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Change Readiness Series Part 1: Decisive

In today’s constantly shifting environments at home, at work, in life, and around the world, the ability to be ready and willing to embrace and implement change can make all the difference between struggling and thriving.

Everyone deals with change differently. Some of us embrace change and even look forward to it, while others find it a hassle. Some even perceive it as a threat. 

Change can cause shifts in our personality. Some can fall into anxiety and stress when change causes what they view as disruptions to their workplace. Others will continue pushing for change even when it clearly makes their team members uncomfortable.


There are 4 different categories, also called the DISC, we can look at to determine how ready someone is for change in the workplace and how their personalities may shift when facing change. Today, we’re looking at the Decisive category (D).


The Decisive area encompasses how you handle problems, make decisions, and achieve results.

High Decisive

People who are High D tend to possess the following qualities:


  • Assertive Leadership - Decisive individuals often thrive in leadership roles. They are comfortable taking charge, providing direction, and making decisions that propel a team or project forward. They have conviction in their decisions and do not hesitate when facing a problem or a fork in the road.


  • Results-Driven - The Decisive trait is closely tied to a focus on outcomes. Those with decisive tendencies are goal-oriented and focused on achieving success. They are often willing to tackle challenges head-on.


  • Direct Communication - Clarity and directness characterize the communication style of Decisive personalities. They appreciate straightforward communication and may find diplomacy less appealing than getting straight to the point. This assertiveness can sometimes come across as aggressive to others, particularly those who are Low D’s.


  • Risk-Taking - Decisive individuals are inclined to take risks. They see challenges as opportunities and are willing to step out of their comfort zones to pursue ambitious goals. This can sometimes lead to them rushing into things without adequate planning.


Decisive individuals can harness their strengths by:


Setting Clear Expectations - Communicate expectations clearly to foster a productive work environment.


Encouraging Open Communication - Value input from team members and create an atmosphere where diverse perspectives are welcomed.


Embracing Collaboration - Recognize the strengths of other DISC styles and leverage them for well-rounded team performance.

Low Decisive


Low D’s tend to be the exact opposite. They are deliberate and controlled when it comes to problem-solving. Their decision making is thoughtful. They are much more likely to be risk averse. 


This is not to say that it is better to be a High or a Low D. Both have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, while someone who is a High D may be more likely to forge ahead without taking stock of potential risks or roadblocks, a Low D may not take advantage of an opportunity that comes their way because they were taking too much time to determine the best course of action. 


You may also find that you’re in between Low D and High D. This may even fluctuate depending on the situation.

The Impact on Change Readiness


The Decisive category determines how much of a catalyst for change you are in your organization. High D’s are usually the ones leading the charge and spearheading change in the workplace. When change is needed, High D’s are essential to jumpstart and lead the process. They are confident and decisive when needing to take action and have the resilience to continue forward in the face of roadblocks and challenges.  


However, they may sometimes be overzealous and attempt to generate changes that lead to other problems in the organization. They also may pay little attention to how the changes affect others within the organization. It’s important for them to maintain balance between continuing to drive results and push forward, while also avoiding unnecessary risk and maintaining awareness of the feelings of those around them. 


Low D’s are likely not catalyzing much change. They are much more comfortable having a full grasp of the effects of change and how everything needs to be executed before implementing it. They generally don't want to risk implementing or encouraging a change that could cause systemic challenges elsewhere in the organization.  


While that is a good thing, the adverse impact is that they might not respond quickly enough, and if the change needed is of an urgent manner, they may struggle to effectively implement it. 

How to Effectively Catalyze Change as a High D


While High D’s often naturally excel at catalyzing change, you may be able to increase your effectiveness by following these 4 components: 

  • Define Your WHY

There has to be a reason for the change and you need to be the person to communicate this reason. Why must this change happen? The overall intent of the change must have a positive impact on the people, on the workflow, and/or on the organization as a whole. Articulate the reason why in your head and on paper, before you ever initiate change.

  • Assess the Environment

Most change is typically born out of an internal or external business need. In our hurry to get change moving forward, we often downplay the impact that the proposed changes have on the environment. We almost always underestimate the level of resistance or resignation the change is met with. It's important to take a mental and emotional diagnostic of the landscape of moods, behaviors, emotions, and reactions around the change.

  • Understand the Architecture of Change

It's important that you understand the structure you'll use to catalyze positive, lasting change and get to critical mass with that change. Analyze who the best people are to partner with you in leading and implementing the change and bring them in to the ideation process.

  • Create a Change Resiliency Plan

All change, large and small, causes people to experience stress. The more stress they experience, the more barriers pop up in your way to making change a reality. Have a personal and team plan for how you will continue to engage and enroll the people affected by the change in cooperating and potentially contributing to the endeavor. 


Do those 4 things and watch the change readiness of your organization skyrocket.


Next month, we’ll break down the Interactive category.


To Your Success,

Magi & The KeenAlignment Team



If you want to learn more about the DISC categories and discover where you are at in each one, check out our free Change Readiness Assessment. This assessment is specifically designed to determine how ready you are to lead, implement, and sustain change in your organization by analyzing these 4 categories (plus a fifth bonus category). You also get guidance and tips based on your scores. 


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