<This entry is part of a series on the DiSC profile. If you’d like to see the whole series, you can do a search for DiSC on this blog.
Cs value correctness. They are methodical, conscientious, and want to get it right. Cs are detail-oriented and work hard to live up to their self-imposed standards. Many are engineers, scientists, or professors. They tend to be analytical, weighing the pros and cons, careful with important details, and precise in their thinking. Think Sherlock Holmes.
My father was a C. We were trying to find a place in the woods that our family had hiked to 40 years earlier when I was a kid. I couldn’t find it and my dad gave me instructions. I tried again, and again failed to find it. He drew me a map. That didn’t work either. I said, “Next time, we’re going together!” He took me to the place where he thought it should be, but we didn’t see it. “It should be right around here,” he said. We explored the area, eventually going all the way around the base of the mountain and ending up where we started. Then he noticed a little path you had to go down to find the spot. He thrust his arms up in the air and exclaimed, “I wasn’t wrong after all!”
The strengths of a C are admirable. They are precise and detail-oriented, working well in places with clearly defined parameters and checklists, disliking chaos and haphazardness. When you correct a C, they will produce the email that shows they did exactly what you asked them to do.
Although they bring many strengths to the occasion, those very strengths can cause tension in others. Their slow and methodical pace can drive Ds and i’s alike crazy. If you’re a C and want to keep the attention of a D or an i, you need to make some adjustments to pick up the pace rather than systematically wading through point 3, subpoint e on the agenda.
I once coached a C who had produced a 17-page report. It was filled with excellent thinking and analysis, charts and graphs, and the conclusion with his recommendation was on the last page. I said, “Tell me about your boss, who you’re submitting this report to.” The boss was clearly a D. Then I asked, “What are you trying to accomplish through this report?” “I want him to approve such-and-such plan.” “Okay,” I responded. “See that conclusion where you recommend he adopts the plan? Put that first and summarize the results that will happen if the plan is implemented. If he intuitively agrees, he’ll trust you and not read the rest. If he’s not sure, he’ll read the rest of the report to see if you’ve proved your case. But you must put the main point first or he’s never going to read it.”
If you’re a C, leave some space for fun for the i’s. Share how you feel for the S’s. And get to the point for the D’s.
Note that as a C, you are likely to clash with other Cs, with both of you feeling the drive to me more right and more correct than the other one. My father and my father-in-law are both Cs. When they have worked on household projects together, both have lobbied for their own solutions, highlighting its merits. Yet because the relationship was good, they could come together to take the best from each potential solution and come up with a third option (which was always excellent, although a bit overkill at times).