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084 – Digesting DISC – Part 1

Are you new alumnus? Did you recently finish the Our Community Listens course and find yourself often checking back to your learning guide? Well, this podcast and its coming episode are here for you as another form of learning! We’ll be reviewing subjects from class, providing more examples and reminders of how to apply the skills at work and at home.

In this episode, Adam J. Salgat and Katie Trotter take time to talk about the origins of the Extended DISC assessment and begin breaking down the behavior tendencies of D and I in their purest form. Take the next 30 minutes to learn how to understand people in your life and how they may prefer to be communicated with. Watch for the upcoming podcast where we look at the S and C tendencies.

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Adam Salgat 0:03
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Introduction 1:04
Welcome to the listen first podcast brought to you by the Chapman foundation for caring communities. Our vision and mission is to strengthen relationships and build stronger communities through listening, leadership, care and service to create a truly human connection. Learn and partner with us as we imagine a society in which people care about each other. And listen first.

Adam Salgat 1:33
Hello, and welcome to the listen first podcast. My name is Salgat and with me today is my friend Katie Trotter, Senior Director of Content and coaching Katie, how’re you doing today? I’m

Unknown Speaker 1:45
doing great, Adam, how are you? I’m

Adam Salgat 1:47
doing well. I’m excited to to start this series of podcasts we have in the last few months been getting back into in person classes, really, you know, starting to ramp everything back up and more classes are coming here in the fall. Be sure to stay tuned to our social media pages to see notes on that and to find the links. So you can you can invite friends and family to get involved. But it got me thinking about the content that we put out here in the podcast. And I started to think to myself, we have all of these new alumni that are going to be joining joining us. And I wanted to take the opportunity to kind of start building our podcast back out to provide them refreshers. So that’s kind of where we’re starting today. Katie, we’re going to be starting at the top like we do in class, what’s one of the first things that we talked about when we when we start the class,

Speaker 3 2:43
we really like to kick off and one of the first parts of the class talking about our DISC assessment, really, how do we gain a deeper, better understanding of ourselves and our way that we behave? So really raising that self awareness?

Adam Salgat 2:57
That’s exactly what I was gonna mention is I think one of the first thing that emotionally happens with people is that self awareness of Whoa, this is oddly accurate, right? Like, this is a pretty spot on for a lot of things. I’d say most of the time, obviously, there’s gonna be things that maybe we read, and we don’t agree with. But I know for myself, I was like, Yeah, this is pretty, it’s pretty accurate. And that’s an opportunity for us to, you know, to start that self awareness journey that what I really feel like we step into in this three day course. But like you said, one of the first things we do is the DISC assessment. Today, we’re going to talk about a couple of the tendencies DNI. But before we get there, I want to take the time to give people some more information about the DISC assessment to refresh them, give them a little bit of the history of it, and get them set up as to how this all came to be. So Katie, tell me a little bit. Where does the DISC assessment stem from, you know, give me that history?

Speaker 3 4:01
And, Adam, I loved your comment when you said me, and yours was just spot on. Because I think for many of us, when we took the DISC assessment, it was just a quick 24 questions. And we would get our reports and think, Oh, my goodness, how is this so scarily accurate, that there are some of us that left class and we’re fine with not knowing, but there are some of us that really want a little better understanding of why those 24 questions and where they came from. And I will say that the disc is rooted very strongly in a long history of work that many of us may have learned about if we took a psychology class in college. So I’ll just do kind of a quick high level overview for you a little timeline. So back in the 1920s, all of this kind of started with work that was done by the psychologist Carl Jung. So out of his study and his work came a lot of words that we are familiar with today, like being an introvert versus an extrovert thinking versus feeling and those were Words and that work got expanded by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter is about, and they developed the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. So I don’t know, Adam, if you’re familiar with that, but that’s another type of assessment.

Adam Salgat 5:12
Yep, it is, and and correct me if I’m wrong, that’s considered more of a personality assessment, as opposed to behavioral assessment. Is that right?

