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Episode 24 - Communication Enhancement with Behavioural Profiling


Welcome to Episode 24 

Behavioural profiling: a must in corporate teams to heighten awareness and enhance communication. Behavioural profiling can be used for good or evil. Some have chosen to weaponise it and use it to excuse their behaviour. Others have utilised it to help give context and understanding of themselves and others, and then taken it that step further to get better results.

When trained and used effectively, behavioural profiling teaches us about our energy investment, how to guess the behaviours of others and how we can tailor our communication to remove barriers, and to be clear and concise. This episode discusses the what, the why and the how of behavioural profiling, giving you a practical and easy way to implement it for yourself.

In this podcast, you'll learn:
  • The four behavioural profiles 

  • Why you instantly love some people and hate others

  • Use behavioural profiling to conserve your energy 

  • How to spot the behaviours to communicate better 

  • How to remember the tool for easy implementation and results

Episode Transcript:


EP #24


“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 24, with Rhiannon Bush


Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.


Behavioural profiling – sounds fancy right?! Well.. it is actually. It’s powerful, it’s amazing, it made my entire world make sense along with every different social environment I have in my life – work, home, family, kids, old friends, new friends. You name it, it applies.


As a leadership technique, it’s a must. As a cultural development initiative, it’s a must. As a communication enhancer, it’s a must. Why? Because behavioural profiling breaks down barriers between people by categorising certain behaviours, or characteristics (if you will). By doing some behavioural profiling work, it enables you to firstly identify those behaviours yourself in it, then apply it to those around you, to clearly see the barriers that exist between you and others that prevent you from communicating and connecting. Behavioural Profiling is an enabler. This is especially important when you have two people who display differing characteristics, and you (as a manger, leader, parent, etc.) have them working on achieving the same outcome (i.e. a project milestone, getting along as siblings, resolving arguments in relationships, I could go on but you get it).


Caveats to behavioural profiling – and there’s a few. The first is that it’s not the tool that matters in isolation. The tool must be taught by somebody who can make it relevant to the listener – to the individual, and applicable to the masses – the group, the whole. Like I’ve seen organisations implement behavioural profiling as a communication enhancer. They’ve undergone training, 1:1 debriefs and the works, but the trainer hasn’t made it applicable to individuals so participants have done the training reluctantly, rolling their eyes, and would rather have been doing their work or anything but the profiling, and then the trainer’s tried to take it that step further and make it applicable to the team. Without demonstrating the “what’s in it for you”, it can’t be applied to the masses to maximise its effectiveness and in my opinion, its brilliance. It becomes a wasted opportunity.


If the tool doesn’t resonate with you, you won’t remember it and if you can’t remember it, you won’t be able to apply it. I did Myers Briggs at university. I was taught by some stuffy academic who prided herself on having 13 degrees, and I quote “most of which were masters and a PHD from Harvard”. Yes it was all very impressive, but her people skills were awful and all I remember from her teachings was her credentials. The entire class was a in organisation psychology – a class I’m now fascinated in – so much so, that I tend to read books and study it in my own time and yet all I got from that class is.. well.. her impressive list of credentials and the total misalignment because while she was brilliant (apparently), her demeanour wasn’t. Go figure. This is why I’m saying who trains you, matters. And it’s not their credentials that matter. It’s the way they apply the teachings to make it matter to you.


So Myers Briggs. Meh. It’s probably the most utilised and widely known behavioural profiling tool out there, and I’m sure if I’d had a great trainer, I’d love it. But as it happens, I don’t remember my 16 letters. I’ve also done my VIA Strengths test, Gallup Strengths Test, my PRINT survey – that was actually pretty good. I’ve been trained in, I love, and I use Extended DISC with my clients. Why Extended.. I’m not 100% sure (I should know but off the top of my head, I believe it’s the algorithms used and the way they identify special cases that sit on the outskirts of the 4 key behavioural profiles, but it’s the best and most easily applicable tool ever, because there are 4 behavioural styles to learn and remember. That’s it. This also means that it’s something that can be implemented and retained. Easily. Which I think, for any training… ever, is really important. By the way, in case you’re wondering, I was trained as an EDISC consultant by the great Jo Wise. Shout-out to Jo, her link will be in the show notes if you want to look her up.


