I know, know, know my ability to think on my feet has gotten me out of multiple jams. I’m a trainer and consultant—and since sometimes people expect you to have all the answer all the time—thinking on my feet is a huge bonus in making my life easier.
I had just picked up a rental car—brand new Grand Prix. I looked at the trip mileage and noticed it was 11. There was still glue on the window from stickers they had ripped off. It wasn’t until I was cruising across the Bay Bridge did I realize that it wasn’t just the trip but that the trip and total mileage were the same. I was driving the newest car I had ever driven. And I was taking this baby on eastbound 80 to the 5 where the speed limit is posted at 70 so I set the cruise to 80. Good music jamming, my trusty Snapple diet raspberry ice tea on the console, sun shining—all was well. As I pulled onto the two lane road to make my way to Chico driving 55 was feeling very slow. When I saw the CHP pass me, I actually saw him flip around to come get me, dust flying everywhere. There was another car behind me and now the three of us were playing a little game of follow the leader. I was much slower leader now! After a couple of miles, the car behind me turned and went his merry way and it was just me and the statey. Then I took a bold move and pulled over. There was a nice open space, plenty of room. And, funny, the statey pulled over too. What a coincidence. No lights, no sirens, no mess.
He approached the car with the traditional “license and registration.” My hand was shaking so much I dropped my license when I handed it to him through the window. He was tall enough that I felt a breeze when he bent down to pick it up. I had received one ticket in my life to this date. A roll through stop sign at 16 years old—3 months after I had my license. He went back to his car, didn’t say anything else to me—he rocked the intimidation factor just like he had been doing for years. And the punch line—he came back to the car and we had the traditional questioning about “how fast I was going,” “was I in a hurry” and then he generously explained “I’m just going to give you a warning since you didn’t make me pull you over.”
My thinking on my feet saved me several hundred dollars. Now, you could also file my behavior or idea under “mess us when you fess up” either way, no ticket for me!
And that my friend is why I am a “C” in DISC—I’m a rule follower. I like rules. When I break them I admit it. Yet, I also have that “D” factor running around in my brain so I still might try to get out of it since I kinda like to make the rules too!
But back to the thinking on my feet—my C factor is conscientious. We love to learn, collect data and think things through. We can be slow decision makers because we want to collect more data, ask more questions and come back to the decision later when we are fully prepared to make the best decision we won’t regret. Yet, we also have access to a lot of information and ideas. My strength is my ability to access the right information at the right time. Tell the best anecdote at a party, come up with the best example to illustrate an answer to a learner’s question and, of course, to try to get out of a ticket now and then.
You know that feeling? You start talking to someone and it’s so easy—you like them, they like you, you kinda feel like you already know them. Since determining a past life connection might be challenging—let’s just look at behavior.
Did you use the same amount of body language? Talk in a similar speed, similar tone? Respond in a similar way? Good chance you might have a similar personality. Call it DISC or a variety of other tools, we have William Moulton Marston to thank for his research from the late 20’s. Each of the factors exist in all of us. And we can behave differently at home or at work—yet there is a lead factor that comes out most of the time. It’s not good or bad—it’s just who you are and “how” you behave. Not why—but just your observable behaviors.
And this is one of the reasons why some people make you a little nutty at work and you flock to work on projects with others. This is why sometimes you grow impatient with people droning on about details while others ask questions to get even more information. This might be why you and your spouse drive each other crazy with a simple question of “where should we go to dinner?”
D-Place on the corner.
I—Let’s go to the corner place, I just love it!
S—I don’t know, where would you like to go, the corner maybe?
C—I just read a review of the corner place and they have some great specials tonight.
Sound familiar? Like conversations you have had all your life? Well you probably have because these behaviors have been yours since you were very young.
Why do you care? Because you want more conversations to click—because you want to be heard and understood. If you understand the lead factor of who you are speaking to, you can change how you communicate with them for a better resolution—a better sale, a better conversation and a better relationship. Who doesn’t want that?