How Managers and Employees Can Work Better Together

How Managers and Employees Can Work Better Together


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Brandon Laws: Hey, welcome back for another podcast. I am your host Brandon Laws. Hey, I’m really excited about today’s episode. It will be a very unique podcast episode today. In this discussion I have with my boss, Angela Perkins – she’s the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Xenium.

You may have heard of something called DISC.

It’s a personality assessment. People use it as individuals and teams. It’s a personality assessment you can take, and I think it takes about 20, 25 minutes depending on how fast you go. In the end, you get a report that provides your personality traits. The DISC stands for D, dominance; I, influence; S, steadiness and C, conscientiousness.


There’s a bunch of other descriptors that go into each one of those. But in the end, you get a report that basically shows your tendencies internally. So are you a D for dominance and then an I? Or are you like a C and an S like I am?

Everybody is a little different and you might have a blend of a couple or maybe just dominant in one. The report will break that down for you and it will tell you what you are internally, and also how you’re perceived to the environment. In other words, how other people see you.

This personality assessment is great not only as an individual to figure out where your strengths are and where you tend to be and it’s kind of an “ah-ha” for you. What’s even better though is when you use it as a team to then see how other people are and maybe you start to draw some conclusions based on, “OK. Why do people behave the way they behave?” or “I’ve noticed – I work with them a certain way and this is why.”  And I think the DISC really helps do that. It’s really a conversation starter I think and there are firms out there that are licensed to do training and coaching on the DISC model. It is a trademark model and there’s a certification process around that.

So there’s a lot of firms out there that do it. At Xenium, we have Suzi Wear on our team who is certified in DISC. So we will do this for clients as well. So today what you’re going to hear in this podcast is something unique.

Angela Perkins, as I mentioned, is my boss. We have a really good partnership on the sales and marketing side of our business. I’m the marketing leader, but marketing also goes underneath her. So we collaborate a lot on the marketing side. But she’s really the leader on the sales side. So we’ve worked together for 10 years I believe. We completed a DISC combination report, where it actually cross-compares two people and it will tell you how you’re really supposed to interact with each other. But for us, we’ve worked together for so long and figured out some of our weird tendencies.

In this podcast, we go through that report and we kind of make fun of what we know about each other and review what the report says. So you’re really going to see in this podcast or hear how a manager and an employee might interact on a report like this. Of course we were pretty casual about it because we’ve worked together for so long. But if you have a new employee or you have a new manager, this might be a really great tool to figure out a great working style relationship.

So I think you’re going to have fun with this episode. I know I did. I think Angela would say the same thing. It’s something different that we’re trying here just to kind of put it all out there. So it’s fun, it’s casual and I hope you really enjoy the episode. If you like this episode, please, we appreciate all the Apple Podcast reviews or Stitcher reviews. We’ve been getting a lot of them lately and if you would go do that, it would mean the world to us. It helps grow this podcast, which has been growing steadily for the last probably six or so months. So I really appreciate the support. Enjoy the episode.

Brandon Laws: Well, we’ve got a really special fun episode today discussing DISC. I have my boss here with me to talk about her DISC profile and we are going to cross-compare our reports and see how we work together. We know how we work together but there’s a report that DISC produces called the Quest Report that has what they believe our working styles would be. Angela, how do you feel about this?

Angela Perkins: This was so fun. I’ve got to say this was a blast. I mean how long have we worked together? In this capacity –

Brandon Laws: Seven years.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: Probably seven or eight years.

Angela Perkins: So for the reality to sort of come at me on paper was really fun. There are some things I think we will cover in here that I’m like, “I didn’t get this.” But for the most part, it nailed us and I really had fun reading through a great tool. As a leader, definitely a great tool.

Brandon Laws: So when you get a DISC report, just as an individual, it walks through like your tendencies, your personality style, how people perceive you and how you truly are. What the combination report does is it actually takes both people’s personality styles into account and then it cross-compares and shows you what working styles should really be or how the other person may perceive you.

Angela Perkins: What complements and what might be tough for the other person. It was – again, as we go through this, this is a great tool and for us – I mean not to steal the thunder or anything but supposedly we’re opposite, which is interesting, and I think does us some favors in terms of our work together. But it was just really interesting to see that word even printed on paper.

