The silence exploded as Michelle’s bedroom door slammed behind her. “And stay in there until you learn some respect!” her mother yelled through the closed door.
Michelle and her mom are now trying to piece together what just happened. Mom is an off-the-charts D (Dominant) personality type and Michelle is a high S (Supportive) type personality—you guessed it—opposites. After a lot of yelling and harsh words, and the dreaded “I HATE YOU!,” nobody is sure what happened… and it’s been brewing for a long time.
Mom is task oriented and tired of Michelle not finishing her work in a timely manner. Michelle is always helping someone else to the detriment of her own tasks. Mom constantly treats Michelle like another item on her todo list and Michelle usually ends up feeling hurt by her moms rough attitude. Neither understands each other and everybody else on either side of the conflict backs up the story that resonates with their personality. You don’t have to be opposites to not understand—you can be the same personality. But you have to understand why you do the things you do and why others do what they do.
Michelle has trouble responding to her mom and keeps everything bottled up and mom doesn’t know how to see into the heart of the matter to defuse the situation. Talk about your passive aggressive. So here we are with a shattered situation with little hope for a proper reconciliation and moving forward. Everybody will just have to adjust. In time both mom and Michelle will cool off—but the hurt won’t go away, and next time the argument will escalate faster and further. This happens all over the world every day. It doesn’t have to.
It’s not entirely their fault. It’s the way we’re wired. The way we’re made. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar used to say, “yesterday ended last night and today is a new day.” How we act is our choice. What makes it so hard?
Sometimes my wife looks at me and says, “How in the world do you come up with this or that?” She asks that because I am from Mars and she is from Venus (meaning we’re so different in our thinking that it seems like we’re from different planets). And it’s more than just gender differences.
Our personality traits are foreign to those that don’t share the same traits, or worse—those that are opposite—like Dominant (D) and Supportive (S) are opposite (Michelle and her mom), or in the case of me and my bride, Inspiring (I) and Conscientious (C) type personalities.
Communication takes a huge hit when you’re not speaking the same language—personality language, that is. No personality is right or wrong, good or bad—just different. It’s the behavior that comes from that that is the problem.
The body is made up of many parts and they work amazingly together. Just think of juggling or playing the piano, or most sports. Coordination, muscle memory, calculations. It’s bizarre. Like with coordination and sports, those with different personality traits are able to learn to work together to take advantage of our differing strengths and limitations. My goal here is to help us better deal with miscommunication and misunderstanding so we can accomplish far more than on our own. Understanding the DISC Model of Human Behavior will help us get to that understanding.
I want to show you the different types of personalities and help you recognize how to interact with opposing personalities—and even similar personalities—when a problem arises. This will help make the family, work, church, team—whoever—function efficiently and help you avoid pitfalls so you can concentrate on whatever goal you are working on. Otherwise, we’re just picking up the pieces of broken relationships caused by not understanding the mayhem we just created for most of our lives. Think about the last argument you had—it happens often.
By understanding the DISC Personality Blends, you will be able to know yourself more deeply and accept the other person better, turning on the skills necessary to win the war instead of losing a battle.
You have to be intentional and assess everyone from the start. It will save you a boatload of trouble and keep your team humming. Learning about opposing personalities will benefit you, your family, your friends, your customers, investors—everybody! Not sure what personality profile you are? We’ll get to that soon.
Keep in mind as you read through the four primary personality traits, we are ALL a blend of these four traits—some traits are stronger than others for each of us, but we are all a mix of all four. I am an I/D, Inspiring/Dominate (specifically I am an IDSC—that is my total blend). I am doubly outgoing and mostly people oriented and somewhat task oriented. That has it’s own strengths and limitations. Don’t get frustrated if each one doesn’t define you perfectly—we are all blends!!
Okay. I’ve thrown a bunch at you on personality. That’s what’s great about the Level Up! youth presentation we do with your church youth group. We show parents and students together, their strongest traits and how to talk to and work with one another. Check it here.
The following four blogs will give you an idea of the four primary personality blends. This isn’t exhaustive but is a taste of who we are. Next up: DISC Personality Traits Part 1—D—Dominant Type—Dave and the Steam Roller Blues. Join the email list here so you won’t miss any posts. Make it a great day!