Jeffrey Sugerman, Mark Scullard and Emma Wilhelm have created a book that employs the DiSC strategies. For those who are unfamiliar with this acronym, the following may be useful: 'DISC is a quadrant behavioral model to examine the behavior of individuals in their environment or within a specific situation (otherwise known as environment). It therefore focuses on the styles and preferences of such behavior. This system of dimensions of observable behavior has become known as the universal language of behavior. Characteristics of behavior can be grouped into these four major "personality styles" - DOMINANCE (relating to control, power and assertiveness), INFLUENCE (relating to social situations and communication,
STEADINESS (relating to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness) and CONSCIENTIOUSNESS (relating to structure and organization) - and they tend to exhibit specific characteristics common to that particular style. All individuals possess all four, but what differs from one to another is the extent of each. For most, these types are seen in shades of grey rather than black or white, and within that, there is an interplay of behaviors, otherwise known as blends. The determination of such blends starts with the primary (or stronger) type, followed by the secondary (or lesser) type, although all contribute more than just purely the strength of that "signal". Having understood the differences between these blends makes it possible to integrate individual team members with less troubleshooting. In a typical team, there are varying degrees of compatibility, not just toward tasks but interpersonal relationships as well. However, when they are identified, energy can be spent on refining the results. Each of these types has its own unique value to the team, ideal environment, general characteristics, what the individual is motivated by, and value to team.'
'Dominance: People who score high in the intensity of the "D" styles factor are very active in dealing with problems and challenges, while low "D" scores are people who want to do more research before committing to a decision. High "D" people are described as demanding, forceful, egocentric, strong willed, driving, determined, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. Low D scores describe those who are conservative, low keyed, cooperative, calculating, undemanding, cautious, mild, agreeable, modest and peaceful. Influence: People with high "I" scores influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional. They are described as convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. Those with low "I" scores influence more by data and facts, and not with feelings. They are described as reflective, factual, calculating, skeptical, logical, suspicious, matter of fact, pessimistic, and critical. Steadiness: People with high "S" styles scores want a steady pace, security, and do not like sudden change. High "S" individuals are calm, relaxed, patient, possessive, predictable, deliberate, stable, consistent, and tend to be unemotional and poker faced. Low "S" intensity scores are those who like change and variety. People with low "S" scores are described as restless, demonstrative, impatient, eager, or even impulsive. Conscientious: People with high "C" styles adhere to rules, regulations, and structure. They like to do quality work and do it right the first time. High "C" people are careful, cautious, exacting, neat, systematic, diplomatic, accurate, and tactful. Those with low "C" scores challenge the rules and want independence and are described as self-willed, stubborn, opinionated, unsystematic, arbitrary, and unconcerned with details.'
What the three authors have done in this book is to offer a very straightforward and simple manner of identifying which of these behavioral types defines us and then encourages how to refine these traits so that they become positive aspects of becoming a multidimensional leader. "Don't Be a One-Dimensional Leader!' is their motto. Using the newer (3rd generation from the original 1928 version) DiSC personality assessment we now have 8 dimensions of leadership: Pioneering, Energizing, Affirming, Inclusive, Humble, Deliberate, Resolute, or Commanding leader. By setting out the aspects - pro and con of each of these styles the authors provides lessons on how to adjust the aspects of each of these styles to become a fully dimensional leader, one who capitalizes on their strengths and alters or zests up their weaknesses. Happy with yourself. Happy state from those whom you lead. This is a book rich in information but one that s easily adaptable for personal use - surprisingly so! Grady Harp, May 11