Home Culture Part 3: Building Trust

In part 2, we took the time to walk through the DISC model’s four basic temperaments. Hopefully, through reading each of those descriptions, you could 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 can 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 contact.

Bottom line: all of life’s interactions are, on some level, a negotiation. The more we understand 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 trust level, 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 deal 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 in whether 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 bedtime, 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 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 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 deal 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 day’s dealings 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 adjust based on whether their relationship has been honored and respected. Unlike task-oriented people, I/S temperaments are more concerned with how they interact with others instead of competing with them. 

Taking time to assess our relationships 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 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 to optimize the household environment for all that inhabit it. This final post will put it all together so you can start to develop strategies to implement effectively.

Be well


Photo by Dimitri Houtteman via Unsplash

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