Speaker 3 5:21
Absolutely. So we’ll talk a little bit more as we get into the further into the disc work as to kind of what that difference is between the Myers Briggs and the disc. So that’s, yeah, you’re setting us up very nicely. So after that, around 1928, William Marston started continuing to work on all of those theories and ideas that have come out of the work of Carl Jung. And he actually had developed some assessments that actually had 10,000 questions in them, which I cannot even imagine, right 20 fours felt very doable. The idea of sitting down and taking 10,000 Questions feels a little bit intense,

Adam Salgat 5:59
way more than I’d be ready to.

Speaker 3 6:03
And from there, the work with William Marston gap continued to be built on by John Guyer. And he really was the one who developed kind of that personal profile that later became known as the disc. So as you see, all of this work is continuing to develop. And then it is now down to that 24 Question assessment. And there are a variety of different vendors, who can take that DISC assessment and use it through the algorithm give out different reports and different interpretations. Our particular organization chooses to use extended this,

Adam Salgat 6:36
okay, can you tell me why our organization chose to use extended disc,

Speaker 3 6:40
one of the things that we really liked about the extended disc in particular, was that when you took the assessment, it actually gives you two separate profiles, it gives you your natural profile, but then also your perceived need to adjust. So essentially, how you think you need to show up to be successful. And it’s kind of a helpful image for us to be able to see how aligned are we with our natural styles? Or maybe if we’re really tired, it might be because we are needing to operate in that other space.

Adam Salgat 7:14
I think there’s a term that we use in that called flexing. Yes, yeah. Which we’ll talk a little more about. And I’m sure if you remember from class, a lot of opportunity to talk about style flexing. So as we step into first look at the D tendency, there’s a couple of things that you mentioned to me that we want to keep in mind when we’re talking about these tendencies. One of them being that we’re looking at them in their purest form, we’re going to kind of talk about them in their purest form. Is that right?

Speaker 3 7:44
Yeah, and Adam, when you look at the four different behavioral tendencies, we would find that only 5% of the population is actually just primarily one tendency. So to talk about it in its purest form, makes a lot of sense to help better understand, but 95% of us are going to find that we resonate with some portions of more than one tendency.

Adam Salgat 8:07
Right? Right. So we’re a blend, or blend of at least more than one of those and 95, I did not know that stat, by the way. And that’s kind of pretty astounding to think about that, you know, you if you really, truly can’t put somebody in one box. But like you said, we can start to learn each one of these tendencies. And hopefully, you’ll start to understand people a little better. So let’s start talking about D. D tendency, the word typically associated with D is direct. Tell me a little bit more about this tendency. I’ll let you kind of take it from there, and we’ll do some follow up.

Speaker 3 8:45
Right, and Adam, I do want to just add the D tendency to me is, is incredibly fascinating for a lot of different reasons. One, it’s because it’s the one behavioral tendency that I don’t have any of in my profile, and on top of that I have lived with and worked with and CO facilitated with people who have a lot of dependency. So for me, I’ve really learned a lot over the years about the different ways that this need to direct and have control and ownership can show up for that tendency as well. So you’re absolutely right, right, a high D tendency, it’s a need to have control, right and need to be able to direct to have ownership. And as a result on a team that can bring a lot of strengths around being able to drive things forward to manage time to make sure that there’s progress that’s happening in the D tendency also seeks out personal challenges.

Adam Salgat 9:39
So that personal challenge always brings my mind to sports players like Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, men who are top you know, greatest of all time in their, in their sports, and there’s stories out there about Michael Jordan, legitimately making up beefs with other players in his head to keep himself being pushed. So he wanted a personal challenge even though even though the the beef or the trouble going on between the two of them might have been completely fabricated, but he needed that personal push. And that’s how he did it for himself.

Speaker 3 10:17
Yeah, and this, the sports analogy is great Adam, because I think it’s a country way to imagine, like the game winning shot, tons of pressure, there is a high probability that a player with a high T D tendency, like wants that to have that kind of weight and significance, right, they want that personal challenge. Whereas there are some other behavioral tendencies that we’ll talk about later in other podcasts, where that would have to take a lot of energy and effort to want to be the one that has the whole game resting on their shoulders,

Adam Salgat 10:48
right. And then in a basketball analogy, their tendency might be the person who’s going to set the pick, they want to clear the space for the D tendency to hit that shot. Yeah, they’re looking at that support element.

