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Natural Selection Sundown- Are D/C (DISC) Types Doomed to Workplace Extinction?

August 19, 2016

20130502_193109_resizedThe D/C style is among the smallest of the DISC* combinations.  They do, however, make up a large percentage of those who participate in my leadership communication skills coaching.  I wonder, in this age of entitled, politically correct and thin skinned workers, if these direct and exacting types risk extinction in leadership ranks due to a lack of sensitivity towards others.  I’ve seen more than one D/C leader’s role impacted due to disgruntled employee complaints or exit interview payback.

So, what’s the deal with D/C types?   For now I’ll touch on these three – Focused, Driven & Detached…

  1. Highly focused.  Setting goals and achieving results are of the utmost importance to D types.  Logic and accuracy to the C type.  D/C combined creates a goal, task and accuracy driven leader.  This seems like a fitting style for moving an organization ahead in a complex, global, technology driven workplace that relies on big data and metrics for success.
  2.  Finding a way.  D/C types are driven, analytical and generally don’t give up when others say something can’t be done or the road is blocked or the first attempt doesn’t work out.  Instead, they make a second attempt or figure out another way to achieve the goal, result or mission.  So, don’t tell them they can’t do something, don’t get in their way and don’t be surprised when they accomplish what seemed impossible.  And don’t be hurt when they say, “I told you so!”  Organizational success usually benefits many.
  3.  Learning people skills.  D/C types have a “double-dose” of goal and task orientation. This often presents challenges in the people skills department or a sacrifice in relationships.  Successful ones usually learn the importance of people skills after finding out it’s hard to achieve results without collaborative relationships.  Still, detachment can be an issue.  To appear cold and uncaring signals a lack of empathy, concern or enjoyment.  People types need to see these cues in order to be comfortable with you and to feel good about themselves in your presence.  And, the key to being liked is for others to like THEMSELVES when around you.  Sometimes it’s necessary to be cold and calculating when making certain choices. But it’s harmful to forget that those choices often involve people’s lives – people who may choose to no longer support or follow you or might consider future payback.

*The DISC Model of Behavioral Styles acronym represents the four behavioral styles of Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive & Cautious (Personality Insights).  Depending on your assessment provider different words are sometimes used for the styles, for example Interactive for the I type, Steady for S types and Compliant for C types (DISC Provider).  D is usually for Dominant.

Rich Drinon, M.A. is a leadership communication skills coach with an master’s degree in leadership communication,  28 years of experience coaching leaders and managers and expertise in the art and science of persuasion. He also has a D/C DISC style.   

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