Brandon Laws: I think what’s fun about this and why we’re going through it is this is a great tool for managers and employees who don’t really know each other’s work styles very often, their personalities, and it just – it gives them a tool and a talking point.

You and I, we know each other so well, because we’ve worked together for so long and we know each other’s weird tendencies. This just kind of like – you know, looking at this, we’re like, “Yeah, I agree with that,” or “I don’t agree with that.”

Angela Perkins: You know what I see, is, had I read this, seven or eight years ago when we first started working together in this capacity, it would have been a great tool. Now it’s fun. It’s fun for you and I to go through this and it might – who knows? Maybe it will improve something as we – but we’ve had a lot of years together already.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: But for a new leader, imagine getting a brand new employee and you’re trying to kind of figure each other out. This is an amazing tool to work through.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. I think what we – what I got to say upfront – and I think you will agree with me on this is this is a great tool and it’s great for awareness. It’s not the end-all, be-all because somebody may not agree with it. There’s a lot of things in here about me that I’m like, “Oh my gosh. Yes, that is exactly me.” But then I’m like, “This isn’t me.”

Angela Perkins: Right, right.

Brandon Laws: I’m a little bit more flexible than that and the same with you. So again, if it’s a new manager and an employee working together and they see this profile, I think it’s a good starting point.

Angela Perkins: Agreed. I agree with that.

Brandon Laws: OK.

Angela Perkins: Yeah. Everything with moderation, right? I mean you kind of take it and you sift through some of the things. I think, in fact, even the opening of the report said that. You know, this is just one piece of it and not all attributes will be something the employee might agree with, right? So we’re going to get into that here.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. So what we’re going to do here is we’re going to go over my profile and then your profile and then we’re going to talk about each other’s tendencies and how we’re supposedly supposed to work together. And then we will go into what we actually know about each other, which will actually make it fun for the listener. So I’m a blend of C-S, which is compliance and steadiness. So basically, like just a couple of things about that, usually very reserved, task-oriented and sometimes people-oriented, which I think I am most of the time.

What they also kind of highlighted from this is that I tend to be a stable person. So you kind of like know what you’re going to get out of me. You know I’m going to be in at a certain time every day. You know I’m going to – if I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. I’m going to show up on time every day and you know I’m your rock.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, 100%.

Brandon Laws: I think I can keep your department running.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, yeah. It’s interesting the C as the cautious. They also – right? And support –

Brandon Laws: Risk-averse is the cautious part.

Angela Perkins: Sure, or just cautious. I mean risk-averse makes it sound negative, but cautious and paying attention to what risks you are willing to take and then supportive, which is that S again. So yeah, that personality style defines what I see for sure.

Brandon Laws: Well, yeah, absolutely.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: Behavior style, I got to have my standards and routine. Harmony, this is what it says in the report. Yeah, I want to keep the peace. I want some balance and logic is also important to me. There’s also a section – I’m motivated by structure and affirmation. Those are the things to me that are so key in my personality style. Having structure is really important to me but also affirmation like you’re doing a good job or – well, you know that about me.

Angela Perkins: Absolutely. Yes. And it’s never too much for you and to kind of work together and know that you’re – hey, am I heading in the right direction? Is this where we need to be going? That affirmation is really important for sure.

Brandon Laws: Yeah, and the communication style-friendly. Like that is a very important –

Angela Perkins: Cooperative, logical, all of those words I would say and that important fit.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. The decision-making style, I had a hard time with this section of my personality style. I just – like the predictability of it and procedure I got. But just maintaining status quo to me, like it shows in this report but that’s not me at all. I like change. I welcome it.

Angela Perkins: I agree, yeah.

Brandon Laws: Yeah, OK.

Angela Perkins: And again, I think that’s important that – like what we said earlier is this is not the end-all, be-all and the report does sometimes get it wrong and it even says that in the entry of this report. It’s just one tool. What I found interesting on this section, the decision-making style, given your role, you can’t maintain status quo. So maybe in a different job, you – maybe that would be –

Brandon Laws: If somebody else is kind of dictating what I’m doing.

Angela Perkins: Sure, or you weren’t in a creative role. Like you’re a director of marketing. So maintaining status quo is unacceptable. That isn’t something that you would be able to do and be successful in this job.

