As I began studying personality profiles, I found it pretty interesting that I work with both a classic C and a classic I. It’s not surprising that I work with these two types, it is surprising that my two bosses have only one primary DISC type, which they both fit to a tee. The DISC assessment focuses on four personality types, but it also includes “behavioral blends”—when two or more of the personality types influence someone’s personality. For example, though I am a “high D”—meaning D is my highest personality type on both graphs, my DISC profiles show that my graph 1 (what is expected of me) is an I/D or D/I, and my graph 2 (this is really me!) is a D/I/C. The “high D” personality type is highest on all my graphs, but the graph 2 blend of D/I/C reflects who I really am and how all of the types combine to make me uniquely me. My D/I/C behavioral blend more accurately defines my motivations, actions, and disposition.
Only fifteen (15) percent of people have only one primary DISC type. The other eighty-five (85) percent of us are a blend of two or more of the DISC personality types. This does not mean that we suffer from psychological disorders, it simply means that we have multiple motivations for our actions, thoughts, and feelings (Carbonell). So why is it important to understand about behavioral blends?
- You are unique… How easy it would be if there were only four types of personalities in this world! We would instinctively know about others and possibly even how to treat them. But when God created us, He made you as a unique individual who has intricacies unlike anyone else. Our personalities begin taking shape before we are born, and continue to be formed by our family, experiences, and environment. So while you may have the same behavior blend letters as someone else, you are not the exact same as any other person in this world! You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), and understanding your behavioral blend will help you to learn more about yourself, your motivations, and your uniqueness.
- …just like everyone else is unique! We don’t want to understand behavior blends only for ourselves; we want to apply what we know to other people as well. Our behavioral blends affect not only how we act, but how we communicate, lead, and work alongside others. So many disagreements in our workplaces, relationships, and even in our churches are not caused by theology or philosophy, but instead are caused by personality differences. I’ve learned that paying attention to someone else’s personality is just as important as knowing my own. And if you learn these unique differences about others, you can begin to diminish some of these clashes and bring peace and prosperity to your relationships.
- And now that you know—you can act! As Dr. Mels Carbonell says, “Putting feet on what you learn must turn into wise daily decisions that make you more effective when working with people.” If we learn about others—or even ourselves—without putting that knowledge into practice, then we are just setting ourselves up to repeat the same mistakes we always have. So what are your areas of weakness? How do you handle conflict? You know these answers, but are you communicating that to others? How can you best respond to your spouse’s needs, knowing his or her behavioral blend? By answering these questions and acting on the knowledge you have about behavior blends, you can mature in all areas of your life.
Our personalities will continue to develop as we continue to grow both physically and emotionally. As we become more in tune with others and ourselves, we begin to appreciate and value ourselves and others’ differences and can strengthen our relationships at home, work, and in our communities.
What is your behavioral blend?