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Does your DiSC profile change when you travel?

Posted by on March 19th, 2006 with 0 Comments

Yesterday, I was leading a ‘High Performance Teams’ session in Yokohama, Japan.
We always do individual behavior profiling, using DiSC, to open our session.

In the past, we’ve tested everyone using the English version of DiSC, since we’re a US-based company.
This trip, for the first time, we used a Japanese language version.
As a test, I had my good friend Fumio Nishikata take both the English and Japanese versions.

Since he does a lot of work with both the US and Japan, he took the Japanese version thinking of his Japanese work environment, and the English version thinking of his US work environment.
I wasn’t very surprised to see that his profile changed slightly.

In Japan, Fumio is a ‘power D’ (directive), with a secondary ‘I’ (influence). Under stress, his ‘D’ becomes even more pronounced. So Fumio uses primarily a directive behavior in Japan.

In the US, however, Fumio is a ‘high I’, with a secondary ‘D’; meaning he is more likely to use influence. Under stress, his directive behavior drops, and his ‘S’ (sociability) rises, so he’s more likely to agree to consensus decisions.

As we discussed this, we surmised that most people who are successful in global organizations probably have a similar pattern. That is, it’s likely that they will become less directive, using more influence and consensus away from home.

The people who continue to be directive, on foreign land, are usually the ones who fail…

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