71 - Employee Love Languages

Updated: Nov 9

Are you an owl or an eagle? Do you love data? Decisions? Turns out, we communicate professionally with similar styles to how we give or receive love personally. Tyson and Alexa are enthralled by Erich Kurschat, DISC expert and CEO of Harmony Insights, and the many tools you can use to help better see, hear and understand other people. Spoiler alert - Tyson and Alexa’s communication style, no surprise, has no chill.



Listen here.




Alexa

What's up, Tyson?



Tyson

Not too much. I feel like I'm like, really overcaffeinated. Like, you know, when you you have like, your regular coffee and then, like, you wait a bit and then you, like, you're like, okay, I think I could, like, have like one more of, like, the usual. And then it's just like you're like you're.



Alexa

Shaking.



Tyson

Vibrating, like, a little bit manic. So that's where I'm at today. So that's going to be fun.



Alexa

Nice man. Tyson, I can't wait. This is exciting for us. Cool. Yeah, I sometimes have that issue because I don't typically eat breakfast, so I get like, I like. And this morning, I've gone for a run and I haven't eaten. And so, like, my hands are cold and I've had too much coffee, and so I get good I guess I don't have the like, I feel like I'm bouncing off the walls.



Alexa

Like Tigger. Overcaffeinated, though. No physical.



Tyson

It's like it's like you can, like, feel like your heart pumping. Yeah. You're pretty sure you hear my heart pumping right now. Yeah.



Alexa

Nice.



Tyson

Man. I also added like this, like Starbucks pumpkin spice creamer, which, like, is pretty much, like, liquid poisonous.



Alexa

That has to have sugar in it. Yeah, it's.



Tyson

It's it's just the worst shit for you, honestly. But, you know, so lovey.



Alexa

Yeah, creamer is usually never.



Tyson

And I never. It's like my one thing is just like this pumpkin. Spice. I only drink at this time of year, but usually I never drink, like, sugary coffee. But I get.



Alexa

In your fall back on. I love it.



Tyson

Got you got to.



Alexa

You got to. All right, well, while you're while you're caffeinated over there or decaf anything. Let me remind everyone that today's episode is brought to you by our listener community. The people of society join our community to use the forum for peer feedback. Download Awesome Resources Written and shared by your peers and get access to free courses, all included usually called people problems at people op society dot com to get 20% off your membership again, use the code people problems at people OP Society dot com to join our community and please make sure to follow us on all things social and people problems.



Alexa

Pod at H.R. Shook and at the influencer spelled with an h r you can follow us on YouTube and sorry, you can follow us on YouTube and obviously make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter. People Problems at People Problems Pod Dot com. In addition, we're going to be announcing in our next episode that we are starting a hotline.



Tyson

Tyson Oh that gives me such like a nineties vibe.



Alexa

I know it's it's very nice.



Tyson

Super nostalgic, but.



Alexa

It's also like I've just like, I feel like all our stories are better said in spoken word than in like text or writing or DM. Like you just get so much more color and obviously it's anonymous. It will be an anonymous hotline but have had enough people indicate the intention of, of giving us stories that the hotline has to happen.



Alexa

So yeah, hotline bling or hotline bling starting next episode. Yeah. Keep keep your ears peered. Peeled. Yeah. Ears peeled for yeah. The people problems hotline where you can tell us all your crazy shit anonymously for future episodes.



Tyson

So fun.



Alexa

Yeah. All right. I'm going to twist in the news because we haven't done it in the news in a while.



Alexa

This week's story is a New York Times article that came out saying companies are hoarding work card companies, hoarding workers could be good news for the economy. So long story short, the article basically references that there are parts of the world where currently as of this recording, the unemployment rate here in the United States is at 3.5%. We just added a bunch of jobs.



Alexa

The jobs reports are strong. Obviously, people are anticipating a recession and that that will change. But this article references that a fair amount of small businesses and largely sort of I'd say mid-market businesses are actually hoarding workers because it's been so hard to find labor and that the turnover rates are still lagging. Basically, the labor market a bit.



Alexa

And so, you know, there's a couple different opinions here about like, is this good, is this not good? Should you, like, be keeping people even if they are poor performers? And sort of the implication of that. But it is interesting to think about companies, quote unquote, hoarding workers. What do you think, Tyson?



Tyson

Yeah, I guess like my brain is just exploding a little bit with this like juxtaposition of having like a great resignation that it's like very tightly followed by this pending supposed recession that I understand your president doesn't believe is happening. I'm pretty sure my prime minister is encouraging. But anyways, politics aside.



Alexa

Yeah, I definitely don't trust politicians with the economy.



Tyson

So no one for sure.



Tyson

But anyways, so we've got this like we're stuck in this like weird gray space in the middle right now where people are like, okay, like there's still this remnants. Like, as to the article, I'm guessing this remnants of the Great Recession still happening. Turn over if turnover is still high. I don't know if I'm seeing that necessarily, but like if that's sort of like generally what the people are saying, but then it's also like, oh shit.



Tyson

Like so we don't lose people but also like we could be in a position where we have to make adjustments because of the economy. I just think it's like a really interesting time right now and I think people are just kind of like sitting tight and seeing what's what's happening. And I think the best thing that people can do in this situation is just not to make any rash decisions, of course, and just to make sure that every decision is made with like thought and intent.



