What motivates you isn’t the same for everyone

What about that teammate who seems so much more daring than you, or your co-worker who is infinitely more patient? While you’re driving for accuracy and stability, what if you were able to see more clearly how and why your boss always seems to be all about collaboration and providing support?

Knowing how you are similar and different from your teammates and colleagues is powerful. In fact, learning more about what motivates each of you to do what you do as you strive to achieve your individual goals can be one of the most important things you can do to set your team up for success.


Get to know more about what motivates you—and others

Keep in mind that different styles are motivated (and stressed) by different things. They communicate differently and respond differently to different workplace situations. But knowing a person’s DiSC® style will give you some strong clues about what’s driving certain behaviors. And after you’ve determined what style you’re dealing with, be ready and willing to flex your own communication preferences to meet your colleague in the middle.

Tips for Putting DiSC Style Motivators to Work

Everything DiSC Workplace is one of the most powerful tools out there to help us understand why we do what we do, why we react like we do to people with other styles, and the strategies we can put into action to help us all be more productive and successful.

So, before you and your team head into your next big initiative, here are a few thoughts to consider:

  • Remember that everyone can stretch. Just because you aren’t motivated by a particular activity doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it. When you start a project with a new group, consider the DiSC® styles of other members of the group, check out the resources available on the Integris website to learn more about the motivators for each style, and consider how your own motivators can help you find your perfect fit.


  • Consider how you can share tasks. If you’re a big-picture, hard-driving D style perhaps you might benefit from working alongside a CD-style colleague who could add an eagle eye on quality to help ensure the speedy success of your projects—without the need for do-overs. Even if you may prefer to work individually, partnering up with a teammate can share the load and provide lots of opportunities to learn from each. A different style has a lot to offer.


  • You may find your motivations morphing. Often our motivation to take on a task is based on the content of a task, not the process involved in completing that task. If you find you have a passion for a topic, don’t be surprised to find yourself taking on more and more even outside of your regular motivators.


What’s your workplace situation? How can you leverage everyone’s unique strengths and motivators? 

Try an assessment tool, like Everything DiSC Workplace, designed to help individuals and teams improve communication, work more effectively with others, and contribute productively to the health and productivity of their organizations. It’s not just an assessment, read this blog on how to keep the learning alive after a training.

So, consider the upcoming meeting you’re planning to showcase your team’s new product. You need to select someone to be the key presenter. Your fellow teammate (who happens to be an iD-style) is the one who loves being the center of attention. Wouldn’t he be the best choice to represent the team?

And given your iD teammate’s tendency to run fast, often making decisions on the fly, you may need someone to team up with him. Why not consider asking your C-style teammate—the one who emphasizes accuracy and precision, and loves creating efficient systems and procedures—to take charge of the presentation itself to ensure there are no errors or flaws?

Learn more about how you can build more effective workplace relationships. DiSC FAQs banner



Brett Cooper

Brett is the visionary President of Integris Performance Advisors, a professional development firm he co-founded to expand the existence of healthy organizations and great places to work. By creatively bringing together concepts from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (by Patrick Lencioni), The Leadership Challenge (by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner), and Lean Six Sigma, Brett and his team have influenced thousands of people in government, non-profits and corporate America to work together in more productive, more effective and more human ways. Outside of his role at Integris, Brett dedicates time to serving others in need. He is a volunteer coordinator for the East Bay Stand Down and Stand Down on the Delta, two non-profits serving the needs of San Francisco’s homeless Veteran population. He is also board member and financial sponsor for Partners in Sustainable Learning, whose mission is to bring early childhood education to marginalized communities in the developing world (current projects are underway in Nepal).