People really are as unique and different from one another as snowflakes, which is truly amazing! Equally amazing, I think, is the surprising patterns and similarities between different people’s personalities–so much so, that each of our personalities can be organized into certain types.
To me, this points to a God who designed each of us in a very creative and original– yet still orderly– way. How cool! It’s also true that all personality types are equally good and have their own strengths and weaknesses. None of the personality types are better than others, and we all need each other’s strengths (and weaknesses) to help each other thrive.
There are many good personality type assessments out there (and some not so good) to help you determine your type and that of others. Some of my favourites include the DISC Profile, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
The DISC and Keirsey assessments are simpler, so you can figure out your personality type more easily, but the categories are broader (4 categories in each, but DISC and Keirsey each measure different aspects of our personalities). The Myers-Briggs is excellent, too, though it’s a bit more difficult to figure out your correct type of the 16 possible types. But once you do, it can be uncanny how accurately the results describe you.
For me, it was literally life-changing to discover that though my personality type is relatively rare compared to many of them, it is completely normal and there are many other people who have the same personality type and tendencies as I do. (So, “hah” to those of you who may think I’m strange 🙂 !)
This November, I’m going to do a series of blog posts on the four different personality types in DISC. See if you recognize in the types some aspects of yourself and of other people you know, and then think about how you can capitalize on or encourage D-strengths and help/adjust for the weaknesses. (FYI: We all have aspects of each of the four types in us, but one or two of them will be more dominant than the others. They just feel more natural to us.)
This week, we are going to focus on the “D” type in DISC–the determined, daring, decisive type of people. This doesn’t mean that we can’t all be determined, daring and decisive; it just means that these traits are more natural and easy for some people than others. (I received some of this info from an excellent book called Different Children, Different Needs by Dr. Charles F. Boyd, as well as from the great life coaching course of the Christian Coaching Institute.)
What are Ds like?
Ds as adults are task-oriented, active and outgoing. This means that they tend to focus on the tasks in front of them more than worry too much about people’s feelings, but they do enjoy being with people and get their energy from being with them. They are generally not afraid to tell people what they think and they don’t mind a good argument. When they set a goal, they are very determined and not easily swayed. They tend to make quick decisions, and enjoy lots of activity, as well as leading and managing people.
For every strength, there is a corresponding weakness, and this is true in the Ds personality type, as well. For example, it’s important to be honest with people–and Ds don’t usually find this too difficult– but they can easily slip into saying things that hurt people, forgetting to speak the truth in love.
Being determined is also a very important trait. It helps people get through difficult times in their lives and enables them to reach their goals. But determination also needs to be tempered with wisdom, because not every goal is worthy –and Ds need to be open to changing their minds if their opinions aren’t completely correct.
My Hubby, For Example
My husband is a D (probably a D/I blend, but more about that, later). He doesn’t mind a good debate and is happy to defend his position with confidence. He also doesn’t mind quickly taking leadership in a group, and when he’s cooking in the kitchen, he gets super-focused on his tasks. He has no compunctions about saying what’s on his mind, so I don’t really have to wonder what his opinion about something is.
On the other hand, because I am an “S”– which has many opposite tendencies to a D (more about S’s in a few weeks)–if I’m not careful, I could get run over by Paul’s agenda sometimes. The good side of this is that it has made me more willing and able to be vocal about my needs and opinions (hopefully in a nice way). Another temptation for me is to get annoyed if Paul seems to “hog” a conversation with others, especially if I disagree with his opinions. But again, this is helping me learn to be patient and prayerful rather than argumentative, keeping my humble… I’m not likely to win the debate anyways. 🙂
Paul’s extroverted-ness has helped me come out of my shell more when in groups of people. Because he is not afraid to draw attention to us– which used to make me feel super-uncomfortable– it has helped me feel bolder in some social situations. I also, in turn, help Paul to think of other’s feelings more at times and help him to open his mind to other possibilities more often (I think). So, as you can see, different personality types can help each other.
My Little Guy, For Example
Ds as kids–or even babies– are already active, take-charge people… and dare I say often “strong-willed”. And what do you know: I’m pretty sure my little guy is also a D (again, I think a D/I blend). Ever since he came out of the womb, you pretty much knew what he wanted and when he wanted it (basically milk most of the time… and to be carried).
He’s happy to be the boss of his parents (if we let him) and will use us as a walking taxi service as he points in the direction he wants to go. He enjoys being with people and can get quite bored if we are home all day without visitors. And he gets super-focused when working on his tasks of Duplo-tower-building, or trying to carry a cat that keeps getting away (poor cat).
Ds as kids are not usually called “easy to parent” which is comforting for me, because it tells me his demanding-ness is not all my fault 🙂 And although we can’t–and shouldn’t– try to change their inborn determined-ness, we parents do need to very gently yet firmly teach Ds that they can’t always have what they want when they want it, and that it’s important for them to think about other’s needs and feelings as well.
I’m definitely trying to work on these things with my little D, and despite my “S” tendencies to hate conflict or to have to constantly maintain the rules (I certainly don’t always), I’m giving it my best and I truly believe this little guy is going to turn out fine.
How about you?
Do you recognize any of these D tendencies in yourself or someone else? Remember that we all have a bit of each of the four DISC tendencies in us, but one or two of them will be stronger than the others. There are some great DISC personality assessments and books out there to help you sort out what type you (and others) are. They include tips and strategies for living out your strengths while being aware of your weaknesses and about getting along with others who have similar or different types.
Here are a few resources I’d personally recommend:
- www.personality-insights.com has some great adult, child, and teen personality assessments (called DISC Profiles). I use some of these in my own life coaching packages.
- As I mentioned earlier, the book Different Children, Different Needs by Dr. Charles F. Boyd is an excellent and interesting resource for parents or others who take care of children. Not only does it help you sort out what types each of your children are, but it helps you figure out what your parenting style is and how you can strive to meet your children’s needs. You can buy it here if you like. (By clicking on this link, I receive a tiny payment to help with my budget. Thanks so much!)
- I offer a coaching package called “Your Family Has Personality”. This package is to help moms discover their own personality type, that of their partner (if they like), and that of each child. You’ll learn about each child’s needs (as well as your own) and come up with ideas and set goals that suit your family. This package is a fun way to learn more about your family and continue to help it thrive. You can find a description here, if you are interested.
What do you think? What are some other strengths and corresponding weaknesses of the D personality type? If you are a D, what are some ways you can harness your strengths and perhaps work on your weaknesses? Whatever your personality type is, how do you think you can learn to get along better with the Ds in your life?