Tyson

So you mentioned they're like holding onto poor performers. I don't think it's ever a good idea regardless, but just things like that, like really, really, really thinking through any sort of like mass hiring or mass firing is just, you know, if we want to just kind of like wait and see. And maybe that's what this article is getting out is people it's maybe not hoarding so to speak, but it's like, okay, let's just pause.



Alexa

Yeah. Let's just let's idle.



Tyson

Let's just chill a hot check before we make it. Yeah, I think it's.



Alexa

Good. Yeah. I also think, you know, as with all things, there are nuances to this conversation, which is like these are largely a lot of the examples in the article are largely like service based industries. Where people can be very hard to find, people can be very hard to keep, you know, and so before, to your point, you go let go of a bunch of workers because you're anticipating like a seasonal change or something you might want to to remember the last time that you had to hire those people back.



Alexa

It was not as easy. It was it took longer and it was more expensive. Right. Or that on average, if you have ten workers and the current resignation, you know, continues, you're going to lose three or four of those workers no matter what you do. So rather than doing it ahead of time, you may just sort of let that attrition happen naturally.



Alexa

So, yeah, I think it's it's just I think nice for people to take. And I realize that you're not really allowed to do this in business. It's, it's, it's taboo, but like you're not allowed to take a breath and pause and say, hold on a second. Before we, you know, hire fire, etc. like, let's see where the tectonic plates underneath us are going.



Alexa

And so in a way, I think it's interesting it's also, again, I think very industry driven. So it really depends what industry you're in that these things can be harder or more you know, more possible to hard workers. Right. So it's it's, it's interesting. It's worth a read, but also you're like, yeah, where that where the fuck are we all going?



Alexa

Where are we going? What's going to happen in the next six months? All I know is that it'll make for interesting podcasts.



Tyson

I think I should consult my tarot cards exactly.



Alexa

We have to do it. We have to do a tarot episode. We've talked about this just crystals and tarot just to make sure everyone knows you're you're sufficiently.



Tyson

Reading the ocean you can count on these days. Okay.



Alexa

Is that Tyson believes in tarot and crystals? Yep. That's the only thing I count on. The only truth in this world is Tyson's love of crystals and tarot. All right, the other thing we love hearing people problems is having guests. So I'm going to take this opportunity to introduce our guest. Our guest today is Eric Kearsarge. He is the owner of Harmony Insights and the founder of H.



Alexa

R Hotseat. Eric is a credited actor on IMDB. You can't wait to hear more about that and occasional backup singer for Josh Groban and a two time Chicago marathoner. He also builds our community, helps individuals and organizations leverage the DISC personality assessment. And he believes in the power of meaningful connection to shape lives and transform careers. Eric, thank you so much for being here.



Erich

Thank you for having me. I'm really excited. I've been listening to your conversation. I'm excited to dove into all of this.



Alexa

Any any any immediate thoughts, anything you just, like, can't wait to say.



Erich

Well, I mean, given the work that I do around personality styles, what I'm seeing is companies attempting to be a little bit more intentional about having the right people in the right place. You know, so as we're trying to engage employees and, you know, the ping pong tables aren't working the way that they used to in terms of building culture and engagement.



Erich

You know, I was just with an organization earlier this week that talked about, you know, is it possible that we have the wrong you know, how is it the people on the right bus but maybe in the wrong seats, you know, so if we get if we leave them in the wrong seats, eventually they're going to say, you know what, I think I might pick up my things and leave because I might have a better fit elsewhere, a better opportunity elsewhere.



Erich

But if we get people in the right seats based on their communication and personality, style, for example, or the environments in which they do their best work, you know, maybe we can hold on to some of these folks a little bit longer. And I don't think it takes a pandemic to ask that question. But I think for a lot of optimizations, they've they've had to get really creative about how they're engaging and keeping the talent that they want to have around.



Alexa

Yeah, right. People right Right role. Right reason. That's yeah. That's what we talk about around H.R..



Tyson

Yeah.



Alexa

That's a super man. That's all it is. People want something big. Like, you know, we just had a brainstorm recently with a pops member of is trying to talk about how to roll out, like, more professional development in their organization. It was like you guys are doing a lot of stuff. Like this isn't about more process or more meetings or more like is this just about sitting down with your managers and making sure that they know how to talk to their people about like, you know, and what's interesting and that they're like teaching people.



Alexa

And it's just so funny that people forget they try to overcomplicate all this stuff and it's like, it's not it's the right people in the right in the right places for the right reasons. So you mentioned people. Go ahead.



Erich

There's a lot worth considering, but I think a lot of it just comes down to opening up lines of communication. And so much can be accomplished just by doing that alone.



Alexa

Yes. Well, it's it's fascinating because in that conversation we were talking about like how engineers manage versus how some of us less technical humans manage But you mentioned DISC and I know you are an expert in the field and Tyson and I mean this in the most loving way possible is not familiar with DISC. So today, we get to teach Tyson and the rest of the world about DISC assessments.



Alexa

So, Eric, do do us a favor just to set the stage here for a much larger conversation. Give everyone a little bit of the overview of DISC and then how it is a helpful, you know, basically the overview of how it is a helpful tool and what it is used for. Please.



Erich

DISC is one of the more popular personality slash behavioral assessments out there. And some people refer to it as personality, some in terms of behavior. You know, I don't get particular about that. But it certainly is an assessment. It's not a test. As soon as somebody calls it a test, I jump in an incorrect and there's no right or wrong when it comes to this stuff.



