The DISC Model of Human Behavior is, as the name implies, about behavior. And, to apply it well, I suggest looking beyond behavior to the needs behind the behavior to really use it to connect and communicate with other people more effectively.
To illustrate the point, consider the refrigerator shown above. While this one has no food in it, I imagine you can think of a time when you opened a refrigerator door to check the contents. I also imagine that many of the times when you have stood with the door open were times when you were hungry and looking for food.
Looking in the refrigerator (the behavior) was the expression of an unmet need (you were hungry).
And, if you found an empty refrigerator enough times, you just might decide to escalate your behavior by leaving your house to get food.
People tend to behave in ways that get their needs met. When their needs are unmet, they will continue escalating their behaviors in an increasingly intense effort to meet their needs.
Food is a physical need, and we will act to get food when we do not have it. Likewise, we all have certain emotional/psychological needs, and we also act to get them met.
The DISC model is one tool that you can use to get an estimate of another person's emotional/psychological needs so that you can take positive, intentional actions that increase your ability to effectively connect and communicate with him or her.
I only plan to hit some high spots with this post, and I certainly do not want to present this brief article as a comprehensive guide. There are many other factors to consider when it comes to understanding other people's needs. And, the DISC model is still a good tool you can use to make an educated guess.
With that caveat said, here are some general needs you can consider as you work to understand yourself and others:
- Outgoing, task-oriented, Dominant individuals often need:
choices, challenges, and control.
- Outgoing, people-oriented, Inspiring individuals often need:
recognition, approval, and admiration.
- Reserved, people-oriented, Supportive individuals often need:
appreciation, security, and assurance.
- Reserved, task-oriented, Cautious individuals often need:
quality answers, value and excellence.
When you work to understand these needs and to see other people's behaviors through the filter of their needs rather than your own, you can make the adjustments to your communication style that allows you to meet — or at least not challenge — another person's needs so that you can create an environment for mutual gain.
This article is from the Connecting With People series. Use the links below to read more from this series.
- The DISC Model of Human Behavior - A Quick Overview
- Connecting With People
- Communication Tips: Connecting With Outgoing, Task-Oriented People
- Communication Tips: Connecting With Outgoing, People-Oriented People
- Communication Tips: Connecting With Reserved, People-Oriented People
- Communication Tips: Connecting With Reserved, Task-Oriented People
- Using the DISC Model: How to Create Stress for Other People
- Using the DISC Model: Focus on Needs More than Behaviors