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Romance and The Four DISC Styles

Posted 6 months ago

Understanding how DISC Styles play a role in the workplace can be extremely powerful and effective. But did you know that DISC Styles can help you with your significant other or in the dating world? The concept of DISC represents four distinct behavioral patterns or Styles that are also just as applicable in personal relationships and dating. This week, Tony Alessandra explains how we can utilize DISC Styles to improve our romantic and personal relationships.

Romance and The Four DISC Styles

By Tony Alessandra, Ph.D.

How does understanding DISC Styles help you in dating or romance? The concept of DISC represents four distinct, identifiable, predictable behavioral patterns or Styles – the Dominance Style (‘D’), the Influence Style (‘I’), the Steadiness Style (‘S’) and the Conscientiousness Style (‘C’). ‘D’ Styles try to shape their environment to overcome obstacles on the way to their accomplishments. ‘I’ Styles shape their environment by bringing others into an alliance to accomplish things and create social connections. ‘S’ Styles develop deep connections with people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. ‘C’ Styles work within existing guidelines to ensure quality and accuracy in products or services.

To interact best with each Style, it is important to adapt – that is, customize your approach and communication with each unique DISC Style. Highly adaptable people are good at getting in sync with others because they intentionally determine what behavior works best with whom. Thus, a highly adaptive ‘D’ Style would not merely be dominant; if the situation required, they would be more fun loving like an ‘I’ Style, or sensitive like an ‘S’ Style, or cautious like a ‘C’ Style. Likewise, highly adaptive ‘I’ Styles, ‘S’ Styles, and ‘C’ Styles see when they need to leave their comfort zones and adapt in the interest of accomplishing the result.

Adaptation becomes the key to mutual benefit, where everyone gets what they need in the way they need it.

Not only is this approach significantly useful in professional relationships, it stands the test of time to build stronger personal interactions as well. And, the antidote to most miscommunication and conflict is also found in this wisdom. Cultivate your adaptability. Give your full attention to the other person and seek to cooperate, not confront. Bottom line: Everybody can be easy to please, if you simply know how and practice it diligently.

Here are some specific ways to practice adaptability in dating and romance with each style. Consider their mindset and approach and respond in a way that matches these characteristics and preferences:

‘D’ Style Dating/Romance Characteristics

  • They seek results-oriented relationships — “What’s in it for me?”
  • They like to assume the role of pursuers
  • They want to set the unwritten rules for the relationship
  • They like winning over the other person and reaching their relationship goals
  • They are likely to ask for whatever they want
  • They will want to take control of the relationship
  • They often delegate duties and concerns

‘D’ Styles Dating Behavioral Expectations

  • Special arrangement or accommodation by the date to be available for them
  • A lot of control in deciding where to go and what to do
  • To say what’s on their minds
  • Not being asked questions whose answers may harm the chances of meeting their needs
  • To negotiate — “I’ll concede this, if you’ll do that”

How ‘D’ Styles Typically Adapt in Dating Situations

  • May compromise occasionally, instead of insisting on doing things their way
  • May accept other viewpoints as valid
  • May be willing to participate more, delegate less
  • May see themselves in a more light-hearted way
  • May avoid interrupting or overtaking
  • May make requests instead of demands

How You Can Help ‘D’ Styles Modify Their Dating Behavior

  • Gently remind them when less desirable behavior surfaces
  • Use shared humor to help them laugh at their own imperfections
  • Calmly tell them how their behavior makes you feel
  • Speak non-judgmentally and stick to the facts
  • Try negotiating — “Next time, I get to choose”
  • Repeat when necessary: “I’m not      comfortable with that situation.”
  • Explain that you want a voice in decision-making      sometimes
  • Let them know that you appreciate      it when they listen patiently

‘I’ Style Dating/Romance Characteristics

  • They seek approval and admiration from the date
  • They like excitement, variety, and light-hearted fun
  • They enjoy the thrill of the chase (romance building)
  • They tend to look for a socially acceptable match that may provide favorable attention
  • They may want to date many people simultaneously or casually
  • They may become easily infatuated; experiencing love at first (or second) sight

