As a coach, there is a very slim possibility that those you coach will have all the same personalities; forget about a team with everyone having the same behaviours. Statistically, it is impossible. There will always be differences; that is just about being human.

I recently finished reading: Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson and added another viewpoint that, as a coach, I need to keep in mind when coaching an individual or a team. Initially, he breaks down why the name of the title wasn’t just a marking ploy; although it did grab my attention, it goes into how people will feel when dealing with a broad set of behaviours that do not sync up with your own.

The author uses the DISC (dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance) that William Moulton Marston created. At a high level, there are four types of groups of behaviours, and we fall into one with maybe a little of another to add some additional flavour to complicate things more. You can take tests online to give you an idea of where you fit in. Results from one I have done here showed these results: A blend of Cautious and Inspiring traits. Your Cautious features are probably a little stronger than your Inspiring traits. It is exciting, and I suggest you take it to see where you sit.

Out of all this, what I got out of the book is that with each set of behaviours, there are right and wrong ways to communicate with each of the four. Even for yourself, how one behaviour type will share with you could turn you off and call them an idiot (from the book and explanation of the title).

It is not surprising that everyone is different; that part is nothing new to anyone. Interestingly, this provides an excellent tool to add to the toolbox for any coach when working with individuals and teams.

Over the past decade, I have worked hard on my ability to work with different personalities and behaviours. I have become successful with it and continue to learn.

Recently I have taken the tips and hints from the book and applied them to a group of people I am working with and had successful results. I was able to get through the coaching arch faster than I have before to have the issue identified, discover opportunities and solutions, determine success criteria and celebrate the session. All because I could frame, communicate and understand everything and everyone better.

Would I have achieved the same results if I hadn’t learned about DISC? Yes, it would have taken a little longer, and some minute details came out for future sessions. In the end, this was a great tool added to my toolbox, and I suggest if you haven’t looked into it yet, you should. If you have, I would love to hear your stories.

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