Erich

It's a common language for helping us understand ourselves and other people, helping us do our best work and and connecting really meaningfully with our stakeholders at any level. In a nutshell, that's that's what this helps us do a lot.



Alexa

And so when so let's tell people a little bit about the format of DISC. So some other and they're not necessarily comparables. I realize all these assessments do different things, but Myers-Briggs, there's what's the other one? There's something called is it Ocean? I don't know. There's so many there's so many, but there's some well-known ones. But let's explain to everyone what the DSC actually stands for.



Erich

Sure. So DISC is made up of four primary styles the US and C.D. is dominance very direct and decisive and competitive and time sensitive. You know, they feel they're a value to the world if they achieve if they make progress. AI is influencing very actively paced like the DX or dominant style. But now we're more focused on people rather than tasks.



Erich

So we're valuing relationships and we're energetic and we're optimistic in sort of the cheerleaders of the group. And we're a value if we're like, you know, if we're social beings, if we're well networked, the or steadiness style is still focused on people. But instead of being actively paced like the influencing style, now we're dialed back a little bit.



Erich

We're more relaxed we are really good listeners and accommodating and feel that we're a value if we are first and foremost of service to other people, somewhat conflict averse, some would say change averse. And I've heard people who prefer this style say we're not change averse, we just we're systematic. We want to know that there's something in place to get us from point A to point B.



Erich

And then lastly, the C or conscientiousness style is a value to the world if they're right, if they're accurate. So sort of buttoned up kind of corporate about things T's crossed and I's dotted. They might feel that there's there's no real place for emotion in the workplace because they they speak a language of logic and black and white like the dominant style.



Erich

We're a mixture of all four styles. We gravitate toward one or two, primarily, sometimes three. But what I love about this, because it reminds us we have some agency that we can choose a communication style in any given moment that's going to be beneficial to us and our stakeholders.



Alexa

I am a high D high. I I know that's not going to come as a shock to anyone. I wish I was a high I. S I think I think that would be my preference. But I don't you know, I well, maybe it's possible to to move those things.



Tyson

I feel like I resonate with that, though. The I'm also driving.



Alexa

Yeah. You and I are very similar to. Yeah. For better or for worse. Yeah. Which I'm sure everyone who listens to this knows. But it's interesting because when I took this Eric, I, I took this assessment in a training, this was many, many years ago where the instructor and the teacher first and foremost, they, I'm sure you see this a lot.



Alexa

They did the thing were they, they changed the decency to like different bird types. So it was like you were an owl or an eagle or a parrot or I don't remember what they were.



Erich

It's just a different brand of.



Alexa

Yeah, it's just a way of like giving it personality, I think. And but what I found was that it was actually really helpful once we sat down and thought about it, not only just what are you, but what are what are your colleagues? So you say, oh, you know, I didn't you know, Matts actually got a, you know, kind of a bit of like seeing him, which would explain why he and I get into it so often.



Alexa

But he's coming at it from like a much more technical point of view than I am so like now I just know that, and now I'm like, Oh, this isn't you being a dick. This is just you. This is just how you communicate. Like, you need to convey that you're right about this and I'm just trying to make decisions, right?



Alexa

So I actually it's a really helpful tool in just like giving people like, oh, here's the tools everybody's working with. Like, now you can interpret people's communication, not personally or just interpret it at all. And so I found it to be very helpful. I'm curious how before we go more into like how it's beneficial and why it's interesting and what people realize with that is how did you get into this?



Alexa

Like how does one become a DISC expert and why?



Erich

I mean, the way so many people get into so many things, especially when you talk about H.R. and talent acquisition and you get so many people saying, I kind of fell into it and I was a psychology major in school. So you know, I graduate from college. I end up in a H.R. assistant role with a restaurant company here based here in Chicago, and I'm doing generalist things.



Erich

I stayed there for a total of six years altogether, and along the way, sort of picked up, as one does, the desk personality assessment as one of the things that I would facilitate and now I'm just going to play my own cards. I'm on the introverted side of things. And so when my boss came to me and said, Hey, you know, you have an interest in this, I would love for you to facilitate DISC to up to 70 new managers and chefs that at a given time I nearly crawled under my desk.



Tyson

It was.



Erich

It was a little nerve wracking for me, but I was just passionate enough about this topic that I, I really took to it. And needless to say now, you know, have stepped out of that corporate role and have built a business around desk. But it's something that, that kind of fell into my lap and I just, I didn't turn back, I fell in love with it.



Erich

And, you know, even now after 16 years, I still get just as excited talking about desk as I did the first day that I happened upon the model.



Tyson

You know what I find so interesting about I'm just going to double click on something you said. It's so interesting about people like calling themselves introvert or extrovert. And I know that this isn't necessarily like a desk thing, but I think that artists like I used to always think I was an extrovert because I, you know, I like to talk to people that I know, whatever.



Tyson

But like as I've gotten older, it's very, very clear to me how introverted I actually am and where I DISCovered this was, I guess like the explanation of introvert is actually where you're getting energy.



Alexa

Energy. Yeah.



Tyson

So it's like, do you get energy when you're sort of like alone or do you get energy when when you're with other people? And I'm like, oh, my of being with other people just absolutely exhausts me. So like, yes, I can present like an extrovert and I can get up on the mic or like find a group of people work the room.



