5 Ways DISC Certification Increases Confidence and Leadership Skills
Are you a successful business person, business owner, or another executive, yet you still get into "situations" that make you uncomfortable? Is it stressful for you to make new hires and even more stressful when you need to terminate someone because you made a bad hire? Is there stress caused by illness, changing business models, careers, or maybe you are stressed over sales goals?
I answered this question as a definite YES back in 1995. Today, I think it's a more prevalent problem and people are looking for solutions even more than 25 years ago. I want to share several strategies that enabled me to launch a successful consulting practice and eventually co-found and build PeopleKeys into an international business leader.
The real epiphany came when I was DISC certified almost 25 years ago. I had worked in Engineering and Sales, and I started a small software consulting business on the side. One of my clients was Dr. Sanford Kulkin, our PeopleKeys co-founder today. He contracted with me to develop his first version of an online DISC system that has now delivered more than 10,000,000 assessments. At the time, I saw the opportunity no differently than with any new-found client. I decided for my professional development to become certified in DISC to work on his project more intelligently and understand the subject matter. I didn't think there was anything I needed to learn personally to talk to my client.
However, I learned some real life-changing strategies in his materials and DISC certification training that helped me build more business confidence, sales success, and more fulfilled personal relationships. It helped me become a leader, not just a "boss." It changed my life so much that I eventually sold my company and merged with Dr. Kulkin to work full-time in this field. It is a decision I have never regretted.
Based on my experience, the following five ways exemplify how learning about the DISC model of human behavior and knowing how to communicate more effectively can change your life:
I have an ego and I am competitive. I admit that. I did well in school, I succeeded in business, but I did not have a certain confidence level when working with others. I always envied those people who were just "people persons" and could work with anyone. I was able to talk to other people who were like me, but I noticed that not many people were like me (I am a "D/I" personality style). I was great at communicating with 3% of the population, and not even that, as "D" styles tend to be argumentative. I applied some of the principles I was taught in the DISC training course to experiment. I was skeptical, but I immediately saw results. I had a meeting with a client who could be my biggest client, yet I saw he was unimpressed. He asked many questions and I felt challenged. He said he needed "time to think things over," and I knew what that meant...no deal.
I learned from the DISC personality style course that this client was probably a very high "C" style. "C" personality styles ask questions when they are interested in something. My "D" style perceived that as a challenge. "C" styles like to think things over, reviewing facts and numbers before making a decision. It didn't mean he wasn't interested; he was doing due diligence.
I got my confidence up, set up another appointment to review NEW questions he might have, and brought some more technical data with me and a couple of recommendations on which he could follow up. I assured him we would be on time, on budget, and quality would not be compromised. I adapted my style to work and talk with his DISC personality style, and I got the deal. A deal in which a week earlier I thought I had lost and probably would not have followed up. I began seeing so many things in life, including personal relationships, that really hinges on how we say something and the effort we make to listen.
I was so excited about the DISC experiments that I started giving the assessments to everyone I knew. You could not walk into my house without having to take a DISC test. After I assessed everyone I knew, I decided to practice with people I didn't know. The third person I profiled happened to be a neighbor up the street, and unknown to me, was the Executive Director of a place called The International Center for Real Life Education. He was so impressed that he ended up hiring me for a $180,000 consulting gig for DISC assessments, DISC facilitation, and the development of other DISC technology-related software. It all started because I got DISC certified.
I practiced, I experimented, and then I put it to use in real life. It worked! Looking back, the management team of this company consisted of two high "D" styles, a high "I" personality style, three "S" styles, and the owner was a high "C." The owner was so appreciative of implementing DISC in the workplace and helping his people understand what information he needed to grow the company. It was so crucial to him that he left me in his will. When he had passed, I received quite a surprise, including one of the most admirable letters I have ever received of how I changed his life for the better. I will always miss my friend, but I will never forget how much this information changed his life and mine too.
I was on a roll. I was making as much in my DISC business as I was in my software business, so I sold my software company's assets to several private investors and I moved on. You may have guessed, especially if you know anything about our company, but I left to join Dr. Sandy Kulkin and his publishing and consulting outfit. I brought all his previously designed source code with me, and we merged to form PeopleKeys. Almost immediately, we gained a United Airlines contract for DISC assessments and a DISC training program that ended up exceeding $1 million in revenue.
It's seemed like a magic cape. When I put DISC on, great things happened. It was magical, but anyone who knows me also knows I work hard, study, and have a robust support system and strong faith.
4. New Relationships
Unfortunately, my first marriage did not work. I married very young to a person who had almost nothing in common with me. Over the years, we just drifted apart, and neither did the hard work to make the marriage work. Then it was over. I stayed single for several years, but then I met someone special from Europe. We traded emails, calls, trips back and forth, and YES – our DISC profiles.
We are also different. I am a "D/I," and she is an "S/C." However, we both understood each other, why we were different, and how to communicate and work through things. My marriage has been so good that we adopted a son, and now we are three. We also found that our Values were closely aligned, which we currently teach in our DISC certification course.
The world doesn't offer us much peace these days, and turning on the news adds to our stress levels. I don't want to add stress to my life. I want to remove it. Learning to work with people, even in difficult times, is something we can all learn to do. As we understand this, maybe it brings a little more peace and a little more healing when the world needs it most.
In most situations in life, business, education, or emergency, you have to talk or work closely with others to accomplish goals. In the past 25 years, I have seen millionaires built from the ground up using DISC certification training. I have seen marriages repaired, and I have seen parents become closer with their children. Yes, I believe in the life-changing ability that we all possess inside that if we want something strongly enough, we will act, keep going, and never quit to accomplish it.