Brandon Laws: I think that’s a good point. Yeah. Your focus tends to be on the rules, the accepted, the team and the logic. I agree with that part. I do – like I am a rule follower, no doubt.

Angela Perkins: I actually circled that and put “No!” with an exclamation point.

Brandon Laws: Really?

Angela Perkins: Because you don’t show up to me in that way of – because I picture the person that is really big into rules and logic and all of that to say, “No, we aren’t doing that,” and I don’t get that from you.

Brandon Laws: Yeah, no. I think you’re right, especially my role. I’m a little bit more flexible. But definitely a rule, I’m not going to break the rules.

Angela Perkins: Agreed. Now for that, let’s just talk. I mean you knew we couldn’t get through this interview without me bringing up the fact that if I’m late, let me tell you listeners, Brandon will let me know how he feels about me being late and late is five minutes late, one minute late. You should be five minutes early.

So that from your – you know, sort of knowing what to expect and you want predictability and you want standards and you want rules followed and keeping your meetings. That’s extremely important to you and I have figured that one out the hard way.

Brandon Laws: I think most people around here know that about me.

Angela Perkins: I think they do.

Brandon Laws: The listeners are probably like, “Yeah. He has talked about that in the podcast. He needs to give it up.”

Angela Perkins: Right.

Brandon Laws: OK. Your personality style. So we’re going to go through yours and then we will talk about each other’s tendencies together. So I really can’t wait to dive into yours.

Angela Perkins: Oh, you want me to talk about it?

Brandon Laws: Yeah, you talk about it. This is your show.

Angela Perkins: OK, OK. So my blend is an I-D. So I is inspiring and D is dominant. So the words that are kind of thrown out there with that definition is outgoing, people-oriented, says sometimes task-oriented, which is quite funny.

But I do – part of it is – so having an inspiring, dominant personality style. I tend to need to accomplish tasks constantly on the go.

Brandon Laws: But it’s so weird to me. So it’s counterintuitive. Sometimes task-oriented but you –

Angela Perkins: But then it says a driving need, yeah. Constantly on the go, feel guilty when you relax and others may feel this restlessness.

Brandon Laws: I wanted to ask you about some of that stuff.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: Constantly on the go, I get that, because you do run around here. Like I’m the most important person and – I’m kidding.

Angela Perkins: That’s so awesome.

Brandon Laws:  No, it’s great. But you run around from meeting to meeting and so you’re constantly on the go. This is spot-on about that. Do you feel guilty when you relax, when you are – when you have free time to think, when –?

Angela Perkins: I don’t really know what that is. So maybe. I mean maybe I don’t really – I think I just told you recently. To read a fiction book is like – that there’s guilt in that where I should be reading business books. So yeah, I mean I –

Brandon Laws: Is that the I or the D showing though? I don’t know which personality trait that is.

Angela Perkins: Maybe …

Brandon Laws: It has got to be D, right?

Angela Perkins: Maybe it’s the D. I don’t really know on that, although I will tell you in my family life, if I switched to just personal, it’s not like we’re always –

Brandon Laws: Yeah. You relax sometimes.

Angela Perkins: We relax. We go on – but I mean we go on vacation and then we have our seven little things that we’re going to do while we’re on vacation. We got to go float the river and we got to go –

Brandon Laws: Check that off the list.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, exactly. So maybe. Maybe there’s some restlessness there. It says optimism is contagious and others will be inspired to action by being around me based on this personality blend.

Brandon Laws: I could not agree more with that part. So the – I think why I love you and why other people love you, your clients love you, why the people love you, your optimism is absolutely contagious. Again, that’s the I, right?

Angela Perkins: Absolutely.

Brandon Laws: That’s like the I showing to like the environment. Like everybody sees you as the I. Not so much D but the I is showing because of your contagious attitude.

Angela Perkins: I always think it’s going to work out.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: So –

Brandon Laws: No, that’s great. That’s good. People want to be around positive people.

Angela Perkins: Yeah. What else? It says preferred environment is people-oriented. A hundred percent agree with that. Put me in a room by myself for too long and I might lose it. Communication style is informal, responsive, free-spirited. I thought that was interesting. I don’t know if I would use the word “free-spirited” about me. But …

Brandon Laws: This whole thing, like you’re – you can be informal with like people you’re really close with. But I mean you’re super professional all the time. You’re not forceful. So I’m going to agree with that.

