Does Your Behavior Impact Your Personal Brand?  You Bet it Does!

Is your behavior isolating you?

In my blog, The Personal Branding Wheel™:  how to get started building your personal brand.” I introduce the CFX Personal Branding Wheel™. I suggest reading this blog prior to this one because I talk about the foundation of your personal brand, the CORE, and how its two-aspects; Behavior and Driving Forces, both of which impact almost every decision you make in the workplace.

In this blog I want to go more in-depth about the behavioral aspect of building your personal brand. You can click on the title to read our blog called, “Do you work to Live, or live to work?” where we discuss the other aspect of your CORE, which are those motivational Driving Forces that tell you how you do the things you do. After reading about each of the CORE aspects, I think you will begin to see how they are critical in helping you to catapult your personal brand to great heights!

Before we go into the details of your behavior, let me share the history of the DISC so you can understand its validity in terms of it being a scientific instrument for normal human behavior. At least the DISC instrument we at CHUVA use. Not all are alike!



To demonstrate the DISC, think of the tip of the iceberg, which is above the water line. It is easily observable just like your behavior. It refers to “how” you do things and it is what others can see you do.

The DISC model was first introduced by Dr. William Moulton Marston in his book published in 1928, “Emotions of Normal People”, which determined emotions and behavior of normal people. Although he is known for his creation of the Lie Detector; he is probably best known as the creator of the comic book heroine, Wonder Woman. Interesting stuff isn’t it?

Dr. Marston did not create any assessments for the DISC; however, Dr. Walter Clarke did. It was based on Marston’s work and he called the assessment the Activity Vector Analysis. The first person to computerize the DISC was Dr. Bill J. Bonnstetter, founder of TTI, (Target Training International) the world’s leading source for research-based, validated assessment and coaching tools. I mention all this so that you understand that the assessment we use is scientifically based, not a hypothesis or theory. Not all “DISC” assessments are. That is why we use Dr. Bonnstetter’s DISC assessment.

The DISC represents 4 behavioral types:  D = Dominant, I = Influencing, S = Steadiness, and C = Compliance. You can see from the graphic that the “D” and “I” are extroverts. The difference between the two is that the “D” is task oriented, and the “I” is people oriented. The “C” and “S”; however, are introverts. The difference between the two is that the “S” is indirect, and the “C” is direct.

Each behavior type tells you something about yourself! For example, the “D” tells you how you respond to problems and challenges. The “I” tells you how you influence people and contacts to your point of view. the “S” tells you how you respond to the pace of the environment, and the “C” tells you how you respond to rules and procedures set by others.

What Your Behavioral Style Will Tell You!

Keep in mind that while I explain the DISC, it is far more complex than what I am writing about here, so I will  give you a very high-level view of what the DISC is and how you can use it in building your brand. My goal is to give you insights on how to develop and manage your brand by pointing you in the right direction.

An Over-View of What Your Behavioral Style Can Tell You About Yourself and Others!

  1.  What emotion your primary style is.
  2. List of “descriptors” that best describe who you are.
  3. What value you bring to an organization/team.
  4. What an ideal work environment would look like for you.
  5. Provide your tendency of behavior when under stress.
  6. What possible limitations you might have as a specific behavior.
  7. What fears you have as a particular behavioral style.
  8. How you like to communicate.
  9. How you can learn to communicate with those that are differ then you are.
  10. Provide great information for writing your Personal Branding Statement for your LinkedIN profile and resumes!

Are You “high” or “Low”? It Makes a BIG Difference?

When speaking about the DISC, we typically refer to someone as being a “High-D” or a “High-S”. When we refer to someone like this, we are referring to his or her predominant style, better known as the “primary” style. Please note; however, that even though one-style is “more predominant” than the others, and is spoken in isolation, it is the combination of the other three styles that make up your “true” behavior.

In the universal language of DISC there is no good or bad. Being “high” or “low” isn’t indicative of you having positive or negative traits, it simply gives the “whole” view of  who you are in terms of your behavior.

The “High” reference also tells us just as much as its opposite, the “Low”. Below I give you a bird’s eye view of the high and low of each behavior. Again, please note that for the purpose of this blog, I am going talk to you about each of the four behaviors as its “primary” behavioral style. In other words, each behavior is spoken of in terms of isolation. I am not considering the other three styles that will impact your “true” behavioral style.

Let’s Take a Look at Each Style Independent of Each Other!



A “High-D” has an emotion of “anger”. They have a fear of “being taken advantage of”. They are task oriented; they like to get things done. They have a short fuse, likes a challenge, face situations head-on, makes decisions quickly and often without facts and will have to ask for forgiveness later. Adventuresome and competitive are a few adjectives that describe this behavior. They are innovative and challenge-oriented in terms of some of the value they bring to an organization. Under stress they can become demanding and argumentative. Oftentimes this behavior sets possible limitations such as taking on too much, too soon, and too fast.

