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The elevator doors are about to close on an eager rider who is trying to get on the elevator. Four people are already inside the elevator. One of the people in the crowded box is in a hurry and does not want to wait (outgoing and task-oriented). There is also a bubbly, energetic passenger who holds the door open while greeting the newcomer (outgoing and people-oriented). A third rider is happy either way and smiles while waiting patiently (reserved and people-oriented). The final passenger is concerned as she calculates the weight to see if the elevator can handle another person (reserved and task-oriented).

While not perfectly scientific, this scenario illustrates the 4 DISC Behavior  profiles: the Dominant (outgoing / task-oriented) person who is focused on getting somewhere fast; the Inspiring (outgoing / people-oriented) person who is energized by all the interaction; the Supportive (reserved / people-oriented) person who reacts calmly and tries to get along regardless; and the Cautious (reserved / task-oriented) person who wants to make sure the added person doesn’t exceed the weight limit! As you can see, there were four different people who responded to the same event in four very different ways!

The DISC Model of Human Behavior is based on 2 foundational observations about how people normally behave:

 

Observation #1: Some people are more OUTGOING, while others are more RESERVED. You can think of this trait as each person’s “internal motor” or “pace.” Some people always seem ready to “go” and “dive in” quickly. They engage their motor quickly. Others tend to engage their motor more slowly or more cautiously.

 

Observation # 2: Some people are more TASK-ORIENTED, while others are more PEOPLE-ORIENTED. You can think of this as each person’s “external focus” or “priority” that guides them. Some people are focused on getting things done (tasks); others are more tuned-in to the people around them and their feelings.

 

With both observations, it is important to emphasize that these behavioral tendencies are neither right or wrong or good or bad. They are just different. This is just about identifying normal behavior styles. People have different styles, and that is okay.

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