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One Benefit of Valuing Differences

By Daniel Bobinski

Years ago, I was conducting emotional intelligence training for a large corporation. One of my friends, also a trainer and author, happened to be in town. She had written a book on diversity and was accustomed to looking at that topic through a cultural lens. Because she was available, I asked her to co-facilitate a day of training with me and provide an expert’s perspective of diversity.

Part of that day’s training was on DISC behavioral styles and how each style brings different strengths to a team. I should also state that one phrase I always use in EQ training is, “Value the differences.” My friend wasn’t too familiar with DISC language, but as the day progressed, she showed increasing interest in its application.

Before I tell you why, let me first state that if you aren’t familiar with DISC language, it’s a framework for understanding behavioral and communication styles. I always use DISC when teaching EQ, in part because each of the four main behavioral styles has an affiliated emotion. Therefore, when you learn the behavioral styles, you are also able to identify someone’s tendency to display certain emotions.

Let me outline a brief overview.

Core D: The “D” stands for dominance, because people who score strongly in this area usually like to dominate problems. Whenever they see a problem, they strive to resolve it. Such people are often known for taking action and meeting deadlines. The associated emotion here is anger. That is, they’re quick to get angry, but also quick to become un-angry.

Core I: The “I” stands for influence, because people scoring strong in this area usually like to influence others. With fast, creative minds, they often think outside the box. Such people are inspired by a shared vision of the future possibilities. The associated emotion is optimism and enthusiasm.

Core S: The “S” stands for steady, because people scoring strongly in this area tend to prefer stable and predictable situations. They tend to be supportive and loyal, working long hours without much need for recognition. They also want to know what’s expected well in advance. The associated emotion here is actually low emotion. It’s not that they don’t have emotions, they just tend not to show them.

Core C: The “C” stands for conscientious, because people scoring strongly in this area tend to be careful and meticulous. They prefer analyzing concepts within a logical framework, and they like taking time to think through their decisions. The associated emotion is fear, because people scoring strongly in this category prefer to avoid the consequences of a bad decision.

So, why did my friend find so much interest in this approach to teaching EQ? As she put it, it was, “real diversity training.” She stated that universally, behavioral differences needed to be valued, and that if more people made a choice to value behavioral differences instead of criticize them, then the workplace would be much better all the way around.

I couldn’t agree more. What about you? Are you choosing to value the differences?

Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is a certified behavioral analyst, a best-selling author and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. He loves working with teams and individuals to help them achieve workplace excellence. Reach Daniel through his website, www.MyWorkplaceExcellence.com, or (208) 375-7606.

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