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Straw on DiSC and Labels

I’m fascinated by the DISC assessment and tools. But sometimes the way people use it is disheartening. Julie Straw hits it out of the park.

Keeping the situational nature of DiSC in mind will help you avoid the labeling trap. Labeling is the affixing of a permanent DiSC designation on yourself or others. Instead of saying, “She is responding in a D way” or “My D is up,” a person who labels others says, “She’s a D” or “I’m D.” Labeling leads to assumptions like these:

-I’m a D. I make the decisions. Why should anyone expect that I’d be interested in talking things over?
-Let’s not invite Rachel to the meeting. She’s so C she’ll nitpick hte project to death.

Labeling puts limits on yourself and others. It can become a convenient excuse for not trying to work things out. It’s fairer and more effective to think of yourself and others as multidimensional and capable of responding to different situations in different ways.

I’ve also seen this “survey-to-label” reaction to IBLP/Gothard “Spiritual Gifts” teaching. It’s sad because a false answer leads to a false sense of understanding which keeps us from seeking what’s true. And the moment we stop seeking what’s true relationally is the same moment we begin to lose our relationships.

Straw, Julie. The Four Dimensional Manager: DiSC Strategies for Managing Different People in the Best Ways. San Fransisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 2002.