“What a blessing to have you on our campus at WinShape. We are so grateful for people like you who so generously give of their talents & abilities to influence others in such a positive way! Thank you for inspiring and challenging our staff…”

— Trudy Cathy White [WinShape Camps, Chick-fil-A]

SAILING THROUGH PERSONALITY TYPES

  

Are you a Battle Ship, Cruise Ship, Sailboat or Submarine? Leadership is about communication. Understand why, clarity is a rarity.

                      

Personality Styles 
 
It is paramount that you take the time to understand personality traits and their connection to clear communication. Remember . . . clarity is a rarity! You may have sent a message, but the crucial question is, was it received? When you understand personality traits, you:
 
1. Become a better communicator. It’s difficult to communicate effectively with people you don’t understand, and it’s easy to misinterpret someone whose personality is the opposite of yours. Once you understand how personality styles work, you can adapt your own style to unlock better communication. You will understand to speak more directly or indirectly. You can assign jobs that are more task or people oriented.   
 
2. Can resolve or prevent conflicts. When you understand why someone did or said something due to a personality trait, you will be less likely to react negatively. An awareness of another’s underlying motivations can allow you to diffuse problems before they start. 
 
3. Gain credibility and positively influence others. Every interaction you have with others either increases or decreases your credibility and influence. By knowing another’s personality style, you can immediately gain credibility and influence by adapting to his or her style.
 
 
 
 
Personality Types
 
     You can spend a lifetime studying personality types and take a number of tests to determine your style. The subject is far too comprehensive to go into extensive detail within this book. However, if you have never studied this amazing subject matter, let me whet your pallet with an overview. 
 
     DISC is a group of psychological inventories developed in 1958 by John Geier, Ph.D., who based his research off the work of psychologist William Moulton Marston. The DISC assessment divides personality styles into four basic categories: Outgoing, Reserved, Task-Oriented, and People-Oriented. All individuals possess all four, but what differs from one person to another is the extent of each. According to Geier’s research, most people have a distinct or primary type followed by a lesser type or a mixture of two. Keep in mind, each of our personalities or the way in which we respond or react to a situation is a blend of types and will vary depending on the environment we are in.
 
     For more than ten years, I have studied hundreds of resources, attended education classes, and have led countless seminars on personality types and how they relate to leadership. The following brief synopsis of the four personality types is a compilation of information from my personal experience as well as research from a number of resources (Geier Learning International, Inscape Publishing, and Personality Insights Inc.). You can also search the web for “DISC” and “personality types” to find thousands of resources and tests to develop your understanding of this valuable leadership tool.
 
     An outgoing type of person would be the first to take charge, speak up in the group, crack a joke, or introduce themselves, while an individual with a more reserved personality will wait and get the feel of the group before speaking up, if at all. Those with a reserved trait prefer working by themselves, in small groups, or behind the scenes.
 
     A task-oriented personality is a direct communicator and is focused on order and consistency- a work-first-play-later mentality. People-oriented personalities are indirect communicators and are focused more on having fun, building relationships and cooperation, over completing a task. 
 
 
 
 
 
4 Basic Personality Types 
 
 
Outgoing/ Task Oriented
Bold
Direct
Dominant
Demanding
Competitive
Being in Charge
Needs: Results
Battleship
Outgoing/ People Oriented
Expressive
Friendly
Outgoing
Emotional
Approval
Influence
Needs: People 
Cruise Ship
Reserved/ Task Oriented
Technical
Cautious
Logical
Consistent
Excellence
Detailed
Needs: Quality
  Submarine
Reserved/ People Oriented
Supportive
Steady
Team player
Service
Sincere
Loyal
Needs: Cooperation
Sailboat
 
 
 
 
 
 
The following charts help put the four dimensions of personality into perspective:
 
 
The Dominant (D)-Battleship Type:
 
Words to Describe Their Leadership: Dominant, Direct, Demanding, Decisive, Determined, Doer, Bold, Forceful, Strong-willed
Their Mindset: Get it done! Make it happen! Play to win! Results!
Their Likes: Activities, Competition, Hard work, Doing things, Challenges, Getting results, Being in charge, Accomplishing tasks, Administration
Their Dislikes: Inefficiency, Indecision
They Are: Goal-oriented, Hard to please, Self-confident, Firm, Industrious, Performance conscious, Determined
Out of Control: Dictator
Motivated by: Conquering challenges, Choices, Control, Solving problems
Environmental Needs: Freedom, Authority, Varied activities, Opportunities for advancement
Primary Needs and Expectations of Others: Results
Communication Style: Straightforward communication
Fears: Being disrespected or not winning
Need to Learn to: Be sensitive to people, Be able to relax, Be patient, Speak “softer,” Let other people share control
Challenges: Impatient, Insensitive, Poor listener
 
