You’ve undoubtedly read articles focused on understanding each of the four DISC types. But putting those insights into action is another matter. How can you talk to each type in a way that cuts down conflict, gets both of you on the same page, and ensures that you get what you want?
In this article, we’re going to think of each DISC type as a specific character:
- Competitive Claire (Drive)
- Social Steve (Influence)
- Laidback Laura (Support)
- Analytical Aaron (Clarity)
Since each of these characters communicates in a different way, we’ll share some ready-to-use scripts to apply in your next conversation with each DISC type. They will make your conversations easier, and get you to the results faster.
The 4 DISC types as workplace characters
Meet: Competitive Claire
Competitive Claire’s DISC type is Drive. Find the action, and you’ll find Competitive Claire in the middle of it. She’s dynamic and has endless energy. She doesn't like to sit still because that equals stagnation. She pursues her goals full throttle – it should have been accomplished yesterday!
Competitive Claire speaks like she acts. She’s direct, and tends to lose focus when discussions slow down. All she sees is the overarching goal and the fastest way to get there. She thrives in heated discussions, and this can cause friction with other DISC types who prefer to analyze and take things slower.
When you discuss a work matter with Competitive Claire, make sure you:
- Are direct in your communication
- Show up with self-confidence
- Omit any hesitation when speaking
- Talk about the gains, not the process
Use these scripts to open the conversation with Competitive Claire:
- “Hey Claire, I need one minute of your time. I appreciate your direct approach and would like to hear your thoughts on this project.”
- “I know you’re busy, so I’ll get straight to the point. I need your input to determine the next steps.”
- “You know how to get things done. Can you help me set some clear goals for this task?”
- “I understand you value results over everything else. How can we push our team to crush last quarter's results?”
- “I appreciate your fearless attitude and your ability to make tough decisions. How can we approach this situation to speed up the timeline and hit the targets by this date?”
Meet: Social Steve
Social Steve’s DISC type is Influence. He loves to surround himself with people and is the life of every party and social event. Building connections is what he does best. He aspires to be everyone’s friend – the more people, the merrier. He’ll joke, laugh, gesticulate and create a pleasant atmosphere. Competitive Claire knows what to do, but Social Steve knows who can do it. That’s why you often find him in people-focused roles.
Social Steve is resourceful and inspired by anything new or groundbreaking. In his world, no idea is too out of reach. But he’s less good with the nitty gritty. Plans, schedules, and timelines bore him. You’ll often hear him talking in vibrant, colorful stories that may or may not relate to the topic discussed.
When you discuss a work matter with Social Steve, make sure you:
- Give compliments
- Prepare for small talk
- Focus on collaboration
- Win by explaining how his popularity will skyrocket
- Be approachable, smile and show interest by asking personal questions
Use these scripts to open the conversation with Social Steve:
- “Hey Steve, great to see you. Love the look today! Also, the event you organized last month was amazing! I finally met Ava, who introduced me to Aaron. You were right, they are so much fun to be around. By the way, do you want to have lunch this week? We can exchange ideas to make the upcoming event an even bigger success!”
- “Hi there, Steve! I was just thinking about that story you told me last time we spoke. I shared it with Linda. She loved it and thought it was so funny! It reminded me of our project. They won’t know what hit them, it’s going to be amazing! There’s a lot to do and I can’t wait to get started! Let’s get together and scheme our next steps!”
- “Steve, you’re the man who’s up-to-date on the latest trends. I’m working on this project and could use your help. Walk me to the vending machine, will you? Your ideas are brilliant and I’d appreciate your input!”
- “Steve! Great news. We just got the green light on this project. We’re assigning it to you because no one is better at bringing everyone together! Let’s kick off the project this afternoon. You’d make Elly’s day if you fill out the form she sent this morning, so we can start the meeting prepared. Don’t worry, it’ll only take a minute or two!”
- “Hey there, Steve. I appreciate how you bring a positive vibe to everything we do here. This is exactly why I called you in. No one has ideas like yours. That’s exactly what we need! Block your 2 PM today, I need your input!”