Tyson

But at the end of the day, I need like downtime to like, you know, recharge So it's interesting with like some of these things and I don't know if this is like I like something about like personality test where we kind of say like oh, I'm this and we're kind of like putting ourselves into a box and like we have this expectation or what is that self-fulfilling prophecy or something?



Tyson

Something like that. Anyways, so maybe we'll talk about this a little bit more, but like I'm interested a bit about that as well, like putting people into boxes with these types of things.



Erich

So we could park in this whole introversion because I do a lot of speaking on the topic of introversion. So we could, we could spend some time here if you want, but I like your latter.



Alexa

Activity about being an introvert as, as an introvert. Got it.



Tyson

Yes, I think it's a distributed introvert.



Erich

I say as a sort of as an aside to that. Susan Kane, who wrote the book Quiet, which is one of the two best books I've read on the topic of Introversion, was on Work-Life, I think the Work Life podcast with Adam Grant and she was saying, you know, one of the most common misconception among about introverts is that they don't get energized by being with people, you know, that we all get energy in some way by being with other people.



Erich

I have found personally, Eric has found recently that I used to use that same definition. It's about where we get our energy, and I have now gravitated toward a slightly different different definition, which Adam Grant also espouses, which has more to do with what you do with stimulation, how you're impacted by stimulation. I think James clears his name, who wrote the book Atomic Habits, talks about how even in the nursery, when babies are born in the hospital, when a loud sound is played, those babies who end up identifying as extroverts later in life will turn toward that sound.



Erich

The babies who later in life identify with being on the introverted side of things will turn away from it. And I like that stimulation piece and that stimulation definition because when we're focused on where we get our energy, to say, Well, I don't get my energy from other people isn't entirely true, I do, but I'm going to want a more intimate conversation.



Erich

You know, I will get much I will get quite a bit of energy from this DISCussion. But similar to you, Tyson, if I'm thrown in a room with 100 people that I don't know, you know, or maybe a hundred people I do know, eventually either going to run screaming from the room or just fall asleep.



Tyson

Yeah, that actually.



Tyson

That actually makes sense too, because like now as I'm like diagnosing myself, I'm thinking like, what I really hate about being with other people is like the small talk, right? Like the tell me something interesting about yourself. I want to keel over and dice but if I'm engaging in a conversation like what we're doing right now, we're talking about something that I'm super interested in, like, ask me to talk about H.R..



Tyson

I'll be there all day, right? That I find really engaging, really energizing. So that actually makes a lot of sense. I love I love that perspective that you've provided a.



Erich

Through line through much of the work that I do. And the reason why I started the H.R. hot seat mastermind community that I run is this idea of meaningful connection. You know, I was just tired of networking that felt superficial and transactional. I honestly don't think you have to be introverted to say that. You know, I think that people of all shapes and sizes find networking to be transactional.



Alexa

Because it's the one that most people would say is an extreme extrovert. Even though I'm not I'm actually very introverted as an extrovert. I get most of my energy and my my the stimulation I prefer is like a few people that I'm very close to, but I do like people like I went to dinner last night after working a 14 hour day with a friend and like that was recharging for me, not like exhausting, but if it had been you know, oh, let's go to like a networking function or a concert, I would have been like, Nope, too much for me.



Alexa

Yeah, yeah. So I, but I will say like it's a, it's a misconception that that is the style that people always charge into and that, that, that there's not more like of a nuanced gradient here for sure.



Erich

And there's plenty and this comes back to a point that Tyson was making. Well, first of all, but there's this term ambivalent as well. And this is a spectrum. It's not it's not you know, on off. There's a something fallacy. I forget what it's called, but it's not like you're either introverted or extroverted. There is a spectrum. And some people say, well, I'm ambivalent.



Erich

I'm kind of in the middle. I don't really get caught up in that. Same with DISC. And this comes back to your point, Tyson, which I think was such a good one. I don't think we should label people. I don't think we should pigeonhole folks. I mean, I think it's pretty obvious why those things are are detrimental. But I am very much a fan of language and of words and of common languages to help us have conversations.



Erich

And that's what I say in my DISC workshops. DISC is just one potential common language to help us have a vitally important conversation about who we are. And we're much more than our DISC, so we're much more than whether we are introverted or extroverted. But we need a starting point. And if your starting point is DISC, fantastic. If it is, you know, the latest quiz going around Facebook or your.



Alexa

Star sign, are you or.



Erich

Your or.



Alexa

Your any Graham or you're I mean, there's 800 different ways to talk about different things.



Erich

Which Game of Thrones character.



Tyson

Yes.



Erich

Whatever it is, if it leads to meaningful conversation about who we are and how we do our best work, I'm all for it. Yeah. Just don't assume that it's valid and reliable as a scientific tool. If you're finding it on Facebook, because it probably.



Alexa

Also that also that that.



Erich

Aside, you know, anything can work.



Tyson

I definitely need a natal chart personally. I need to know what time you were born when you were born and where you were born. So you properly have a communication and good communication.



Alexa

I will say I find most of that to be who he and I really love to tease Tyson about it as people know, but I also think it is helpful because, you know, do I do I believe in the astrology charts? I don't know I have no idea if I actually believe in it. I am a textbook, Leo, based on every definition of it I've ever read.



Alexa

But what I do find, just to use a silly example to illustrate your point, Eric, is that it can be a helpful tool in getting someone to understand what you're talking about or giving someone like a multidimensional tool that is easier than saying I am this one thing. It's it's these tools allow people to communicate in saying I am a part of a multi-dimensional thing.