Angela Perkins: No, that word is interesting. Yeah.

Brandon Laws: Responsive and free-spirited. I don’t really know – I don’t know.

Angela Perkins: I suppose we can’t analyze like hey, tell me the definition of free-spirited.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: What is that? So the decision-making style, interesting. So I am likely to interact, decide and be spontaneous, explore feelings in order to persuade others. My focus tends to be on the popular and I will self-promote that all day long. I always joke being a leader is really a stretch in some cases for a high I like me because I do like to be popular and I don’t like delivering bad news. I don’t like to be the bad guy. I want people to genuinely like me. As a leader, sometimes you don’t always have the most popular thing to deliver in terms of information or news or whatever that is.

Brandon Laws: So don’t give Angela bad news to deliver.

Angela Perkins: No. I’m not the one –

Brandon Laws: She doesn’t want to do it.

Angela Perkins: So here’s my most interesting thing about us and I am curious if you picked up on this.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: So on your decision-making style, you – it says you’re a team player and you are – and your decision-making style comes by being persuaded, if you picked up on this.

Brandon Laws: I did and I don’t really know what to think about the persuasion part.

Angela Perkins: I tend to act in a way that is persuasive. So –

Brandon Laws: So what this is saying is you manipulate me 100 percent of the time.

Angela Perkins: So as a leader, here’s what I took away from this. I need to ensure that I’m providing you room to authentically weigh in, to make sure to give you time to sort of decide on your own, right? I don’t find that we have to do this. So maybe it’s just happening naturally between us.

Brandon Laws: I think it is.

Angela Perkins: Versus me spending all my time to persuade.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: It’s just interesting that we had those conflicting kind of –

Brandon Laws: Should I be leery of you manipulating me?

Angela Perkins: I think you should be watching me every moment now.

Brandon Laws: Like Angela, you’re manipulating me right now.

Angela Perkins: Every time you’re about to say, yeah, that’s a good – wait, wait. That’s not a good idea. I need to think about this.

Brandon Laws: I did see those two things. I’m like, “This is interesting.”

Angela Perkins: Yeah, yeah.

Brandon Laws: Good observation on those though. OK. So interaction guide. This is the fun stuff. So it basically looks at if you’re looking at the report and maybe some of the listeners out there have had this report and they’ve seen it, there are three columns.

One column basically shows – so if it’s your report, I’m on the left side. Angela is on the right side and then the middle shows us strengths, struggles, and strategies for me as the report receiver. Then there’s another page for – it flips it on its head. So if we’re looking at my interactions with you, some of the things that I think we even talked about a little bit is my needs. It breaks it down. Like what are your environmental needs? Like clearly defined tasks and explanations. I would say that that was early on in my career I needed that a lot more. But now it’s less so. But I agree with sufficient time and resources to do a job. I’m project-heavy all the time.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: And lack of – actually I’ve called out people on this before. It’s like I need more time. You dropped something on me last minute. But that’s the C.

Angela Perkins: Yeah. It goes back to the predictability too, right? You sort of have this structure about how you manage your job and it’s not that you have a bunch of pockets to just fit in other things. Then curse of competency comes in for you and people are like, “Hey, Brandon. Can you just take this on? And hey, can you get it to me by 4:00?” I mean that’s a very common conversation I think for you to have.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: So it was interesting to see that come up.

Brandon Laws: I think the best part is what we just talked about with the persuasion aspect, sufficient time –

Angela Perkins: You can get talked into it.

Brandon Laws: So then Angela can talk me into it. Like hey, I need this by four o’clock. Can you give it to me? For maybe other people, I would say no. Like I need more time. For Angela, she somehow manipulates me.

Angela Perkins: Oh, boy. I think this is never going to end now.

Brandon Laws: OK. You brought it up. It’s great. Then the other thing, the – with the environment, an important role on the team. Like that for me is – it has always been a big factor.

Angela Perkins: Agreed, yeah, absolutely. You’ve asked that from day one. How can I contribute? Where can I play? So that I – for sure. That’s amazing.

Brandon Laws: And then like for what I want from you, a couple of things I kind of pointed out. Being supportive of me and confirmation all the time.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, reassurance, confirmation. Yeah.

