Are your behaviours making you a “difficult” person?

Each DISC behavioural style has a dominant fear and a specific need. We all want to avoid those things that are painful for us, and at the same time, we are attracted to things that we need. In other words, we move instinctively away from things that bring us discomfort and move towards those things that we like and which motivate us.

When we are under pressure, e.g., experiencing some stressful situation, we usually start to exaggerate our dominant behavioural styles. This can be irritating for others and it can cause misunderstandings and tensions, even escalating into open conflict.

Sometimes, our behaviours can make us really difficult people!

TYPE D: fear of being taken advantage of; the need for control

Dear dominant, decisive, and results-driven people: when you are under pressure, other people can think you lack feelings, are too pushy, controlling, micromanaging, blunt, and even “inhuman” or aggressive.


I know that you simply want to get things done! But not everybody is aware of the good intentions behind your behaviours.


Try to remember that other DISC types – especially I and S styles – need some of your “human face”. It does not cost a lot to say in the morning: “Hello! How are you?” even if you are a very task-oriented person who does not like “wasting” time on small talk.

However, two minutes of talking to your subordinates or co-workers and expressing your interest in them and their opinions or feelings will pay off. People will start to feel respected, heard, and understood. Please, remember that especially I-style people thrive and become more productive when they feel liked and complimented.
It is also worth remembering that I-style people are great motivators, so you can use their influential skills and natural talent to build and maintain relations in order to achieve your goals even more quickly!

I know you like to take action fast, but not everyone can act like that. Do not rush the analytical C-style person! Instead, try to use their strength, “attention to details,” and give C-style people enough time to think things through and gather facts and other information they need.

Type S people also prefer to operate on their own, slower than your pace, have a clear direction, and with all potential changes announced in advance. Understand this, because it is thanks to the S type that you can have a harmoniously and strategically working team. So, try to communicate all changes and new decisions in a peaceful and friendly way, without a frightening form of pushing people to do it NOW.


Remember, people can get things done in their OWN way, using their own strengths.

TYPE I: fear of rejection; the need for recognition

Dear influential and inspiring people who are hungry for the limelight: please remember that sometimes others need their space and SILENCE. Especially when you are under pressure, other people can perceive you as showing off, overly optimistic, too emotional, or even lazy!


I know that you want to be liked and achieve recognition by creating a friendly atmosphere! But not everybody is aware of the good intentions behind your behaviours.


People usually love your enthusiasm, optimism, motivational skills, and empathy. Still, in some cases, they can feel overwhelmed by your intensity. You typically want to help others cheer up, and a negative atmosphere and pessimism undercut your wings.

Have you ever wondered why some people don’t always want to talk to you? They probably choose to solve their problems using their preferred methods, and they do not always need to be uplifted all the time. For example, S-style people very often internalise their emotions, preferring to take back seat, and they do not like to speak up during meetings.

You usually develop strong private and professional relationships with S-style people and appreciate their friendly and easy-going approach. However, they can feel alone and trapped if you are too talkative and do not give them time and space to express themselves and think some things through in silence.

You are usually a great visionary, with tons of creative ideas. On the contrary, people with high intensity in the D dimension are eager to take specific actions to start implementing at least one of the whole bunch of ideas. They prefer to get the ball rolling with a project instead of talking about it and generating new “great” ideas indefinitely.

This does not mean they do not like you. D people want to take action to deliver their goals or else, and do not stand in their way! Talking about the weather is unacceptable if there is a deadline to be achieved!

C-style people are also very task-oriented, wanting to deliver the best possible quality, and they prefer not to show their emotions too much. Do not require them to share your enthusiasm all the time, especially if there are significant risks involved in the project you are working on together. Wait patiently until C-style people have made sure that the quality of their work is satisfying.


Remember that people do not always need you to talk to them or cheer them up. Sometimes the most useful thing you can do is to LISTEN.

TYPE S: fear of losing security; the need for harmony and acceptance

Dear steady and stable great team workers: please be aware that when you are under pressure, others can perceive you as indecisive, slow, disengaged, avoiding responsibility, and too easy-going.


I know that you have good intentions: you want to create harmony and get along with all people! But not everybody is aware of the good intentions behind your behaviours.

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Your friends and co-workers appreciate your interpersonal skills and the fact that you naturally get along with everybody. They also love the fact that you are a great listener and they can rely on you.

However, when you choose to not speak up and wait to take action until you make sure that your decision will not hurt anybody’s feelings, people with other styles can get really frustrated.

For example, D-style people appreciate directness and simplicity. They do not want to overcomplicate things. So, they will be more than happy if you tell them about your ideas and feelings, instead of assuming that the best way of dealing with dominant people is to avoid them.

When you have to discuss something difficult with a D-style person, try to focus on SOLUTIONS instead of talking too much about problems, as D-style people are future-oriented and love problem-solving.

Similarly, C-Style people would be very grateful for your input to improve the quality of their work. Support them with your strategic and process-oriented approach, and they will be grateful and willing to cooperate with you even more.

As you probably know, I-style people love making others feel good. It does not cost a lot to try to appreciate their enthusiasm and effort by using more of your body language and verbal communication.

You prefer to listen and internalise your emotions. Still, it is good to remember that other people need to know that you are satisfied/happy/not happy/frustrated, etc. Make life easier for them, and in this way, you will create even more harmony in your environment!


Remember that you need to SPEAK UP and directly share your emotions and opinions. People want to know what you think and feel!

TYPE C: fear of criticism; the need for accuracy

Dear conscientious and compliant people, who always want to get things right the first time: please remember that it is OK to make mistakes. It can be a great way to learn and develop! It is possible under one condition: that we can conclude and learn from our mistakes.

Under pressure, you can be perceived by others as overly critical, stubborn, not taking into account the emotions of others, overanalytical, bogged down in details, and losing the main goal from your sights.


I know that you want to deliver the best quality and improve everything around to make our world a better place! But not everybody is aware of the good intentions behind your behaviours.


You need to understand that some people (I and S behavioural styles, for instance) are more concentrated on people and their feelings than on being correct all the time. You can perfectly separate your emotions from actions; that is why others can think you are cold and behave like a robot.

The two above-mentioned people-oriented styles (I and S) need more tolerance from you, as you sometimes tend to set standards too high, not only for yourself but also on others. You are also usually focused on pointing out people’s mistakes! Try, instead, to appreciate people’s efforts and achievements.

D-style people are results-driven, so they want to get things done, though not necessarily PERFECTLY done. They want to see the progress and be sure that you are working effectively on something. Please, consider the pros and cons of delivering something done at 80 – 90% instead of not delivering it at all!

You probably cannot stand the fact that I-style people do not pay much attention to the details and that they generate great ideas and talk about them without any plan to implement them.

Try to appreciate that I-style people can usually effectively achieve their goals in a completely different way than you. They do it by influencing and inspiring people. You are great in delivering the best possible quality and assessing risks. On the contrary, they are the perfect people to sell your ideas and projects to others. The world needs all of us!


Remember, that you and others have the right to make mistakes, and it is incredibly important to draw on people’s strengths instead of focusing on their limitations.

People are different, but they are predictably different!

Please, remember, that all of us can present “difficult behaviours.” The other side of the coin is that the same behaviour can be extremely annoying for somebody, but perfectly acceptable, tolerated, and even liked by somebody else!

Why? Because people are different and look at the world through the lenses of their needs, fears, and experiences. Fortunately, people are different, but they are predictably different!

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