DISC Personality Styles Under Pressure

21 Dec, 2017 / by Professional Writer

Whether you know what they are or not, each of your team members has a unique DISC style personality – and their assessed type has a direct impact on how well they perform and relate to others when the pressure is on.

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Will your top performing sales executive keep cruising along when the pressure mounts? Or, will she become a walking, fire-breathing nightmare everyone else tip-toes around? Will the normally sunny IT guy suddenly turn sullen and short tempered? While you can’t influence these and other team member’s natural reactions, understanding their DISC profile and how the different types respond to slight, moderate and even high amounts of pressure will help you keep everyone moving forward.
We found this out firsthand when we took the team to an escape room for fun and bonding. True to form, the High D members of the group got right to work and had so much focus that they became a little, well, abrupt. The normally laid back I-styles were frantically trying to soothe tempers and find the fun in the experience. This was just for fun, but really showcased the different personality types on our own team.
How can you tell how your team will react to pressure? A DISC assessment can help you predict and understand what your team is feeling and makes it easy to take restorative steps early.

What is DISC?

The DISC model is a fast, easy and effective way to help understand yourself and others; there is no good or bad DISC personality type; each of the four styles has their own strengths and weaknesses. Learning your own DISC profile can help you better tackle tasks, choose a career path and even cope with others. There are four DISC styles; most people have characteristics from more than one group, but will strongly identify with one type or another:
  • D-style (Dominance)
  • I-style (Influence)
  • S-style (Steadiness)
  • C-style (Correctness)
DISC assessment is a powerful tool that allows you to actively prepare for stressful times and situations your team may be facing and develop strategies that help you all move forward.

DISC Personality Styles Under Pressure

D-Style Personalities
These confident, competent individuals are usually on top of things, but they really suffer when they feel out of control. While pressure that can be tackled by doing, leading and rising to meet challenges is not upsetting for this group, being around others in a stressful situation can be.
Since the D-Style personality is more task driven, they may become increasingly abrupt and impatient with others, particularly if those others are seen as being needy, emotional or overly controlling. This individual will also resent interference, even from those who are trying to be helpful. Anything that interferes with the D-Style individual’s chances of producing, winning and succeeding could become a problem.
This hard driving individual is also the most outspoken about the issues you are facing and could take things out on other, less assertive team members who she sees as “taking it easy” or “not really trying”. Support this individual by offering tasks that allow them to shine, and allowing them to take the lead in some ways will keep them from sounding off too harshly to the rest of the team. It will support their own need to rise to the challenge as well.
I-Style Personalities
They’re usually talkative, sunny and the life of the party, but stressful situations can leave them feeling sad, confused and misunderstood. If the tasks that need to be done are isolating or repetitive, this normally cheerful team member will wilt in a hurry. Under too much pressure, this team member could fold entirely, opting out of the tasks.
Your I-Style team members can be restored to their normal, positive selves simply by providing them with social interaction, positive feedback and attention. Place him in the role of team cheerleader, make sure he has lots of social breaks and be open for suggestions on ways to make that late-night meeting session more fun. Put this team member’s natural sunny and fun disposition in charge of entertainment, social or even food planning and you’ll give them a chance to set up the environment the way they like it best.
S-Style Personalities
Usually the easiest going and most pleasant member of your team, this personality type is likely to react to the behaviors of others under stress. If he has to be confrontational, face too much change to quickly or speak out forcefully about concepts, ideas or direction, he won’t be a happy team player.
Since this personality type craves harmony, a stress filled environment with bickering and outright hostility will bring out the worst in them. Stress can result in a shutdown of all systems or even trigger passive aggressive reactions toward others. Encourage your S-Style team members to speak up if they are uncomfortable and don’t pile on too much change at once. It is also easy to overlook the signs of high stress and tension in this team member until they truly become a problem. Unlike your task-oriented D or C-style team members, the S-style worker is more likely to internalize issues.
C-Style Personalities
While your I-Style team members won’t like the isolation of too many tasks and too little interaction, your C-style team members are just the opposite. Place this team member in a room with a lot of activity, stressed out workers and too much going on and she will become a hostile, frazzled mess in a hurry.
Since this personality type craves control and is self-directed, they can have problems with the uncontrolled chaos that a team under pressure can create. Isolate this team member, give them tasks that require logic and control and let them produce the way they want and need to, free from distractions by the more emotional members of the team.
Understanding where your team stands on the DISC scale can help you choose the right approach during stressful times. When you have a lot to accomplish in a little bit of time or need to pull together to correct a problem, assigning the right roles to your team helps everyone move forward and work together effectively.

Get The Answers you Need and Help your Team Perform Under Pressure

Not sure about your team’s true DISC styles? A 10-minute questionnaire can provide insight and some surprising details about how each member of your team handles stress and tension. Contact us to learn more about DISC and how it can help you improve your workplace culture, style and stress levels for the better.

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Professional Writer

Written by Professional Writer

Extended DISC is an international assessment company with operations in almost 50 countries and over 250 team members. Extended DISC offers internationally validated — and periodically re-validated — assessments that can be tailored to clients’ unique needs and preferences.