Once you become aware of your strengths and weaknesses (talents & non-talents) you must begin down that road of living authentically within that knowledge about yourself.
It begins by being mindful of this throughout your day and making small adjustments. Make it a daily habit of removing a non-talent and adding a talent to your to-do list each day.
As much as you can, you will begin to live your life more through your strengths. Living in an imperfect world however, there will always be times where you must perform tasks that fall outside of your natural talents. There are essentially 6 steps you can remind yourself of on a daily basis as you begin to make this a habit.
I have included the chart above that is meant to give you some simple rules to follow to help you maximize your talents and minimize your non-talents. This will help you decide when you need to slow down and think more consciously when you are dealing with a “weakness” (non-talent) or when you can let your subconscious mind rule the day when you are dealing with a strength (talent). I recommend you print this out as well and become very familiar with it, because it can provide you with some very simple insights into how to change your approach in what you do.
If you have any social relationships at all with business partners, customers or even coaching and consulting prospects, you have undoubtably noticed that there are some people that you are instantly more compatible with than others.
This is no great mystery within itself, but what you may not realize is that your DISC results can show you WHY you are not communicating as well as you could be.
For example, If you are a High D and you are talking to another High D, then odds are that you understand each other to a greater level than most people. Your mutual appreciation to move quickly and not ask a lot of questions, will not be seen as a threat but progress in the right direction.
However, If you are a High D and you are talking with a High S, these two styles can easily get off on the wrong foot. D can quickly become aggravated by what is perceived to be the High C’s overly detailed, risk-averse, pedantic approach. Conversely, the High C can become equally as frustrated by what is perceived to be the High D’s high-risk, under-planned, irresponsible level of “lack of
Read more about the different styles below and how you can learn to adapt appropriately to communicate with your prospects, partners and associates. If you just want to skip forward to the chart you can here, but I recommend you read the descriptions of each style interaction as well.
High D — High D
Two High D’s “get each other.” They share similar styles, so they share the same drive to move quickly, be decisive and compete. Therefore, they will appreciate each other’s need to move quickly, not ask a lot of questions and won’t view the other’s actions as overly aggressive or competitive. There is, however, the potential that both may butt heads trying to control the discussion.
High D — High I
The High D and the High I share many of the same tendencies, like urgency, risk-taking and a desire for change. They differ, however, in their approaches. Whereas the High D will likely seek to directly control a situation, the High I will seek to persuade rather than direct. Both will prefer high-level discussions; only the High I will prefer more discussion than the High D.
High D — High S
The High D and High S have only a moderate level of natural comfort with each other. Whereas the High D will prefer to move quickly, decisively and directly, the High S will counter with a desire for a slower pace, more considerate action and to be less direct (aggressive). The High D is likely to overpower the High S, causing tension and reducing the comfort further. While the High D may view the High S as fearful or timid, the High S may view the High D as pushy and controlling.
High D — High C
Having a naturally low level of comfort, these two styles can easily get off on the wrong foot. The High D can quickly become aggravated by what is perceived to be the High C’s overly detailed, risk-averse, pedantic approach. Conversely, the High C can become equally as frustrated by what is perceived to be the High D’s high-risk, under-planned, irresponsible level of “lack of thought.” Significant discomfort can appear between these two styles and both will need to adapt their approach in order to communicate effectively.
High I — High I
Sharing the same style, the two High I’s will enjoy an immediate bond and high levels of comfort in their communications. Both will seek to socialize, get to know one another and share thoughts and emotions. Likewise, both will prefer to stick to high-level discussions, choosing to skim over the details. While sharing like styles will benefit their comfort with each other, two High I’s can easily take each other off track with excessive socializing. Being fairly disorganized to begin with, two such people can exhaust what time they had available for business by talking about everything but the original objective.
High I — High S
Whereas both styles enjoy a people-focused orientation, and seek to connect rather than control or analyze, they only enjoy a moderate level of comfort; with the High S perceiving the High I as being overly “salesy,” or pushy. The High I, on the other hand, can misinterpret the lack of emotion from the High S as being standoffish or disinterested. These “risk aversion” versus “risk taking” differences can cause further tension.
High I — High C
These two styles will enjoy a low level of comfort at best in most cases. While the High I wants to be open, have fun, move quickly, stick to the big picture and avoid the minutiae, the High C prefers to remain closed, stay professional, move slowly, dig deep into the specifics and thrives on the details. The natural actions of both styles will tend to be the opposite of the other’s preference. While not as distant as the High D to
the High C, these two styles must adapt significantly to get along.
High S — High S
Like all other identical styles, two High S’s will enjoy a high level of comfort and communicate effectively with each other. Sharing the same style, they will each prefer to take it slow, not rock the boat, resist change, and create order, structure and security. Both will, however reinforce the potential for inaction in the other. Both could enable the other in their resistance to change, thus promoting too low a sense of urgency.
High S — High C
The High S and High C only enjoy a moderate level of comfort and compatibility. While they both share similar needs for structure, certainty and low-risk environments, the High S has a more open, people-orientated perspective whereas the High C is more closed and takes a task-oriented point of view. The High S prefers to respect others and is sincere in his support of people. The High C, however, is more focused on accuracy and the rules and can therefore run afoul of the High S’s respect for others — when those others break the rules of fall short of expectations.