A “Low-D” is slow to anger and dislikes confrontation, and although task oriented, it takes a while to get things done. They are more passive and likes humor.



A “High-I” has an emotion of “optimism”. There fear is “loss of social recognition”. They are people oriented and seek to influence. They are persuasive, convincing, optimistic, and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. They have a “go-get-‘em attitude.” They have high trust in others. As a value to the organization, they motivate others toward goals and bring creative problem-solving ideas. Their ideal working environment is having a high degree of people connections and need freedom from control and detail. Under stress, they tend to be unrealistic and overly optimistic. Oftentimes this behavior sets possible limitations by being inattentive to details and trust people indiscriminately.

A “Low-I” is more reflective, factual and calculating and skeptical, moves more cautiously. They are more pessimistic and do not trust others quickly and are passive by nature.



A “High-S” has an emotion of “non-emotional”. This does not meant they are not emotional. They are very emotional; they just don’t show it. Their fear is “losing security”. They make great poker players. They are relaxed, passive, and patient. They are slow to change. Amiable and sincere are great adjectives to describe this style. For an organization, they are service-oriented and a logical step-wise thinker. Under stress they can be hesitant and inflexible. Possible limitations would be dislike of unwarranted change and difficulty dealing with diverse situations.

 A “Low-S” is active, restless and can be impatient. They are quick to change and like a fast pace.




A “High-C” has an emotion of “Fear”. There fear is “making mistakes”. They are cautious, careful and more systematic. They like data and facts and need these to make decisions. Being accurate and analytical are great adjectives to describe this style. The value they bring to the organization is that they maintain high standards and are conscientious and steady. The ideal working environment for them would be where critical thinking is needed and like close relationships with small groups. Under stress they may become pessimistic and fussy. Possible limitations might be defensive when criticized or get bogged down in details.

A “Low-C” is independent, self-willed, and firm. They are risk takers, break rules, seek independence. They will make decisions fast and ask for forgiveness later.

It’s not what style you are, it’s what you do with what you are!

Dr. Bill Bonnstetter, founder TTI

Dr. Bill Bonnstetter  advanced  the  theory of  Adaptation. Meaning that if you adopt your behavior style to the person for whom you are talking, you will increase the effectiveness of your communication. He said, “That’s what this is all about.” Understanding yourself at your very CORE and then modifying yourself to be a more effective communicator!

 For example, again, I am keeping this at a very high-level, if you are primarily a “High-D” style, you don’t mind challenges and face things head on. That’s great, but if you do that all the time, and challenge people, you can build a reputation (brand) of being someone who is controlling, always ready to fight and not pleasant to be around; however, if you know you are more direct, then you will learn how to modify that behavior as situations arise. You don’t change who you are, you modify your behavior to achieve what you desire.

If your report shows that you are a “Low-D” style, then you don’t like challenges and dislike facing things head on, oftentimes avoiding certain situations. But in business, there are times you must face things head on or face a challenge. The key is to learn how to do that in a way that is natural to you. You don’t change who you are, you modify to get the job done!

I mentioned earlier the decisions you make in business, often come from those attributes that make up your CORE disciplines. Let me give you an example, using a company’s brand attributes.

While working with the Branding Team at Delta, we trained the Field Service Managers (they manage all the flight attendants globally) on his or her own personal brand. Enhancing an employee’s brand helps to reinforce an organization’s brand. In our workshops we referenced the three pillars of the DELTA brand:  thoughtful, innovative and reliable. We encouraged each of them as they drove to work, to ask themselves what they could do in terms of better managing a flight attendant, howthey could be thoughtful, innovative or reliable.

In terms of their behaviors, we asked them to look at their “red-flags” as these had potential for becoming a distinct liability in their managing process. One manager was a “High D”, her “red-flag” was that she was oftentimes too direct and to the point. She began to see that that approach was not necessarily good for each flight attendant. I mean, how could it be as everyone was not like her.

That day she made a conscious choice to be more thoughtful in how she approached each flight attendant. Can you see how she could “get more accomplished” with a flight attendant coming from that new perspective? Can you see how knowing your behavioral style can help you be more effective in your daily choices? Are you starting to see how useful this tool can be?

Be the best you can be!

To read more blogs on the topics of Personal Branding and Behavior, click here. Keep in mind that we are constantly adding new blogs so be sure to check back!

You can also submit any question concerning this topic or other personal branding topics by submitting your questions here. Our “ASK! the image guru” will try to answer your question(s) in a blog!