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Submitted by wendii on



Mark is going to write a series of podcasts, for release in the new year, which are around the topic of 'what to avoid if you're a High...' covering each of the DISC types.

Whilst the Manager Tools team know what we think, we thought it would be fun to include some of your more lighthearted stories and anecdotes about the behaviors you've seen which are to be avoided, or are which are just plain funny.

So whether it's a High D who doesn't finish her own sentences let alone allowing anyone else (guilty!) or a High I who's excitement level is off the chart, the high S who always has cookies, or the high C who has never sent an email without at least two attachments, will you share your stories with us and the community?


mmann's picture
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Two years ago my wife (High D/C) and I (High D/I) spent $7k for a custom piece of built-in furniture for our 1916 bungalow.  The builder completed and delivered in 8 weeks but the finish was significantly different from the sample she had wanted.  We sent the furniture back for a rebuild.

When the second unit was completed she asked to meet the builder to ensure the finish would be correct.  After several weeks of the builder providing samples my wife reluctantly accepted one.  To make sure the furniture would be correct she asked the builder to produce the finish one more time... after several attempts, he couldn't reproduce it to her liking.  To move the process along I agreed to develop the finishing process myself and complete the unit.

Fourteen months, and one baby later I had developed a repeatable result my wife liked using an 11-step process.  We asked the builder to deliver the unit only to discover he had sold it to someone else!

Three months later the unit was built for the third time and was delivered, filling our garage.  Using a piece of wood provided by the builder I agreed to produce the finish sample one last time before proceeding with the final product.  Bad idea.  Apparently the stain used to develop the process had aged and changed in color.  The new stain didn't produce the same results!

It's now been six weeks and I'm very close to a repeatable result she likes.  Applying the finish should take 20 days.  We probably won't get the builder to complete the install till the new year. 

Of course, that may not be the end of the story... I was laid off last May and have yet to find employment.  We have savings to keep us going till May-June of 2010, but if I don't find something by the end of February we'll have to prepare the house to be sold!  I hope the new owners appreciate her taste.




wendii's picture
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Michael, that's amazing. As a WAY High D I have no idea how you had that much patience!

If nothing else turns up, perhaps you can leverage your wood finishing skills! If there's anything I can help with in that regard, feel free to email/pm me.

Thank you for sharing!


rjmonts's picture

I'm a high C/D and I work as an associate minister at a church in southern Illinois.  The podcast has really helped me over the years and I continually reference older podcasts to refresh professional and effective behaviors.

After listening to the most recent cast, the High C's Downfall, there was an almost offhand comment that really helped me understand a present situation.  Lately I've been feeling a little over-managed.  Anyone who has worked in the nonprofit sector knows that good job descriptions and written policies are sometimes rare.  Recently I have organized a youth event for 50 area students and was in need of sponsors (our regular sponsors had other responsibilities).  My brother (25) volunteered to be a sponsor and I told him that would be fine.  I've been asked to inform/ask our board about the decision.

This is a long way of saying that I didn't feel that I needed the approval of the board on a simple sponsor decision.  I saw this is a lack of faith. Mark's comment, 'I know you don't need my approval', reminded me that my habit is to think about a decision, and once formed I just charge ahead with it.  'I don't need your approval, I've thought about this, and it is the most reasonable and efficient solution.'

We have a great board and there are times when I need to be reminded that not everyone has thought about a program or decision as much as I have, and I need to give them time to process it.

Thanks again for a great cast.

carguin's picture

I work regularly with a very high D. He's a great and smart person, and we get along fine, but he doesn't believe he is having a conversation unless somebody is yelling. Those are his words, not mine. Given that I am a high S, you can probably imagine how well that works for me. I've learned to occasionally force myself to raise my voice when I really need to get through to him, but it doesn't come easily.

Before I learned that I discovered another, more evil, approach. We were traveling together, and had argued all night about the best way to address the customer's problem. The next morning as we sat at breakfast, I told him that I agree with what he said last night, and then just re-stated my original idea as if it was his. He was glad that I had come around to his way, and then added a few helpful tweaks to the idea and we worked together to eventually satisfy the customer's needs.

