Learn how you’re wired to boost your work, relationships, and health.
Feel like you’re stuck or you keep running into the same issues in life? I hate to break it to you… but it’s probably on you. I’ll bet that you’re getting in your own way and need a bit of self-reflection. And what better way to do this than by taking a personality test?
I’m going to be real with you: taking a personality test can completely change your life. They help you understand how you’re wired, what’s most important to you, and how you deal with certain situations.
Today, I’m going to walk you through the DISC personality test and what you can learn from your DISC profile. I’ll share my own experiences and let you in on how these insights have shaped how I look at my work, relationships, and health.
If you want to understand the way you’re wired and learn how to get the best out of yourself, read on…
Your DISC profile
Quick disclaimer: I’m not an expert. I’m just sharing my own experiences with this personality test, how it’s positively impacted my life, and how it can impact yours too.
Some of you might know a lot about these kinds of personality tests already, and some of you might be hearing about them for the very first time. All I’m going to do is try to explain everything as simply as possible. I might over-generalize today, but you’ll get the idea, and I promise I’ll make it fun regardless!
So first things first: what does DISC stand for?
- Dominance: This is all about getting results and taking action right now. Dominant people care most about getting shit done and usually don’t have a lot of patience.
- Influence: This has everything to do with influencing and persuading others. People who score high for Influence want to get others on board with their ideas, like communicating, and want to be appreciated. They usually don’t like to get criticized or rejected.
- Stability: This is all about keeping the peace and including everyone. Stable people like having plans in place, are good listeners, and work well together in teams. They can sometimes struggle with change and tend to avoid conflict.
- Conscientiousness: This is sometimes also referred to as Conformity and describes people who are perfectionists and like to follow processes. Conscientious people can sometimes struggle to see the Big Picture and care more about doing things in the right way than getting results.
The way the DISC personality test works is that you answer a series of questions and based on the outcomes of the test, you’ll find out how you score for each of the four personality traits. The best way to think about it and visualize it is as a pie chart. We all possess all four personality traits – but certain traits make up a bigger part of the pie.
Some of you will score higher for Dominance and Influence and others will score higher for Stability and Conscientiousness. There’s no right or wrong, but knowing your personal breakdown of traits will help you get to know yourself better.
Each trait has positive and negative aspects to it. You tend to see the dark side of your traits when you’re stressed out or going over your limits. Once you understand your personality, reflecting on what you need in a particular situation can help ensure you don’t go over your limits.
Staying inspired in your work
I wear a lot of different hats within my company.
The most important one is being the CEO. When you’re CEO, you have to make a lot of decisions. You have to be focused on results. And you need to have a clear vision. In the context of the DISC personality test, you need to show Dominance.
At the same time, I know that to get the most out of my team, I need to strike the right balance. I care a lot about the rest of my team and I’m so happy that I have a lot of people in my team who have a lot of dominance, too. I don't have to take charge for things to happen or ask people to push back – they just do it. And part of the reason for this is because we have built such a strong team, and so they feel comfortable with me and with each other.
This is where my Influence comes in. It allows me to get everyone on board and weave everything the rest of my team does together. It all comes down to being a good communicator. This is important within my team, but also in how I communicate with my audience. Everything I create serves the same purpose: to help others get the best out of their business and their life.
Let me tell you a little story. Two years ago, I was super busy with work and I noticed I needed a passion project to keep me going. That’s when I first started working on my podcast. It wasn’t just about business results and making money, but about wanting to be able to create. I did it without necessarily knowing where this journey was going to take me, but because I knew it would be a lot of fun and I’d get a lot of energy from starting a podcast.
I’ve seen this pattern repeat itself time and time again. Whenever I go through extremely busy periods, I really crave being creative to keep myself inspired. That’s one of the best business hacks I can share with you: when times are tough, lean into what drives you and gives you the energy to keep you going.
Structuring your week
When you run a business, it can be easy to spend all your time doing admin and tasks that neither inspire you nor make a massive difference to your goals. How do we avoid doing this?
By categorizing your tasks according to the DISC personality traits. This will help you understand what is and what isn’t working, so you can maximize time working on things you thrive at, and minimize the time you spend on things that drain your energy.
My top tip: time-track your tasks for a week and color code different tasks based on the DISC categories.