Brandon Laws: And then finding difficult. Like what I find difficult, accepting less than complete explanations. Taking calculated risks, it’s still for me – it’s still an issue. So yeah. So then you kind of go down the middle where the strategies –

Angela Perkins: I love this report because basically what Brandon just went through is what his like mode of operation is, right?

Brandon Laws: Yes.

Angela Perkins: So then you compare that to my mode of operation and it’s quite different. So mine is I need in the environment instead of clearly-defined tasks and sufficient time to do a job and an important role on a team, I need friendly relationships and opportunities to influence others and opportunities to inspire.

Brandon Laws: And persuade people.

Angela Perkins: So the middle is like hey, Brandon, to deal with this whack job over here, you got to be able to do all of these things in order to make this relationship work. So your strengths balance each other out. I love that sentence because I think that has been what we’ve experienced organically.

Brandon Laws: That’s so true. That was the first thing I noticed when I was reading down the middle is that your strengths balance each other out.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, because if I had another whack job over here doing – right? With me, like being all this friendly relationship stuff, maybe nothing would ever get done.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: So that’s a good –

Brandon Laws: I’m pretty sure it says – yeah, down here in the strategies. Realize this person will never have the attention to detail that you do. Like just the fact that – like it’s so polar opposite than what I would actually think of you and you’re not a whack job. You’re – like this is again a tool and it’s –

Angela Perkins: Look, he’s coaching me.

Brandon Laws: It’s totally profiling somebody and you’re basically using it to have a conversation about what you truly are.

Angela Perkins: Yeah. We talked briefly about that. I mean I think there’s a little bit of moderation to everything like we talked about earlier on and while I think I probably have decent attention to detail, maybe just not at your level. My favorite part of this is the sentence that says, “Your standards, Brandon, may be too high for this person.”

So I wrote a little note on my thing that said, “You need to lower your bar for me,” because you might not be giving me the praise that I deserve and thrive on because you’re like, “Yeah, you’re still not cutting it.”

Brandon Laws: That’s so funny, that’s so funny.

Angela Perkins: So that was pretty funny to me.

Brandon Laws: I had like a weird reaction to that. Like your standards are maybe too high. I’m like I would never think of – I don’t know. It’s just so blatantly written there. I don’t think I would ever think about it that way.

Angela Perkins: Well, if you think about it, it says above there, it says, “You may not relate to this person’s talkative, outgoing nature,” and I might not relate to your analytical, cautious nature. I think what has happened organically between us is we’ve figured that out and we leverage it instead of find it annoying, right? Which I think could happen in a working relationship.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: Good. I think this is good. So then you move to the next one, which is my interaction guide with you. So again, I’m motivated by recognition, approval and popularity. I will completely own all of those bullet points. I need friendly relationships. I need influence, ability to influence others. I may find it difficult to manage time properly.

Brandon Laws: Do you think that’s true?

Angela Perkins: You know, I blame it on Xenium, but maybe it’s my fault.

Brandon Laws: Maybe it’s you. It’s your personality.

Angela Perkins: There’s just a lot going on, right? So am I always like right on time with things? No. So maybe that’s more about my –

Brandon Laws: You control your calendar.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, my I-D style. I may find it difficult to keep from being overly optimistic. So that’s interesting.

Brandon Laws: Overly.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: Is there too much?

Angela Perkins: Well, so you go back again to the role and in this role, maybe being optimistic is not a bad thing. Certainly I have to deliver in this job and there are numbers that prove it, right? Whether or not, so it’s not feeling. It’s a data point. So I think it has worked for me so far. But that is – it was interesting.

So you go on to the strengths. Again, we balance each other’s weaknesses. I liked that part. So I can learn from your analytical nature, which I do often and you – it says this person can learn not to take things so seriously and have more fun.

Brandon Laws: Oh, give me a break!

Angela Perkins: I’m your party.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. That part, I don’t know if I agree with. I mean like I’m pretty fun, right?

Angela Perkins: You are pretty fun. You are pretty fun. In all seriousness, the struggles part as a manager would be an area to really – if you’re looking at this report, particularly again if you don’t know your employee quite yet and you’re using this as a tool early on, there’s a struggle section. So it’s helpful to say, “Hey, your differences can lead to misunderstandings.” You love to talk and be on the go. But the other person likes to be alone. Like likes their time alone.

