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The power of understanding yourself with Victoria O'Farrell


We caught up with the dynamic Victoria O'Farrell, winner of DISC within Coaching Award at the 2019 International Coaching Awards, to get a glimpse into the life of an award-winning coach. We sat down for an insightful discussion about DISC, tune in below!

Victoria O'Farrell offers comprehensive and taster DISC workshops with corporate clients, within the third sector and with smaller groups and individuals. She is DISC Accredited and has completed the DISC Licence Trainer Programme with The Coaching Academy. Victoria has also incorporated her DISC skills within her role as a menopause ambassador, by helping women understand themselves deeper.

This interview is for all who wish to understand the DISC behavioural model better! If you have attended the ‘Introduction to DISC’ and this tool piqued your interest, you will find many examples in this discussion that will give you an insight into how you, a coach, can use DISC with your clients. 

If you have not come across DISC yet, your in for a treat! Vicky remembered her workshops before she learned about DISC, how she uses the tool now and all the benefits she notices in everyday situations. 

Discussing the benefits of DISC in the varied landscape of behavioural models and psychological test, you immediately notice the passion Vicky has for this unique tool. 

“To me, DISC strips back other influences in your life and looks at your basic wiring. 

Some personality styles might be very similar to others but we're all unique and DISC looks at that without the other influences. And like I say the four letters, the describing words around the four letters, really do make it easy to understand someone. 

Being able to understand somebody when they come in the room, I can tell if somebody is what I would call one of the letters particularly high.

A D style, for example, a very dominant style will walk in the room, won't even look around but they’ll want to sit at the head of the table and be that dominant, demanding person. The I person will before they’ve sat down want to say hello to everybody, they haven’t even taken their coats off, they’ll want to sit with everybody. The S style comes in, they’ll want to sit, probably where they've set if it's the same meeting room, they like to sit in the same seat, they like to make sure that everybody is around. And the C style, they don't want to chat, they want to get on with the meeting.

And you can see that! And I don’t know, it's so powerful because when you really do understand it, it's so easy to read people. And when you can read people, you can adapt yourself to get the best out of other people and that's, I think, is what I found so powerful about DISC - is learning about myself. 

I remember when I did it [the DISC assessment], I was doing one of Dave’s one-day courses first of all before I did the Licenced DISC Trainer, and it was one of the manual forms. And I said to him, I said, ‘Uuu, that letter is a bit high’, and he went – ‘I could have told you that’. 

Because I want to tell a story about everything, I'm very interactive, and I think, for me, I just assumed that's how everyone else was. Everyone else wants to tell stories, everyone else wants to be interactive, and it's not that way at all. So I've really learned to balance that part of my profile. “

Watch the first part of the interview to find out how Victoria started her coaching journey and how DISC resonated with her so much she decided to build a whole business around it! 

DISC is as much about self-awareness as it is about understanding others. We asked Victoria where she sees the benefit of using DISC with clients, as a coach or as anyone working with people. 

“By understanding yourself you can adapt your style for the benefit of your client, but you need to understand your client’s style in order for you to do that.

So as an example, I’ll just use my own style, I am an I predominantly, so the opposite style to me is a C. Now all I need to know is that I might ask a question and the C style is more likely to internalise, to think about that before they answer. Whereas a typical I, me previously before understanding, if they hadn't answered I’d jump in with another question. 

So I'm not giving them the time and the space. 

So as a coach, you just need to understand the thought process, cause that's what coaching is, you ask questions and you wait for the client to give you the answer. And if you don't understand what their style is, you might want to jump in and become more of a mentor role and answer it for them.” 

This interview is full of useful examples that you can use within coaching, with your clients, with colleagues, in your personal life, online or face to face. Enjoy the second and find out more about why you should get to the point with a D style or why you should always ask an S style if they have time to take on an additional task before asking. 

Victoria O’Farrell resonated with DISC and she took it to the next level within her coaching business. Today she helps individuals, small businesses and corporations to get to know people a bit better through their behavioural preferences. 

And let us know – do you enjoy using DISC with your clients? Perhaps you’re a new student and now you’re looking forward to your ‘Introduction to DISC’ Accelerator? 

If you are not a TCA student or coach, but would still like to improve your professional and personal relationships, we can share the key to unlock the people puzzle! 

Join us for our upcoming DISC Certification workshop starting 12th August for a dynamic and interactive online workshop where you will learn about this powerful tool that can be applied to business and your personal life.

Find out more here.