Driven to Exceed Expectations

authentic leadership communication customer experience customer service disc driven effective communication exceeding expectations leadership model of human behavior productivity results team building Feb 04, 2021

In a large majority of the initial conversations I have with folks around the DISC Model of Human Behavior, I’m told “I’ve taken an assessment. I’m a D (or an I, or an S, or a C)” and that’s about as far as they take it. Interestingly enough, statements like that are almost always made under the assumption that they actually know how to use what their assessment told them. I won’t even go into the tirade about whether or not the assessment they took was anything even resembling accurate…

Don’t get me wrong, I believe a scientifically validated DISC assessment can provide us with some great information - but the key lies in understanding how we can effectively use that information on a day to day basis! There’s where the real value is with any type of assessment… And it absolutely should not stop at simply understanding we’re this or we’re that, we need to have a framework for recognizing how we can best interact with the people around us. When we used to be allowed to actually be with people in public settings, Cindy and I frequently shared a short session where we taught participants to quickly recognize and adapt to the primary behavioral style of each person they come in contact with whether they ever took an assessment or not; oh how I miss the days of working with people face to face…

So here’s the thing, William Marston never created an assessment when he did the scientific research for what we know today as the DISC Model of Human Behavior. He developed an accurate framework for understanding behavior in the people around him that helps predict the most effective way of communicating with them. The DISC part was just an easy way to remember the four primary styles… All that said, a reliable assessment can add a ton of value in helping us understand our complete behavioral style blend and that of someone we’re working with!

For now though, let’s get the ball rolling by looking at a few steps we can take in hopes of exceeding expectations with the most DIRECT folks we interact with. While those of us who are typically very DRIVEN only make up around 10% of the population, the whirlwind we create can sure make it seem like there’s a lot more of us than that! For anyone who may not have an understanding of these behavioral styles, this group (me included) can come across as being extremely DEMANDING. Truth be told, even someone who does understand human behavior will likely still think that. And in some cases, we can seem flat out DEFIANT!

Whether you’re as Fast-paced and Task-Oriented as I am or you’re incredibly Reserved and People-Oriented, our best approach as we work to exceed one of these DECISIVE people’s expectations is to deliver the best possible results as efficiently as we can. This DETERMINED bunch will usually tolerate a mistake, especially when we take ownership of it and learn from it, far more than they will tolerate lack of action. In most cases, this group will value effort and initiative as much or more than accuracy. 

Before I close the loop here, don’t mistake this for authorization to make careless mistakes. Getting the right results matters! While they may not always care to hear about all the details involved, you can bet they’re counting on us to pay attention to everything we need to in order to get things done.

The last thing I’ll share about this group is that we won’t often have to wonder what their expectations are; they’re very willing to let us know. And we may not even have to ask… Then we just need to show that we’re taking action and delivering. When we do that consistently, we’ll be well on our way to exceeding their expectations!

In the next post, we’ll look at how we can achieve similar results when there’s less focus on the task at hand and more focus on the people involved...