Brandon Laws: I actually found that fascinating because there’s truth to that. It’s like I recharge from being alone.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: You know that about me and I’ve heard you say it to me before. Like I just got to leave you alone sometimes and like I have a weird reaction to that because I’m like, “Oh, I don’t want to be left alone.” But truly, I need it. My personality needs it.

Angela Perkins: Yeah. The complexity of the human being, right? Because I think about it too. You need interaction and you want that sort of, “Hey, am I doing good? Is this where you want me to –?”

You know, so you need interaction. But there are times where you just seem to be by yourself. I wrote a note to myself on this. I think we figured this out. So again, we didn’t have the tool in this report to tell us early on. But I do think we’ve organically figured that out.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. Life would have been much easier if we knew this in advance.

Angela Perkins: Oh, like we worked through some big thing, right? I think it was pretty easy.

Brandon Laws: I’m kidding. That was very easy.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: It only took seven years.

Angela Perkins: It says not to rush or push this person.

Brandon Laws: Oh, really?

Angela Perkins: That was interesting.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: Be more factual and objective, especially in the face of conflict, and maybe because we haven’t had to endure a whole bunch of conflict. Maybe these things haven’t come up.

Brandon Laws: True, true

Angela Perkins: As a big deal.

Brandon Laws: Well, now we have this tool that if conflict –

Angela Perkins: There you go. We will come to page seven of our report. All right.

Brandon Laws: So that was – yeah, that’s interesting. So like when you kind of look at what that said, do you agree with a lot of that? Did it teach you anything that you didn’t know already about me?

Angela Perkins: Again, I think we had an advantage to having some years behind us. But it was really interesting to have it spelled out on paper.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: We’ve naturally said that hey, we kind of balance each other out and where I might be wanting to be out a little bit more, you’re here and sort of making the action happen from behind the scenes. That’s a really good balance.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: So no, nothing big and surprising in any of that. But again, I will say it again. If I had only known you for six months, I think that would have been more maybe behavior-modifying for me to say, “This is how Brandon …” For me to know that you need time alone because that doesn’t naturally show up for you, because you are personable and you like to work in teams and you want to be part of all of that. So that wouldn’t have been a natural like, “Oh, leave him alone.”

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: I just figured that out own my own.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. I think with these like – these profiles are so great because what if you had somebody exactly like you in my role.

Angela Perkins: We would probably never get anything done.

Brandon Laws: We would either never get anything done or maybe there are times when you clash because you’re too much alike and I think just having the ability to know what the tendencies are and to work around that I think is a really important piece.

Angela Perkins: I agree and really you – the way you approach things because it’s so different. We might be uncovering things quicker than if two people look at it the exact same way the whole time. Then there might be a really big blind spot, right? So we might avoid that.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: For sure.

Brandon Laws: So a couple of last pages of this report. One, there are graphs that show the environment style. So basically how people see you in terms of the D-I-S-C and your – like who you are inside. So you got a DISC report that would show you what your chart is internally and then how people see you, in other words. So I thought mine was interesting because I’m obviously – I’m a high C and an S. But how I show up to other people, which I want to know if you agree with this, is that my top two are I and D. So the I would actually coincide with your I, which shows to the environment as well.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: Do you agree with that? Because the D is the one that’s my lowest like inside.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brandon Laws: But how people see me would be I and a D.

Angela Perkins: You know, I do. Definitely the I for sure. Like I can buy into that in terms of how our co-workers see you, the kinds of initiatives you lead for our company, the persona that you are in front of everyone. I mean you run the book club and you’re – I mean you’re social. You’re out there. You’re getting folks to buy in and you’re influencing others for sure.

The D, I don’t see you necessarily showing up really super strong externally. So what other people tend to see – but having said that, I think you’re making independent decisions. You’re interested in results. You’re opportunistic. You’re all of those things that come underneath that D, so yeah.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. I mean some of the words that stick out to me under D, results.

Angela Perkins: Goals.

Brandon Laws: Solutions, goals, plans, leadership role, authority. So I think as I’ve kind of grown through my role, the D has probably come up more often than not.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, I agree. So mine is interesting because – so in “real life,” so who I am as my basic style is that high I with a D. So I-D blend. In how I show up is – like high as almost off the chart, the I side. So –

Brandon Laws: Oh, way off chart.