Speaker 3 11:03
That’s great. And for the non sports fans, if you’ve ever been in a team meeting where somebody presents this project idea that you’re like, it would take a ton of work. And we’re not really sure how it could happen, this would really put us out there and it’s a big time crunch, there’s a good chance that the energy level and a high D tendency is going to go up in that moment, right, they’re ready for the challenge, they want something to keep them engaged. And so if you are in an organization where there’s never that opportunity for the tendency to direct something, or to have a big challenge to tackle, there is a chance that they might not be as motivated as what they could be.

Adam Salgat 11:39
The overextension is of a D tendency, talk a little bit about that,

Speaker 3 11:44
at times, the D tendency can be seen as being impatient. And I think it can be helpful to think about that through the terms of pace. So in general, the tendencies are very active on the disk scale, they would be more on the active. And so that means they want to move at a fast pace, they don’t really like to get bogged down with details, they want to be moving quickly. So if they’re in an environment, where people are taking a really long time to get things done, or there’s a lot of detailed routine work that they have to do, they can be seen as being impatient, because it’s kind of just getting in the way of them being able to move on to the next thing.

Adam Salgat 12:20
When speaking about PE sometimes I think even communication, like verbal communication can come into play, and I heard you’ve mentioned something in there, they can get bogged down by details, I think you have a personal story you could share that kind of helps put an example to

Speaker 3 12:34
if you keep tying it back to their need for directness, one, it’s like being able to direct something, but also to be direct and be spoken to in a direct way. Like all of these things kind of come together with the D tendency. And my husband, Jonathan has a primary D behavioral tendency. And we were talking one weekend about the plan for the day, and we had a bunch of company with us. And he posed a simple question, just do you think I should run errands before I take all the kids in for breakfast? And me not being mindful about how I was responding, I start giving my whole thought process my reasons why I think errands beforehand might be good proactively thinking about a reaction, maybe if the kids aren’t ready on time, talking through all of this. And then at the very end, he said, so it sounds like you’re saying yes. And I stopped for a minute and very kindly, he just said, it’s really hard for me to understand what you’re trying to say. If you just start with Yes, then I kind of know where to where to go next.

Adam Salgat 13:36
Right? Right, he may not mind hearing the detail, he may not mind hearing the understanding or knowing that you’re putting that kind of thought process into it. But he in the end sounds like he’s looking for a directive.

Speaker 3 13:49
Yeah. And it’s kind of that bottom line, right. And so if you are communicating with somebody with a high D tendency, and you’re using a lot of words or metaphors, or you’re explaining the thought process first, they might be distracted, trying to preemptively identify what are they trying to say? What is the bottom line? Where are we headed? So sometimes you’ll even see it maybe in an email format, where people will write bluff on the top, the L UF bottom line up front, start with, here’s the end thing that I want to say. And then the details can follow below.

Adam Salgat 14:23
That’s a interesting element. I’ve never really used that and email, but I can see how it would make sense. I can also think of people that I work with that I could easily put something like like that together for them, and I know they’d probably appreciate it. And I’m the type of person at times I don’t mind knowing the details, but I do have a tendency to just kind of want to know okay, what what’s the action? So that’s, you know, what is that bottom line? Absolutely. Yeah. Which is interesting. I do say that but I’ve never shown to have a dependency in in these Uh, in the DISC assessment. So I think there’s elements that show and don’t show and there’s times that we like certain things. And it’s interesting the the blend of it all because honestly, even though I don’t have my GED, I’m a pretty equal blend between i, s and C. So, yeah, it’s there’s certain things that come into play.

Speaker 3 15:22
I think that’s a great point to to remember that the disk can be an incredibly insightful tool to help us better understand ourselves and how to communicate with others. But it’s also one aspect of ourselves, right? So there are going to be just certain communication preferences, the level of trust within the relationship that might impact your preferred way of being communicated with. So again, just that reminder for us that this is helpful, but it’s also like generalities, and it’s still best to approach people as individuals and be open to kind of hearing their preferences with how they like to communicate.

Adam Salgat 15:56
Yep, that’s a good way to put it. Yeah. Because everybody may have something else an outside influence that is kind of, you know, change the way that they like to receive information or how they, you know, expect to be communicated to, is there anything else about the D tendency that we want to cover? I know, we didn’t really talk directly about strengths and limitations. But so maybe we touch on knows, at least, like we said, again, in the purest form of these D tendencies.

