Claps & Traps
Many of my clients are in the construction industry and I am grateful for them and the road projects they’ve completed this season. I do a lot of road travel also and have been entertained by driver behaviors because I coach behaviors.
As the proverb goes, “No good deed goes unpunished.” Construction professionals are in harm’s way, have extreme deadlines and faced labor shortages this season based on high spending for road projects. And yet a day in the life of a construction professional means they’ll face a range of driver behaviors that lower the progress.
DiSC to the Rescue
I talk a lot about the DiSC Behavioral Profile. It’s an excellent tool for building self-awareness and increasing personal effectiveness. The tool itself is simple with a series of responses revealing your unique behavioral style: your tendencies, needs, preferred environment, etc. Armed with this knowledge, you can begin to adjust your behavior to improve your interactions with others and increase your satisfaction, both personally and professionally.
The four categories of DiSC are: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. I find it’s easiest to remember the differences between the styles by assigning each category to a character who fits the profile.
“D” Behavioral Profile
A “D” driver rides the bumper of the car ahead, speeds through or rolls down the window to chat up the road crew about what’s going on and how to get it done faster. For example, when I think of a classic “D”, I picture Jon Hamm’s character, Don Draper, on Mad Men. A “D” is confident, decisive, direct and aggressive. He or she can also be egocentric and demanding.
“I” Behavioral Profile
An “I” driver wants a win-win, feels they’d give up a week’s worth of travel if the crew could work 24 hours a day to get the work done . An “I” can be equally persuasive, but the approach tends to be kinder and gentler. Oprah Winfrey is a good example of an “Influencer.” At the height of her talk show days, she had mastered her behaviors and could charm interviews out of some of the most notoriously “private” public figures. Other adjectives used to describe a classic “I” include: enthusiastic, emotional, poised, sociable, generous and observing.
“S” Behavioral Profile
An “S” driver knows they have to accept the situation for what it is, believes they should be thankful for the repairs, allows others to pass while drivers ahead are honking furiously. The “S” personality is someone who tends to avoid aggressive situations or conflict. This type of person is amiable, consistent, deliberate, cooperative, patient and loyal. Former First Lady Laura Bush is a good example of a classic “S”.
“C” Behavioral Profile
A “C” driver is stressed out, fidgeting, drumming fingers on the dashboard and checking their watch because they’re going to be late. The “C” is positive they read a sign with a date that the work should have been completed already. A “C” adheres to rules and standards, concentrates on details, thinks analytically, and is generally diplomatic. There are two beloved television characters who epitomize the “C” behavioral profile: Sheldon from Big Bang Theory and Spock from Star Trek. A “C” adheres to rules and standards, concentrates on details, thinks analytically, and is generally diplomatic.
Better Roads Ahead
To the construction professionals on the job, thank you for all you’re doing to get us through construction season. To the drivers, give it some thought on how you’ll react to support the progress the construction professionals are making. Last time I was gridlocked, I rolled down the window and said, “Thanks for all you’re doing man.”