How the Different DISC Personality Types React Under Pressure

One of the ways that the DISC personality assessment can be helpful is because it can help predict employee behavior, including how they are likely to react under pressure. Naturally, each personality type has some weaknesses as well as some strengths when responding to high pressure scenarios and knowing what those weaknesses and strengths are can help with coaching and management to help employees deal with inevitable pressures.

Some of the best traits of direct communicators can get a little tricky under pressure. Direct communicators are known for being decisive, but they can become stubborn under pressure, which can come across as demanding and unyielding to others. The greater the pressure, the more controlling they can seem, which can shut down group communication. Coaching direct communicators to slow down and listen to other team members can help counteract those natural tendencies.

Reflective communicators are known for their empathy, but when they are under pressure their agreeable natures can come across as wishy-washy and they might hesitate to take decisive action. It is important for reflective communicators to make sure they convey clear expectations to others.

Seeming sincere can be a challenge for outgoing communicators, who are sometimes perceived as saying anything they need to say in the moment. Under pressure, their natural optimism can come across as fake and seem like they are trying to pull one over on other people. These natural talkers may also overwhelm others with information because they tend to talk more during high pressure times. The most important thing for outgoing communicators to do when the pressure is on is to be quiet, listen, and slow down when they speak.

Reserved communicators are always vulnerable to allegations that they are cold because they rely on facts and logic. Generally, their emphasis on facts can be a real asset to companies. This remains true in high-pressure scenarios. However, pressure usually impacts the workplace as a whole and the factual and logical approach can seem critical, skeptical, and blunt. Reserved communicators need to focus on how they are communicating, emphasizing emotion.

While steady communicators are usually seen as open and friendly, when they are under pressure they can come across as inflexible, frozen in inaction, and more concerned about procedures than outcomes. Ironically, one of the ways for steady communicators to do better under pressure is to state their needs up front instead of trying to be amiable; it can help them avoid problems down the line.

While they see themselves as flexible and energetic leaders, dynamic communicators can come across as rushed, impatient, and too intense. While they may see themselves as thriving under pressure, they can actually cause more stress to their coworkers and may even behave impulsively under extreme pressure. It is important for dynamic communicators to try to empathize with team members and not exert too much pressure on teammates.

Under normal circumstances, the thorough and careful nature of precise communicators is a wonderful asset to a team, because they are going to think about all of the possible consequences before taking or even recommending an action. However, under pressure this can come across as fear or even being too strict. Coaching precise communicators to explain their reasoning can help them in their interactions with their team members.

Looking at the big picture is the hallmark of the pioneering communicator, but under pressure this free-thinking can come across as unrealistic, rebellious, and erratic. It is very important for pioneering communicators to continue to think outside of the box when under pressure; unconventional ideas can lead to great solutions. However, pioneering communicators need to be coached to explain their unconventional thoughts.

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