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 16). This session was an opportunity for us to become acquainted with one other -- as well as with ourselves.
The main objective was helping all of us begin to think with each other about what our behavioral tendencies and priorities are -- both as individuals as well as professionals.
Prior to the session, we were asked to complete the DISC personality assessment. For those who may already be familiar with them, DISC more or less considers the same ideas as those with the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator or the Clifton StrengthsFinder.
My results indicated that I am predominantly an "S" and a "C," but still have hints of the other two behavioral styles. The chart above provides what characteristics tend to fit into each. It is important to understand that no person will only show those which go with this or that style.
Those of the "S" style tend to exhibit behavior that is seen as even-tempered, accommodating to others, patient, humble and tactful. Those with a "C" style are analytical, reserved, precise and systematic in their actions and interactions.
The "D's" are results-oriented, strong-willed and will pull no punches in their desire to overcome. The "I's" will tend to be very optimistic, bubbly and the life of the party.
Lynn told us that DISC is a tool that would help us communicate better with co-workers and people in general. But while recognizing these patterns is helpful, it's not fool-proof. We should show grace toward others, and try to think outside of the box.
The writer Anaïs Nin said, "We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are." She suggests that our behaviors not only reflect us, but influence our perspectives.
If we could put DISC into dichotomies, we can see people as being more task-oriented versus people-oriented, as well as being more outgoing as opposed to more reserved. The task-oriented individual is more likely to say "I think ...," while those who are more people-oriented will say "I feel ..." Ultimately, this is about shifting perspectives.
The point is to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in yourself as much as you might see them in others. If we can do this, all of us have the capability to organize, lead and inspire. It is about encouraging other people's best, not simply labeling them.
Lynn suggested to us that the DISC personalities -- and what makes them tick -- will remain a key theme behind all of our activities as we move forward in the academy. As I will talk about next week, it most definitely applies to people and public speaking.
At the end of the day, this is still all about establishing meaningful connections with others. In my line of work as a reporter, this is certainly not a new objective for me.