Get ready for the fourth and final installment of “Behavior Matters”, a series focusing on how our DISC behavioral styles show up for us at work. The DISC behavioral assessment measures how much each of the four styles-Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance-show up in your profile.
You can catch the other articles on the problem solving Ds in Behavior Matters-How Dominant Are You? The influential Is in Behavior Matters-How Influential Are You? and the steady Ss in Behavior Matters- Is Slow & Steady Your Pace?
C is for Compliance
This week, we’re focusing on the C or Compliance factor. The Compliance factor which we’ll refer to as being a C, focuses on how we handle rules and procedures that are set by others. At the top end of the C continuum is the person who is a High C, we’ll call her Cristy and at the bottom end, someone who is a Low C who we’ll call Cara.
Cristy-the High C
Cristy is a rule follower and likes to do everything by the book. Cristy finds comfort in having proven, established procedures that she (and everyone else) can follow. Cristy is constantly striving for excellence.. She values learning and seeks information and data. When it comes to fact finding, Cristy can be counted on to ask intuitive questions to help increase her understanding. Cristy does best when she has clear expectations and can draw on past experiences to inform her decisions. She sets and keeps high standards and is committed to putting out the best work product possible. Cristy can be counted on to be organized and detail-oriented in her follow up and follow through. Her critical analysis of the data has often saved the team from costly errors.
Because Cristy is fearful of making mistakes, she spends her time painstakingly checking for possible errors. Cristy may be labeled as a perfectionist by her co-workers because of her attention to detail.
She likes to process data and information in order to come to decisions. Cristy expects that everyone will be as well versed in the rules and guidelines as she is and follow them. Her biggest frustration comes from dealing with co-workers who treats rules like suggestions. Cristy can be prone to analysis paralysis while she’s trying to process all the information available to her, delaying moving forward in search of all the information available.
Cara-the Low C
Cara has a different approach to rules. They are more like suggestions to her. She means well, but has no time to sit and read through all those rules when she can come up with a creative solution in that time. Cara likes to have the freedom to work things out her way. She values a flexible work environment that rewards her free-styling ways. Cara has an open minded, more trusting approach that’s Cristy. She’s willing to give people the benefit of the doubt and doesn’t feel the need to check up on other people’s work.
While her co-workers love her laughing ways, they do wish she would spend a little time checking the procedures. Her casual approach to rules, sometimes means extra work to check the necessary boxes in order to get final approvals. Cara is not known for sticking to deadlines or following the project plan. Her project manager spends a lot of time verifying information and data in Cara’s reports, knowing that details are not her strong point.
Working with Cristy & Cara
If you have a co-worker like Cristy, remember that she is all about everyone putting their best foot forward. You can count on her accuracy and thoroughness, but may feel that she tends to micro-manage the team. When you’re communicating with her, be sure to include the details, facts and data-the more the merrier. Give her time to review everything and ask questions. She doesn’t mean to interrogate you, she’s just trying to make sure she has all the information she needs to make a decision. Avoid telling her to “trust you” because she’ll wonder what you’re trying to hide, leading to an even more in depth analysis of what you gave her. She’ll appreciate your efforts to comply with the rules and work with established processes. Give her deadlines to help her stick to the timeline, but make them realistic.
When you’re working with Cara highlight the rules and procedures that she must follow. Cara’s fluid approach to scheduling and details will frustrate her co-workers who stick to the approved processes. She is more willing to come up with something new and will challenge status quo thinking. Cara’s forte is not in the details and follow up, so create accountability with her using regular check-ins to keep the work on track. This will give you a chance to catch any possible pitfalls. Cara will be your ace in the hole when you need brainstorm new ideas. Her spontaneous work-arounds will come in handy when there are no established procedures to follow. She’ll help come up with a path forward.
Are you More Like Cristy or Cara?
How compliant are you? Are you a rule follower like Cristy? Or are you a free-styler like Cara?
While I painted a strong picture of what the High and Low C styles are like, very few people are just one style-most of us have a two or three styles that are more dominant. Our behavior and preferences are going to be influenced by the particular blend of styles.
You can learn more about your individual profile by booking a DISCover your Style Strategy Session. You’ll get access to complete the validated DISC assessment, receive a comprehensive report detailing your primary behavioral style, motivators and driving forces and get a 1:1 Strategy session with me! In our 1:1 we’ll review your style and come up with an action plan (at your pace) to help you leverage your DISC strengths and adjust for any areas of improvement.
I’ll send you a follow up email with details and next steps.