Alexa

And here's where I fall in it or where I identify with it. So what I'm trying to tell you is that I fall on this part of the spectrum, right? Or I hold these traits very dear, or I have this kind of communication style. Therefore, I struggle with this other one, right? They're trying to give you context because they're these are all multidimensional assessments.



Alexa

They're also all, you know, to say you are a Leo or to say you are a Virgo is to assume like 30 different things about a person none of which are all true for anyone, regardless of what their star sign is. But, you know, same thing with DISC. I'm not all DH and all I like. Everyone has an SNC, right?



Alexa

And so it gives you it's kind of like a layered way of communicating and giving people context that I think it helps lessen the intensity and the unforgiving ness of things like I'm an extrovert or I'm an introvert, which can be really harsh to people.



Erich

I think that's a wonderful point and that's baked into the language of dance. You know, we say that we prefer one or another styles. As soon as you say I am a C, which I might prefer the C style, I'm I'm putting myself in a corner and it's a crutch. It's like, Well, I'm not capable of stepping outside of my comfort zone.



Erich

I'm incapable of connecting with you or leading you or selling to you or influencing you because I'm showing up with this particular style. And that's just that's that's a fixed mindset. You know, there's no growth there. And so the language we use is why I prefer this style limiting belief. Yeah. Yeah, I prefer this style. And I am just as capable as capable of anybody else at adapting or flexing, you know, I can yes.



Erich

I my comfort zone tends to be that of someone who identifies as being introverted. But I have so much to learn from you know, my extroverted friends, I may not become extroverted myself, but, you know, I can adapt in ways that I learn things about about me. And about you that benefit both of us and certainly benefit our relationship.



Alexa

What are some examples? Sorry, just just before you go, we get into that, like, what are some examples of people like recognizing that maybe more common workplace examples are helpful, like where this these assessments are like, oh, yeah. Oh, okay, I can do this better. Oh, I can learn from you like what, what's, what's like some examples of how this gets implemented.



Erich

The first thing that comes to mind, because I've been working with a lot of sales teams, is there are some folks that shy away from the sales word and they say, Well, I don't I don't know if I like.



Alexa

A dirty word.



Erich

A Yeah, I'm not sure which it isn't. I mean, it's not a negative thing, but some people just have their connotations and maybe they've had a poor experience buying a used car. I don't know what it's Carvana.



Alexa

No, humans are not oh.



Erich

So there's you can make an assumption that, okay, you know, in order to be good at sales, to thrive at sales, you have to show up with that influencing style where you're very actively paced and focused on people in relationships and energetic and can talk a million miles a minute. And if that's your perception of sales, I can understand why some people may be turned off by that.



Erich

Well, as it turns out, all four styles can sell in different ways. So DISC then as a model says, All right, well, what if you show up with that ESP style? So you're still people focused, but you're not as actively paced. You're a better listener. Well, I might want you then selling a multimillion dollar service over the course of five years, nurturing that relationship, because that's what you do, is you nurture relationships over time and you're very steady in terms of how you go about your work if I need to close the deal very quickly, I'm going to want somebody who's in that that D or dominant style comfort zone.



Erich

If I want a salesperson who's going to make sure that all T's are crossed and I's are dotted, I'm certainly going to call on somebody who's going to prefer that C or conscientious in the style because there's no room for error in how we're presenting this the sale. So that's just one example, I think, of where someone comes in and says, Well, jeez, I can't do that because I'm not fill in the blank.



Erich

And then DISC reminds you, as it turns out, we each bring different strengths to, in this case, a sales role that can be beneficial.



Tyson

I think that's super important to just going back to, I think what Alexa was talking about at the beginning of this conversation and doing an exercise like this with a team and learning about one another because you can see, yeah, I know we're not all the same. We each have like different strengths and this is where we can sort of work together to, you know, push a project over the finish line or that sort of thing, or even as a leader to their, their direct reports.



Tyson

Like I need to sort of work with this person in a very specific way, based on their styles. And I think you would mentioned like there's no style. It's not like we're all aiming to be, you know, this exact, you know, combination of deceit, right? So it's that we're all sort of different and like how to like work within that.



Tyson

But on top of that, I want to I want to just like play a little bit of devil's advocate. So you mentioned now about, okay, if you want this type of job done, you're going to want this type of person using this as a recruitment tool. Hmm. Let's talk about that. Is it recommended? Can I give all my candidates a personality test.



Erich

You two are making?



Tyson

Like, I know they do.



Erich

Fantastic. Points. And this is a great question. And as it turns out, this is not a predictive assessment. There are some assessments out there that do predict performance in a role. I'm an authorized partner for Wiley. They're the world's leading publisher of risk materials, and their brand is called Everything Desk, and it is not validated for recruiting for a couple of reasons.



Erich

Well, I mean, primarily I wouldn't say primarily one of the reasons is that it is it is very easy to answer questions in very inauthentic ways. So if I think, you know, Tyson is hiring me for a position and tired Tyson values relationships, I don't necessarily, but I'm going to answer the questions in such a way that Tyson believes that I value a relationship because that.


Alexa

Might be applying for a multimillion dollar enterprise sales role. And I know that it lends itself to needing high, you know, essays or whatever we decided I'm going to answer this test accordingly. That's yeah, I didn't thought of that.