High C — High C
Two High C’s tend to enjoy favorable compatibility with each other due to their sharing the same preferences
for order, correctness, details, accuracy and compliance with some procedure. Their needs to gather data and move slowly and cautiously only serve to improve their compatibility. Being very sensitive about their work, however, two High C’s could come into conflict if their beliefs differ . . . as neither is prone to admit mistakes or being wrong.
Jay Niblick, success coach, peak performance consultant and developer of the groundbreaking self-discovery book and coaching program at http://whatsyourgenius.com. Jay discusses how conventional wisdom tells us to fix ourselves instead of the role we play at home or work. Why fix what God put in you? You are born with natural talents and the sooner you become aware of them and live life authentically, the sooner you will see a higher level of success.
Today, Gretchen Dougherty is one of the top sales people in her company, but this wasn’t always the case. Her company sells home security systems, and Gretchen’s job as an inside sales agent is to prospect over the phone to schedule home visits where a field sales representative gives a security consultation (otherwise known to you and me as a sales pitch). She spends her days sitting in a cubicle dialing out to homeowners trying to get them to schedule a home evaluation. Gretchen gets paid a sales commission for every security system that is sold as a result of appointments she sched-ules.
When she first took the job, she was taught that sales is a num-bers game. Management told her that she had to make a specific number of outbound calls every day in order to beat the odds. The best sales people in the company made approximately ninety to 100 phone calls per day and ended up scheduling three to five field appointments, out of which one would normally sign a contract. Management really stressed to her the importance of making a high volume of calls. Each sales person even had a daily call quota.
The problem is that Gretchen had a very different talent set than most of the other sales people. Unlike the majority of them, she had a very high natural talent for empathy. It was this empathy that actually got in her way, because while other sales people would spend no more than a few minutes trying to push for an ap-pointment, Gretchen found herself talking to people for five, ten, even fifteen minutes or more. She knew she had to generate a high volume of calls, so she was constantly turning left and trying to fix herself by suppressing her natural empathy and not connecting too much with the person on the other end of the phone.
When she did this, she was not being true to who she was. She was awkward and preoccupied with watching the all-holy clock that sat next to her computer. The more she tried to ignore her natural tendencies and think differently, so she could follow the script and stick to a time limit, the more awkward and ineffective she became.
Gretchen was in trouble. She wasn’t performing well at all, and the top question on her management’s mind was whether she would quit before they fired her. She was definitely ready to quit when I first met her.
After I spoke with Gretchen, it became clear right away that the issue seemed to be a poor fit between her natural talents and her role. Because of this, I gave her a battery of assessments to help understand what her true talents were and how well they were aligned with her existing role. One of these assessments was the Attribute Index that we used in the Genius Project.
The moment I saw the results, it was obvious to me what the problem was, and Gretchen confirmed. Her extremely high empa-thy was causing her to want to connect with people too much, at least too much to allow her to meet her daily call quota. The rest of the sales people in the company didn’t have anywhere near Gretchen’s level of empathy. Getting on and off the phone as quickly as possible wasn’t a problem for them, but it was proving to be a big problem for Gretchen. She felt bad about talking at peo-ple instead of talking with them. The result was that Gretchen was trying to be something she wasn’t, and it was negatively affecting her performance in a big way.
Luckily, her company was pretty open-minded about how to fix the problem. They had spent a lot of money training Gretchen, and given that they were already suffering from a high human turnover rate, they gave me the latitude I needed to attempt to correct the problem.
What did I do? I simply told Gretchen to turn right and figure out how to be true to who she was. Once she opened up to the possibility that she could change the way she worked instead of the way she naturally thought, she was able to make adjustments to how she went about achieving her goals.
I asked her how she would do the job if she were in charge. I said, “Just do you.” As a result, Gretchen turned right and sought to change her role—not herself. She decided she would not put any time limit on the calls she made to prospects. She got rid of the clock on her desk and decided that she would not have a daily call quota, or any call quota for that matter—just a single quota for how many appointments she scheduled.
When she did this a very interesting thing happened. Gretchen, instead of suppressing her natural tendencies, started letting them guide her. She spent much more time with those she talked with. She got to know them and to understand their needs much better. She once even told me about a call where she learned about the caller’s teenage daughter, what her name was, how often she was home alone, where she was going to college, and even what she was majoring in. This was typical of the level of communication Gretchen was having with the people she talked with. She was really connecting with these people.
Instead of trying to force herself to ignore her empathy, Gretchen was now using that natural talent to connect with people on a much deeper level than the rest of the sales reps were. Doing so meant that she spent a lot more time with each person, and made only as few as twenty to twenty-five calls per day. But doing so also meant that she was establishing relationships with people; rela-tionships that were returning results. Despite the fact that Gretchen was making less than 20% of the calls the other reps were, she still averaged to book three to five appointments each day. Even better than that, instead of the company average of one signed contract for every five appointments, Gretchen was averaging two signed con-tracts for every five appointments.
Pretty soon, the field sales people were fighting to see who would get to call on the appointments that Gretchen had scheduled, because they knew their odds of making a sale were a lot better.
The lesson here is that by turning left and becoming inauthentic Gretchen was hurting her performance. When she started turning right, though, and became authentic, not only did her performance reach the expected levels, but actually exceeded them. When she was inauthentic, she was no more satisfied with her job than the job was satisfied with her. Now that she is authentic, she views her job as a vehicle for her passion for meeting and helping people, and now she is as satisfied with the job as it is with her.
If you ask the field sales representatives whom they want booking their appointments, they will tell you, “Gretchen, man, she is a genius at finding people who buy.”