- Red for Dominance (big picture, strategy meetings, setting targets)
- Yellow for Influence (coaching, content creation, IG Lives, podcasts, brainstorming)
- Green for Stability (check-in meetings, planning work, collaborating)
- Blue for Conscientiousness (admin, processes, proofreading, editing)
When I tracked my own work, the results were really interesting. On days where there were lots of different colors (ie. I was doing lots of different types of tasks), I tended to feel overwhelmed. The same went for days where everything was blue because I was problem-solving practical shit – I really don’t like working in a reactive way. I also hate doing admin.
But on days where I got to switch between strategy and being creative, I would be really happy at the end of the day.
I decided to restructure my week based on these conclusions. Admin is, unfortunately, one of those things that has to happen, so I schedule in a few hours per week to deal with stuff I need to do myself and outsource the rest. This allows me to maximize my time focused on getting results and being creative.
Now, I have creative days on Tuesdays, and coaching days on Thursdays. On the other days of the week, I have Influence mornings where I focus on creating and putting new things out into the world, and in the afternoon, I step into my CEO self and it’s all about Dominance.
One of the hardest things is actually sticking to the schedule you come up with. Don’t be tempted to schedule meetings on coaching days, for example, which is something I’ve done from time to time. Each time I slipped up, I saw that those meetings were dragging down the quality of my coaching. It wasn’t just a nice plan – it was something that I needed to stick to for my clients.
That’s why it’s so important to respect your boundaries. And remember: you can't expect other people to respect your boundaries or your calendar if you’re not crystal clear on the boundaries you need.
This is all personal to me, but there are a lot of things you can hopefully take away from my story. I'm not telling you what to do – I'm telling you to do what works for you.
In the visual you can find one of my past ‘ideal weeks’ – and as I’m writing this I’ll add: I’m changing this again! Because I, as a person and boss and creator and business owner… keep growing and evolving, and my needs for maximum energy keep changing with me.
Communicating with others
I've learned that we tend to be friends with people who have a profile similar to ours.
This is definitely true for me: for example, my best friend Jessica (you might know her as my Alfavrouwen co-founder) and I have very similar profiles. Of course, there are some small differences. I score a bit higher than her for Influence and Conscientiousness, and she scores higher than me for Dominance and Stability. But overall, we’re basically the same and both have Dominance and Influence in abundance.
When it comes to relationships, it makes sense to have a partner who compliments you well – but watch out that you’re not worlds apart either. I've been in a relationship with someone who was the polar opposite of me and when the hormones die down, things can be difficult. Now when I start dating someone, I ask them to fill out a DISC test. Sexy, right?
DISC tests have really helped me understand why other people don’t always care as much about the same things I do.
Above all, it helps me understand and work with my team. We listen to each other, take into account how everyone communicates, and learn what’s important to each and every one of us. This has helped us build up so much trust, and I know I have a team that I could go to war with. That’s why filling out a DISC test is one of the first steps in our hiring process!
Improving your health
Finally, let’s take a look at how understanding your DISC profile can help you improve your health.
I am someone who really cares about results above all, but I know that motivation ebbs and flows. No matter how much I want it to be different, I won't always stay motivated. I've created a structure that I try to adhere to for my health and my body – just like I do with my business.
Last year, I had a little bit of a health scare and thought I was going to become diabetic. At the time I was already working on my health, but nothing seemed to be working. I just kept gaining weight. I now know that it had to do with stress, but the most important thing is that I really decided to take ownership and change things around. Rain or shine, I was going to work out four times a week and do strength training, because that's what works for me.
I took action by signing up with a personal trainer who comes to my house at the same time every week: Mondays at 11:00, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 08:00, and Fridays at 13:00. That structure really helps me thrive, and I can feel myself struggling as soon as we change things around. I like working in a very methodical way and doing the same thing over and over again, like waking up at the same time every day. This is where my Conformity (or Conscientiousness) side is clear as day. And by setting big targets for myself, I had a vision I could work towards.
Life is busy, and it’s easy to let healthy habits slip. The best way to stay on track? Knowing yourself inside out. When you know what works for you, you’re more likely to stick to your routine – no matter how stressful life can be.
Last but not least, remember that your personality and DISC traits might shift over time. Business changes. Teams change. Hell, life changes. The best advice I can give you is to take the DISC test, and schedule in some time every few months to realign with different areas of your life. You’ve got this!