Thursday, February 23, 2012


This is the first in a series of newsletters in which we will explain the most common personality assessment on the market today. DISC is the foundation of understanding for virtually every human personality type.  The science of DISC is proven and trusted all over the world as the benchmark for all employee behavioural testing.

 D.I.S.C. stands for:

·         DOMINANCE

·         INFLUENCE

·         STEADINESS

·         COMPLIANCE *

(*note that some suppliers use the term CONSCIENTIOUSNESS in place of COMPLIANCE)

The elements of DISC are represented by a plethora of suppliers under a variety of aliases, including but not limited to colours, temperatures, seasons, bunnies and tigers and a variety of other pseudonyms. No matter what they are called, the elements of DISC are common to all personality types and vary in intensity from one person to another.

Here is a breakdown of what DOMINANCE, INFLUENCE, STEADINESS and COMPLIANCE mean in these surveys.

DOMINANCE: This is the element of an individual’s personality that indicates competitiveness, drive and a desire to win. Highly dominant people tend become angry more often than lower dominant types. Dominance is a task oriented trait so once a highly dominant person takes on a task, they become determined to see it through to the end. These people often appear to be stern and severe. Once they have had an angry outburst, they forget the source of their anger quickly and move on to other things. Highly dominant people will often be seen as intimidating by others.

INFLUENCE: This is the element of an individual’s personality that indicates optimism, trust, and a sense of humour. Highly influencing people tend to joke around a lot, talk a lot, and use other people to get what they want out of life. Almost completely people-oriented, they need to be in the company of other human beings as often as possible. Highly influencing people like flashy, expensive cars, clothing, houses and virtually anything else they can show off. They are optimistic to a fault and trust almost everyone a little too much.  Highly influencing people will often be seen as the life of the party by others.

STEADINESS: This is the element of an individual’s personality that regulates the pace at which they do things. Highly steady people tend to hold off on decision making until they believe the decision is the right one. They like to do research and get the approval of others before they do almost anything. They are people-oriented and will usually be very sociable with everyone they meet. Highly steady people will take longer to do their work, but because they are very thorough, the work they do is generally of very high quality. Others will often see them as logical, thoughtful members of the team.

COMPLIANCE: This is the element of an individual’s personality that creates a need for rules and regulations in their lives. Highly compliant people tend to approach every challenge or project with caution and concern. Because they are task oriented, they tend not to fall for a sales pitch that is not accompanied by facts and figures. They can be fearful of not following rules to the point that if no rules exist, some will make up their own rules and insist that others follow them. They are sometimes seen by others as careful, unbending, conscientious and occasionally resistant to “outside the box” thinking. They often gravitate toward jobs that include a lot of detail work.


It is important to understand that every personality has all of these elements in it to varying degrees. As an example, someone might be highly dominant and low compliant, with a very low steady style and a moderate influencing style. Someone else might have a completely opposite blend of styles. It is rare to find any two DISC graphs that are exactly the same.

Understanding how the various elements of the DISC blend with each other is extremely important.  Hence, you should avoid referring to someone as HIGH DOMINANT or LOW COMPLIANT since all of the 4 elements will come into play in a variety of situations.

In future issues we will discuss DISC blending and the effects of intensity on overall behaviour.

This article is based on the work of William Moulton Marston. Find out more in my book, “Getting Along With People Is Easy!” available at Amazon.com or from the Dynamic Leadership website:


If you are interested in taking a survey or ordering one for someone else, please click on this link to order   https://www.dlionline.ca/courses.php

If you are interested in having a detailed formal seminar for your group, let us know. We offer 3 hour and 6 hour seminars, along with 2 and 3 day boot camps on a variety of leadership and management topics. Get in touch with us at www.dlionline.ca .

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do Not Allow Anger To Rule Your Life

