Google “personality characteristics” and you’ll find a whopping 638 personality traits in the very first entry. Assuming that’s all of them (it’s not), we have a staggering number of ways to label a person – just by the way they present themselves!
Learning how to read others and then create a harmonious relationship through your actions can feel daunting to say the least. But what if there was a way to quantify your traits so that you understood EXACTLY why you behave the way you do?
Enter the DISC personality profile assessment. DISC stands for: Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness and Steadiness. In layman’s terms, DISC is a non-judgemental tool used for discussing people’s behavioral differences. It provides a common language that people can use to better understand themselves and adapt their behaviors with others in any relationship capacity. You can google this – it’s a thing!
- Are you blunt or get straight too the point with people? Do you see the bigger picture? Are you up for any challenge?
Hello dominant personality. You are often confident in your decisions and place an emphasis on accomplishing results.
- Are you enthusiastic and optimistic? Do you prefer to collaborate?
Hello influence personality. You are well versed in the art of persuasion, openness and building strong relationships.
- Do you have a calm: demeanor, approach and mannerisms? Do you prefer to take your time or dislike being rushed?
Hello steadiness personality. You place an emphasis on sincerity, cooperation and dependability.
- Are you independent? Need details to move forward on something? Hate being wrong? (wait, who likes being wrong?)
Hello conscientiousness personality. You place an emphasis on accuracy, expertise and competence. (hold on, who doesn’t like being competent? Okay this one has my head spinning.)
So how can this be applied to your life?
While DISC seems to be marketed to businesses and their workforce’s, outside of the workplace we all interact with others regularly. Those we see and communicate with consistently have different ways of working things out and discussing topics. How people view, judge and remember events are subjected to the unconscious mind’s preset defaults – basically everything that has ever happened to us gets categorized by the mind. Then when a new thing occurs the mind will label and organize this thing into its corresponding folder.
From the moment we come out of the womb our brain is learning. As experiences occur our brain is figuring out how that feels, looks and sounds to us. In my opinion, from the outset of our lives we are ascertaining how our actions correlate with everyone else’s actions, responses and behaviors. If we are rewarded, chastised, ignored, complimented – whatever the reaction to our action is – the unconscious mind begins to form it’s personality around these memories.
Thus, our unconscious mind is our own internal representations (IR) of how we see the world. Internal representations are the images and scenes we play out in our head before, during and after anything occurs with or around us.
Often we aren’t even aware of these scenes playing out in our heads but they certainly affect how we enjoy and express ourselves in the moment. In a perfect world we would all just be present in the moment/situation and allow it to play out free from expectations and past experience manipulation.
How my profile outcome affected me.
Once I learned how my personality traits of Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness and Steadiness were juggled around in my life I was able to better understand how I interact in the world.
This is not a statement free from judgement though. In my experience I can attempt to be free from my IR and ingrained personality traits when I just calm myself and become centered in the moment. Airplane mode on my phone helps. Going into an event knowing I am going to have a good time regardless of outside influences is a powerful tool I try to use (though it’s not always utilized.)
I am an intense person. Having taken the DISC profile assessment I now know I fall under the Dominance and Influence personality profile. I have learned a lot about myself in this first year of sobriety and I have clearly traced my intensity in life back to when my mother fell ill in the winter of ’84 and was later diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
I spend a great deal of time inquiring about why I act the way I do because it is important to me to understand how and why I spent 22 years of my life fighting against and suffering from substance abuse. My unconscious mind lived the way it lived and helped me survive because of the rooted traits it grew throughout my entire life. I am quite lucky it was so adept at keeping me out of any longterm trouble. That being said, sometimes I just want to be free from it’s manipulation of how I experience things during this second life of mine.
Outside of amnesia, I don’t think there is ever a way to completely turn off the unconscious minds influence on what is happening to us, in the present. Being aware of it’s want/need to categorize or influence a current moment is something we can utilize however. Understanding how our personality affects everything we perceive is a powerful way to keep an active mind at bay.
When I took my DISC profile assessment I saw in myself the tendencies that are the underlying current in my day-to-day interactions and life. Many seek out Lynn’s workshops and coaching sessions to help them more easily use the tactics shown in their report as they continue to improve their interpersonal skills. Yes, business clients use DISC throughout their organizations to improve communication, teamwork, leadership, customer service and conflict resolution skills – but there is no way they could learn all of that about themselves and not want to take it home and better their communication there too.
Of course, being humans and all, we will see how our communication everywhere is reflected in this report. I am obsessed with growth mindset and self-actualization. In year 1 of sobriety I have pushed myself through some hard communication and interpersonal gaps created over the last 22 years of addiction.
Moving toward a life in which I better understand myself and how I move around the world is of the utmost importance to me and Lynn’s DISC profile assessment is a welcome tool in my toolbox.
Click here for details and a special offer from Lynn Murphy herself for all my Everything’s Interesting listeners.