Programs & Networking Committee: Guest Speaker – Soar to New Heights

by Paula Costlow

A wise chameleon once said, “pay attention to how you treat each other. I hold myself accountable to treat others how they need to be treated, not how I need to be treated.”

Xavier the chameleon is one of co-author Daniel Silvert’s characters in his book Taking Flight!, which illustrates the four personality styles using the DISC theory. Silvert is also the VP of Learning & Development for Team Builders Plus, a career coach, and an expert trainer. His book tells a fable about four species of birds who live amongst each other, displaying the four DISC personality characteristics.

Dorian, the dominant eagle, is direct, decisive and driven. He soars over the diverse community and watches over all of the inhabitants from above the tree line.

Crystal and Clark, the conscientious owls, are cautious, concise, and correct. They help maintain order amongst the community.

Ivy and Indy, the interactive parrots, are inspirational, influential, and intuitive. They add excitement to the community by making sure there is always something happening.

Sarah and Samuel, the supportive doves, are sincere, steady, and sympathetic. They are good listeners and compassionate friends who are always ready to help within the community.

Maybe you can only relate to one or two of these traits, but in order to become the well- balanced Xavier you have to learn to understand all of these personality traits. Although the DISC system has four distinct personality styles, most people are a combination of two or more styles. Silvert, the co-author of Taking Flight!, was one of our guest speakers at our PSGCNJ Monday morning meeting. In our meeting, Silvert described the different variations of personality traits that a person could have. His main message was that you do not have to be the personality that you were born with; you can develop and grow into the personality that you were meant to be. Silvert explained that, although he was born an “IS” personality, he has now incorporated “D” into his personality combination. As he matured, he realized that he needed to be more decisive and assertive to forward his career. Silvert explained that we can become whatever personality is needed for every situation. If we can learn to understand other people’s personality styles, then we can learn to adapt to their styles in order to be more relatable.

Silvert develops and shares his training program on teamwork, accountability, and people skills to hundreds of companies, non-profits, and government agencies. During his presentation, we tested ourselves to figure out which of the four DISC personalities we identified with. Silvert focused on helping our PSG group understand our strengths and weaknesses so we could grow and adapt to the work environment around us. As Silvert stated, “Use your strengths, but don’t overuse them. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.”

Finding your right work environment will make you more productive and successful in the workforce. Some teams work well with all the personalities blending together, while other teams work better with everyone being the same style. Whatever situation you encounter in the workforce, knowing and understanding the personality styles will help you succeed in looking for the right position for your personality traits. I recommend reading Taking Flight! to see if it will help you soar to new heights.

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