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How to Adapt During Crisis by DISC Behavior

Jul 31, 2020 | Behaviors, Communication

Learn how each DISC behavioral style reacts and adapts to the global pandemic crisis.

We wanted to learn more about how each behavioral style has been reacting to our current global situation. To do this, we interviewed 4 people in our network who fit into the D, I, S, and C behavioral styles. Here are their reactions, actions, and results from their first weeks of remote work in the wake of a global pandemic.

Learn how the DISC D Dominance style reacts and adapts to the global pandemic crisis.D — DOMINANCE

Fast Paced, Task-Oriented, Results Driven

Initial Reaction: Fight or Flight

If you have a High D score, your initial reaction was probably one of stark realization. This might have triggered you into a fight or flight response, feeling like you needed to defend yourself and your loved ones, or flee.

Focused Reaction: Innovation

After the initial shock wore off, our High D made a plan. “We work with people,” they said. “We have some of the best tools to leverage how best to deal with people during this crisis, so let’s pull together a package that can appeal to the masses in being better able to lead their talent from a bad situation to a more positive outcome.”

Personal Practices

Our advice for High D scores? Slow down at home. Your housemates, loved ones and families probably have different scores than you, and they might be hesitating to react as quickly as you are inclined to. It’s OK to take a breath!

Rely on others who are more structured than you. Our D’s partner is a High S, and they are letting them take the lead on household procedures. They found themselves grateful for the structure in such an uncertain time.

Business Best Practices

If you have a High D score, you are a trailblazer and an innovator. That’s exactly what businesses need right now! “Innovation happens during interesting times,” said our High D. “This is certainly an interesting time that we plan to optimize and have a positive impact on our clients.”

Help your clients focus on a bigger picture for their business without emphasizing the ‘doom and gloom’. Don’t be insensitive, but a lot of people are looking for inspiration right now, and you’re a natural leader.

Next Step for High Ds

What’s your next step? A great idea for High Ds is to connect with others and seek out their points of view. Your willingness to charge forward is a great strength, but make sure you have all the facts before you do.

Learn how the DISC I Influence style reacts and adapts to the global pandemic crisis.I — INFLUENCE

Engaging, Flexible, Optimistic

Initial Reaction: Loss of Connection

The High I was initially very concerned with how the pandemic would affect their connections with others. Since they are people-oriented and fueled by interaction, they were concerned about social distancing and restriction.

Focused Reaction: People-First Support

People with High I scores are excellent influencers. They can use that talent in difficult times to help others come around to necessary changes. If you’re a High I, your great attitude and ability to talk through issues will be a huge benefit for you in this time.

Personal Practices

Our High I was having a hard time adapting to our new social norms, so they are focusing on keeping spirits high. Inspirational content is a great source of comfort for them, so they are enjoying favorite quotes and seeking out inspiration on social media.

Try keeping a victory file: a collection of notes, cards and messages you’ve received over the years. That way, you can be reminded of the good you have done over time to get inspired for the good you will do!

Business Best Practices

You know putting #PeopleFirst is the best way forward. Do this by providing exceptional service to reduce waste and reserve profits. It might be hard to adapt without the in-person interaction that a High I prefers, but make face-to-face time a priority with tools like Zoom and Skype. Your role in this time is one of support and guidance for your clients. That means you might not be in the spotlight where you thrive, but you can do a lot of good.

Next Step for High Is

Make sure you’re making future plans. Daydreaming about everything you want to do after the quarantine isn’t a bad idea—it can help you appreciate your loved ones and favorite activities.

Learn how the DISC S Steadiness style reacts and adapts to the global pandemic crisis.S — STEADINESS

Stability, Patience, Great Listening Skills

Initial Reaction: Awareness, Not Panic

Our High S took the changes in stride and noted that it didn’t really affect their day-to-day as much as it might have affected others. The Steadiness that is their hallmark trait became very useful in this confusing time.

Focused Reaction: Sustain Business, Don’t Grow It

This High S is already prepared to do business from anywhere, remote work included. Their goal is to continue to provide dependable, predictable service while they wait for the hiring freeze to lift. This reliability is a great comfort to clients.

“Great things will come out of this and make all of us more aware of things,” they said. There was no evident sense of urgency when interviewing the S, just confident awareness that this too shall pass.

Personal Practices

While you might have the benefit of big picture thinking and a cool head, others are panicking. Their reactions are not less valid than yours, even if they are less logical. Work hard in this time to acknowledge others’ points of view, and shift your own communication style to reflect their urgency when appropriate.

This High S ran into a challenge when trying to express the seriousness of the situation to their teenage son. Since they were calm and prepared, their son wasn’t fully understanding the gravity of sheltering in place and the importance of social distancing. Shifting communication to match his style helped the High S break through.

Business Best Practices

While your levelness and approach of a process is crucially important to your clients, you need to be careful in this time not to withdraw. It can feel easy for you to carry on, business as usual, but if you aren’t working outside of your comfort zone, you might fall behind your competition.

Push yourself to try new challenges! Your patience and awareness are great tools as you pursue new goals.

Next Step for High Ss

Make sure you don’t withdraw! A challenge that High Ss often face is fear of conflict or challenging situations, and working remotely presents lots of opportunities to shrink away from both. Make sure you’re setting goals outside of your comfort zone to keep up with your competition!

Learn how the DISC C Compliance style reacts and adapts to the global pandemic crisis.C — COMPLIANCE

Data Driven, Methodical, Risk Averse

Initial Reaction: Social Distancing? No Problem!

Our High C started the conversation by noting that High Ds and High Is were probably already missing interaction, while they were welcoming the distance. Their task oriented nature made the shift to virtual much easier than it had been for their peers.

Focused Reaction: New Opportunities For Engagement

High Cs are at risk of withdrawing, especially with an isolated environment. This High C recognized a need to engage deeper on new platforms, and put in high amounts of effort to connect with others virtually. The risk of disconnect is high, but many businesses might stick with a virtual model when the pandemic is resolved. High Cs can help their clients adapt to new protocol and procedures, but the relationship needs to be there.

Personal Practices

Focus on what you can actually control. A global pandemic is an unprecedented situation, so you need to be kind to yourself and think hard about ways you can realistically improve your situation, and acknowledge the ways you simply can’t.

Losing your in-person brainstorming in a team has a large effect on people with High C scores. It’s worth it to put in effort to over communicate, rather than under communicate with your team. While the dynamics are different, virtual meetings just to connect and bounce ideas off each other are still very valuable.

Business Best Practices

Your clear head as a High C is great for your customers right now—you are well positioned to help them figure out the logistics of working virtually. Help your clients focus on the positive aspects of working remotely, like saved money and resources, and help them re-evaluate their business structure to come out of this crisis in the best position possible for them.

Next Step for High Cs

You might not be used to helping others look on the bright side, but your ability to see the advantages of our current state of business is crucial right now. Use your reasoning skills to help others!

Move forward with awareness.

The one thing that you can be certain of is that the state of the world and business are changing every day. Hopefully, you can become more aware of your own behavior by learning from our high D, I, S, and C.

For your next step, try the Working From Home Report. This free assessment offers quick tips to communicate with every DISC style as well as personalized remote work options for you.


Guest TTI SI Blog Author: Carol Mettenbrink

Blog content courtesy of TTI SI.

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