Personality traits are NOT an excuse for poor behaviour!

Here in the HR Revolution office we have just undergone the DISC profile training, which is a modern interpretation of Dr. William Marston’s behavioral dimensions; a personal strengths profiling exercise that uncovers four quadrants of behaviour. Once you understand your natural behavioral patterns, it is said that you will find it easier to recognize the right opportunities to achieve the results you desire. These for quadrants are:

D – Dominance  I – Influence  S – Steadiness  C – Compliance

What I personally think the great thing about DISC is, it highlights other people’s personality traits, so you can understand better why they work the way they do, for example why one person might like to have all the facts and figures, while others are just, let’s just get on and worry about the details later…. It turns out we have both in our office which is actually a really good thing as we all fulfill different roles.

Anyway, DISC is a lot more in depth than I can offer in this blog and not the reason for me writing today, but it got me thinking… why is it that people tend to use their personality traits as an excuse for unacceptable behaviour?

How many times have you said “ignore him, you know what he’s like” or “don’t let her get to you, it’s just the way she is” or “why does everything have to revert back to them” and whilst this is true, does it make it ok?? I don’t think so.

I personally like to think that no one person is just one personality type and we are intelligent enough to know how to behave and adapt our styles towards other people.

Here is just one adjective describing a personality trait from each of the above groups: D: direct, I: emotionless, S: easily distracted and C: retreating, and I don’t think any of them are particularly positive (obviously there are lots of happy ones too!). But just because they are ‘part’ of our personality does that mean that’s how we should act? For example just because you are ‘direct’ naturally, does that mean you can use absolutely no tact whatsoever when communicating with colleagues? OR just because you tend to be ‘retreating’ does that mean you should get out of doing the things you are not comfortable with? Of course the answer is absolutely no.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, if we know what we are predominately like rather than using that behaviour as an excuse, why don’t we all try to bring through some of our other personality traits, or just take time to think about how we are being perceived by the recipient… be less blunt, show empathy or be bolder, whatever you feel would work best in that given situation.

Personality traits should be used to benefit you and others, not as an excuse to make people cry or be lazy!  Trust me, I know how difficult it is to adapt your natural behaviour to suit the needs of the situation, as my profile is DS the two most polar opposites!

If you are interested in learning more about DISC or any other personality testing within your business, please get in touch with HR Revolution +44 203 538 5311 or email:, it may be what you need to get your team working more cohesively together.

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One size does NOT fit all when it comes to change…

It’s that time of year when you start making business plans for the New Year. That can mean a big shake-up is on the horizon or perhaps you want to move in a different direction based on what has or hasn’t worked over this past year. Whatever your reason, remember, “change” is not for everyone and different people need different tactics to get them on board and motivated.

Your business will be made up of varying personality types and that’s great, it’s what makes things work so why not tailor your efforts to motivate and get on-board, based on these types of personalities…

The Challenge Lovers: These people are driven by tough tasks and obstacles they can overcome so play to their strengths. Set out your ideas highlighting the challenges that may lie ahead, give them a mountain to climb and watch them rise to the occasion!

The Data Junkies: The employees that live for hard facts and figures, and they believe what they see written down. They won’t care for dreamy fairy tales of why it could be wonderful, they want black and white research of why it will succeed. Do your homework for these guys!

The Cynics: You will need help with these ones. Cynics, Sceptics, doubters however you wish to refer to them, simply won’t take your word for anything the first time round they need to be won over. First you need win over their leaders, peers, mentors anyone that they trust and then let them help you with the rest. Voila!

The Worrywarts: Now some people are just natural worriers and will always think about the negative changes that may materialise as a result.  Instead of highlighting what changes you are going to implement try emphasizing the things that will stay happily just the way they are. Whether that is their job title, salary, hierarchy or something else, that is what they will cling to and get them on board.

And Finally…

The Beneficiaries: These are the ones that simply want to know one thing… What’s in it for me! Although these might not be the best at seeing the benefits to the business necessarily they are easy to understand. Simply tell them the perks and rewards of your plan and how they will benefit by jumping on-board! Done.

I hope by following these simple guides you can get your New Year plans off to a flying start and any changes you have are welcomed by everyone in your team!

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a similar post appeared on Ragan HR