Big egos and poor memory make for a bad combination.

[ Addendum: I definitely didn't mean to imply that all High Ds have big egos and poor memory... I'm sure many have excellent memories!

More seriously, this is probably a good object lesson as well. I would tend to interpret most "High D"s that I know as having a big ego, but that is probably more due to our differing styles. ]


wendii's picture
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RJ - great story, thank you! As a high D, I'd have been there with you.

Carguin - I'm not sure that big ego and poor memory is a fair characterization of all High D's but if the customer was happy, I guess we can't argue!


mgrainge's picture
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I'm a high D/I and have a high S as my assistant.  Monday mornings are particularly hard for us...... I find I am all "high D" at 9am on a Monday, very focused on the week ahead and the tasks at hand (and of course slightly grumpy that the weekend is over....) - my assistant, of course wants to come into my office and chat about how his weekend was, ask how my weekend was...

I truly have to grit my teeth and try to engage in that conversation. Sometimes I can even manage a smile.

Of course, by 4pm on a Friday, I'm all "high I", and all I want to do is talk about what I've got planned for the weekend.....

My wife is also a high S..... it drives me nuts when she talks about how she "feels bad" for a pro sports team when they lose a game. Donot feel bad for them - they're doing what they love and getting paid really, really well !!!!!!!

Thanks to Manager Tools, at least I now know why I get annoyed in each of these situations......

asteriskrntt1's picture

Even though I am a high D, high I, there is always someone higher D or I that you can meet.  And they overwhelm you as much as you overwhelm the Cs and Ss.  Recently, I am doing a volunteer project with a super high D/i.  Swat team cop, ex firefighter, basically thinks he is a super hero.  

When he starts to bulldoze, especially in a meeting, I reel him in by talking super slow.  He cannot deal with it and shuts down.  Once he stews for a bit, we can get rolling.  Once after a meeting, he asked me why I stopped talking normally in the meeting.  I replied that I had not noticed anything different, why was he asking.  I have done this maybe a dozen times and he still does not get it, but it works for the rest of us to get us effective.

jhack's picture

Great Idea!  Let's start on it!  We could align that with Project Hades...I know the guy in Product Marketing who can get us the traction we need for that to be in the product...and I know Tracy has bandwidth to work on it... Let's Do IT! 

[three months later...]

Project Great Idea is only 45% complete.  So is Project Really Good Idea.  Project Cool is only 30% complete.  Project Hades is behind schedule. 

Yes, this is the High i manager.   Excited by new ideas, bored by the grind of project management, and overcommitted.  Any one of the three projects (Cool, Great Idea, and Really Good Idea) could have been completed.  But the High i, kid in the candy store, completed none of them, while the critical project (Hades) fell behind schedule. 

Project names  have been changed to protect the guilty - and fortunately, the  lesson was well-learned for, um, someone...

John Hack

mhujm's picture

(commenting on: asteriskrntt1 on Thu, 12/03/2009 - 06:53)

That's priceless. 

Now, I don't believe toying with the sanity of others for one's amusement is an acceptable pastime, but your story left a very funny image: that colleague now wondering (if your speech style hadn't changed) just how frenzied a pitch must he have hit for your pace to have seemed slow in comparison. 

Long-time listener/first time poster



asteriskrntt1's picture

I think Mark talks fairly fast and he pales in comparison to this guy.  For our group to be effective, he (Mr. Swat, not Mark) needed to match speeds and this is the technique I chose.  Your mileage may vary.  


I actually thought about this while watching some rugby.  A commentator reminded me of one of the basic lessons we were taught when I played at university "Never outrun your support."  If you need to slow down to make sure your support can catch up and continue the play, do it.  I simply slowed down my speech to bring our superhero back to the play.

