What Motivates You? Understanding Personality Types in the Workplace

Melanie Garza - Director of Operations

August 2014 – It is important to get the right people on the bus and go in the right direction. However, often times the bus ride can be challenging. Each individual may be trained to bring a specific talent to the organization such as the COO, CFO, human resources, managers, producers and support staff. While each job function is clearly defined, the human factor can clearly upset the ride.

Understanding personality types and how they work together is critical in organizations. Even with the most talented team, conflicting personalities can lead to major disruptions and delays. Successful companies need to have talented individuals who understand how they best work together. With management we also often find that what motivates one individual may have the entirely opposite effect on another. We believe that in order to get the most out of our team, we must understand how to effectively communicate with various personalities.

At COACT, one of the primary resources we use as a personality assessment is the DiSC Model. The DiSC provides a common language to help uncover each person’s natural strengths and what value each member brings to the organization. On an individual level, the DiSC helps us reflect on ourselves and process what it takes to get along with others and what we can do to improve relationships.

We complete a DiSC assessment on every new employee and we refer to it often throughout their career at COACT. This tool is especially effective in training individuals, learning effective management techniques and developing career paths. We also continuously monitor the make-up of our group in an effort to keep a balanced organization.

The DiSC measures four main personality dimensions and has established fifteen Classical Patterns, based on the intensity of each style. The four DiSC dimensions are dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. Each style has a different set of wants and needs, and preferences for interaction with others. No style is better or worse than another. The DiSC profile can:

  • Increase your self-knowledge: how you respond to conflict, what motivates you, what causes you stress and how you solve problems
  • Facilitate better teamwork and minimize team conflict
  • Develop stronger sales skills by identifying and responding to customer styles
  • Manage more effectively by understanding the dispositions and priorities of employees and team members
  • Become more self-knowledgeable, well-rounded and effective leaders

A short description of each dimension is listed below:

  • Dominance: Direct, decisive independent and to the point. Bottom line and results oriented. They are often strong-willed, enjoy challenges and immediate results.
  • Influence: Optimistic, social and outgoing. They enjoy being on teams, sharing openly, entertaining and motivating others.
  • Steadiness: A team players, cooperative and supportive of others. They prefer being in the background, working in a stable environment. They are often good listeners prefer to avoid conflict and change.
  • Conscientiousness: Cautious and Concerned. They are focused on quality, details and accuracy.

In a final note, one way to quickly understand DiSC is to review the following scenario on a volleyball court…

  • The D wants to win and plays with that end in mind. Impatient with slow play
  • The I enjoys encouraging the team and cheerleading them to success
  • The S plays volleyball on the same day, at the same time, at the same place
  • The C keeps score (with stats), and knows and plays strictly by the rules


To learn more about DISC Profiles, visit http://www.onlinediscprofile.com/.

Questions or comments? Please contact Melanie Garza at mgarza@teamCOACT.com.