You’re Stressing Me Out!

All of us have inborn stressors. Each person’s stressors vary depending on how you profile. How and when we react to our inherent stress triggers, control our behavior towards stress and allow us to logically or illogically make business decisions, cultivate or destroy relationships and balance our mental well-being or cause physical harm to ourselves or others.

Have you ever seen a fist fight break out on a job site? Have you ever witnessed verbal lashing? If you have been in construction long enough, you probably have. Not to mention how many people in our industry criticize or react poorly in other ways before they even have all the facts.

I live with an autoimmune disease. The symptoms of autoimmune disorders have been proven to increase with stress. Over time, as I am getting better at managing stress, my quality of life has significantly improved and my hope of complete healing someday in sight.

None of us will ever eliminate stress entirely from our lives. We are only fooling ourselves if we say we will or have. We can significantly reduce stress by recognizing what causes us to stress and changing our focus from the stressful situation to how to control our reaction and behavior. As Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”

In my case learning about myself and my communication style through DiSC assessments along with life, business, health, accountability and other friends and partners along the way continue to help me increase my emotional intelligence (EI). EI is the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It has been proven to be possible to increase EI with self -awareness and focused effort.

Let’s look at some of the behaviors from the four main DiSC profiles that we often see revealed when they are under stress:

(D) Dominant DISC style:

  • Create anxiety in others
  • Overstep boundaries
  • Communicate with bluntness or sarcasm
  • Act restlessly
  • Overrule and steamroll others
  • Make mistakes and are inattentive to details, logic
  • Become easily dissatisfied with routine work
  • Withdraw from the team

(I) Influence DISC Style: (also referred to as Interactive)

  • Act impulsively – heart over mind
  • Reach inconsistent conclusions
  • Make decisions solely on gut feelings
  • Oversell
  • Inattentiveness to detail
  • Naivety/Over Trust people
  • Apply superficial analysis
  • Have difficulty estimating the time needed
  • Stimulate anxiety in others

(S) Steadiness DISC style: (also referred to as Support)

  • Insist on maintaining status quo
  • Do things the way they were always done
  • Take a long time to adjust
  • Have trouble juggling multiple tasks
  • Need full information to feel comfortable
  • Difficulty with innovation
  • Wait for orders before beginning
  • Need help starting unstructured tasks
  • Appear calm while they internalize stress

(C) Conscientious DISC style:

  • Seek excessive feedback and direction
  • Hesitant to react without guidance or help
  • Bound by key procedures and methods
  • Gets bogged down in decision-making
  • Resists delegated tasks
  • Needs full explanation before acting
  • Avoids participation when threatened
  • Yields position to avoid controversy
  • Exclusively focused on their tasks
  • Appear to be calm while they internalize stress

DiSC profiles and most assessments should only be 30% of the deciding factor when hiring someone. The DiSC assessment does not measure other factors including beliefs, values, character, ethics, temperament, emotional maturity, thinking preferences, communication style, etc. that influence how a person reacts to stressors. Reference checks and behavioral interviewing is the only way to determine much of this during the interview process. An example is a reference says a candidate’s weakness is they are laid back. If you don’t further ask how that affects them doing the job you are considering hiring them for, you could overlook a top performer and behaviorally sound candidate, especially if the reference goes onto say the candidate as no problem addressing issues and does so professionally and timing. They are excellent at follow-up and documentation. Much different comeback than if you assumed because they are laid back they avoid potential issues.

Do you know what stresses you out? Notice the what, not who. Learn your triggers and how to control your reaction. A person who doesn’t react has tremendous power. If someone upsets you because of how they act, what they say, or what they believe, don’t emotionally react. By taking control of your response and reaction into your hands, you not only provide a protective barrier for yourself you often take power away from them. This clarity gives you the ability to set boundaries and accountability factors protecting yourself and possibly others moving forward. Have you completed your DiSC assessment? If not, are you ready to? You hold the power!

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