You might find it necessary to adapt your DISC style in different situations, but that isn’t always easy! Adapting behavior can be draining if you need to do it on a consistent basis. The good news is that you can ease the adaptation process by harnessing the power of EQ (emotional intelligence).
Here are three ways EQ helps you adapt your behavior.
EQ Helps You Stay Centered
You might not feel like yourself while you’re adapting. A strong sense of self-awareness, the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, lets you stay centered and aware of your emotions and reactions in any situation.
This skill is foundational to understanding and regulating your behavior. If you’re moving from your Natural style to your Adapted style on a regular basis, you can lose your sense of self and begin to doubt your preferred style of communication and decision-making processes.
Adapting will likely affect people with a high Steadiness score. High Ss prefer a slow pace, defined responsibilities, and clearly outlined expectations. They are considerate, compassionate, and accepting of others, but might seem indifferent or hesitant on the surface. Shifting out of this style into a more fluid or flexible behavioral style, (like their counterparts, Dynamic communicators) can be distressing to a high S.
This distress can be alleviated by self-awareness and EQ! By checking in with themselves, setting up processes and safeguards on their end, and realistically evaluating the work they’re doing, Steady communicators can adapt to a faster pace without overextending. Understanding where your negative emotions come from can help you avoid unneeded stress, even when adapting.
EQ Helps You Adapt Consciously
One of the hardest parts of adapting your style is conserving your energy. It takes a lot of effort to act against your natural behavioral style. By utilizing EQ while adapting, you can keep better track of your emotional state and reactions.
For example, if you have a naturally Reflective DISC style, you “are cooperative, low-key, modest, and mild. They tend to engage people by being agreeable and outcome-focused, and prefer clear, precise and thorough communication.” That preference for low conflict situations might not always be possible — if you find yourself in a situation where you need to stick up for yourself, you’ll have to adapt your style to a higher D.
This might feel like a heavy lift, especially if you’re conflict-averse, so utilize self-regulation. This dimension of EQ is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. By taking responsibility for your feelings as you adapt to a more Direct style, you can take thoughtful action instead of being led by emotions (like anger or nervousness at being more confrontational.)
EQ Helps You Understand Other Points of View
One of the hardest parts of adapting your Natural style can be accepting your Adapted style as necessary or more beneficial. After all, your Natural style is your preference for a reason; that’s how you like to communicate, operate, and interact with others! However, some scenarios simply require a different approach than your regular behavior. That’s where EQ comes in!
High EQ assists with a smoother adaptation by helping you ‘read a room’ through social awareness. Social awareness is the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and how your words and actions affect others. By being able to accurately assess what’s going on and how you can steer a situation to fit your needs, you’ll ensure that the difficulties of adapting are worth it!
Let’s look at Influence in DISC. If you have a low I score, you’re a Reserved communicator who is socially discreet, restrained, controlled, and reflective. If you’re in a meeting filled with talkative and strong-willed individuals, you might struggle to get your point across using your usual style. Using social awareness, you can observe how the people around you are reacting and then adapt your behavioral style to match their energy and positively represent yourself.
Moving Forward With Behavioral Adaptation and EQ
Adapting your behavioral style can take a toll but it doesn’t have to! Use the power of EQ to stay centered, conserve your energy, and understand others, and you’ll feel the difference in your experiences in situations where you’re adapting.