Meet: Laidback Laura
Laidback Laura’s DISC type is Support. She’s the most common DISC type, and the one that values harmony. She wants to be on good terms with everyone and puts the team first. She’s easy to handle, but change- and risk-averse.
Laidback Laura has no problem letting Social Steve steal the spotlight and Competitive Claire determine the direction. She’ll follow. Tell her in a friendly manner what to do and she’ll do it. Just make sure she understands the process – and don’t place her under too much stress. She’ll withdraw, shut down and nitpick herself. She may need a nudge here and there to speed things up or stay on track.
When you discuss a work matter with Laidback Laura, make sure you:
- Do so in private
- Give her time in advance to prepare
- Are clear but calm in your communication
- Don’t shine the spotlight on her in a group setting
- Give her space and time to process things afterward
Use these scripts to open the conversation with Laidback Laura:
- “Hey, Laura! I’ve seen your work on the project. You’re on the right track. Do you have time for a meeting this afternoon at 15:00 to talk about the next steps?”
- “Laura, I want to thank you for your outstanding work on that project. We just received the client's feedback. When you have time, I’d love to go through the details with you to see how we can improve. When do you have time today?”
- "I appreciate your supportive attitude towards your colleagues. It’s great to have someone like you on the team."
- "I understand changes can be difficult for you, but I want to assure you that we will support you through the process. I sent you an overview with the most important details. There’s no rush, so think things through at your own pace. Let me know if you have any questions."
- "Hey, Laura! How do you feel about the recent updates? Please don’t hesitate to come to me. I'm here to help. We value and consider your opinion in everything we do."
Meet: Analytical Aaron
Analytical Aaron’s DISC type is Clarity. Where Competitive Claire gives out orders, Social Steve entertains, and Laidback Laura keeps to herself, Analytical Aaron will be nose-deep in his project documentation.
Analytical Aaron is your go-to guy for data. He checks details, assesses risks, and points out errors or discrepancies in information. He’s task-focused and detail-oriented. He makes decisions based on logic, rationality and facts. He disregards feelings, whether his own or those of his coworkers.
You can rest assured he Googled, ChatGPT’ed and fact-checked his data. Thrice. But because he’s so focused on details, he tends to overlook the bigger picture, sometimes missing deadlines. You can’t rush quality work.
When you discuss a work matter with Analytical Aaron, make sure you:
- Ditch the small talk
- Do your homework
- Praise him for his accuracy
- Stay calm and sovereign in your approach
- Offer to share reports, analyses, checklists, or other data
Use these scripts to open the conversation with Analytical Aaron:
- “Hey Aaron, we compiled all available data into this report. The graphs in section two on page three don’t seem quite right. Would you mind running a thorough check? Please share the results with me by one pm tomorrow.”
- “Aaron, the due date is coming up in 13 days. We have to make sure we stay on track. I know you’re focused on getting the details right. I hate to ask this of you, but we have to compress the report and omit two analyses. Can you do this by this date?”
- “Great catch, Aaron! You have a sharp eye. Just so you’re aware, we don’t need 100% accuracy on this task: 98% is enough. We’d love to maintain a zero margin for error, but the project timeline doesn’t allow for it. Let Mary work on her part, without offering suggestions to increase accuracy. We must stay on track so we don’t disappoint our client.”
- “Here is the requested file. Can you please assess its accuracy? We’ve marked every detail that needs checking.”
- “I was going through the inventory reports and I found some inconsistencies in the numbers. I think there might be some missing data, but I'm not sure. Can you take a look and see if you can spot anything?”
A quick recap:
- Competitive Claire likes directness and action
- Social Steve responds to small-talk and collaboration
- Laidback Laura prefers a relaxed and non-threatening environment
- Analytical Aaron needs detailed information and a logical approach
How many Competitive Claires, Social Steves, Laidback Lauras and Analytical Aarons do you recognize in your workplace? Next time you speak to them, try tailoring your communication with the help of these ready-to-use scripts. Each type will appreciate you for catering to their needs. In return, you’ll get their cooperation.
Curious about your DISC Type? Take Truity’s free DISC assessment today.