DISC profiles: a great tool for better communication

Have you ever faced those unpleasant situations where someone asks you something or expects something from you and you simply don’t understand what they mean (or vice-versa)?

Wa, as human beings, are complex, rich, varied, unique, which sometimes makes communication between two individuals difficult or even impossible.

Indeed, when we communicate, we do it with our personality, our behavioral style and our emotions at that precise moment. And the other person receives our message with as many parameters of their own.

If we don't pay attention to this, we can quickly lock ourselves into conversations that may turn sterile or useless...

Therefore, how can we avoid these unpleasant situations for everyone? How can I make my relationship with others my priority?

You must start with yourself. The famous "Know thyself" of Socrates.

The better you know yourself, the better you will be able to express your needs, your emotions and the simpler your relationship with others will become. Better communication will come more easily and naturally to you.

💬 What is communication?

Communication is the ability to transmit information by verbal, non-verbal, written or visual means; communication needs to be adapted to the target we are addressing, whether it is one or more interlocutors at the same time.

Communication is an essential skill, especially when managing a team and interacting regularly with many interlocutors.

When two persons communicate, they can share the same reality but each one will have a very different perception of this same reality.

Everyone has their own reference framework. We say or receive each other's messages based on this framework.

What counts in communication is therefore what the other understands and not what you say. There is often a big difference between what the sender wants to say and what the receiver understands.

🕵️ Get to know each other better

Getting to know each other better is a prerequisite for any good communication.

To be able to understand the other and their needs, I must already know what is important to me, how I work, what my needs are.

There are several approaches for this. The one I want to share with you today is the DISC method.

DISC is a behavioral analysis based on William Marston's method that describes different communication styles and behaviors.

It is a tool for reflection that allows you to get to know yourself better, understand yourself better, as well as others.

It tells you how

  • you address challenges and difficulties;
  • you convey your thoughts and ideas to those around you;
  • you respond to the rhythm of your environment;
  • you comply with the rules and procedures of your environment.

DISC stands for Dominant, Influent, Stable, Compliant. The DISC profile makes it possible to assess the profile of people according to these four components.

In general, each has one or two main components with often a dominant trait.

The 4 components of the DISC profile

To be able to identify which components I am on, it is necessary to know the characteristics of each.

🔴 Dominant profile (Red)

Dominant profiles are focused on action and fact and go straight to the point. They are constantly on the move. They are fast, impatient, need a challenge, and can lead several projects. They are tenacious, energetic, frank people who can also be aggressive when things don't go their way.

They approach others in a direct and authoritative manner.

🟡 Influential profile (Yellow)

Influential profiles speak well, have good personal relationships, and like to collaborate. They are friendly, sincere, enthusiastic and energetic people. They make quick decisions, love new things but can have difficulty managing their time.

Radiant and friendly, They approach others in a convincing and democratic way.

🟢 Steady profiles (Green)

Steady profiles tend to be soft-spoken, puts others first, hate being in a hurry, and willingly help. They are reliable, methodical, patient and humble people. They finish what they start and prefer to deal with only one subject at a time. They do not act in a hurry. They do not like ambiguity and can be shy in the way they approach others.

🔵 Compliant profiles (Blue)

Compliant profiles are objective, they like details, observe everything but are afraid of making mistakes. They think before they act. They are analytical, logical, independent and cold people. They take their time to think and decide but they can get bogged down in details and have trouble distinguishing the urgent from the important. They find it difficult to respond to authoritarian pressure and prefer to communicate in writing.

👉 Each of these 4 profiles gives indications on the way in which you approach the world, the famous reference framework. DISC profiles are not an exact science but give you a strong sense of the way you work.

The idea is to identify broadly where you find yourself the most to have a starting point.

In the end, the goal is to understand why with some people communication goes smoother than with others.

To give you an example, when a Compliant profile (blue) speaks with an Influential profile (yellow), it is extremely complicated.

Compliant (blue) profile talking to an Influential (yellow) profile - Popwork

Imagine a marketing manager who validates his budget with the financial director. The marketing profile is often "yellow" while the financial director is usually "blue". So you have 2 very different frameworks colliding. One is very precise, meticulous, wants figures, precise justifications for each action. The other is very vague, favors experiences, fun, pleasure. This often creates lengthy meetings in which one does not understand the other.

The only way to move forward is for everyone to put themselves within reach of the other and for that, you have to know your own frame of reference, have the means to identify that of the other and then formulate your request according to them.

👀 Identify the communication style of the other

To be able to identify the communication style of the other, I have to listen to them, be attentive to everything I feel, whether verbal or non-verbal signs.

🔴 Dominant profiles are direct, dry. There is volume in their voice. They affirm more than they question. They have a steady gaze, a firm posture and they show impatience. They don’t like it when you take too long to explain a project.

🟡 Influential profiles have varied voice inflections and speak loudly. Their facial expressions are animated, they make a lot of gestures with their hands, and their body. They tell anecdotes and have a flexible perception of time. Meetings often overflow with them.

🟢 Steady profiles have a slow speech and do not speak loudly. They listen to you more than they talk and keep their opinions to themselves. Their gaze is irregular, they look behind you a lot. They are very patient people.

🔵 Compliant profiles have little variation in voice and speak low. They pay close attention to what you say and their posture is strict and controlled. They don’t share their personal feelings easily.

Once I have succeeded in identifying the dominant profile of my interlocutor, I need to know what they need in terms of communication to be sure that my message will be correctly heard and understood.

🤝 How do I address others?

When communicating, the reflex is often to communicate with your interlocutor as you would like them to communicate with you, whereas the key to performance is to communicate with them as they need to be treated.

Once I have succeeded in identifying their profile thanks to their attitude, vocabulary, expressions, I can correctly guess their needs in terms of communication:

How to communicate with each DISC personality - Popwork

If I address my interlocutor taking into account their needs, I will make my message clearer, more understandable for them. I thus avoid misunderstandings, interpretations, waste of time saying the same thing but not in the same way.

When I am a "yellow" profile (Influential) and I address a "red" (Dominant), I must prepare my speech to be able to go straight to the point, focus my speech on the result of the project I am presenting and the benefits it will bring to my department and to the company, to enable rapid decision-making. If I get lost in the “why, how, with whom, etc. », I will annoy my interlocutor who will cut me off, become impatient, even aggressive and the exchange will end. And it will get worse and worse with each interview, everyone will find themselves under stress and will no longer be able to listen to the other.

Influential (yellow) profile talking to a Dominant (red) profile - Popwork

The objective of good communication is not to manipulate my interlocutor to get what I want but to facilitate our exchanges to move more quickly towards a decision, towards an action, whether it corresponds to what I want or not.

When I address the other starting from him, I only give him a reading key accessible to him, I don't tell him what to choose.

In summary

Take the time to identify the main component of your profile. Ask yourself what is important to you when people talk to you. Take the different illustrations above and see what speaks to you.

Do the same for your team members. Try to see what each person's profile is. Ask them, see how they react when you ask them something, what is their non-verbal.

And to go further, the DISC profile can happen for yourself and/or as a team and gives you access to valuable information on everyone's frame of reference to make your exchanges and your relationships more serene and more efficient.

To conclude, the richness of a team lies in the richness of its profiles, do not hesitate to go, in conscience, towards the profiles opposed to yours. You will therefore be able to face all situations.