Erich

So then on the from the perspective of the employer, then I'm getting information that I can't do anything with. So where I'm advising companies is to say don't use it for the recruiting process. There are other assessments out there on the market that that might be more beneficial to you. But certainly when the hiring decision has been made during the onboarding process and thereafter for ongoing professional development, you say to your team members it only benefits you to answer to be authentic in how you answer the questions, because we're trying to set you up to do your best work, connect you with your colleagues, you know, position you in all ways to do well with our



Erich

organization. And then that's when I think this really comes to life. So if you're going to use any assessment for the recruiting or selection process, it's going to be one probably that that is validated for being more predictive of performance.



Tyson

That's a really good point. Especially like again, like making it very clear to people like the purpose of the tool so that they are truthful, right? Like this is not like we're not going to look at this when we're doing the next round of promotions. And look, we're only going to take the IDs for promotions. Right?



Alexa

Right. The things that's nice about DISC is, at least in my experience, within Eric stepping in, if I'm wrong here, is there is no there is no right style. You just are. And so it's not there's perception.



Tyson

Right?



Tyson

Yeah.



Alexa

I mean, people.



Tyson

Have perceptions of what their lifestyle could be for the role. For the role.



Alexa

Sure. But I think to Eric's point, it's more these tools. And I actually think and when we talk about management and coaching and a lot of the things we talk about with our community and other other people is like, this stuff only matters if your intention is to figure out how to work well together. Right. So the point of doing a risk assessment with your team is not to be like, oh, I got to get rid of all the eyes, or I got to get rid of all the ads, right?



Alexa

Because I don't personally like working with these. They make me uncomfortable. No, the answer is to say, like, I'm building a team and my roster is like very heavy with this particular type or is very is very diverse. So when there is conflict or when there is a lack of communication in the team, I could I could look at something like our DISCs and say, oh, I understand why my team struggles with you know, maybe maybe we you know, we struggle with like terse communications or, you know, what is perceived as ego.



Alexa

And it's like, no, you've just got CS and DS sitting across the table. From each other all day and it's driving everyone crazy. So like, we need to be more aware of how we communicate with each other, right? Like, that's where I think this stuff becomes really helpful, is it's basically a way of saying Okay, I've got another tool to understand how to make us work better together because I understand more layers of my team.



Erich

Yes, it is it's encouraging curiosity. It's encouraging to step away from seeing differences as bad, you know, and having an idea of myself. I love that this is all about diversity. I mean, this is cognitive diversity. So when companies spend so much time focused on the aspects of diversity, valuable, valuable though they are, that are more easily quantified.



Erich

You know, now I'm showing up with this language of cognitive diversity that says, well, a lot of a lot of what makes you unique is not easily seen, you know, is it is more behavior based is how you prefer to communicate with the world and how you tackle challenges and how you solve problems. And those things are harder to get into a spreadsheet.



Erich

So let's sit down and have an open, honest conversation about you know, how we view our strengths and what we bring to the table. Maybe we don't even know what that is because honestly, so many people out there, you know, copy and paste from other people's resumes to put together their own, because this work of introspection can be so difficult, you know, but.



Alexa

Just very self-reflective, full stop like in life in general, like.



Erich

And then all of a sudden you take an assessment which is like looking in a mirror and you're like, Oh, I like these things. Oh, I don't like this thing. So it's not true. And it's like, well, that thing may be just as true as these other things that you like, but because it's less flattering, that is probably where you should spend your most time.



Erich

You know, the fact that you see yourself as confident out, but then you show up to a conversation and you're perceived as arrogant like that is that is really important that you dig in for purposes of your future career and the people you know the best to the benefit of the people that you're leading. You need to be aware of those perceptions.



Alexa

Yeah. And you, you have to be aware that like there is a, there is a, there is a second side of every coin, right? So I think sometimes people forget that like. Yes. Oh, like I'm a really sensitive person. Like, that's really good for a lot of reasons. There's also a lot of downsides to being insanely sensitive, right?



Alexa

Like there just are like, you can't have it all. You have to like there are downsides to being the loud, confident one in the room in that sometimes people will think you are arrogant or boisterous or a bulldozer. And if you're not aware of both sides of the coin, you can't master the benefit and the positivity of the things that you find is strengths.



Tyson

But that's because that would require people to have.



Tyson

Their.



Alexa

Which a lot of people lack. Yeah.



Erich

There's the flip side of the coin in terms of perception, and you're making a great point about that, but there's also the flip side of the coin in terms of every strength being a potential limitation that not only in terms of that perception, but I'll give you a Real-Life Example. I bring analysis is a strength of mine. I'm very analytical, given my own DISC style, which benefits me in countless ways.



Erich

It does not benefit me when I move into a new home, as I did however many years ago when I was in the South Loop of Chicago and needed chairs to sit on at my island in the kitchen and went an embarrassing amount of time without chairs because I could not pick the perfect chairs. I felt like I had not done enough research and that anything that I was to decide on I would just eventually regret.



Erich

Every time I saw it, I would say I settled for this. And so instead of just buying something to sit on, I had nothing to sit on. That's an example of a strength getting in my way. And so I may not be able to to put that into words without a common language, without a language, to show up and say, Okay, let's talk about your strengths, but then let's also put some perspective around the extent to which these strengths could be working against you, either in terms of how you put them out into the world or how you're perceived by other folks.



