"If you would describe yourself as an outgoing person," said Dr. Rohm, "I'd like you to go and stand at that end of the room. But if you'd describe yourself as a more reserved person, then please stand at the opposite end. Just go with whatever your inclination is now - this isn't cast in stone."
So we all headed to our respective ends of the room, as he continued... "Now, within each of your groups, some of you will be more 'task oriented' while others are more naturally 'people oriented'. If you believe you're more people oriented, please stand on the window side of the room and if you're more task oriented, I'd like you to stand over on the door side of the room. Do all this while staying at your respective ends of the room."
So there we were, neatly divided into four groups:
- Outgoing and task oriented
- Outgoing and people oriented
- Reserved and people oriented
- Reserved and task oriented
"You I types are inspiring, the life of the party. You want to be in the limelight and you think you ARE the show.
"You S types are supportive and sensitive. You're always there for others, you're great team players and your only concern is that the show should go well for everyone.
"You C types are cautious and careful. You do things thoroughly and methodically, always pursuing excellence. You'll plan the show so nothing goes wrong."
Looking around the room and knowing a lot of the other attendees personally, I could see he had pretty well hit the nail on the head. The irony was that since the group was composed heavily of entrepreneurs, the D and I types were over-represented in terms of the general population.
The Punch Line
"You D types," he went on, "...the happiest day of your parents' life was the day you left home and stopped telling them how to raise you. As for you I- types, the saddest day in your parents' life was the day you left home, because all the fun left with you. You S types never did leave home because you're so happy where you are. And you C types have bought your parents' home and are now leasing it back to them!"
"Now understand that these types are complimentary and no one type is 'better' than another. It's just how you're wired. But there's more to it: all of us contain all four types within us. It's just that one or two of the types will dominate while the others have much less influence on your behavior. So if you couldn't be in the quadrant you're standing in now, point to the one that you feel would describe next best how you're wired."
We all pointed. I'm a high C / high S blend, so I pointed to the S quadrant folks standing at the back of the room on the window side.
"Notice that almost all of you pointed to your left or right and that only a couple of you pointed directly across the room. Typically the quadrant across the room is the lowest one on your chart and the one you understand the least.
"Also, there's normally a third quadrant that you 'live in' some of the time. It may not describe your deepest wiring but you're capable of stretching yourself to go there when needed. What is that quadrant for you?"
I pointed to the D quadrant. I don't usually feel a huge compulsion to be in charge, but if I'm on a team with a common task to accomplish and I see that the leadership is absent or ineffective, I will automatically take over and start directing things.
In short, we had a blast at Dr. Rohm's presentation. It was superb. Here's a short video of him telling a funny story of his encounter with a high-C type...
The DISC system, represented by the graphic up above, is a fantastic resilience tool for understanding yourself and others. In the business world, it's a very effective tool for building highly productive teams or for diagnosing and eliminating the tensions and conflicts within a team.
And I'm delighted to announce that from this moment forward, Global Resilience Solutions will be offering DISC training for teams! Does your team need help? If so, give us a call at 888-532-9504.
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger
*Please note the "quotations" from Dr. Rohm's presentation are simply paraphrased and may not represent his actual wording.