Social Distancing and DiSC Part One

With more and more states mandating an “Isolate in Place” directive for the foreseeable future, more and more of us are working remotely. For some of us, we will fall into the routine seamlessly and will wonder why we didn’t start doing this sooner. But for others, this will be a tremendous struggle as we navigate this new approach and the systems required to be efficient and productive from home. Many of our clients have taken the DiSC assessment at some point in working with The Rainmaker Companies. I think now is a great time to resurface that knowledge and put it to good use.

Our communication styles, personalities, and work preferences will undoubtedly impact our experience while we navigate these changes. This week, let’s explore the best practices for each behavioral style to successfully adjust to working remotely; next week, we will explore best practices for working well with other behavioral styles during this challenging time.

Remember that most of us are a blend of more than one profile. For today’s post, I will discuss the dominant buckets of D, i, S, and C. If you look at your assessment and you have two letters in your profile, the first letter listed will be the profile considered your “dominant” profile. Chances are the work from home tendencies I will share will align with that dominant profile.

D – Dominant

If you are a D:

Remember that D stands for Dominant, and people with this profile are primarily driven by action. If you are a D, you may find that you are frustrated with the time it is taking to get set up virtually. You might be annoyed with the number of “practice calls” being scheduled on Zoom or Skype or GoToMeeting. You cannot fathom why Larry in HR can’t figure out his headset and why is it your problem!?! You are also a little bit nervous about getting your work done and delays that might be outside of your control. You like being decisive and taking action, so “wait and see” and not having concrete answers to give your clients is weighing heavily on you. You might also forget to connect socially. When you’re in the office, it’s easier to pick up on social cues and stop for that cup of coffee with a colleague or drop in on someone’s office to ask about their weekend. Those “drop-ins” are still important, albeit they’ll have to be done virtually. It may feel unnatural, but schedule time to check in with those who matter most in your office life. A quick message through Jabber or Slack can brighten someone’s day. Or a well-timed phone call to ask how someone is doing can be the difference between growing a relationship or shrinking one during this unprecedented time.

i – Influencer

If you are an i:

Remember that the i in DiSC stands for the Influencer. And this is the profile that might struggle the most from working remotely initially.

Influencers are motivated by enthusiasm and energy, and they thrive when people surround them. Influencers like to see and be seen and might feel quite isolated when first navigating this environment. If you are an i, you probably look forward to the various Zoom calls and virtual meetings you have scheduled throughout your week. It gives you a sense of normalcy, and you miss seeing everyone. Be careful about getting derailed during those meetings, however. Your excitement and desire to connect socially might lead to getting off schedule and potentially frustrating others who don’t share your need to connect quite so much. As an i, you are probably a chronic brainstormer. You are very good at coming up with the next “big idea,” but you might struggle with execution and details. Getting set up on new systems and following sophisticated emails from IT might seem tedious and annoying to you. Still, we must all be working together on this. Take a breath, slow down, and try to get the most detail-oriented, tedious tasks you need to accomplish first thing in the morning.

S – Steady

If you are an S:

Remember that the S in DiSC stands for the Steady. And this profile is typically the “glue” in an organization. The S is consistent and thoughtful, soft-spoken, but observant. If you are an S, you are probably managing the change to working remotely pretty well.

You are motivated by harmony in an organization, and you will do whatever it takes to get through this time.

That said, you are also driven by relationships, and you miss seeing your colleagues. You are probably concerned about how everyone is handling the change, and you worry about their health and their families. You are generally a calming force in your organization, and you worry about how your staff is getting on without you overseeing their well-being. As an S, it is vital for you to continue in this role. But chances are, you are also concerned about interrupting people while they’re working remotely. Because of this, you might hold back from just picking up the phone or sending them a Skype message. Don’t hold back. You are the personality type that will give your colleagues some sense of normalcy.

C – Conscientious

If you are a C:

Remember that the C in DiSC stands for Conscientious. And the C profile is very motivated by accuracy and details. This might be your biggest frustration right now – lack of detail and clarity around the “working from home” scenario and even doubts and uncertainties about how people will be useful in their roles without guidance and direct supervision. You might be frustrated with the inefficiency of virtual meetings – it might seem to you that much time is wasted as people get used to these new platforms. Like everything else, this will get better. You probably followed the instructions from IT precisely. You got set up in no time, but others need to “learn through doing” and might be struggling to operate at 100%. Help them. You are the perfect profile to write “tips and tricks” or best practices for working remotely. You have probably figured out the kinks and the quirks and can give excellent instructions.

Just remember to break those instructions down because other profiles might get lost in the weeds.

DiSC and Team Dynamics

Our organizations rely on teamwork, and this can be more of a challenge in a remote work environment. Even the most productive teams will have some hiccups as they move from the comfort of seeing each other daily to working from home as we try to flatten the curve of this global pandemic. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to post your DiSC profile in a visible place of your Skype, Zoom, Teams, Slack, Yammer, Jabber, or whichever system you are using for team communication and productivity. This quick reminder can help tremendously and gives us a guide to be more deliberate in our interactions with colleagues.

Click here if you or your team are interested in completely a DiSC assessment. Virtual delivery of a DiSC session is a great way to keep your team motivated during this challenging time; click here to get in touch with us to discuss virtual training options or schedule a call here. If you have any additional questions, or need anything, please email me at

Check in again next week to see part two of our discussion on DiSC profiles, where I will discuss how you can eliminate communication problems between different behavioral styles and adjust to working together remotely.

Adelaide Ness – Executive Vice President