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.

If you’re a D, you’ll need to make certain adjustments when working with people who have different behavioral styles. Why make adjustments?  Because you will get far better results.

For example, when dealing with an “i” who is primarily concerned about creating a fun, motivational environment for the whole group, a D needs to pay attention to the emotional climate. Are people feeling connected? Are they feeling good as they get the job done?  Too much emphasis on results without paying attention to the emotional climate of the group is demotivating to i’s.  Taking some time to have fun and to inspire people isn’t just a waste of time– it’s an integral part of the process for those that are wired that way.

When you’re dealing with an S, they’re also relational, but unlike the i, they focus in one-on-one or in a very small group. Ds need to learn that when you deal with an S you need to take time to engage in small talk and relate: ask about their family, how they’re feeling about their ministry. The most important thing is not to look at  your watch. Looking at your watch when you’re talking with an S is like slapping them in the face. You’re communicating that your time is far more important than who they are as a person. Later in my ministry, I had a partner who was a high S– Steve Ogne, a great relational leader. When we’d get together, we’d easily spend the first 1/3 of our time relationally. Then when we did dive into work, it was much more productive than if I’d tried to fast-forward over that part. The resulting church planting systems I developed in conjunction with Steve were stellar… the fruit of a wonderful working relationship.

When working with a C, a D needs to recognize the difference between the two styles:  When a D is at number 1 and sees the vision of going to 100, that vision is sufficient for the D to motivate them to move forward. A D figures they will just figure the details out as they go; Ds try to build the plane while it’s flying.  A C, on the other hand, would like those details beforehand. They need to see how they will get from number 1 to number 2, then from number 2 to number 3. The thing you want to avoid when working with a C is using phrases like “mere details” or “unimportant details.” I now call them “critical details.” (Full disclosure: I don’t want to fly on a plane that was designed and built by Ds. I want one designed and built by Cs, because those details are very important for getting you from one point to another.) When working with a C, you need to pay attention to the details. If you don’t know what the details are, you can even use Cs to generate them: “We need to work out the critical details here.”

In a sense, each of these approaches is the same: discern what matters to the other person and validate it… because those pieces of the puzzle are indeed important and necessary for getting the results you want.