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What’s Your Working Style?

Laurie Irish-Jones is an “i”-type. In the workplace, she places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships, and behaviorally she shows enthusiasm, is optimistic, likes to collaborate and dislikes being ignored. All that’s according to DiSC, a personal assessment tool designed to help improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication, according to the program’s website (discprofile.com).

Irish-Jones is CEO of Irish Propane in Buffalo, N.Y., and she was a co-presenter about DiSC at the Ray Murray Inc. Open House held this summer in Lee, Mass. She also helped introduce the DiSC assessment program at the Women in Propane leadership forum that was held at the National Propane Gas Association gathering in April in Nashville.

A visitor can complete a DiSC questionnaire at the Women in Propane section of the NPGA website and receive, for a $75 fee, a printout of their assessment. “Mine is twenty pages,” Irish-Jones says. “It tells you a lot about yourself. It’s geared for the workplace so that you recognize the other different styles—style of communicating, a style of working, how different people operate in the workplace. So, you get a better understanding of, number one, how to communicate with them and, number two, how to work with them.”

People are identified as belonging to one of four types, having to do with their communications style and “how they look at things,” Irish-Jones says.

Each letter in DiSC stands for a person’s foremost trait or value, according to the DiSC website: “D” for dominance; “i” for influence; “S” for steadiness; “C” for conscientiousness.

A “D” person, according to the website, places emphasis on results, the bottom line, confidence, and behaviorally “sees the big picture, can be blunt, accepts challenges, and gets straight to the point. An “i” person? See about Laurie Irish-Jones, above and, more, below. An “S” person places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, and dependability, doesn’t like to be rushed and behaviorally shows a calm, supportive manner. A “C” person places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise and competency, enjoys independence, exhibits objective reasoning, wants details, and fears being wrong.

An “i” person (for influence), “is all about enthusiasm and collaboration,” Irish-Jones says. “So, you would want to have people all around you and to work with lots of people.

“Someone who is a C, who is conscientious, who is really into accuracy and stability—they might want to work alone,” Irish-Jones says. “It makes you very aware of different styles, how people operate.”

Irish-Jones says she particularly values a feature that compares co-workers’ assessments and issues a report that shows “how you guys work well together, where you might have some conflict.”

About herself, Irish-Jones found that the assessment confirmed some things she knew and alerted her to other aspects of her workplace persona: “I don’t like detail. I know that. That’s not great in all situations, but I want things to be fast, I want things to move fast.”

The DiSC website says the program provides “a common language that people can use to better understand themselves and adapt their behaviors with others—within a work team, a sales relationship, a leadership position, or other relationships.”—Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett is the editor of Fuel Oil News

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