Speaker 3 16:26
Yeah, so again, going with that goal oriented approach and wanting movement and things going forward, the dependencies tend to be great bottom line organizers, and good at managing time. So they’re not going to let a group stay stuck, right, in the space of the end, we just can’t quite get it perfect or can’t quite get the answers, they’re going to want to see things keep moving forward. The one other thing I really admire about the D tendency is that they are constantly seeking improvement, continuous improvement. So when a project is finally accomplished, and done, right, some tendencies want to take a minute to be basking in the glory of all that’s been accomplished. And it’s not uncommon that the D tenancies natural reaction is I know what we’re going to do next, right, they’ve got that vision, and they want to move quickly. And they’re kind of on to the next area. And then the other ability that the D tenancy has is that there tend to be quick decision makers. So they don’t necessarily need to feel like they see every piece in the right piece of the puzzle before they can have an idea of what the final images

Adam Salgat 17:28
is interesting. Yeah. So I reflect on myself a bit where I, I’m not always a quick decision maker, I’m much more that absorb. So now I’m starting to realize, okay, yeah, I’m not, I’m not quite that. That didn’t make sense. It doesn’t show up. Because I’m a collect, collect as much information as I can and then assess and then make a decision. Now, all of that can happen quickly. But I generally am going to want to look at as many angles as possible. The limitations of a D statement here include oversteps authority, argumentative, I mean, in their highest form, I can understand all that could come into play, right?

Speaker 3 18:07
Yeah, and if you think about the fact that the D tendency tends to be a quick decision maker and moving fast, then the idea of them being seen as argumentative, could somewhat be an interpretation at times, because they might be quicker to give their opinion or to speak up when they don’t agree with something that’s being done.

Adam Salgat 18:24
And then the other ones mentioned, you know, dislikes routine and attempts too much at once. And I think those make a lot of sense, when you think about wanting to move forward quickly and move on the one year, that makes me wonder, does the term dreamer fall underneath D tendency? Or does that fall underneath a different tendency?

Speaker 3 18:45
You know, I think I can see it apply in a couple of different areas. But I definitely see some elements with the D tendency, because they have that visionary ability, right? They’re wanting to seek a new challenge to up their game, right to keep things moving forward. So I, I like that the visionary, the dreamer, kind of being able to shape some of that. And again, they tend to be focused on task first, right? So this kind of vision or dream of how an organization could be better how a project could move in a certain space, how things could develop and grow. Awesome. And, Adam, if I could add something on that dislikes routine that we’ve had come up in class quite a bit. Yeah. It’s been kind of a mix where some people with the tendency say absolutely I hate routine, like drudgery, and others who go I don’t mind routine. It’s the only way I get stuff done because it moves them forward. And what we typically find out is that if the D tendency can create their own routine, they often don’t mind doing

Adam Salgat 19:42
it. Right? It’s been something they have control over. Yeah, they can adapt it as they see fit. And they’ve probably done so to make it fit their life I suppose. So let’s move on to the i tendency, listed here psychological and need to be loved. They’re like a puppy, right?

Speaker 3 20:04
They want to be in relationship, like they get a lot of value and energy and motivation from how they interact and engage with people around them.

Adam Salgat 20:13
So they’re looking for that connection. They’re generally optimistic people oriented relators, like stated here, can you think of anyone in your life that that fits that kind of bill,

Speaker 3 20:25
I am very lucky to have quite a few high I tendencies in my life. And one of the things that I deeply appreciate is that level of optimism. They are the kinds of people that when they encounter a challenge or a problem, they’re not thrown off, right? They’re kind of sometimes the first tendency to step in and be like, we can figure this out, we can come up with a creative solution, we can think outside the box. In fact, they don’t even want any box, right? So there’s not even any type of restriction on what could be in the possibilities. As long as people are doing it together and enjoying one another.

Adam Salgat 21:02
That’s pretty cool. What else can you tell me about the identity?

