When we set new goals for ourselves for the new year, they are usually related to current behavioral habits we are trying to change. The unwanted behavior provides something to us, whether it’s safety or to feel accepted. Each DISC personality style has a habit they are known for; how can we leave some of our undesirable habits behind us this new year? Here are some ideas:
How do you leave behind something that has been a large part of your personality? The “D” personalities have to find ways to give away some of their control to others, and then be okay if someone else doesn’t do something as they would or just flat out fails. That last sentence made your skin crawl, didn’t it? Why leave this behavior behind? Mainly because it’s controlling and limiting you and your effectiveness. Believe me, you will be biting your tongue frequently when you first let others lead. Lock yourself in your office if you have to. As you adjust to letting this go, you’ll have more bandwidth to develop others and strengthen the team. Not everything, every day, is a crisis. Let others manage the team and the work in their own way. You might relax a little, have some fun, and learn something.
If you’re an “I” personality, “Yes!” is your favorite phrase, isn’t it? Did you just say “Yes!?” Well, the immediate feeling of seeing a smile on someone’s face helps you avoid the pain of disapproval, but it doesn’t match the downside of not completing what you promised. One of the best words to add to your vocabulary when it comes to making promises is “No.” That sounds harsh to you, and I don’t want you to just start saying “No!” like a 2-year-old. Before you jump to “Yes,” think about all that you’ve promised to others and be prepared to explain your other commitments and why you aren’t available to help them. One tactic is not to commit and say, “Can I get back to you on that?” You can also renegotiate other commitments you’ve made by either scaling back the scope or changing the timeline. When you leave the overpromising behavior behind, you’ll become known as the energetic person who gets things done, rather than just having good intentions.
Established ways are a tough one for the “S” personalities to leave behind because it’s their routine that accomplishes all the tasks they are given. However, the longer you take to adapt to the change, the less helpful you are to the team. Try to think of “portable” routines that can work in any situation. You can quickly apply them to new work changes as they occur. My simple example for myself is my morning routine: drink a full glass of water upon waking, take a nice hot shower, and grab coffee and breakfast. No matter where I travel, I start my day this way and am comfortable and ready for whatever changes I may have to deal with. Remind yourself how many changes you’ve been through already and use that to leave behind the resistance you usually exhibit with new initiatives.
Yes, analytical thinking is the self-proclaimed superpower for “C” personalities. Just a quick reminder, you’re actually a human, not a superhero, so you can change if you so desire. That skill and talent (the “force) will always be with you. You have to find your “good enough” threshold, which means that while you may have spent 7 hours analyzing all inputs, threats, and variations to make a decision on something, someone else reached the same conclusion after spending an hour looking at the problem. To leave your overanalyzing behavior behind, give yourself a time limit for analysis. Then, cut it in half and go to work. The outcome will still be as valuable as if you spent all day on it. Speed is key in most business success stories these days, and the details will smooth out over time as you learn from the experience. Break up the 7 hours across 7 prototypes and see what happens.
Write down what you would like to leave behind for the new year. Read it daily. Use the action plan of your DISC profile to support behavioral change. Look for and celebrate your small wins. Forgive yourself quickly for behavioral slips, and recommit to getting back on track. Your future you will thank you for it!
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