Understanding stress with the DISC styles

We all have moments when we experience stress. When it hits, we feel it in our bodies and it impacts our ability to think clearly. Some stress is motivating and encourages us.

It causes us to kick into gear and get things done. Other stress is depleting and exhausts us. It makes us want to shut down and withdraw from the situation.

As the co-author of Taking Flight!: Master the DISC Styles to Transform Your Career, Your Relationship…Your Life. I am fascinated by the various stress responses that people have to the same situation. By understanding the DISC system, individuals can actually anticipate or predict how someone will respond a specific scenario.

Let’s examine the stress responses that are typical of people with the four DISC styles:

Dominant DISC style (D’s):

  • Overstep boundaries
  • Create anxiety in others
  • Communicate with bluntness or sarcasm
  • Act restlessly
  • Overrule and steamroll others
  • Make mistakes and are inattentive to details, logic
  • Become easily dissatisfied with routine work
  • Withdraw from the team

Interactive DISC Style (I’s):

  • Act impulsively – heart over mind
  • Reach inconsistent conclusions
  • Make decisions solely on gut feelings
  • Oversells
  • Inattentive to detail
  • Trust people indiscriminately
  • Apply superficial analysis
  • Have difficulty estimated time needed
  • Stimulate anxiety in others

Supportive DISC style (S’s):

  • Insist on maintaining status quo
  • Do things the way they were always done
  • Take a long time to adjust
  • Have trouble juggling multiple tasks
  • Need full information to feel comfortable
  • Difficulty with innovation
  • Wait for orders before beginning
  • Need help starting unstructured tasks
  • Appear calm while they internalize stress

Conscientious DISC style (C’s):

  • Seeks excessive feedback and direction
  • Hesitant to react without precedent
  • Bound by key procedures and methods
  • Get bogged down in decision-making
  • Resist delegated tasks
  • Need full explanation before acting
  • Avoid involvement when threatened
  • Yield position to avoid controversy
  • Focus exclusively on their tasks
  • Appear calm while they internalize stress