‘I’ Styles Dating Behavioral Expectations

  • Unexpected situations and surprises tend to energize them
  • Want obvious attention paid to them, in private and in public
  • Share fun activities with their companions, but will go to extremes to avoid dull, routine tasks
  • Prefer a date who lets them know how much he or she is admired
  • Like to laugh and maintain a light-hearted tone
  • Desire universal approval from past and present dates; they like to remain on friendly terms
  • Often want space in their relationships to satisfy a need to socialize with all those who are important in their lives

How ‘I’ Styles Typically Adapt in Dating Situations

  • May downplay their openness and their flirting or showing off
  • May focus more attention on their date and less on themselves (or the impact they’re making)
  • May tone down their tendency toward gushing, a trait that can cost them some credibility
  • May censor their words, rather than say whatever pops into their heads at a moment’s notice
  • May commit, when appropriate, without accompanying feelings of confinement

How You Can Help ‘I’ Styles Modify Their Dating Behavior

  • Warmly explain that quiet moments are sometimes appropriate
  • Offer to assist them in getting more organized
  • Pitch in and help them finish one thing at a time
  • Share in making small changes instead of bigger, more impulsive ones
  • Plan some things, proceed spontaneously with others
  • Don’t trample their dreams, but mentally divide their ideas into manageable parts

‘S’ Style Dating/Romance Characteristics

  • They tend to cooperate and accommodate
  • They like identification with the significant other
  • They give and like to receive sincere attention
  • They operate more naturally on a one-to-one basis
  • The want to familiarize themselves with the unwritten rules regarding the relationship
  • They tend to view dating in a more conservative, progressive, stepwise manner

‘S’ Styles’ Dating Behavioral Expectations

  • Seek approval and some sincere, steady pursuit by the other person
  • The dating process proceeds in a relatively routine, expected, uneventful way . . . with few unpleasant surprises
  • Prefer to participate in many different facets of the other’s life
  • Generally, want to share time according to a regular, slower-paced schedule
  • May prefer to avoid a stressful relationship in favor of a calm, predictable one

How ‘S’ Styles Typically Adapt in Dating Situations

  • May try to voice their opinions and thoughts, instead of deferring to their dates
  • May opt to say no, when appropriate
  • May try to somewhat reduce their servicing tendencies to limit other person’s dependence on them
  • May accept some changes in relationships as natural
  • May attend more to their own thoughts and feelings
  • May act more assertively, when appropriate
  • May seek to understand and deal with other types’ natural behaviors

How You Can Help ‘S’ Styles Modify Their Dating Behavior

  • Encourage them to speak up and share their perspective
  • Support them in verbalizing their thoughts, ideas, and feelings
  • Share in developing more assertive expression
  • Help them plan for some disorganization in their lives
  • Show them that disagreement does not necessarily equal argument
  • Assist them in speeding up and taking reasonable risks, at times

‘C’ Style Dating/Romance Characteristics

  • They will seek acknowledgment that they are right
  • They want to share quality time
  • They usually prefer to date only one person at a time
  • They think about the possibilities for the relationship before falling for someone
  • They look objectively at all facets of the other person
  • They will proceed in a cautious, rational manner
  • They examine all probabilities and variables to determine if the relationship will last

‘C’ Styles’ Dating Behavioral Expectations

  • Dislike unexpected situations and surprises
  • May want close exclusivity in their relationship, doing most social things as a twosome
  • Prefer a date with substance and depth
  • Want some freedom in their relationship for alone time – that is how they recharge
  • Observe and mentally collect ‘date data’ to help them make decisions

How ‘C’ Styles Typically Adapt in Dating Situations

  • Accept the other styles as they are, without expecting them to become more like them
  • Reveal more about themselves and  their feelings
  • Give and receive sincere compliments
  • Participate more, do things by themselves less
  • Behave less critically and more light-heartedly
  • Engage humor and open up more in conversation

How You Can Help ‘C’ Styles Modify Their Dating Behaviors

  • Gently remind them that human errors can be reduced, not eliminated
  • Help them tap into their sense of humor by pointing out funny observations
  • Encourage them to let their guard down occasionally
  • Support them in developing more direct behaviors
  • Help them verbalize their feelings
  • Calmly point out that life  consists of gray areas . . . not just black and white ones
  • Demonstrate by your actions that you care about them—whether they do things that are right or wrong

Would you like to learn more about DISC? Check out these resources: