Home Culture Part 3: Building Trust

In part 2 we took time to walk through the four basic temperaments of the DISC model. Hopefully, through reading each of those descriptions you were able to get a feeling or understanding of where you fell within that model (If you are interested in really nailing it down click here). Today, we will look at identifying other personalities and building trust in relationships.

When we are able to fully understand ourselves, we also develop the ability to apply the same principles in understanding others.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu

I love this quote because it applies to every interaction we will have in our life. Let’s throw away that he is speaking about war and look at the larger picture with the dealings we have with whomever we come in contact with.

Bottom line: all of life’s interactions are on some level a negotiation. The more we understand about ourselves and others, the greater chance we can develop a healthy relationship with them.

By defining our values, understanding ourselves, and understanding others we can confidently build trusting relationships where everyone involved comes out ahead.

To start building this level of trust let us revisit the DISC model and look at the left (Task) and right (People) parts of the Axis.

Starting from the left side of the model (D/C) we are dealing with people who place a high value on getting things done. They like to complete things and achieve. When interacting with us they will measure and build trust on whether or not we have done what we said or completed the tasks they have given.

We can see how this looks through a conversation I just had with my 6 year old son last weekend (my son is a high D temperament). “Daddy, you said in the morning that we could have lollipops after lunch…now it is bed time and it is too late to have them. You forgot.” A little trust has been lost. To help him move on or reconcile the situation, lollipops have to happen (and no, he didn’t get one in bed!).

D/Cs will assign us little tasks (or big) to complete. They will also measure us on whether or not we are true to the letter of our word (are we dependable?). They are less concerned with circumstances and feelings and focus on the end result or goal. If we complete the task their trust goes up. If we fail to complete the task their trust goes down.

Conversely, on the right side of the model (I/S) we are dealing with people who place a high value on feelings and relationships. Tasks come secondary to relationship centered people. If they feel bonded to the other person, all is well. Trust happens earlier than their D/C counterparts and can be stated as simple as “I like you and you like me- good, we can move forward”.

My daughter is a high I temperament. Her focus is happiness and having as much fun as she can with others (people centered). If the lollipop conversation happened with her she might have said something like this: “Daddy, we were supposed to have lollipops after lunch but we went to the playground instead…would it be ok if we have them tomorrow?”. Notice the slight difference in approach. She has taken in all of the dealings of the day and is checking in with me to see if it would be all right. Lollipops are secondary so long as we can remain feeling good with each other. I will be measured on how well I can repair the relationship.

I/Ss establish trust early and then adjusted based on whether or not their relationship has been honored and respected. Unlike task oriented people, I/S temperaments are more concerned with how they are interacting with others instead of what they are to complete with them.

Taking time to assess our relationships in an effort to get a sense of where they fall in the DISC model will go a long way in building trust. What is great is that we just have to pick up enough on the other person to determine what side of the model they fall on. Knowing whether or not their primary tendency favors Task or People will help us accurately set our expectations. It will also help us met their expectations of the relationship. When expectations are set correctly and are met by both parties, trust develops and communication strengthens.

Next week we will wrap up the Home Culture Series with how to optimize the household environment for all that inhibit it. This final post will put it all together so you can start to develop strategies to implement effectively.

Be well

-MJ

Photo by Dimitri Houtteman via Unsplash

Home Culture Part 2: Who are you?

This week we will do a high level overview of temperaments and personality types. Yet, before we dig in, lets recall what we learned last week about identifying values.

Values: Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to (Mindtool).

Hopefully you took the time to do the value exercise presented last week. If so, you should have two or three core values to build your household on. These values are your guiding principles. They outline how the household should function and what is expected of the occupants. Yet a bigger question remains: who are you in relation to these values?

“Know Thyself” -Socrates

A lot of people I know don’t have a clear understanding of how they are wired and what their natural tendencies are. If they do know, it has been found through trial and error. This is not a good or bad thing but it does mean that they might not understand how to set themselves up for success day in and day out. Essentially, it is like driving a car that you have never been in before. Sure, you can drive it around but you might not know all the cool features or whether or not the vehicle is suited for bad weather. However, if you took the time to do a thorough personality assessment, you would know your personal user manual so to speak.

Below I will be pointing out the basics of the DISC model. Out of all of the personality tests I have done and studied, the DISC model is the most accurate and easy to apply in your life. Let us start with a basic picture of what the DISC model looks like:

As you can see, there are four main temperaments or personality types. These types are divided into their own quadrant by tendencies. From top to bottom we have Outgoing to Reserved. Outgoing people (D,I) have a tendency to speak and move with high amounts of energy. Their primary focus is to speak things out. Reserved people (C,S) have a tendency to speak less and exhibit slower paced action. Their primary focus is to think things through before action.

From left to right we have Task to People. Task oriented people (D,C) tend to focus more on the job to be done or accomplished. Task focused people like to get things done. People oriented people (I,S) like the company of others. Their focus is on others as their main priority rather than the task at hand. People focused people value other’s opinions and how others feel.

Now we will take a more in depth look at the individual types. Keep in mind that all of us have a blend of each of these types. However, most of us will heavily gravitate towards one or another in our natural state.

D Temperament (Outgoing/Task)

The D temperament represents about 10% of the population. Some words that describe this personality type: Determined, Demanding, Direct, Doer. Their basic needs are to have challenge, choice, and control. At their best they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to. At their worst they can run over others without even realizing it.

I Temperament (Outgoing/People)

The I temperament represents about 30% of the population. Some words that describe this personality type: Inspiring, Influencing, Impulsive, Imaginative. Their basic needs are to have recognition, approval, and popularity. At their best, they connect with others through their abilities and their optimism. At their worst, they can be flash in the pan and let their emotions get the best of them.

S Temperament (Reserved/People)

The S temperament represents about 35% of the population. Some words to describe this personality type: Supportive, Steady, Serve, Sentimental. Their basic needs are to have teamwork, support, and no conflict. At their best, they take care of and show empathy for their relationships. At their worst, they can have difficulty being decisive and overthink decisions that need to be made.

C Temperament (Reserved/Task)

The C temperament represents about 25% of the population. Some words to describe this personality type: Cautious, Calculating, Correct, Cognitive. Their basic needs are to have quality information, excellence, and value. At their best they are most informed are very thorough with all of their dealings. At their worst, they can lack flexibility as they like to see everything proven out before action.

So there is the basic rundown of the DISC personality types. How does this play out in life? Imagine if you were at a party with four others that represent these types. It is time to decided what food the party needs….you might hear them say something like this:

C: “I have been reading up on this restaurant in town. It uses all organic ingredients and has a lot of great reviews online.”

I: “Wow! I was just there and the atmosphere is awesome! Their pizza is the best I have ever had!”

D: “I know exactly where that is and the best way to get there. I will drive, is everyone ready to go?”

S: “That sounds good to me. Is everyone in agreement? I will check out the menu on the way and am sure I can find something to eat.”

To wrap up, when you start to identify your strengths and weaknesses through your blend of personality, you can strategize and set yourself up for success with whatever you take on. This post was merely a light overview of these personality types. To really take it to the next level I would suggest to have a full assessment done. If interested in having an assessment done please use our Contact page and we can discuss how to make this happen.

Next week we will discuss temperaments and how to build stronger, trusting relationships with the members in the household. In the meantime, take a look around and see if you can start to identify where other peoples personalities fit into the DISC model.

Be well

-MJ

A special thanks to The Fitzgerald Institute and their materials to help shape the descriptions of the temperaments in this post.

Photo by Ludomit via Unsplash

Home Culture Part 1: Values

In last week’s post we touched upon wellness and creating a home environment where everybody’s needs are met.  We specifically pointed out the friction between the sense of belonging and authenticity.  To this point, we reviewed the slippery slope where people begin to chose the comfort of conformity over a sense of authenticity.

