Succeeding in your career takes hard work and determination. But it also requires that you have the self-awareness necessary to constantly strive to improve. Everyone struggles to understand their own behaviors from time to time. Why do you have a hard time focusing amid chaos, while everyone around you seems to thrive? Why does micromanagement bother you so much?

DISC: The Universal Language of Observable Behavior from TTI Success Insights is a great tool for helping understand fellow team members, employees, and clients. However, it can also be valuable in helping you better predict your own behavior in order to be more productive. Here are a few things DISC Factors can tell you about yourself.

Four Main Components

There are four major factors motivating behaviors. One or two will be more dominant in each person, although you may have varying degrees of all four. They are:

  • Dominance—If you’re a dominant personality, you thrive when you’re free to do your work without constant supervision. You also work better in a quiet, distraction-free environment.
  • Influence—Interaction is the key to happiness if your dominant trait is influence. You likely won’t be happy working alone for hours at a time. You’ll do best in an environment where you have plenty of people contact throughout the day.
  • Steadiness—Those who find themselves unsettled in unpredictable environments likely have steadiness as a dominant trait. You’ll thrive in a job where you’re surrounded by people you know and your daily activities are fairly set in stone. 
  • Compliance—Like dominant personality types, those with compliance as a dominant trait don’t do well in noisy environments. If your job requires critical thinking and analysis, you’ll be more likely to feel job satisfaction.

It’s also important to distinguish between natural and adapted behaviors. There are some personality traits that come up when you feel comfortable and at home somewhere. Then there are others that you pull out to adapt to whatever situation you’re in. You may have to pretend to be a people person to get through your daily client meetings, for instance, but at the end of the day, you’ll feel exhausted because you aren’t spending your day in your natural state.

Putting DISC to Use

Once you’ve determined your own motivating factors, you can begin to adjust your work environment to boost your productivity and overall well-being. Although elements like an overly controlling boss or a completely distraction-free environment may be beyond your control, you’ll at least understand what’s contributing to your poor work output. Over time, you may be able to make adjustments to your work situation to create the best environment for you.