KS180's picture

I am a 5335 but does that mean I am a High DC?  What qualifies for High?

wendii's picture
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Yes.. we start 'high' from 5. Obviously a D with a 7 would have those D traits more obviously and more strongly than a 5, but with a profile like yours, you'd prefer the D/C traits.

Hope that helps.


seattle77's picture

I am an outgoing High-I female manager - married to High-D/High-C, IT manager (go figure!)   It's a little after midnight on Christmas Eve and what am I doing?  Relaxing by the tree with my laptop, catching up on Manager Tools.  Ha!   

My adorble D/C hubby was appropriately social for a short while (checkmark),  participated in the opening of gifts (checkmark) and exchanged warm hugs and kisses with our college age son (checkmark)  followed by prompt methodical disposal/recycling of boxes and bows (checkmark).   

We love each other dearly and have always appreciated our differences, so I have never been offended by his task orientation and brevity.  (Maybe because I am a 5 on my own D score.)  I am a High-I first though, so I generally prefer more communication, interaction, and humor.  

DISC underscores my understanding of him, actually making me chuckle knowing that - bless his heart - he really can't help himself sometimes, despite his best efforts.   Especially when he's relaxed and in "default" mode at home. 

He's almost off the charts on D and C (7,1,1,7) and I am High I/D (5,7,2,1). 

Happy Holidays All.     

mdave's picture

" But I have considered all of the options and parameters and this is my recommendation so I do not understand why the rest of you are questioning me."  It gets doubly amusing because when any the person's peers are reporting out, this manager always has a better way.  Being extremely sensitive and a high  (an ESC??) makes for a hard combination at times.

markbamford's picture

I don't like pigeonholing people and so have been reluctant to embrace DISC profiling in the past.  However, I am a big fan of "manager tools" and listening to the podcasts persuaded me to add DISC awareness to my toolkit.  One example was that of a high D manager basically telling his directs that a task was their job, they were his manager, therefore they had to do what they said.  Simple.  For me it was like looking in an audio mirror!  I have actually told a high S direct that he had to do what I was telling him, because I was paid to manage him and if he didn't want to work in a company where he has to do what his manager tells him he can look for employment elsewhere.  Because I wouldn't have minded if someone had talked to me like that, it never occurred to me that this may have a different effect on him.

I got myself profiled.  My D is off the scale and my S is non-existent.  Changes were implemented.

Alot of the "people" stuff in MT is very applicable to sales, so I frequently discuss some idea's with our sales chap (Bryn) who now profiles prospects as the first part of the sales process.  I was discussing the "feel,felt, found" podcast with him and the discussion turned to body language and hand gestures.  The recommendation was to gesture palms up.  To my surprise and Bryn's great amusement, I actually had physical difficulty in getting my hands palms up - "that looks as if it's actually painful for you!" he chuckled, and so it very nearly was.  It appears from years of uncorrected high D body language I had actually got to the stage where I couldn't gesture palms up without it looking as if I was straining - because I was.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a bad manager.  I achieve.  I am constantly being given more and more important projects and responsibilities (along with big rewards).  I have always known all of my directs spouses, childrens' and pets names and what is important to them, because I take a genuine interest.  One of the reasons I like Manager Tools so much is that I was already having one on ones (regular but not scheduled) and have always delegated and given feedback.  Manager Tools helps me fill in the gaps.  If only I had had Manager Tools guidance 18 years ago it would have made all of these tasks alot easier for my directs ...

"Nothing in life is black or white.  There are just different shades of grey ..."

markbamford's picture

P.S.  As I now have directs who are managers, we are implementing The Management Trinity as recommended by Manager Tools across the company so we have a common, successful template to follow that we are all familiar with.  So I too am having regular, scheduled one on ones as I have advised my directs to do ...


"Nothing in life is black or white.  There are just different shades of grey ..."

summer's picture
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I can't believe Wendii wrote that -  I am the person in the office who brings most often chocolates/cakes/... and share them with my coworkers. One of my ex-coworker literally said a month after I changed team: "We miss you, now the other team gets all the nice chocolates!"