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DISC: Assumption vs. Reality

DISC: Assumption vs. Reality

June 3, 2021

Have you ever made assumptions about why someone said or did something that you didn’t appreciate only to find out later that it had nothing to do with what you had thought? Of course you have.

It’s so common, there’s a funny joke (at least the first time you hear it) built right into what happens when you assume something. As it happens, one of the joys of understanding the DISC personality styles is the ability to improve the accuracy rate of your assumptions, or put another way, being able to peer past a person’s behavior into the intent behind their behavior.

Here are a few common assumptions made about each DISC style, and the likely real reason behind the behavior:

Eagles (D’s)
Assumption: They are not good at listening.

Reality: They are listening to quickly solve your problem so that you can be happy.

Assumption: They are wrapped up in themselves.

Reality: They want to achieve great things, which typically benefit others.

Assumption: They don’t do small talk.Reality: They don’t mind small talk, as long as it comes after the important stuff.

Parrots (I’s)
Assumption: When they listen, they’re really just waiting to talk.

Reality: When they listen, they can’t wait to connect with you through shared experiences.

Assumption: Their casual, happy demeanor means they’re not serious enough about their work.

Reality: Their optimism is that fuel the drives their success. The happier they are, the harder and better they work.

Assumption: They talk a lot.

Reality: Okay fine, they talk a lot.

Doves (S’s)
Assumption: When they smile and nod their head, it means they agree with you.

Reality: When they smile and nod their head, they are being agreeable.Assumption: Their quiet, pleasant nature is a sign of passiveness.

Reality: When Doves make a decision about a situation, they will pursue it with dogged determination.

Assumption: They avoid conflict because they are weak.

Reality: They avoid conflict because they have other highly effective strategies for resolving a situation.

Owls (C’s)
Assumption: When they hand off a project to you with copious amounts of direction and details ,it signifies that they don’t trust your ability to do it yourself.

Reality: Not providing such detail would mean that they let you down by not being as thorough as possible.

Assumption: Their lack of emotional connection means they don’t care.

Reality: They are listening for the facts and details of a situation so that they can help you design a solution.

Assumption: They are risk averse.

Reality: They will take risks if they have been thought through before-hand and calculated to be successful based upon logic, not emotion.

Understanding the ‘why’ behind the behaviors that push our buttons provides wonderful insights that foster connection and understanding. While making assumptions about others is a human tendency that often gets us into trouble, utilizing DISC awareness will help you better appreciate the strengths and good intentions of those around you.

Daniel Silvert

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