Do you ever find yourself justifying your anger or actually believing that angry outbursts serve a useful purpose? Do you ever believe that anger is what makes you special? If you have ever thought that being angry is good thing...think again!
Anger should not be allowed to lead you through life.
Once while conducting a performance review, I had the opportunity to have a discussion with an employee about the attitude she displayed with other employee in her workplace. The general observations from others about this person were that she was miserable, unpleasant and downright mean. She was quite aware of her reputation and was completely unrepentant about it.  She actually seemed to take comfort in the fact that she was able to make her mark in life by repelling other people.
Just as some people take comfort in their own despair, some wallow in their own repugnance to others.
This lady did not smile, did not frown, did not laugh; did not cry...she seemed in fact to be completely devoid of any and all emotion. Most of her responses to my questions were comprised of one-word answers, shoulder shrugs and grunts. The more I spoke to her, the more unresponsive she became. Finally, I felt compelled to tell her that I was concerned about her attitude toward me. At that point, she bragged that most people don’t like her attitude and that she had recently enrolled in an anger-management course because of “other issues”.
I asked if anger was a big part of her life and she responded in the affirmative.
At that point I noticed, for the first time, a small curl of a smile at the corners of her lips. That prompted me to ask her if she enjoyed being angry. She quickly responded, with a full-toothed smile, “Yup, I sure do!”
Through further discussion, I learned that this person had lived a very difficult life which included abusive parents, a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and a nasty divorce. It became clear to me that the events of her childhood had left her with a very negative view of the world and a need to escape it through potentially harmful behaviour. Her past also led her to uncontrollable bouts of rage and anti-social behaviour.  Because she was unable to overcome her personal issues, her life was a mess and her future was extremely bleak. Despite the fact that she was clearly spiralling into oblivion, she refused to accept that she needed to change. I have lost touch with her over the years, but I fear the worst.
This lady’s story is much more extreme than most, but many people suffer from the inability to control their emotions.
 Some of those people carry around a well concealed hand grenade filled with explosive rage. For much of the time the grenade is hidden, but often it is just waiting for the pin to be pulled so that it can explode and splatter hot, angry, emotional shrapnel all over anyone unfortunate enough to be in its path of destruction.
Anger is not only wasted energy...it is a powerful, harmful force that has the capacity to destroy lives and end careers.
Psychological science has identified a condition known as “Borderline Personality Disorder” which is known to bring on the symptoms of uncontrollable rage that I have describe here. Theorists and psychologists agree that this disorder is often a result of disturbing traumatic events from an individual’s childhood. Sometimes the person is not even aware of, or cannot remember the event or events that may be causing their distress. Instead, they will often inflict their rage on others, all-the-while justifying it as something positive and a personality trait that other people should simply accept or become accustomed to. What they seem not to understand is that their behaviour is unacceptable in a civilized society and that they are systematically driving people away.
Even people who are not the direct object of their rage will avoid any sort of meaningful relationship with them out of fear and revulsion.
I have known a few angry bosses over the years, but until recently I simply chalked it up to an old-fashioned command and control style of leadership. I now believe that some of the rage I witnessed in those leaders was a result of an undiagnosed psychological or emotional condition. Those leaders were able to hide their conditions behind their positions because unpleasant, angry bosses like Ebenezer Scrooge and Lou Grant were the stuff of popular culture and entertainment. During that era, we all knew that to be a leader, you had to be tough; and to be tough, you had to express anger.

Modern society now agrees that anger toward others is neither normal nor acceptable regardless of one’s position in life.
Psychologists have found that professional “talk-therapy” or coaching can provide extremely good results and a lessening, or complete elimination of inexplicable, long-term, rage events. Of course, that will only work if the individual inflicted with the problem is able to admit to himself or herself that his or her behaviour is unacceptable. They must also be willing to look in the mirror and tell the person looking back that a change is absolutely essential. Acknowledgement of the problem is often much more difficult to endure than the eventual therapy.
If you have feelings of anger that cause fear or discomfort in others, do something about it. Admit that you have a problem and take steps to deal with it. You owe it to yourself to allow tranquility and contentment to overrule the exasperation, rage and despair in your life.

All the Best
Wayne Kehl

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day Is For Lovers...Or Is It?

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly known as Valentine's Day, is an annual celebration held on February 14, celebrating love and affection between cherished lovers. The day is named after an early Christian leader and martyr named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Galasius I in 496 AD. Now, it is traditionally a day on which devoted partners express their love for each other. However, in stark contrast, the original St. Valentine is remembered for having been executed for his Christian beliefs and his refusal to convert to Roman Paganism.
Valentine’s Day first became associated with romance during the days of the great poet, Geoffrey Chaucer in the late 1300’s. In 1382, Chaucer wrote in his poem Parlement of Foules or Parliament of Birds, "For this was Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” That poem actually had more to do with Mother Nature and the mating habits of birds than with human love. Despite that, it managed to find its way into western culture and to this day it provides an opportunity for women and men to express profound love for their mates.
Many human beings in this century need a special day to declare their love for each other.
Valentine’s Day functions as a reminder to everyone that explicit expressions of romantic love are important for the maintenance of healthy relationships. It doesn’t stop at pure, innocent love though. Candy stores, jewellery merchants, flower shops, restaurants and “Hallmark” cards all rake in huge amounts of much needed revenue on that special day. In fact many of them rely on Valentine’s Day sales for financial survival.
Lovers in the twenty first century cannot simply satisfy each other with kind words, cuddles, kisses and lovemaking as they might have in the 1300’s. Instead they feel a need to spend some money in order to prove their love and devotion to each other. It seems that our modern world has replaced natural, wholesome relationships where love is based on simple caring and sharing with relationships where love is measured by the amount of currency expended on it. That may sound somewhat cynical, but if given the choice between a kiss on the lips, a box of chocolates, or an exotic vacation as a Valentine’s gift, which would the average North American prefer? Which would they be more impressed by and which would they be more likely to remember in years to come? I think the answer is obvious.
It would be nice to think that when lovers sacrifice their cash for their mates, they are emulating St. Valentine who sacrificed his life for his religion.
Sadly that is probably not the case. We live in a world where the value of money has taken on such epic importance that it has become synonymous with, and inseparable from expressions of generosity, charity, kindness, and yes...love itself.
This Valentine’s Day why not break out of the mold?
Now that we know that St. Valentine died not for his lover, but for his religion, let’s do something more meaningful than buying candy, jewellery or trips.
Why not spend the night at home just cuddling and kissing and give the money you save to a worthy charity?  That way we can show our love for mankind, and uphold some of the principles that St. Valentine died for. After all, there are a lot of people in the world who need help and there are worse things than cuddling and kissing the one you love.
Valentine’s Day really is for lovers!
All the Best
Wayne Kehl