With COVID-19 social distancing requirements forcing so many to stay at home, the inevitable consequences of “cabin fever” are beginning to emerge. As we continue to be constrained by tight quarters and the lack of diversions, personality conflicts are inevitable. In normal times, with weekday hours spent at work and weekends filled with varying functions, individuals have the ability to disperse and/or distract from personal conflicts. However, with COVID-19, this “release” is no longer available.
History has shown us that for every pregnancy that is the result of constrained freedom there is sadly also a divorce. Personality differences that were merely a minor hinderance become magnified as the days progress. But, there is good news for those who care enough to overcome these challenges.
How and why we react the way we do with different types of people has been thoroughly studied and documented. From C. Jung’s “Psychological Types” (1923) and I. Myers “The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator” (1962), to D. Keirsey / M. Bates “Please Understand Me” (1978) and P. Tiegrer / B. Tiegrer’s “Do What You Are” (1992), understanding ones own personality type can go a long way towards identifying and overcoming personality conflicts.
To most, the mere mention of the words “personality types,” conjures visions of years of psychoanalysis. But truthfully, in most instances, that’s not the case. The simplest method to understanding personality types is the DISC theory. Based on psychologist William Moulton Marston’s DISC theory that everyone fits into one of only four personality types, this simple test has been used in business and personal applications for over 30 years. DISC’s four personalities include; Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C).
Experience has shown that once a person understands their personality type and is able to identify the personality type of those they deal with on a day-to-day basis, conflicts are reduced and harmony returns.
Although individual personality profiles go much deeper than can be covered in this article, I’ll highlight a brief description of each personality type to hopefully shed some light on how to modify ones personality tendencies to better align with the people they are homebound with.
“D” Dominance Personality Type
#1 Very impatient
#2 Very strong ego
#3 Very adaptable to change
#4 Greatest fear, someone will take advantage of them, must always win
#5 They are direct, blunt and at times tactless
#6 Travel at 100 mph
“I” Influence Personality Type
#1 People oriented
#2 Very emotional – not logical
#4 Greatest fear, fear of social disapproval (rejection)
#5 They are eternal optimists
#6 Travel at 100 mph
“S” Steadiness Personality Type
#1 Very loyal
#2 Very family oriented
#3 Procrastinates – very patient
#4 Greatest fear, loss of security
#5 Slow to change
#6 Travel at 45 mph
“C” Conscientiousness Personality Type
#1 Perfectionist– Master craftsman
#2 Very sensible– thin-skinned
#3 Very Intuitive – Always right
#4 Greatest fear – Criticism
#5 They demand specifics
#6 Travel at 45 mph
Some personalities get along better than others. The below chart shows which personalities match up well and which personalities do not..
This does not mean that that poor pairings don’t work. It simply means that poor pairings require an increased effort to assure success. If you look at the chart carefully you’ll notice that the “S” personality is able to adjust to any other personality type seamlessly. Why? Simple. “S” personality types are all about stability, peace and comfort. They are almost always the nucleus of any happy family unit. In companies, they are the staff that works day in and day out to get the job done. They move at 45 mph so all you I’s and “D’s who move at 100 mph, need to understand that you’re NEVER going to get them to move as fast as you.
“D’s, with their enormous drives are great as long as they’re running the show. That’s why two “D’s almost never match up well. It’s also why “D’s and “C’s are not a good match. Like “S’s, “C’s also move at 45 mph and because they research everything to infinitum, they are usually right and have little patience for a “D’s shotgun, often wrong, approach.
“I’s” also move at 100 mph and also have challenges living with a “C’s “will they ever get done” decision pace. But “I’s” are people people, so they are often well equipped to adjust their “Blow and Go” tendencies to form a workable relationship with most personality types. It’s often said, if you want something done quickly, ask a “D” or “I”. If you want it done correctly, ask a “C”. Conversely, if you have a limited timeframe to make a decision or need someone to drive a a job quickly to completion, an “I” or “D” may be the best choice.
I’m often asked “Can a persons Personality Behavior change”? The answer is yes with a few caveats. One cannot change their personality by simply willing it. Except in dramatic cases such as murder, PTST or rape, it usually takes years to affect a change but, over time people can change.
A multitude of studies have shown that once a person understands their own personality type and the personality type of those they interface with on a day-to-day basis, they can (a) adjust their personality to better compliment the other person; (b) better understand what is important to the other person; (c) stop trying to “re-make” the other person into their personality type.
Understanding others and knowing oneself is the key to harmony at home, in the office and for life in general.
J Stephen Sadler Best Selling Author, Speaker and CEO/Executive Coach of the Techmar Group, J Stephen Sadler assists organizations and families in facilitating organizational and familial change through personality awareness. His DISCovery seminars awaken participants to the discovery of their own personality types as well as the personalities of the people they work with, sell to, support and live with. Participants gain not only an awareness of their own personality traits but are also provided with invaluable tools on how best to identify and harmonize with those they interact with on a day-to-day basis.
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As a Professional Keynote Speaker, Mr. Sadler works with and through Ms. Jean Marie Russo, CEO and Founder of Speaking of Success, Inc., a GLOBAL Speakers Bureau. Please contact Ms. Russo direct at: 262.359.1121 for future bookings and information and e-mail: [email protected]