Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

by  Angie Chaplin  |  Self Leadership

Nothing is so powerful as insight into human nature… What compulsions drive a man, what instincts dominate his action… If you know these things about a man you can touch him at the core of his being. – William Bernbach (1911-1982)

They surround us. People who do or say things that drive us crazy, and the brutal fact is that it’s likely the feeling is mutual. You may live, work and play with people who have tendencies such as:

  • They’re bossy.
  • They talk incessantly with long-winded stories that aren’t relevant to the topic at hand.
  • They need information and data to analyze before making a decision.
  • They come to you constantly with questions about the best ways to do a task.
  • They’re a perfectionist and nothing you do is every good enough for them.
  • They think they’re always right.
  • They’re optimistic, even in the midst of a crisis.

Truth be told, you may exhibit some of these behaviors, if you were honest with yourself. Of course, you may be in denial and while these tendencies are apparent to others, you can’t (or choose not to) see yourself in the same way that others see you. However, perception is reality. When others observe your behavior, their reality is based on their perception — whether you choose to accept it or not. No behavior is universally right or wrong. It takes an enlightened leader to know thyself through a process of self-discovery, then choose to adapt their behavior to the needs of others depending on the situation and the people involved.


The first step to knowing thyself is through a behavior or personality assessment. There are many from which to choose. I’ve been working with the DISC model for more than a decade, and I am a certified professional behavior analyst, Value Added Associate and distributor through Target Training International. DISC is an acronym that stands for the four quadrants of behavior it measures: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. DISC is a universal language of observable human behavior that’s been scientifically tested for its high level of validity and reliability.


After you know yourself, the next step for an enlightened leader is to learn to recognize behavioral differences in others. If you look around your team, office, department or organization, you will find that:

  • Some people are forceful, direct and results-oriented. (D – dominant)
  • Some are optimistic, fun and talkative. (I – influence)
  • Some are steady, patient and relaxed. (S – steadiness)
  • Others are precise, accurate and detail-oriented. (C – compliance)

Bring out the Best

People around you may have two or more of these descriptors, yet their behavior seems to consistently fall in one of the preceding categories – D, I, S, and C. This heightened awareness allows you to take the third crucial step: appealing to others’ needs. Before you can appeal to someone’s basic needs, you must know their needs then intentionally choose to adapt your behavior to their behavioral preferences. For example, if you know one of your team members like punctuality, you can choose to be on time for his/her meetings. Perhaps Jane Doe like to be in charge; assign her the role of a project manager.

As a character-based leader, if you are willing to discover your behavioral strengths; willing to address possible limitations in your behavior; and have a desire to bring out the best in others then DISC is a place to start. Because I believe strongly in the power of DISC assessments and analysis, I am offering free online DISC behavior assessments for a limited time. To take advantage of this offer, email me at or post your request in the comment section below along with your email address. You’ll receive instructions from me with the website, response link and one-time use password to access the instrument.

What are your experiences with behavior or personality assessments?  Do you have opinions on how your leadership and communication styles – personally and professionally – have benefited from the insight and application?

What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…

About The Author

Articles By angie-chaplin
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What People Are Saying

Garry Trammell  |  11 May 2011  |  Reply

Intriguing post and much truth here to act on, if a person is willing to take on honest look at themselves. I’ve taken a number of assessments, but I’m not sure if DISC was one of them. I’d like to take you up on your offer Angie. My email is Thank you.

Angie Chaplin  |  11 May 2011  |  Reply

Sounds great, Garry. And thank you for being the first to comment on my first blog post with Lead Change. Email or DM me your t-shirt size and mailing address, and I’ll send you some Angie Chaplin Leadership Partners “swag” when the rest of the promo items arrive. Thanks again, and Lead On, my friend!

Barb  |  11 May 2011  |  Reply

Angie, tools such as DISC, can help us as leaders to identify others and their learning and leadership styles. To my mind, the best use of an assessment like this is to “know thyself”.
I’ve personally taken and taught the Florence Littauer Personality Plus characteristics. This is another opportunity to strength and reinforce my knowledge of self.
I love the phrase “character based leadership”
I congratulate you on all you are doing as you launch your new business brand. You are making a difference in the lives that you are touching!

Angie Chaplin  |  11 May 2011  |  Reply

Thanks for your comment, Barb. I chuckled at the phrase you used, “Know Thyself,” as that’s what I call many of the DISC workshops, presentations, or keynotes that I give on the topic. I’m glad to hear that you’ve learned more about your behavioral tendencies through Personality Plus. Would you also like to take a free online DISC assessment (the Target Training International version) to see how the two compare?

Thank you for your kind words! I enjoy what I do, and I learn something new everyday!

Lead on!

Barb  |  12 May 2011  |  Reply

I’d love to take the online DISC. Thanks for offering!
As always, this is a Remarkable day.

Christina Haxton  |  14 May 2011  |  Reply

Hi Angie,

Certainly the DISC is one I hear my clients mention as an assessment they’ve found gives them their personal “Aha!” moment … yet I also wonder how the DISC has helped clients transfer their understanding into action that makes a difference back in the office? What has been your experience?


Angie Chaplin  |  22 May 2011  |  Reply

Thanks for your question, Christina! The accountability of carrying out action plans ultimately rests with each individual. That being said, I do assign accountability partners, have participants complete action plans, etc. The greatest results come from a fully integrated DISC program that is not just a “flavor of the month” training event.

Some of my clients engage my coaching services on a one-to-one basis for employees who may need a nudge or someone to check in on their ongoing progress. These coaching calls typically take place every 3-4 weeks, and if the participant hasn’t made the progress they’d committed to in their action plan, we discuss barriers and strategies for overcoming those barriers.

I hope that answers your question. If you’d like to talk more about the on-going application of DISC, feel free to contact me at

Lead on,

chella  |  28 Jul 2011  |  Reply

i would like to take up DISC test
thnx for offering it free

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