“My job would be fun if it weren’t for the people,” is a common complaint in the workplace, even in the church. The truth is that people can bring both great joy and great pain. One key to maximizing the joy and minimizing the pain is understanding what I refer to as “hardwiring.”
Electricians are required to have a license, so they don’t burn down a building or worse, electrocute themselves and others. A contractor is deterred from using an unlicensed electrician through a series of inspections and by fear of an accident, being sued or brought up on criminal charges. Understandably, there’s great accountability for people who deal with the wiring in a building.
How does this apply to the church workplace? Scripture tells us we are “intricately woven” and “wonderfully made,” that we each have a unique personality, or hardwiring” that God gave us. Yet, church leaders are put into positions of responsibility and supervision who have very little understanding of the “hardwiring” of the people they supervise and serve beside. No licenses are required to understand the personality profiles of their people and there is no accountability of the leader when dysfunction results.
So, how can you understand the hardwiring of the people you work with? You can begin by using personality assessments with the people you influence. There are many good personality assessments on the market, but for purposes of this discussion we will refer to one of the oldest and most basic, the DISC Personality Profile.
The DISC Personality Profile in the Work Environment
One of the things you are looking for in the hiring process is to find people who are naturally good at the tasks required for the position. A person’s personality profile can provide insights into what an individual is naturally good at doing. This information can then be used to influence job functions, delegation, decision-making and team-building.
Approach to Work Assignments: The work that each personality enjoys and likes the most.
The “D” or Dominant/Driver Personality likes to initiate ideas and come up with new projects and initiatives. They like to take charge, drive and control the project with broad boundaries and lots of freedom.
The “I” or Interpersonal/Influencing Personality likes to sell or promote the idea. They’re concerned about the people aspect of the project and like to handle the social aspects of the project. They don’t want a lot of detail work.
The “S” Stable/Steady Personality likes doing things in a non-competitive and conflict free environment. They enjoy doing the work as long as they have clear guidelines and the time to complete their assignments. They want to do whatever it takes to make the team successful.
The “C” Critical/Conscientious Personality likes to improve upon the idea. They are very technical and like analytical projects with detailed instructions. They are able to make most things work better.
Areas of Specialty: The work each personality specializes in contributing to the workplace.
The “D” Personality is an Initiating Specialist and is effective in INVENTING an Idea
The “I” Personality is a Social Specialist and is effective in PROMOTING an Idea
The “S” Personality is a Support Specialist and is effective in DOING an Idea
The “C” Personality is a Technical Specialist and is effective in PERFECTING an Idea
Areas of Strength: The typical strengths each personality brings to the workplace.
The “D” Personality is strong in LEADERSHIP, DRIVE, GOAL-SETTING and IDEAS
The “I” Personality is strong in PERSUADING, INSPIRING, ENTHUSIASM and ENTERTAINING
The “S” Personality is strong in TEAMWORK, LISTENING, ADMINISTRATION and EXECUTION
The “C” Personality is strong in PLANNING, SYSTEMS, PROCESSES and ARRANGING
Challenges: How personality determines areas of weakness in the workplace.
The “D” personality struggles with IMPATIENCE, INSENSITIVITY, and LISTENING
The “I” personality struggles with LACK OF DETAIL, ATTENTION SPAN, and FOLLOW-THROUGH
The “S” personality struggles with OVERSENSITIVITY, CHANGE and INITIATING
The “C” personality struggles with PERFECTIONISM, UNRESPONSIVENESS, and CRITICISM
Decision Making: How personality influences the way we make decisions in the workplace.
The “D” Personality is DECISIVE
The “I” Personality is SPONTANEOUS
The “S” Personality is CONFERRING
The “C” Personality is METHODICAL
Preferences in Communication: How personality influences the way we like to receive communication and thus how we tend to communicate with others in the workplace.
The “D” Personality wants to know the “bottom line.”
The “I” Personality wants the communication to be interactive, fun and interesting.
The “S” Personality wants communication to be structured and non-confrontational.
The “C” Personality wants communication to be concrete, detailed and factual and have their questions answered.
Respects You For: How personality influences what you will be respected for during workplace interactions.
The “D” Personality respects you for your speed of accomplishment.
The “I” Personality respects you for your verbal care and concern.
The “S” Personality respects you for your competency and harmony.
The “C” Personality respects you for your precise standards, accuracy and thoroughness.
Hates: How personality influences what we dislike in the workplace.
The “D” Personality dislikes INDECISION and INEFFICIENCY
The “I” Personality dislikes ROUTINES and COMPLEXITY
The “S” Personality dislikes INSENSITIVITY and IMPATIENCE
The “C” Personality dislikes DISORGANIZATION and IMPROPRIETY
Fears: How personality influences the fears you will encounter in the workplace.
The “D” Personality fears losing, being taken advantage of and being put under scrutiny.
The “I” Personality fears loss of approval, a fixed environment and an audit of their time.
The “S” Personality fears sudden change, loss of security and unethical standards.
The “C” Personality fears criticism, making mistakes and incompetent supervisors.
Response to Policy Manuals: How personality influences response to workplace documentation, policies and procedures.
The “D” Personality does not know or care if there is a manual. Having a manual is OK as long as you don’t try and apply it to them.
The “I” Personality cannot find their manual and has a strong distaste for policies and procedures.
The “S” Personality wrote the original manual and is in the process of rewriting it. They understand, respect and always follow policies and procedures.
The “C” Personality knows exactly where to find the answer in the manual and can usually quote it for you.
Under Stress: How personality influences the dynamics when stress is introduced into the workplace.
The “D” Personality becomes AUTOCRATIC
The “I” Personality starts to ATTACK
The “S” Personality tends to ACQUIESCE
The “C” Personality is inclined to AVOID and CRITICIZE
Motivations: How personality influences what kind of statements motivate and demotivate us.
The “D” Personality is motivated by unique accomplishments, things that have never been done before and results. Motivating Statement: “I want you to be in charge.” Killer Statement: “You can’t do that.”
The “I” Personality is motivated by recognition, being seen and praise. Motivating Statement: “You can do it.” Killer Statement: “You think that’s funny?”
The “S” Personality is motivated by getting the job done, working well with others and maintaining harmony. Motivating Statement: “I need your help.” Killer Statement: “You’re not very nice.”
The “C” Personality is motivated by conscientiousness, doing things right and improving things. Motivating Statement: “I need your best thinking.” Killer Statement: “You made a mistake.”
People would be easier to understand if they simply fit only into one of these four areas of personality. The reality is that all of us are a blend of the four styles, which makes each of us unique and complex. But, referring to this chart can help you to remember, understand, appreciate and apply what drives the behavior of each type of personality.
Posted on March 1, 2016