Angela Perkins: So it’s like almost like not even on the graph anymore.

Brandon Laws: It was like a high score, like you broke the game.

Angela Perkins: So I’m doing cartwheels down the hallways or something. Is that what’s happening there?

Brandon Laws: That’s not how I see you. But you are overly positive – not overly positive but you are so contagiously positive that I get why that I is so high.

Angela Perkins: And the C is at the floor. So like –

Brandon Laws: Which is weird to me.

Angela Perkins: Like showing up and getting things done and – what is it? Compliance? Is that what the word – the C –?

Brandon Laws: Yeah, compliance. So a couple of the words like value, logic, principles, honesty, integrity.

Angela Perkins: Oh, yeah. Honesty, integrity. Oh, nope.

Brandon Laws: Consistency, valid – yeah. So like maybe a couple of ones you’re lower on would be like consistency maybe. But you’re detail-oriented. I don’t want to – don’t agree with that part.

Angela Perkins: I always see C as like –

Brandon Laws: And loyalty especially. Gosh, you’ve been with the same company for like 18 years.

Angela Perkins: I see the C style as being sort of like everything in its place.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: Like there’s a way to go about things and that’s definitely not probably how I show up. But what was interesting about mine – where yours was – you know, your – where you show who you are on the inside is that really high C, C-S blend. But then your – how you’re showing up is I-D blend.

Brandon Laws: Yeah, weird.

Angela Perkins: So that’s interesting. I am – I show up in real life. So who I am on the inside is an I-D blend and then how I show up to the company is pretty similar as it relates to –

Brandon Laws: It’s mostly I.

Angela Perkins: It’s I off the chart and then I and then S and D.

Brandon Laws: I think S and D are the same.

Angela Perkins: Are tied.

Brandon Laws: Well, it says I –

Angela Perkins: Regardless, the C is my lowest in both who I am and how I show up.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. That’s where we balance each other out.

Angela Perkins: Totally. Good thing for you or we would not have any C going on in this department.

Brandon Laws: So the next page, they actually do a comparison where they ask a couple of questions. So I thought we could kind of go through it because it’s kind of fun. So questions to consider and this would be no different than if somebody had this report and they printed it out. So, do you both like to work at the same pace? How did you answer that? Be honest.

Angela Perkins: Do we both like to work at the same pace?

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: “Compare your outgoing versus reserved traits,” is what it says. I feel like we do in real life.

Brandon Laws: That’s what I thought so too.

Angela Perkins: My guess is if I like dove into the report and tried to answer it DISC-related, I would say no because supposedly you’re more methodical and slower about how you go about things and I’m running around like an Energizer bunny.

But that’s not how I experience our working together.

Brandon Laws: Maybe that’s because of seven years of working – eight years of working together. We’ve sort of figured that out.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: And we’ve aligned ourselves at the same pace because you’ve manipulated me so much. I had to put that in there again. OK. So then the next question, do you both tend to have the same priorities and focus? Comparing your task, people orientation.

Angela Perkins: OK.

Brandon Laws: How did you answer this?

Angela Perkins: So here’s what I have to say about this. I think this personally is less about DISC and more about company organization. Are you clear on your business goals? We …

Brandon Laws: I agree with that.

Angela Perkins: … are completely clear and very aligned on what our business goals are. So what my priorities are, are your priorities and what your focus is, is my focus. So that I feel like – maybe that’s the seven years. But –

Brandon Laws: Yeah. If you’re not answering yes to this, that’s a business issue.

Angela Perkins: Yes, agreed, not a DISC thing.

Brandon Laws: Not a personality – yeah, absolutely. OK. So then what trait is Brandon lowest in? What’s the implication? Internally, D.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: That’s how you answered it, right?

Angela Perkins: Well, I wrote you’re lowest in D. But environmentally, how you show up, you’re lowest in S, which is interesting because I don’t again experience that either.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: Because that’s support and all of those things. What’s the implication? Honestly, I don’t – I mean this is like a public performance reviewer, you know.

Brandon Laws: I know. It’s amazing. Hope that people are finding value in this. We’re just airing out everything here.

