There’s an interesting phenomenon in human behavior in which our actions reveal our needs. Essentially, the very same behaviors that we display to others reflect back to them how we want to be treated. Another way of saying this is that we want others to treat us the way that we treat them. The DISC behavioral styles provide a useful framework for understanding how and why we give what we need most.
Those with the Dominant style want straight talk. They don’t want things sugar coated and don’t like it when others beat around the bush. They want people to be direct with them and in return, they don’t pull any punches. Given these needs, it’s not a surprise that Eagles call it like it is and get right to the point. They don’t get bogged down in detail or emotional “stuff.” While sometimes they may offend people with their bluntness, you can expect an eagle to be candid.
Individuals with the Interactive style have a driving need to keep things positive. They don’t like negativity in any form. They want people to be happy and desire to work in an environment filled with energy and enthusiasm. Since Parrots give what they need most, they take proactive steps to build morale at work. They are quick to use humor to break up tension and offer words of encouragement when things go bad. In personal relationships, Parrots are a wellspring of provide positive feedback. Given their need for positivity, they always look to the bright side and display unbridled optimism even in the face of adversity.
More than anything, Supportive individuals want to maintain the status quo. They seek consistency in all aspects of their lives. Whether it’s continuing to follow proven processes or utilizing a specific product that they have used for years, Doves seek stability. As such, they tend to be loyal to people, products, systems, and just about everything. Doves can be counted on to follow the established methodology. When dealing with people, Doves don’t like to rock the boat. Therefore, they work hard to avoid or minimize conflict at any cost.
Conscientious people want others to do things right…and do them right the first time. Owls have an intolerance for poor quality or a failure to think things through before acting. Given that Owls give what they need most, they can be relied upon to use carefully created systems instead of spontaneously acting without pre-thought. Owls ask, “Why?” questions to understand the past and “What if?” questions to explore potential future scenarios. Owls crave accuracy and in return, act with precision…or they don’t act at all.
The good news is that since we give what we need, it’s easy to figure out how to deal with others. Simply look to their needs and expectations and treat them how they treat you.