If you know me even a little, you’ve probably heard me talk about the DISC personality assessment. Some of you have probably heard it a lot.
Sorry, not sorry.
The thing is, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for DISC. Not here here, but here in terms of where I am today.
I don’t think I would be as good a dad and partner to the kiddo and Melissa as I am. (I’m not perfect, but I’m a lot better than I could be.) And professionally, I don’t think I would be confident enough or motivated enough to be on my own.
I’ve talked about how much of a game-changer taking the assessment was that first time 7 years ago. (Yes, I’ve taken it a few times since. Because as we grow and evolve, your test results can change a bit.)
Even though that was so long ago, there are still ways that it’s usage and benefits pop up without me even realizing it.
Take my team, for example. Between my various projects, I work with over 10 people. None of them, literally none of them are a C. The closest is my girlfriend/content and account manager. She’s an S/C, so that helps. Everybody else: S’s, I’s, and D’s.
My constant need to ask a million questions, gather hours of data, and know everything before I get started on something can weight pretty heavily on people.
But thanks to DISC —and the awesomeness of the people I work with— I’ve found a way to communicate my needs and work with their needs so that we all work well together.
I know I’m not the easiest guy to get along with. I get very ramped up about the things that are important to me, but I have trouble paying attention to the things that aren’t. When I get ramped up, I’m a classic over-talker. And I’m not always super aware of when somebody is checked out of the conversation. Sometimes, other people’s emotional responses are a complete mystery to me.
I’m still working on all of these things, but it’s so much easier for me than it used to be. And I wouldn’t even be aware of them if it weren’t for DISC.
Before taking that first assessment, I kind of faked my way through all of this. I would be incredibly social, be the life of the party, and the constant joker. Most people would have assumed I was an I. And I thought I was supposed to be. When conversations were taking a turn for the worse, I’d usually just try to sidestep where it was going wrong by making a joke or laughing it off.
Let me tell you, it was a struggle.
But I was good at faking it. Even my girlfriend had no idea how hard I tried to be something I wasn’t. Of course, she knew that wasn’t me all the time. She’s well aware of how much research I’ve always needed to do before buying something or making a big decision. And she’s stood by me while I get super entrenched in a new project or passion. But she didn’t know how uncomfortable it was for me to socialize and network a lot of the time. Which makes sense, usually it was me trying to encourage her to socialize.
Over time, I started to let go of this “must be a social butterfly” guy a bit. Having a kid was pretty much killing our social life anyway, so it wasn’t the most difficult transition for either of us. But it wasn’t until DISC that I realized why it was so easy to let go of it.
The more time I spent focused on myself, my family, and my work, the more I started to figure out who I really am. Some might say engineer type, others say robot. Either way, I’m sure it could get kind of dull or annoying for some people before I learned how to dial it back and adapt it to better communicate with people who aren’t like me.
Almost more than that though was how much DISC helped me learn to appreciate those things in myself. All the quirks that I thought were flaws before. It showed me that my inclinations to jump down rabbit holes and ask so many questions could be strengths, not weaknesses. I just needed to be aware of them, take control of them a little when they overtake other responsibilities, and direct them in the most beneficial ways.
Knowing that these things are personality traits —not imperfections unique to me— has led me to be able to recognize it in others. Do you know how great it feels to find somebody just like you? To be able to comfortably geek out in the same way with someone else? It’s, quite frankly, awesome! And I can do it now with more people than I ever would have been able to before.
On Sales Throwdown, we talk about the endless number of ways that DISC will help you in sales. And we keep talking about it because we find more and more ways in which it works. You build more trust, you gain more empathy, you ask more relevant and nurturing questions. All of these lead to the kind of conversations that close more deals.
What we don’t talk enough about, although it has been brought up a multitude of times, is that you don’t have to be in sales to benefit from a DISC assessment. Any assessment really, but that’s the one that’s had the most impact for me.
If you’re in any position where you want to build stronger relationships, DISC will help. If you’re in any position where you want to have more effective communication with a range of people, DISC will help.
It’s not snake oil, and it’s not a cure-all. You have to put in the work. And for me, there’s been a lot of other factors that have pushed me further down the path with all of this. Journaling, meditation, reading about philosophy and psychology, and some therapy.
But it all started with DISC, and I will always be thankful.
P.S. Through Sales Throwdown, we can set you up with a DISC personality assessment if you’re interested. Just text me at 817-345-7449 and let us know.