Lake Norman Woman Magazine September 2021

Page 16

FAMILY

mentoring

moments with M I C H E L L E

navigating personality differences in your family WO ULDN’T IT B E WO N DE R FU L

if all our family members came with an owner’s manual? In a perfect world, a family is a beautifully blended group of people who are united together with selfless love and genuine concern and care for each other. Reality is, that we can live together, celebrate together, and even vacation together, but not actually understand each other. Families are melting pots of differing personality styles. Sometimes, because of a lack of understanding each other’s personality styles, the pots can boil over. In many workplaces, employees have been given opportunities to identify their personality styles and those of others. Employers who know such knowledge can strengthen the ability to relate well to clients and co-workers. If personality assessment tools are valuable to organizations, why not utilize them to increase our understanding of the people we do life with the most – our family?

The DiSC is an acronym that explains four main personality categories: D: Dominance – a person who tends to be confident and place an emphasis on accomplishing bottomline results. They are direct, strongwilled, and forceful. I: Influence – a person who tends to be more open and place an emphasis on relationships and influencing or persuading others. They are sociable, talkative, and lively. S: Steadiness – a person who tends to be dependable and place the emphasis on cooperation and sincerity. They are gentle, accommodating, and soft-hearted. C: Conscientiousness – a person who tends to place the emphasis on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency. They are private, analytical, and logical.

Personality is complex, however, there are many tools available to help you distill what makes a family member tick. Personally, I think the DiSC personality profile tool lends itself well to developing a “common family language.” DiSC

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profiles describe human behavior in various situations, for example how you respond to challenges, how you influence others, and how you respond to rules and procedures. When our family took an assessment, it was apparent I tend towards having a “D” style which is task-oriented, direct, decisive, and likes to lead. On the other hand,

my son is predominately an “I” personality. His people-oriented style is characterized by behavior that is sociable, independent, and more concerned with popularity than tangible results. Seeing ourselves through the DiSC, we gained a healthy understanding of the ways we were opposite. During his teenage years, acknowledging these differences helped us avoid stalemates in our conversations. Our challenging discussions became more respectful and, at times, even humorous as we acknowledged “oh that’s your D talking.” DiSC helps family members be less judgmental and identify adjustments that need to be made with others. Making adjustments will take practice. Fortunately, with family you will have plenty of opportunities. Readily available online, taking the assessment only takes 7 minutes to complete, but the practical insights gained may last a lifetime. Or at a minimum, your next family gathering might be the best one ever. w Michelle Hoverson is the author of Mentoring Moments with Myself – a collection of letters to her younger self on life, faith, love and leadership. Follow her on facebook @ Mentoring Moments With Michelle. WRITER MICHELLE HOVERSON


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