As a student of EDISC, I learned why my team at work was volatile… so toxic based on the behavioural profiles of the teammates, why I’d felt like such a misfit in high school, nutting out the relationship I have with my parents, why I instantly love some people and instantly dislike others, men I was or wasn’t attracted to and so much more.


Today I’m going to take you through the four EDISC quadrants, also known as the diamond, and give you examples of each behavioural style. This will enable you to recognise your own behaviours and people around you who you may want to have better communication with, address some barriers that may exist between you, get what you need from them in a more clear and succinct way, or simply understand them and why communication may be a little strained between you - so you can feel more at ease knowing that you’re not alone. When you know what drives them, you can tailor your communication to break down the barriers to connect instead of continuing to build them up because you value different things. This is why it’s so effective and how it works.


Before we dive in, the key to behavioural profiling (and cue – this is where good trainers and bad trainers differ), the key to behavioural profiling is that it is about your energy investment. What charges your battery, what drains your battery. Behavioural profiling is not designed to pigeonhole you, tell you your limitations, or say you can’t or won’t be something you want to be. That’s not the point. It’s also not designed to be used as a weapon – what do I mean? It’s not there for you to go “well I’m a ‘D’ and therefore I can be horrible to everybody around me because that’s my style and it’s just the way it is”. Ahh. No. I think not. Do not weaponize your behavioural profile. That’s not ok. That’s not affective or helpful. This is about awareness and enhancing our ability to conserve our energy because when we do that, we have the brain power to communicate strategically, conscientiously and via the path of least resistance for the purposes of getting the outcome we want. And who doesn’t want that to be easier? Imagine going to somebody you struggle to communicate with right now, and instead of getting the usual push-back you’re used to, them saying “ahh yes, sure. When would you like that by?”. Wow right!?  


When we increase our awareness, we can gain more tools to break down these barriers that exist. What EDISC taught me was that I was pretty normal. I wasn’t experiencing anything that EDISC didn’t recognise, I wasn’t anything special or experiencing anything new, miscommunication happens all the time and we’re really not that different from one another. While it was a blow to my ego, that’s just a fact. There is such a thing called special cases, and more often than not, that’s evident when the person answering the survey is going through an abnormally tumultuous time in their lives, or they’ve answered inconsistently, and in those instances, the profile can’t be produced accurately.


This work’s been done by renowned psychologists like William Moulton-Marsden, Jakka Sappinen, Carl Jung, it’s undergone (and still does), continuous improvement to make it better and it recognises over 160 behavioural styles and through logic and fancy algorithms, summarises them into 4 overarching profiles – Dominant, Influence, Steadiness, Compliance. As I talk about these four profiles, I want you to label somebody you know. Don’t label yourself in any of them, you’ll know what you are on the balance of probability. Instead, label people you know because it will help you retain the knowledge. At the end, we’ll identify which profile you think you are and then we can flesh out what happens next, ok?


EDISC has two styles – one when you’re at your most relaxed, comfortable, when you’re completely yourself and this is called your natural state. This is when you’re at home, in your jim-jams on the couch. In your natural state you are the most energetically conservative. Neutral. Calm. The second is called your adaptive state. This is at work, or in your secondary environment - another place you spend a lot of your time where there’s increased pressure and external factors that have an impact on your energy. Today we’re going to focus on your natural state and work from there, because we’re not doing your full debrief. Think about where you’re the most energetically neutral and able to conserve energy.


As we discuss these profiles, we’re going to talk about them in their pure form. Most of us will be a combination of two or three profiles. It’s rare to be strong in only one, but for the purposes of this exercise, I’m going to teach you in their pure forms. When I ask you to identify somebody you know who may fit that profile, really find somebody because it will make this exercise worthwhile. Keep trying to find somebody and even if you’re not quite sure, go with them and a better example may pop up in your mind later.


First up – D. D stands for Dominant. Dominants are big energy. When they enter a room, you know it. They are brutally honest, forthright in their opinions, and if intolerant, can be like a sledgehammer. They’re often the people in organisations who act fast, get stuff done quickly and take no prisoners along the way. This is why in Australian culture, people like this are often in high powered leading roles. They are valuable because they decide – act – decide – act and they can handle volatile environments because of their quick decision making. They can come across as assertive or even aggressive. They’re competitive, they’re about winning, they’re egotistical and they demonstrate this with physical trophies – at their house, certificates, the car they drive. It’s showy. They can be intimidating and inappropriately honest. They can come across as callous and not caring towards others. They’re stubborn, focused, strategic and they don’t appreciate detail. They want the headline and maybe one or two more sentences about it and they make quick decisions and worry about the fallout later. Think Donald Trump.


