People are people, so why should it be…you and I should get along so awfully?

You know those people who just. get. under. your. skin?

You think of yourself as easy to get along with. You work hard to be a good manager, and you take pride in leading your team. 

You care about your people, and you try to show it.

But if you’re in business long enough, you’re bound to encounter a team member who just rubs you the wrong way. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to get on their wavelength.

You don’t understand their motivations or why they act the way they do. What makes them tick? 

Every interaction is tinged with awkwardness. Why is it so difficult to break through?

And things get even worse if this team member starts struggling in their role. Are they the wrong person? In the wrong seat? 

You can’t begin to solve the problem, because you don’t understand how to even have an honest conversation with them.

People are people..but they’re also not

In my early days as an entrepreneur, I spent far too much time being confounded by personalities I couldn’t understand. 

(And I didn’t spend enough time trying to understand my own personality.)

We’re all the same…and we’re also very different. Your team members are not necessarily motivated by the same things that drive you each day—for starters, you’re running a company, and they’re on your team. 

Money. Stability. Time. Beauty. Respect. 

Sure, all of those things sound nice. But when it comes down to it, some are more appealing to each of us than others.

And how about the way you and your employees behave? Are you results-oriented? People-focused? Driven by a desire to support or a desire to put everything in its proper place?

If your organization is successful, it’s got a wide range of personalities in it. Your salesperson doesn’t—and shouldn’t—act or think like your CFO. 

And while every role has exceptions, there are definitely archetypes that tend to be a great fit inside your company. Stellar salespeople have a certain way of behaving that lends itself to their job. So do great financial advisors. 

Discovering the DiSC

When it comes to understanding people, the DiSC profile may be the single most helpful tool I’ve ever discovered. 

If you aren’t familiar with it, the DiSC is a behavioral assessment that helps “improve teamwork, communication, and productivity in the workplace.”

It’s a one-time test that is hugely informative about the people you work with. 

You spend 40+ hours per week with your team. You can’t imagine how valuable it is to understand who they are and why they do what they do.

As a business owner, the DiSC has allowed me to understand the types of traits that tend to make people successful in their roles. That makes me smarter during the hiring process—I can ask the right questions to understand how candidates will behave on the job.

And the DiSC is even more valuable once a team member is on board. I can understand how they like to communicate—whether I should start with small talk or get straight to business, for example.

Finally, the DiSC offers an EYE-OPENING experience into your own weird and wonderful personality. When I interact with my team, I not only understand who they are, but I understand myself, and how I am likely to respond in certain situations as well.

Awareness is a beautiful thing.

I’m going to share more about the DiSC in a webinar on January 19th. If you’d like to learn more about this tool and how it can help your team, I hope you’ll join me.

Our differences make us great. But understanding those differences makes us a whole lot better.