Tyson

Yeah. You also have to be like going back to something you said, Alexa, about you know, like being I see myself as being confident versus like other people seeing that as arrogant. I feel like I walk like a very thin line of like that's of them problem and like I'm just going to like continue doing my thing. Maybe I need to go through the risk assessment and learn some self-reflection and.



Erich

That actually tells me a little bit about what you're about. My team.



Alexa

Does it, doesn't it?



Tyson

Yes. Why do you like you know what? Like, let's, like, stop telling little girls that they're bossy, you know, that type of thing.



Alexa

That's a whole different ball of wax. But yeah, that's right.



Tyson

Yeah.



Tyson

You know what I mean? Don't like I sometimes I mean, like us, like we also don't want to like we want to let people who are, let's say, high in the like, you know, be high and right versus like, some people who are like, maybe more.



Alexa

People like Eric need me to come in and be like, just buy this fucking set of chairs. Like, I promise you it'll be okay just by the chairs.



Tyson

Like, it's just it's just proving that, like, you you need, you need a little bit of Alexa, but you also need a lot of Eric, because if you went and bought something like just two willy nilly, then maybe it would like clash and then.



Alexa

You buy lots of things. I highly regret later.



Tyson

I the exact with the same person, just like I think Alexa, maybe we need to have a more diverse cognitive diversity on our podcast, I.



Tyson

Guess. Or I see this one.



Tyson

We have Eric here, like, honestly.



Tyson

He's literally what we're doing.



Erich

I did a workshop recently where a guy stood up and he said, one of the mantras that I live by is, is often wrong but never in doubt, which is great. Like, I love that. That's how he lives. His life. And, but, you know, you can with any mantra like that, you can get a sense of how it could get in your way at times and types to your point, you know, I've worked with leaders that say, you know, I am who I am and they're sort of unapologetic.



Erich

And they they look behind and they see a week of failed relationships and and they're okay with it, you know, and you don't sit back and.



Alexa

Effective people not being self-aware.



Erich

I also I did a workshop once. I said, was there anything in your profile that you disagree with? And a guy stood up and he said, this is I am stubborn and I am not stubborn.



Erich

That's the self-awareness piece. Yeah. But you know what? I almost did. I almost I don't know if admire is the right word, but that person who is just so confident, going through life, being who they are. Right. I there's a confidence to that.



Alexa

Because I'm a person I can.



Erich

Appreciate. At the same time, in my experience, you know, the most effective communicators, leaders, influencers out there are the ones that say to what extent is what comes naturally working to my advantage when it's working to my disadvantage? And how is that keeping me from being successful in ways that are meaningful to me? Yeah, and that's a lot of that is not rhetorical necessarily, but a lot of that is up to you to define.



Erich

And if your definition is.



Alexa

Growth, right, that's the definition of growth. And Betterment is being able to say, here's the strength or a thing that I'm good at or that I learned and here's what I can take from that to then iterate and make it better. Right? Either whether that's about yourself for a team or a situation, it's the people who go, I don't know, I'm really good at sales but I, I keep getting fired from my job, but it's like, Well, are you that good?



Tyson

Or What's.



Alexa

Right? Or like, oh yeah. Like, I don't, you know, I don't need any of this and then, you know, the wake of failed relationships and, you know, failures, etc. is like staring them in the face and they haven't looked at it. I think what's interesting about these tools to bring it back to to, to this conversation is I often find when and this is why I found the bird thing so interesting because it just seemed like an unnecessary layer at first to just make it more engaging.



Alexa

But what I think it actually does and what I think all of these assessments do is it allows people to start to tackle these things from a different angle. And so rather than having to say, Oh, I know I'm an arrogant little shit, you can label it as no part of part of that is that I am decisive and that there are benefits to being decisive.


Alexa

Right. And part of that is that I have been right. And there there is a positive aspect of influence right there is also there are also positive aspects of bad behavior and just, you know, arrogance in general. Right? But it allows people to like almost justify.


Tyson

Their arrogance.



Tyson

And not a.



Alexa

Narcissist is going to do what a narcissist does. But if you're not, let's take narcissist out of the pool for a hot second. It allows people to say this is an objective tool that there is no right or wrong. Well, let's talk about your category and see what how you jostle with, to your point, the pros and cons of that maybe being true about you, right?



Alexa

Like what you find in astrology is that people are always like, this is why I think it's so funny. It's people oh, I'm you know, I'm a Virgo or I'm a Sag. And it's like, okay, well, which of the the characteristics of that are you taking out and assigning to yourself for your own benefit? Right. Actually, like, I see I'm a textbook, Leo, and that's usually all of the good parts of being a Leo, like the center of the universe, you know, brave, courageous, attention seeking, blah, blah, blah.


Alexa

And then I'm also like, yeah, but I'm attention seeking and I'm the center of the universe. And there's like some real negatives here. But then you get to pick and choose, and then you sort of get to chew on that choice which I think helps people maybe think of themselves and their colleagues a little differently.



Alexa

You know, because they have a new language to use to your original point, Eric.



Tyson

So I feel like that's sort of the next thing. Next time you get feedback, just be like, Baby, I was born this way. Just like my actual actual likes to say is like, Yeah.


Erich

I think we start with that self-awareness piece. But Alexa, you tied it up really nicely. It's, it's it's learning more about the people that you're working with and understanding that someone so isn't just whatever language you used earlier, just the pain in the butt. They just see the world differently and that's okay. And that's actually more than okay.



