How to Survive This Thing Called Life Using DISC

Jul 01 , 2016
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Persevere in crisis with your adaptive behavioral pattern

We are going through a period of intense economic and political crisis around the globe, in distinct locations and with varying levels of intensity. However, in one way or another we all live in an increasingly globalized world and it is almost impossible not to feel the impact of that. Many of us surely have to face unprecedented challenges and experience changes like never before in our lives. Inevitably, different levels of stress are associated with this.

The present moment is uniquely fit to test our resilience and survival skills. Al Siebert, in his excellent book The Survivor Personality, explores conclusions from research done with people who faced very stressful moments, significant conflicts, and hugely difficult situations.

Some patterns were found among those who survived those situations. One of them was the ability to be flexible, to show behavioral patterns that were the opposite of one´s natural tendencies, as required by the present moment.

The DISC methodology can illustrate this survival skill as it measures the natural behavioral style (the one which hardly changes) and the adapted style, which is situational and can often vary, as long as the person is willing to adapt.

 

Use the Ace Up Your Sleeve

The adapted behavioral pattern is the ace up our sleeve in facing the challenges presented by difficult moments. Thus, a naturally outspoken person can adapt and become quiet if the moment so demands, or a naturally impatient individual may see the need to be calmer in order to overcome a challenge or period of change.

Below there are a few points to help you reflect on your survival skills. On the left side, identify which characteristics you believe that are part of your nature; then, consider your ability to use the characteristic on the right side.

Characteristics

Impatient Calm
Calm Impatient
Aggressive Harmonious
Harmonious Aggressive
Talkative Quiet
Quiet Talkative
Bold decision maker Conservative decision maker
Conservative decision maker Bold decision maker
Fun, joyful Serious
Serious Fun, joyful
Straightforward and authoritarian Charming and persuasive
Charming and persuasive Straightforward and authoritarian
Quick to decide Slow to decide
Slow to decide Quick to decide
Methodical and planning-oriented Ease to improvise
Ease to improvise Methodical and planning-oriented

 

Uniting Opposites

Obviously, our personality includes many other dimensions and behaviors besides these. But the table above may provoke some reflection on how flexible we are to become something that we are not. To become, as it were, more complete by uniting opposites. The consequence is an increase in our flexibility and more success in times of significant change and great challenges.

Seeing a crisis as an opportunity to grow, despite the amount of pain it may cause, could be a turning point in someone´s life. My suggestion to each of you is to question how well you really know yourself, how well you manage what you know, and, mainly, how flexible you are when forced into different situations from your very nature. When it is in the right amount and adequately managed, stress as a consequence of striving to go against whom we naturally are, or opposite, makes us stronger and more flexible. This helps our growth, and may even guarantee our survival.

 

About the Author

Alex Ribas