Speaker 3 21:05
Well, the identity actually is going to be seeking out social interaction and recognition. And I think the social interaction is kind of intuitive, right? They want to be engaging with people. So sometimes if they run into a problem at work, they’re kind of addicted. Let’s just hop on a team call and I’ll talk about it together. When people can’t meet in person, they’re often the ones who are like, let’s hop on and do a happy hour or coffee. Virtually so we can all see each other’s faces and talk. But I think sometimes the recognition piece people get a little bit confused with because it’s not recognition as in hi i tendencies need praise. Okay, I tendencies want to be recognized as in, they want to be seen, like recognized as a unique individual with unique traits that they can contribute.

Adam Salgat 21:55
If I’m stumbling, because you just described a lot of my life. Were like it. So as you guessed, I was I think acid is actually my highest tendency, but i and C sit right, right with it. So there’s a lot of things that I kind of blend across the two and those certain things that you just mentioned for me personally connect with. And I’m sure there’s people out there who just heard the same thing kind of go yep. Yep. I mean, to talk a little bit about them inside of a team. I know we talked about that. Backdoor sports analogy. Any thoughts on you know, what kind of team player this person isn’t a sports analogy, before we step into, you know, maybe a business or or work setting?

Speaker 3 22:41
Man? That’s a great question, Adam. And you know, it’s funny, because sometimes when they think about somebody who’s kind of the morale booster person who’s really building up the team, I think sometimes your initial gut reaction is to move to like the the cheerleaders who are getting the energy level up, getting people encouraged keeping things going, even when things aren’t going really well. But I also think sometimes it might be that you’re gonna have to help me with the wording Adam, who are the players are really robust with eyes have like big facial gestures and movements, and they’re kind of like the frontman. And kind of like the showmanship type deal.

Adam Salgat 23:17
Showmanship, the wide receivers of a football team have a tendency to be a little bit more, you know, it, it all depends on personality, because you’ve got got, you know, players like Jerry Rice and Calvin Johnson best wide receivers in the game, that weren’t really attention seekers, or Barry Sanders wasn’t an attention seeker at all. But then you’ve got guys who put up big numbers, and they run to the center of the field like Terrell Owens to kind of show off that and they’ve got different antics to kind of please the crowd, and they love being that attention Center, also have a tendency to think of these people as potentially the glue of a team, the ones that want to, you know, stay optimistic and keep people connected, right.

Speaker 3 24:02
And I love your point about getting the crowd involved, because that’s really at the core of what people with high AI tendencies do is it’s about the people and the whole experience and wanting people to be engaged and having a good time. Yeah, and I could see that being the player that when you’re down by 10, they’re the ones who are doing the pep talk on the sidelines and getting everybody all amped up

Adam Salgat 24:26
in a team setting to I think you already kind of mentioned this, they’re the ones that jump in and say we’ll figure it out, right? They’re the ones that kind of have that ready to go attitude, the ability to maybe bring people along with them through encouragement that they want to try and find a way to keep everybody happy and keep everybody connected and moving forward. So you may notice, you know, some of those in your work teams, people like that. And let’s talk a little bit about what happens in work teams or these types of people that we may see in our work life and we look at Other women, maybe we have some thoughts about like, oh my gosh, yeah, they’re great at that. But man, they struggle in this space. How does it? How does that sometimes show in this type of tendency?

Speaker 3 25:11
It’s an interesting thought, Adam, because if you think about it from the strength standpoint, right, the high is probably getting people engaged in the programs and projects that you have going on. When the team hits a problem, they’re coming up with creative solutions, they’re not really thrown off if things aren’t going clearly. But on the flip side, sometimes the limitations with the high is that because they are also in the active, fast paced environment, right, and they’re really focused on people in talking that sometimes they can become inattentive to details. So some of those details that are needed for projects to take place or for timelines to be completed. They’re not the highest priority, oftentimes for people with high eye tendencies. Gotcha. And then the other part is that sometimes with Hi tendencies when they get over extended or kind of stressed, they can come across as being disorganized. Though, I will say we had a participant who had high tendencies one time who said, I know that the 200 Sticky Notes randomly scattered around my desk, and all of my file folders everywhere looks disorganized, but I promise I know where everything is.

