One of the questions that Kevin and I get asked frequently is, “Can I have a different style at work than I have at home?”
The answer is a qualified yes, and it gets to the idea of having a natural style compared to an environmental style.
Our natural style is the internal piece of us. It reflects how we perceive, interpret, and prefer to interact with the world. Our natural style interacts with our environment — the situations that we live and work within. How we respond, or behave, in our environment is our adapted style. Work and home environments are different, and you can have two different sets of behaviors in the different environments.
Here's what we encourage you to consider. If you haven't taken the assessment, try not to worry about one or the other. Simply ask yourself, “What is my natural approach? What would I do without thinking? What is my most comfortable way of acting and responding?” That's how we would encourage you to think about the quesion of different styles in different environments.
If you find yourself acting differently at work and at home, you're likely seeing your natural, preferred style versus your adapted or environment style.
If you do find yourself acting differently in different environments, you might ask, “Which style is my natural one? Is it my work style or my home style? Which one's the natural one?”
We would ask you to consider these questions:
- Which one is the easiest?
- Which is the one that you're not really thinking about it?
We have both worked with lots of people who say they are task-oriented and results driven at work and more people-oriented, or relational, at home and that they have to “turn it on when they get to the office.” To which, we would say, that sounds like your talking about your adapted style.
For example, (Kevin talking here)… Guy has a Cautious, or a C style. When he gets in a classroom, he's tremendous. He interacts with people, he makes jokes, and he smiles. And, at the end of the day, he's done. Exhausted. He can adapt to play in a world that demands a set of behaviors that are not his preference, and that takes lots of energy for him. He's really tired when the training day is over. That may be the same for you. You can have act differently in different environments, and there's probably, underneath whatever style you put on in the moment, a natural style, that's pretty consistent everywhere. You carry it with you everywhere. You adjust to what the environment needs or demands.
If you've taken a DISC assessment, and you feel like you want to do it again because you thought about it from either a work or home perspective, it's okay. It's okay if you feel like you behave differently at work and at home.
If you find that one of the environments (or behaviors) takes a lot more energy and drains you a lot or just seems harder, it might be because you're having to adjust your style to fit the environment.