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Helping young people succeed with DISC - by Dave Pill

Posted 82 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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So many people use the DISC personality profiling tool nowadays. Some use it as part of their recruitment process, others use it to manage and motivate their teams, and coaches use it to understand their clients. It is used in conflict resolution and, better still, conflict prevention! The list is endless.

In the last 10 years, I have been using DISC more and more with parents, guardians, teachers and children themselves. It's more important than ever to connect with young people and understand what makes them 'tick' from a DISC personality perspective. As this tool helps them to understand themselves and helps adults to help young adults master their own motivation.

The DISC behavioural model is the starting point to understand your own wiring, or preferences, and those of others. It’s a fact that some people to a greater or lesser extent are more outgoing whilst others are more reserved. There is no right or wrong/good or bad here it’s just a preference and it’s fully acknowledging that people can flex their outgoing or reserved tendencies in different environments. In addition to this people also have priority preferences as part of their wiring - some are drawn towards Task and some towards people. Again, you can flex your preference when the need arises.

The Behavioural Model below allows you to see what I mean and allows you to take a quick ‘snapshot’ of your own primary DISC style and maybe that of any young people who fall under your influence. 

Identifying the different personality types gives you the opportunity to better understand young people and their approaches to learning and processing information

Here are a few highlights of how to use DISC with young people:

The D Type - Outgoing & Task Orientated

These are generally individuals who are motivated by success and like to know where they stand in comparison to others in their group.

Priority
Power

Need
To feel they are respected

Communication style
Can be direct and forthright

Motivational drivers
Challenge
Choice
Control

Responds best to an adult who
Takes a firm, consistent line and is to the point

Ideal environment
Faster paced, getting things done, variety, challenging, competitive

Approach to learning
Will probably seek to challenge, likes to be in charge of their own destiny,
wants to know ‘what’ – for example, what we are doing? What is it for?

The I Type - Outgoing & People Orientated

These are generally, individuals who are motivated by working and interacting with others in a fun informal way.

Priority
People

Need
Like to be liked

Communication style
Friendly, informal verbal, persuasive

Motivational drivers
Praise
Popularity
Peer recognition

Responds best to an adult who
Is Enthusiastic, positive, optimistic and makes things fun.

Ideal environment
Informal, friendly, fun and upbeat.
Have the opportunities to express ideas, talk and interact/work with others.

Approach to learning
Role play, not overloaded with details, prefers information in ‘bite size’ chunks, likes to make things fun, wants to know ‘who,’ for example who is involved? Who is leading the activity?

The S-Type Reserved & People Orientated

These are generally, individuals who like to see things through to completion, working at a good, steady pace. They are team orientated individuals, who are sensitive to the perceived needs of others in their group.

Priority
Pace

Need
To feel secure and valued

Communication style
Can internalise thoughts and feelings, in new situations, often prefers to listen than talk. In familiar environments, will often speak more with people they know, like and trust.

Motivational drivers
A win-win outcome for all
Feeling valued
Feeling safe and secure

Responds best to an adult who
Has control of the environment, makes it safe, is sincere, non-threatening and respectfully direct.

Ideal environment
Calm, supportive, friendly, free from conflict and unfairness.

Approach to learning
Likes to work as a team (Together Everyone Achieves More)
Like to finish what they start
Have the time to reflect and consider
Realistic/agreed deadlines. Wants to know ‘how,’ for example how will we go about achieving this goal? 

The C-Type Reserved & Task Orientated

These are generally individuals who value, correctness, quality, accuracy and logic.

Priority
Procedure

Need
To achieve perfection or a very high degree of accuracy.

Communication style
Often written, can also internalise thoughts and feelings before committing them to text. Likes to question and be curious and they want to know all the variables.

Motivational drivers
Being correct
Quality is important
Logic presides 

Responds best to an adult who
Can give quality answers to questions, is knowledgeable, precise, logical, provides detail when issuing tasks, and knows the importance of perfection.

Ideal environment
Low conflict, quiet, more formal.

Approach to learning
Likes to know the rules. They have a desire to understand the details before embarking on the task. And they want to get things right, follow the structure/procedure. This style wants to know ‘why,’ for example. why we are doing this? Why is this important?

From the above, it can be seen that different people have different preferences, and the DISC Behavioural Model helps reveal these preferences. There are no right or wrongs here, no good or bad styles - just preferences! Once these preferences have been identified it is possible to help young people, in fact, ALL people successfully navigate challenging times, understand themselves better, help reduce stress and ultimately achieve more.

If this blog sparks an interest within you as to how people are DISC wired, imagine where our one-day Workshop will take you? Join us in Oxford in August to learn more about your style and the style of others.

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DISC DISC personality profiling DISC styles DISC behavioural model DISC certification workshop the coaching academy

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