Communication is the Key

The most important thing in any relationship,  is communication. Without good communication the relationship will falter.

The first thing to understand about communication is to understand your own style or way of communicating.

  • Do you talk loudly or softly? Rapidly or slowly? Upbeat or more reserved?
  • Do you prefer to talk, more than listen?
  • Do you like to argue or do you avoid disagreements?
  • Do you like a good story or do you stick to the facts?

Our style of communicating is just one aspect of our behaviour. As individuals we behave in certain ways when we are with different people or in different circumstances. Your behaviour will be different when you are interacting with your children to when you are giving a presentation or having fun at a party.

You naturally get on better with some people than others. You enjoy doing different tasks and have different interests.

There’s no-one else in the world like you – you are unique.

What makes you unique is a combination of many things – your genetic makeup, your ethnic & cultural background, your home environment and your life experiences. The way you behave is a result of all these influences.

This is an introduction to the DISC Behavioural system, designed by the American Psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marsden. It uses non-judgemental language to describe human behaviour.

DISC is a tool which lets you understand your own behaviour, why you react the way you do in situations or with other people. By understanding DISC, you can change your behaviour or reactions any time you want to, if you see a need to or the benefits of doing so. This is particularly important when communicating with others.

This tool also allows you to understand other people’s behaviour so that you can predict how they might react and to appreciate why they reacted in a particular way. You can learn to modify your behaviour when interacting with others to create a more harmonious relationship.

There are 4 distinct characteristics or styles of behaviour:

How assertive you are – D for Dominance
How much you like interacting with people – I for Influence
How calm & steady you are in different situations – S for Steadiness
And how much you like to be guided by instructions & rules – C for Compliance

When we understand DISC, we know why we do certain things and not others, what motivates us and how we best like to communicate.

The four styles of behaviour have their own characteristics.

  • An individual with a lot of ‘D’ will be assertive, demanding and driving. They talk loudly and fast.
  • When there is a lot of the ‘I’ trait present, the person will be very sociable, optimistic and talkative.
  • The high ‘S’ style behaves in a calm, steady and quiet manner. They are more softly spoken.
  • If a person has a lot of the ‘C’ trait they will be cautious, accurate and follow the system. They talk slower and ask lots of questions.

DISC is not a label because everyone  is a unique mixture of these 4 styles. Usually 1 or 2 of the characteristics are more obvious. We describe someone’s style as being a High C or a D/I combination.

DISC is a way of improving your communication with others and enhancing your relationships through understanding behavioural styles.

Click this link to watch the videos on Communication and Building Rapport. These explain how to determine your style and that of other people.