Erich

That should be celebrated because that's going to allow me to do my best work because there are going to be relationships and challenges and projects that show up. And I'm just I'm not suited for I'm not interested in fill in the blank. If I know that I have Alexa on my team and she can run with that, then fantastic.


Erich

I can get out of my own way and give that to Alexa. And then Tyson shows up and, you know, brings a completely different set of strengths. Well, great. Then maybe I can delegate something that I'm not going to do as well or just don't have an interest in. Or I can be intentional about that and say, No, wait a minute, this is putting me outside of my comfort zone in a way that actually could be beneficial to me, that, you know, my if my natural inclination is to delegate it to somebody else, you know, because I'm somebody who's analytical.



Erich

This is far too big picture for me. I'm not sure that I can wrap my brain around it. Maybe that stoic philosophy has sort of the obstacle is the way the sort of mentality. But that thing that seems like it is working to your detriment.



Alexa

I'm going to really wear that, that stoic centered around my neck.


Erich

Yeah. So those Ryan holiday and all these all these books out there. But the obstacle is the way you know, maybe for me, the obstacle is this thing that threatens to push me outside of my comfort zone that I would normally distance myself from. In this case, it might be the very thing that I should be moving toward.



Alexa

Right. Or the colleague that you find frustrating that you're like, oh, that's because they come at this from this other this other angle. I wonder what it would mean if I could figure out how to like.



Erich

Yeah.



Alexa

See it this this way or work with this.



Erich

So instead of how can I close my office door on this person, how can I invite this person in, you know, and sit down in conversation and not to become them, you know, not to, you know, not to change, you know, a leopard or cheetah never changes in spots or whatever the terminology is not to become that person or to become that style, but to learn to grow more comfortable with it and adapt it.



Alexa

Broaden your two.



Erich

Aspects of that style. When it's beneficial for me to do so.



Alexa

Totally. Yeah. And I think it's really important to remember that like these are really good tools for how people see and operate in the world. The other piece that's really important that we neglect all the time in working relationships is the why people do things.



Erich

Yeah.



Alexa

So like you can have a really high D or a really high I, but you don't understand why they are that way or what they are planning to do in their lives. That's important to them. That puts you in front of them during the workday. Your your this language will fall short. You will not be able to communicate certain things.



Erich

And there is there are some y certainly built in the desk. So for example, you know, the how for me in terms of how we go about a project might be that I I'm going to be dotting my I's and crossing my Ts. You know, there's a certain behavior that you can anticipate from me. But the way that that's built into that is that I just value accuracy.



Erich

You know, I have the strong need to be right or at least not wrong about things, you know, that that a d that someone who prefers that D or dominant style, they're not going to be much about the small talk, you know, and so the how for them is going to be getting right to business and jumping into the bullet points of whatever needs to get done.



Erich

The Y for that D or dominant style might be that they value achievement and they just want so badly to make progress and need to make progress that you know, any small talk is going to get in the way of them getting things done. So you have that y built in, but we're so much more than our DISC style.



Erich

So, you know, we are the sum of our our upbringing, our morals and ethics.



Alexa

And.



Erich

Spirituality.



Alexa

Stands have made me.



Erich

Yeah. All right. So that's what Tyson said about what time of day you were born and all of that stuff. There's so much more that makes us who we are, but we need to start somewhere to better understand ourselves and other people. I happen to be a fan of DISC but there are so many different languages out there that people can.



Alexa

Use is a great tool, and I think people should be and organizations and teams should be having these conversations and learning these languages all the time, like different languages, different tools, because you just never know what's going to stick. Like I found just fascinating and really helpful. And I thought the whole exercise was very cool and I would highly recommend doing it with a team who hasn't done it before.



Alexa

But there are also other tools that you'll learn different things and different. You'll have a different language and you know, it'll resonate more with other people. And I think.



Tyson

We talk.



Alexa

About just the work we should be doing.



Tyson

Yeah, so if people if people are listening, Eric, and they're thinking, I really want to do a desk session with my team, can just anybody do DISC or like, how does that play out? How does that work?



Erich

Yeah, anybody does. I mean, most often someone comes to me and says that I feel like I have a team that could operate more effectively, that they could connect more meaningfully with one another, that they could, you know, build more trust than they currently have on the team. You know, they're struggling from recent turnover and they just need to get to know one another.



Erich

Better and appreciate the diverse preferences and tendencies that are brought to that team and the different strengths rather than seeing these things as as detrimental. And then so, you know, ask a couple of questions, you know, do you is this just sort of a one off thing? Do you want to just have a workshop? Do you really want to adopt DISC as a common language, in which case, you know, you can become certified?



Erich

There are all these these tools and resources available to you. But if you really want to embrace this, let's talk about what lens you want to have in place. Is this leadership team, for example, do you have executive leaders that you want to have this conversation with? Is it a sales team? Are you doing this with customer service?



Erich

Is it newer managers who have never been, you know, new to know? I'm sure we on occasion promote people into supervisory roles that have no supervisory skill.



Alexa

I have no idea what you're talking about. That's never happened. No.



Erich

You know, can you work this into a new manager training program? DISC is the model. How we apply it is very nuanced, and I get really excited about the strategy. Yes. I can make sure you as an organization have the ability to produce assessments. You know, we can do that till the cows come home. Where it gets fun for me.