Over the next 4 weeks we will dig into the steps of creating a Champion Family culture; a wellness culture that supports authenticity while providing belonging to the individuals. There are 4 steps that we will discuss (one step per week) and they are:

  • Identifying and defining the values of the household
  • Discovering our own personalities. What is our natural strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies.
  • Understanding your personality in a relationship to other personalities in the house and reviewing strategies to strengthen those relationships.
  • Adjusting the environments to support the values and the uniqueness of the family

Wikipedia has a great definition of culture but for our purposes we will define culture as the social behavior, knowledge, beliefs, customs, capabilities, traditions, and habits of the individuals of the house.  

Values:  The importance of identification and defining

“Values are like fingerprints.  Nobody’s are the same, but you leave’em all over everything you do.” –Elvis Presley

I love the above quote from Elvis but I would even take it a step further. Just like fingerprints most people are not even aware that they are leaving them around. Whether you are aware of them or not, you and everyone in life has values and they are on full display to be observed.  Some values are easy to identify (trust and honest communication) while others we have no clue that they exist (needing the latest smartphone or technology).  To this end, it is really important periodically stop and question what our values are.  If we don’t do this our values will be formed through our surrounding culture, environment, and other people.  Personally, I like to have a greater sense of autonomy and don’t want others to shape what I find most important.

Once we have identified our values we can start to clean them up and provide a meaningful definition for them.  By doing this we can see what values are truly important, what values are minor, and what values get in the way of a household of wellness. From our defined values we can now align our daily actions to these values. Your values will serve as your North Star in everything that you do.

Exercise: Over the next week set aside a half hour and write out what is truly important in your life. You might write down things like I value trust, affection, quiet time, quality time with family, or family dinners every night. Your focus should be on what you would like your ideal household environment to be.

A little trick to uncover your hidden values (blind guiding forces), take a few moments to analyze behaviors that trigger you emotionally. Strong emotional reactions often happen when a value has been violated.

Once you have a good list going rank them by importance. In this second step we are looking to find two or three that we can build around. What values are the most important to you and your uniqueness? Then work this list over with your significant other to find agreement on your guiding values.

The final step is to try to work out a statement that encompasses what your household stands for. An example might sound something like this: “Our household is place where love is given freely. We cherish quality time together where we can share (and listen) to each others daily adventures. We always support each other even when we might not always agree.”

Identifying and defining values can be an eye opening exercise. Be open and honest with yourself when doing the exercise. Also, do not judge what you may find. Remember we are only uncovering here…not defending how we conduct our lives currently. We are looking to find the best values and eliminate the ones that are getting in the way.

Next week will will post up the frame work of personalities so we can begin to better understand ourselves.

Be well

-Mj

Photo by Tyler Nix via Unsplash

The Balance: Authenticity and Belonging

Today’s post is really just the tip of a large iceberg (called Wellness) that we will uncover in the coming weeks. Hopefully, these words will give you some great triggering thoughts on how to adjust your home environment to maximize your family’s wellness potential.

As a dad, I find myself trying balance out my household everyday. My Goal is that everyone is operating in a state of wellness and not fear. A household that operates in full wellness is one that is functioning with authenticity while providing feelings of belonging. What does this mean? It means that the household’s environment ensures everyone’s needs are met and they are safe to be their authentic self.

Easy enough, right? I wish, but being authentic and feeling that you belong often run in different directions!

My whole life has been friction between these two dichotomies. 44 years of trying to fit in (seeking belonging/significance) while also trying to be who I naturally am (emerging authenticity). Do you see the rub?

All people will gravitate to where they feel most significant. Humans are tribal animals and are wired this way. It is our natural survival mechanism to seek belonging. Belonging happens in many ways good and bad (loving empathy, conformity, acceptance, fitting in, or sharing of similar thoughts/values).

Authenticity on the other hand stands firm and declares: “This is who I am!” Every time someone placates, pleases, or conforms they are (on some level) betraying their authenticity.