Who do you know, comes to mind?


Next we have Influencers or the I’s. I’s are talkative. The life of the party. Warm, caring, bubbly, often the nucleus of a group. They’re the friend you wouldn’t want to go to the pub without. In organisations they’re often Personal or Executive Assistants, they’re also often hairdressers. They know everything that’s going on with everybody and can talk for days. They’re inclusive, vibrant and they often break confidentiality to bond with people. They don’t hurt people maliciously or intentionally, but they will tell secrets of others in order to connect. Know anybody who sounds like this?  Think Elle Woods in Legally Blond.


Ds and Is are both more extroverted. They’ll reenergize by being around other people, they appear more outgoing and tend to speak up.


Third we have the S: Steadiness. People with a natural style of steadiness are, in my opinion, underestimated because they’re aware. I have a good friend who’s an S (I think) and he doesn’t say much. He’s very quiet. He observes. He doesn’t offer his opinion or say much, but, when he does, you can tell he’s recognised what’s going on and absorbed it. He’s thought about it and he doesn’t waste his words. When he says something, it’s quite profound because it’s accurate and well thought through. He doesn’t shoot from the hip like an I or D would, instead he bides his time and only to those who are interested in his opinion does he share it with. While I’ve never asked him, naturally steady people tend to like consistency, routine and not to be blindsided by change. They care about the group, they’re fiercely loyal and dedicated and sometimes, can step into martyrdom. They have what I call a kill switch. They have a high tolerance threshold until pushed and once pushed, there’s no coming back from that, after that point, you’re dead to them. Who do you know like this? Reserved, quiet, considered, caring, supportive, a bit more in the shadows?


Influencers and Steadiness are more people focused. They care about people and everything they do is for the purpose of looking after the group and the people around them.


S and Cs are more introverted, they prefer to isolate to conserve energy. Which brings me to forth, we have the C: Compliance. Compliance are often accountants, engineers, business analysists. They are fantastic with detail and can sit in detail for a long time. They’re highly accurate, logical, pragmatic, researched, thorough and they pride themselves in the accuracy with which they do their work. They often get so lost in the detail of what they’re doing, they can lose sight of the bigger picture and the reasons they’re doing the work they’re doing. They can be socially awkward – not always, because they care about accuracy and protocol and rules. Their ego sits around the thoroughness and diligence with which they’ve done their work so if you question it or rebut it, they often don’t take that very well - think Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory when he thought he’d made a discovery only to find he’d made a mistake (this is obviously an extreme example). But Compliance is so important for things like medicine and making chairs. If we didn’t have C’s, we wouldn’t have chairs that support our weight, let alone our posture. Who do you know who’s a C?



Cs and Ds are task and outcome focused. Their priority is to get things done.


So that’s it! 4 Behavioural Profiles. Easy huh?! Helpful?! On the balance of probability, because we’ve not done the actual survey – which do you think you are in your natural state? Now, when you think about who you’re being at work or in a different environment, especially one that you leave feeling tired, drained and uninspired, which behavioural profile are you channeling? Can you start to see that the further away from your natural profile you need to go to communicate and connect, the more energy you burn and therefore the more drained you feel?


Now, think about those people you identified as the four profiles as I was talking about them. Go back there, I hope you wrote them down. Think about your relationship with those four people. Who do you get along with most? Who do you truly resonate with? I’ll bet they’re the same profile as you unless you’re a Dominant, in which case dominants clash – like two alpha dogs. Think about the person you get along the least with. I’ll guarantee they’re a Dominant character. Take some time to make some notes on the four behavioural styles and ways you can tailor your approach to enhance your ability to communicate effectively (yes, even if they’re your senior, I know it sucks and they should listen to this podcast, but they haven’t, you have and fortunately, that means you get the additional knowledge and that this will help make your life easier) so… now you’re aware of the profiles and you can identify those around you, you have the upper hand when communicating.


What’s one key take away you’ll take from this podcast? How will you use this tool to your advantage and what is the impact it will have for you moving forward? How will you choose to communicate differently?


See you next week.




Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…


I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!



Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

Questions? Topic Ideas?

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