Overusing Strengths of DISC Style

10 Aug, 2016 / by Christina Bowser


In this 30 minute webinar you will discover how overusing strengths of your DISC-style can hinder your success. Learn skills to capitalize on your behavioral style while improving on your development areas.

Don’t Overuse Your Strengths

Markku Kauppinen, CEO and Christina Bowser, Senior Trainer at Extended DISC North America Inc. sit down to talk about how overusing strengths of our DISC behavioral style gets us into trouble. One topic that almost always comes up in our DISC train-the-trainer sessions is how to best handle questions by training participants about their own development areas. The main reason for this is that the respondents of the DISC questionnaire rarely disagrees with his or her own strengths.

Challenges with Our Behavioral Strengths

First, we tend to overlook our strengths. We are conditioned to focus on what we need to develop or "fall short" and do not give ourselves enough credit for what we do well. A challenge to us is that quite a few of us assume that everyone else also possesses the same behavioral assets. As a result, we overlook them. However, others do not always share your strengths. Value and capitalize on your strengths.

Our strengths can also hold us back since almost all of us are prone to stay in our behavioral comfort zone. It is much easier to “autopilot” than to expend the energy to consciously modify behavior for more successful outcomes. As a result, we are more likely to emphasize, and overuse, the behaviors that are the most comfortable to us. Yes, you guessed it – these are our strengths.

Becoming Too Much of Ourselves

When we overuse our strengths, essentially we become too much of ourselves. As a result, others around us are not going to respond well to our behavior. When we are frustrated, stressed and pressured, we revert to our natural DISC-style and amplify our strengths even more. This is turn elicits even worse reaction from others, adding to the pressure and the downward spiral continues and accelerates. In fact, instead of just reverting to our natural style, we begin to exhibit the negative traits of our DISC-style. Under stress, fatigue, or strong emotions we are more prone to exhibit the negative traits of our behavior instead of the appropriate behavioral modifications we normally make.

Behavioral Modification vs. Stress, Emotions and Fatigue

What can we do to prevent this? Awareness is a must. Whenever we are stressed, we are less likely to modify our behavior. When that happens, we need to be particularly careful not to use strengths too much. When we get emotional, we stop modifying our behavior and show our worst behavioral traits. Think about the last time you were angry. Did you make conscious decisions about how to best adjust your style to achieve the best outcomes? Strong emotions are the enemy of behavioral modification. Don’t forget this to maintain your awareness to not allow your strengths to become liabilities. Modifying behavior takes energy. Fatigue works against you.

Identifying when you are stressed, emotional, or fatigued is one critical step towards knowing when you are overusing strengths. The accompanying blog "Discovering How Not to Overuse Your Strengths" explains more on identifying when we have these feelings and explains how to manage it.

What can we do to avoid overusing strengths

Not surprisingly, everything comes down to making conscious decisions about modifying behavior. Sometimes we just do not feel like doing it. We have little energy or are not motivated. When this happens, focus on the big picture. Ask yourself: “What is the cost of not adjusting my behavior?” This often helps put everything into perspective.

What about a few techniques to help not to overuse strengths? First, slow down and be present. You need to be aware how you are behaving. Aim to keep calm and control your emotions. Remember, when you become emotional you stop adjusting. Finally, keep the end goal in mind and focus on how to modify your behavior.

Yes, it takes energy not to autopilot. However, you will be more successful and will spend a lot less energy and effort over time not having to fix problems your overused strengths can create.

Everything in moderation. Even with our wonderful strengths. Use, but not abuse them.

Topics: Strengths, Webinar, DISC styles

Christina Bowser

Written by Christina Bowser