I am a firm believer that authenticity in every moment should be the true goal of everyone’s life. As parents, our over arching goal is to foster the emergence of authenticity in our children. Moreover, there is only ever going to be one us so it is our job to fully express this unique identity to the world…conformity at its worst is a life wasted.

But our basic need is Belonging….

So how do we get these two ideals to play together?

Acceptance and celebration of our diversities.

A strong and healthy household is one that creates a culture that accepts the uniqueness of the individuals that occupy it. When this happens, members no longer seek to conform and can allow their authenticity to emerge.

Home environments where acceptance and differences are celebrated become safe spaces for all members to operate in. Wellness takes root and thrives. Children develop well adjusted and parents can hold their head high.

Next week I will dig into identifying the elements of a great family culture and how to create a wellness culture for your home.

But in the meantime, I would like you to think about the following questions:

Are differences celebrated in your home or does everyone try to change (mold) each other into their version of right?

What is your current family culture and how would you like to see it change?

Have a great week and share if this post has helped you.

Be well

-MJ

Photo by Max Goncharov via Unsplash

Hesitation: The Mind’s Quicksand

Happy New Year!

With the new year I have made a couple of resolutions to improve my life. I do this every year and each year I have mixed results. I attribute my mixed results to the fact that I used to wait on inspiration to take action. Perhaps you know the feeling. Inspiration is great when you are all fired up about something but what happens when that emotion fades? We end up slowly migrating back to our old habits…back to our comfort zone. Not this year. Not for me and not for you!

It ends up that waiting on motivation or inspiration to strike is a really bad bet. It is a losing proposition for long term change. Emotions change day in and day out so waiting on or riding a fleeting emotion is not sustainable. If you want to change your life you simply must build better habits.

How to you build better habits? Action. Yes, just take action….but act now…don’t delay!

Here is some science for you (outlined from the book noted below): We have roughly five seconds to act on a thought before our mind will begin to kill it off. Should we take action in the first five seconds our brain will work really hard at doing the “new” thing. However, if we deliberate beyond five seconds we are geared to shut it down and figure out ways not to do it. It is the brains way of protecting itself since the “new” things is unknown.

He who hesitates is lost….we have five seconds to get our butt in gear! Test it out and see what happens when you wait.

How did I come across this information? Well the universe responded to my observances and thoughts after watching my son attempt obstacles at our American Ninja Warrior gym. One Saturday, mid way through his session, I began to notice how he approached every new obstacle. He would square up to it, take a deep breath, clap his hands once, and go full speed at it. I chuckled at first when I noticed this but it was strangely mesmerizing.

The clapping of the hands trigger he picked up from me. Watching him made me analyze how I routinely shift mindsets to go after things. When I am calling to my kids to come inside I would get their attention by finishing my statement with a clap of the hands (“Let’s go guys!” *CLAP*). At work, getting ready to teach a class I would have some internal pump up dialogue and one big clap (yes, even at work). At table tennis, right before starting a match ….yep I clap. Clapping for me signifies that the thinking is done and it is now time to get done to business.

The following Monday I came across and listened to a Podcast with Mel Robbins who is the author of the book: The Five Second Rule. Listening to her, I was blown away by her own story and by the science she had behind it. It was like the universe was was emphasizing my Saturday thoughts that I was really onto something. If you would like to listen to the podcast click here. If you want to check out this book (I am mid way through) click here.

Since that day I have been putting the five second rule to work. Habits are changing and I am getting more done than I ever have before. I am seeing that as my habits are changing the frequency of happiness, contentment, and inspiration are also changing…I experience them more often.

Action is the key to any sustainable change. Action rewires the brain. Even the smallest action is one step closer to your goal than you were before. Actions that “fail” are still better than the action you failed to take.

So I wish you success in this new year and when you have that great thought that enters your brain…start the stopwatch…you have five seconds to begin to make it a reality. Let’s go! *Clap*

Be well

-MJ

Photo by Veri Ivanovo via Unsplash