Adam Salgat 26:18
Yeah, that sounds a little bit like all the camera gear that’s behind me in my office, as I basically know where everything is, it’s a bit all over the place. But if I need it, and I can find it, there. Yep, I could find it. So you mentioned that a little bit the when they’re overextended, it could be a bit of disorganization, whether or not they might still be organized to them. But it could be perceived as some disorganization, other limitations that we have listed here, that might be more concerned with popularity and tangible results, which is something I find interesting, because I think for certain personalities, it’s just the bottom line. Right. And we talked about that a little bit with the DEA, where this, that statement tells me that they are okay with maybe a lower attendance in an event if everyone had a good time. Yeah,

Speaker 3 27:09
that yes, that’s a great example, Adam. And if I can build on that to one of the other ways that comes across as in, in the way that they receive feedback through that lens as well. So when we’re talking about a program that needs to get reevaluated, if you were to look at the dependency, somebody’s giving feedback about how to change or adapt the program to improve it, the high D tendency is looking at it through the task lens, right? So they’re looking at it through improvement, and how do I continue to challenge myself and move forward, the high tendency is going to receive that through their own need to be loved, and their fear of being rejected. So I think probably that’s kind of what it’s getting to when they talk about popularity, it’s not, hey, I want everyone to love me all the time. But feedback is going to be seen through that filter of man, does this person not like me? Because that is a need? Right? So it’s just gonna take a little bit more intentionality for the high tendency to kind of filter through what to do with that feedback.

Adam Salgat 28:08
How does it i tendency, a high tendency prefer to be communicated with.

Speaker 3 28:14
So the high tendency, again, Adam has a commonality with a dependency of that active pace. So you can just kind of throw an idea out without having to really make sure that you have everything all lined up. So they’re not really all that interested in all of the really specific details, they want to hear the big idea. And they like it to be posed in a positive light, right? They’re optimistic, they’re creative problem solvers. So if we come in with like, there’s no way this is ever going to happen, that can kind of automatically set the tone off on a bad foot. The other part is, the AI tendency really finds it more motivating to engage in conversation or projects when they can first have a little bit of time to connect socially. So sometimes that could look as simple as checking in with how their kids soccer game went over the weekend, if you happen to know that there was a concert that they attended to ask about that, just something that recognizes them as an individual to connect on that human level, and then they can turn to the task at hand. But that can really make a big shift for how people with AI tendency engage.

Adam Salgat 29:24
How does that potentially translate to email communication, which is a lot of communication that we go through. In my head, I’m imagining something along the lines of maybe identifying, hey, I hope your weekend was great. And you and your family are doing well. Or if you know something very specific about their weekend, say, Oh, I hope the girls dance recital went really well. And you guys had a great time. And then move into the you know, the probably the subject of the email. Exactly what it’s about does something like that potentially help set the tone for an identity to feel to feel that

Speaker 3 29:55
that’s a great example. Yes. And so email communication, just the same as it is with verbal communication, making sure that you just take a minute to kind of do that warm welcome or warm connection can go a long way.

Adam Salgat 30:07
Well, Katie, as we wrap up here, let’s do a little quick recap of both of these tendencies, the D and bi,

Speaker 3 30:13
I think it can be helpful to take a look at the unique needs and fears of each tendency, because it shapes so much of how we interpret things that are happening around us and the way we communicate. So with the high D tendency, the psychological need is to direct and control. And the fear of a high D tendency is a loss of control or of being controlled by someone else. Whereas with the high behavioral tendency, the psychological need is to be loved. And the fear is social rejection.

Adam Salgat 30:45
Those are good reminders to keep in mind because I’m even thinking about it in my personal life, again, of people I know who might fall into these and to maybe even depending on the relationship that you have, I know there’s one I have a good relationship with, it’s okay to maybe ask, would you be more comfortable in this situation if you had some control? Right, have some control over something and how can I help provide that we will be talking about the S and the C tendencies in the next podcast. So I hope you tune in and listen. And like I said at the beginning of this, we’re kind of rebuilding and putting these podcasts together for refreshers as all of our new alumni start coming in, and even alumni like myself who took the class years ago, it’s always good to go through these refreshers, these reminders to give us the opportunity to continue to grow. Katie, thank you so much for being a part of the podcast today and I look forward to our next one. Thank you, Adam.