Our behavioural profile is that well-worn track of habits that we have accumulated over our lifetime. It is our preferred method or style of coping with life’s challenges.

As a baby we wanted to get fed. So we took on a way of getting attention from our parents. What ever worked the first time, we went back and tried again and again. As a teenager the same thing happened, we wanted to belong to a tribe, be it the rebels, the sports, the nerds, the bullies, the even Emos. As an adult we’ve learnt we have bills to pay so we adapt to coping.

These well-worn tracks become our favoured way of behaviour.

Behavioural psychologists study these styles and use data and statistics to extrapolate our most likely behaviours based on tests.

We may be the sergeant major, the drama queen, the poker player, the safety monitor. Really we are a blend of each at differing levels.

Can we change our core behavioural profile? Sure. Human beings are amazing adapters. It takes some discomfort though, and possibly even a significant life event to make a long term change.

Is there a right or wrong behavioural profile? No. Each behavioural profile has their own strengths and weaknesses. Successful people put themselves in environments and careers that play to their strengths, and they have others to do the work that aligns to their weaknesses.

In recruitment we use behavioural profiling to help us select staff for jobs. We seek to ensure that the jobseeker is playing to their strengths. This ensures a better outcome for all.

Imagine for a second a person that has a very high attention to detail. This profile is very task orientated and slow in communicating. It does not mean that they are dumb. It means that they weigh every word before speaking more than say a drama queen. Their biggest fear is making a mistake. I’d hire them in a heartbeat as my accountant. However I would not put them in a telemarketing role, where people skills and speed are valued more…because they would probably spend too much time over researching the prospect before making a call (i.e. procrastinate), and most likely come across as uninspiring or blunt. If they were put in the role, they would hate it. They would be stressed by having to adapt to a different style. There is a high probability they would get sick within the first month or two, have low productivity, and most likely be considering employment elsewhere.

As a manager our job is to leverage of our teams strengths and keep them focused. By understanding the different behavioural profiles, managers can tailor their management style and decisions to get the best from their team.

If you are interested in knowing more about behavioural profiles, come along to our next DISC Leadership Workshop.