Angela Perkins: I mean what’s the implication in you being low in D in real life? I mean I think – again, you can get it all twisted with the ability to be –

Brandon Laws: I’m in a leadership position. That could happen –

Angela Perkins: Well, and your ability to be influenced, is it too high? So are you not standing your ground on, “No, I feel this way,” when it’s not what the majority is doing? I don’t know. I mean that could be an implication of that. Then environmentally, the fact that you don’t show up as an S doesn’t make any sort of sense to me because that’s steadiness. So support, reliability, teamwork, that one I’m just going to say that’s a report flaw.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: Because I don’t see that coming up.

Brandon Laws: Well, thank you very much. So then your trait, what are you lowest in?

Angela Perkins: Well, I’m not going to answer that. You tell me.

Brandon Laws: I will tell you. It’s a C. What’s the implication? You know, the couple of things that would I think be an issue would be consistency or like maybe missing details or something like that. But like in my experience with you, you’re super D-tolerant. Before we started recording, we were talking about like, well, people ask you to review stuff all the time and you catch stuff and you always provide feedback. So like that can’t be exactly right. But I think if you overbook yourself or something and you’re rescheduling or you’re late, that’s where I think that comes in.

Angela Perkins: Absolutely.

Brandon Laws: In my experience with you, but maybe sometimes that could be a thing.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, yeah. I will own that, for sure.

Brandon Laws: That’s the only implication really is just maybe disappointing people.

Angela Perkins: Yeah, I agree.

Brandon Laws: Yeah. So wrapping this thing up, we just basically put ourselves completely out there. This was fun.

Angela Perkins: It was very fun.

Brandon Laws: I had a really good time. But if you’re listening, you’re an HR person, you’re a small business leader and you’ve never done a DISC, we highly recommend it. I think it’s an amazing tool. We’ve been doing this for years now. We’ve done it as a team. We’ve done it as individuals. We’ve done what we just did here live on a podcast.

I think it’s not only great as a team-oriented thing. We’ve done it as a leadership team where we plotted everybody’s profile – or their personality traits and literally tried to guess who was who.

Angela Perkins: That was fun.

Brandon Laws: That was really fun because then it just again opened up the doors to talk about it. But I – what we haven’t done a whole lot is this manager-employee thing.

Angela Perkins: Yeah.

Brandon Laws: And we just did it on the air.

Angela Perkins: That’s right.

Brandon Laws: Yeah.

Angela Perkins: And we took a risk.

Brandon Laws: How do you think people should use this?

Angela Perkins: This is sort of one of those things where – particularly if you’re a business owner and you’re wanting your leadership team to step it up and kind of go next level – these are the kinds of tools that you can provide them to do just that because there is so much out there to improve how people work together.

Brandon Laws: Absolutely.

Angela Perkins: And how efficient and effective they are together as a team and we just illustrated how supposedly we’re opposite and yet quite effective as a team working together. I feel so lucky to have that data in all of that. So it starts out – DISC starts out as a personal reflection, right? You’re all about yourself and here’s my style and here’s what that means. But then you push it out to say, “OK. How do you show up to other people?”

Then what we just did was – and then how do we work together?

Brandon Laws: Yes.

Angela Perkins: It’s super valuable. So I would definitely recommend, particularly for newer leaders, who are still trying to figure this whole supervisory and manager thing out. This is a great tool for sure.

Brandon Laws: Yeah, absolutely. Anything else you want to cover on this?

Angela Perkins: I think we should do the rest of it off the air, Brandon.

Brandon Laws: We will.

Angela Perkins: I have some things that I need to persuade you about.

Brandon Laws: Love it. Well, thanks for joining the podcast, Ang.

Angela Perkins: Always a pleasure.

Brandon Laws: This was a really good time.

Angela Perkins: Great time.

Brandon Laws

As Director of Marketing, Brandon Laws leads all marketing efforts for Xenium, providing oversight on all marketing campaigns, digital marketing strategy, events, sponsorships and public relations. Brandon brings a positive energy to every aspect of his role at Xenium—from internal initiatives around culture and wellness to industry thought leadership through the Xenium podcast and other social efforts. Active within the HR community, he currently volunteers on the board of the Portland Human Resource Management Association as the Director of Marketing & PR.

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