Give Me A Personality


People often wonder if personality and behaviour are the same, or at least intertwined. Although personality can influence behaviour, we need to view them as separate things. This allows us to address the complexity and uniqueness of human beings as well as the concepts of nature (traits you are born with) and nurture (traits that you develop based on life experience and environmental influences).

The American Psychological Association defines personality as the “individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.” Whereas behaviour is defined as the“the actions by which an organism adjusts to its environment.” So personality can encompass behaviour in some respects, however it is made up of more than just our behavioural patterns.

All about Behaviour – Profile II

Our core behavioural style is genetic (nature) and then adapted in life. Some people build on their core strengths and develop a high competency in a particular set of skills. Whereas others go down different paths that are evident in the Extended DISC® Report, displayed in the differences between Profile I and Profile II.

  • Profile II illustrates a person’s natural response to an external stimulus.
  • This is the behavioural style that takes the least energy and effort, requires the least amount of concentration, and is usually the most pleasant to the individual. It illustrates the natural reaction mode of a person and is most frequently exhibited outwardly in one’s behaviour.

Profile I

While Profile II in the Extended DISC® report best resembles the likely natural behavioural traits we are born with, Profile I (perceived need to adjust) helps us to understand the environmental influences, conditioning or expected situational needs. The report therefore shows both the nature and nurture aspects of a person from a behavioural perspective.

Our behavioural style is influenced by various factors including our biology, such as the temperature, oxygenation and speed of fluids in the brain. This helps explain why high stress situations show an apparent core shiftin a person’s normal behaviour. Under these conditions and environmental factors, blood vessels constrict and the speed of blood is affected, causing a shift in normal behavioural patterns.

  • Profile I demonstrates the individual’s conscious understanding of one’s self and own behaviour in the present situation (conscious self-image).
  • Profile I illustrates how the person feels they need to adjust their behaviour to better cope with the requirements of the present environment.

Behavioural Styles

It was Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ that suggested there was a need for at least 10,000 hours of exposure, training and experience required in a particular competency area to become a master or expert in a field. This is the demonstrated outcome of applying one’s natural gifts, and developing those to high strengths. Given our natural talents use less energy, selecting careers that align to our passions and style becomes important.

Although behavioural styles are a key indicator of performance and capabilities, it is only one element in the overall complexity of people and personality.

Personality Style

An individual’s personality is part of the summation of their dominating behavioural traits (characteristics). These traits are developed primarily based on environmental factors (values and beliefs) that heavily influenced our behavioural and communication orientations. This is why a person can be capable of doing something from a behavioural perspective, but will not take action due to the accumulation of their cultural, religion, internal rules, limiting beliefs, fears and doubts (all of which they were not born with). Our values drive everything we do, hence two people with the same DISC profile can do very different things, or respond in various ways to the same situation.

Behavioural potential indicates what we can likely do, and personality influences are more about what we choose to do. This means personality and our attitude is linked more to values and belief systems and to the person we become, than solely the behavioural competencies we develop. This is why the concept of ‘flow’ is not natural, it is based on natural behavioural traits that need to be developed and nurtured to full strength, reflected in what Malcolm Gladwell called the 10,000 hour rule. Flow is simply where a person has developed their natural talent to where they can do certain tasks faster, more efficiently and with more fun than others can.

Personality-based profiling (useful in areas such as criminology) attempts to consider the wider complexities of our conditioning and attitude, whereas behavioural profiling tends to be the best indicator to a person’s likely strengths, and action potential. Personality is less predictive, as values can shift, they are like the branch of a tree whereas beliefs are like the leaves. If you cut off the branch you lose the leaves. This why an Atheist who finds God will switch over all their associated beliefs about religion. Such a shift in values is often a result of what people call a life changing experience. They have a profound impact on our perception, whereas our behavioural traits remain the same. Behaviours are modified through environmental influences and through an individual’s level of development. What we actually do with our behaviours is a consequence of our thinking.

Trying to make a judgement on personality may be a weak indicator for coaching over behavioural profiling. Behavioural assessments identify potential and real capability, including latent talents. The important point is that everything then comes back to what we think, focus on and are interested in, that dictates what we will become consciously aware of and what actual actions we take.


Written by Todd Hutchison (Global CEO Peopleistic)

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