 
 
 
 
The Inspiring (I) - Cruise Ship Type:
 
Words to Describe Their Leadership: Inspiring, Influencing, Important, Interactive, Impressive, Interested in people, Spontaneous, Optimistic, Talkative, Expressive, Friendly, Outgoing, Emotional, Persuading, Enthusiasm, Entertaining
Their Mindset: To be the star of the show . . . fun and excitement!
Their Likes: Exposure to people, Short-term projects, Making people laugh, Doing things, Lots of activities, To be on the go, Talking with people, Prestige, To be important, To have fun, To be liked, To create excitement
Their Dislikes: Routines, Complexity
They Are: Talkative, Great starters, Likeable, Prone to exaggerate, Easily excitable, Fun to watch
Out of Control: Unfocused
Motivated by: Recognition, Approval, Popularity, Fun
Environmental Needs: Prestige, Friendly relationships, Opportunities to influence others, Opportunities to inspire others, Chances to verbalize ideas
Primary Needs and Expectations of Others: People and Flexible
Communication Style: Friendly and informal
Fears: Being disliked or confined by rules
Need to Learn to: Better manage time, Be more realistic, Listen to others, Stay focused and complete tasks
Challenges: Lack of detail, Short attention span, Low follow-through
 
 
 
 
 
The Supportive (S) - Sailboat Type:
 
Words to Describe Their Leadership: Supportive, Steady, Stable, Sweet, Sensitive, Sentimental, Conferring, Sincere, Loyal, Practical, Good listener, Patient, Team player, Service, Diplomatic
Their Mindset: Neutral, Let’s all get along with each other!, No conflict
Their Likes: Peace, An even pace, Harmony, Reassurance, Friendly groups, Teamwork, Helping others, Cooperation, Minimize confrontation
Their Dislikes: Insensitivity, Impatience
They Are: Team-oriented, Friendly, Cooperative, Loyal friends, Sensitive to others’ needs, Understanding, Accepting, Helpful to others, Peace maintaining
Out of Control: Indecision
Motivated by: Security, Appreciation, Assurance, Acceptance
Environmental Needs: An area of specialization, Identification with a group, Established work pattern, Stability of situation, Consistent environment
Primary Needs and Expectations of Others: Cooperation
Communication Style: Warm, Open, Sincere communication
Fears: Confrontation and change
Need to Learn to: Deal with change, Be able to say “No!,” Decide and act independently, Hold other people accountable for their actions
Challenges: Oversensitive, Slow to begin, Dislikes change
 
 
 
 
The Cautious (C) - Submarine Type:
 
Words to Describe Their Leadership: Cautious, Calculating, Competent, Consistent, Contemplative, Careful, Methodical, Technical, Logical, Precise, Sensitive, and Analytical
Their Mindset: Let’s do things right and with excellence. What is the plan? Have you thought things through? What is the purpose behind this? Why?
Their Likes: Consistency, Excellent work, Being accurate, Information/Data, Value, Quality, Getting things right, Having a plan, Procedure, Honesty
Their Dislikes: Disorganization, Impropriety
They Are: Procedure-oriented, Dedicated to the task, Focused on the details, Logical, Accurate, Respectful, Systems and planning oriented
Out of Control: Too critical
Motivated by: Quality answers, Excellence, Value, Accuracy
Environmental Needs: Clearly defined tasks, Sufficient time and resources to accomplish tasks, Freedom to ask questions, Limited risks, Assignments that require planning and precision
Primary Needs and Expectations of Others: Following procedure and quality
Communication Style: Logical, Precise, and Detailed
Fears: Being inconsistent/wrong or illogical
Need to Learn to: Not over-analyze, Not be a perfectionist, Express feelings, Trust others, Be more flexible, Lighten up and have more fun
Challenges: Perfectionism, Critical, Unresponsive
 

Excerpts from A Leader’s FOCUS

Finding the Balance That Determines Personal and Professional Success.  

 
 
 

 

Subscribe to Quick Quotes and a Leadership Story