To Gain Cooperation – Increase Your People Skills

If you are trying to work with either an Accidental Hoarder or a Packrat you may have become frustrated with your lack of progress. There’s a reason for that.

I have taught the D.I.S.C. personality profile for over 25 years, and there are several principles which I was taught:

  • You cannot motivate another person.
  • People are motivated to do things for their own, personal, reasons, not for your’s.
  • People don’t argue with their own data; they argue with your data.

In other words, the more you threaten or try to persuade, the stronger the resistance builds against what you want to happen. It helps if you can gain insight into what those motivations might be.

The D.I.S.C. system is based on the premise that people make two basic assumptions:

  1.   The environment (the world around me) is friendly or unfriendly.
  2.   My personal power is equal to or unequal to the environment/world around me.

This is observable behavior, even in babies. Everyone has noticed the difference between a baby who is outgoing and gregarious, and one who is cautious and reluctant to engage. By adulthood these traits may not be as obvious due to socialization. In order to explain it a little more, I will use the acronym, DISC.

The D is used to describe characteristics such as:

  •   Decisive
  •   Determined
  •   Direct
  •   Doer

The high D type of person sees an unfriendly world but feels personally powerful in response to it. This person likes change and would set it in motion without consulting the others affected by it.

The I is used to describe characteristics such as:

  •   Influencing
  •   Interest in people
  •   Optimistic and enthusiastic

The high I type of person sees a friendly world and also feels personally powerful in response to it. This person doesn’t mind change and can create chaos doing it.

The S is used to describe characteristics such as:

  •   Steadiness
  •   Stable
  •   Sympathetic
  •   Security-seeking

The high S type sees a friendly world, but low personal power, and is generally unmotivated and strongly resists change. This person is also very possessive about his/her possessions.

The C is used to describe characteristics such as:

  •   Cautious
  •   Compliant
  •   Conscientious
  •   Competent, not to mention extremely talented and sensitive.

The high C type sees the world as unfriendly and has a low sense of personal power in relation to it. This person also strongly resists change because of fear of what the change might bring about.

At any rate, opposite temperament types seem to end up attracted to each other initially and devote the rest of the life of the relationship to reforming or resisting each other.


Harriet Vaughan

About Harriet Vaughan

I am a Senior Move Manager, working with Senior Citizens and their families when it is time to downsize or just make the home safer and more comfortable for aging in place. I help these people make decisions about what to keep, throw out, donate, or sell. I also offer workshops on "Getting Things Done When You Are Over 60". I write about how to overcome memory lapses and how to use your physical energy well. I have a degree in Home Economics from the University of Maine. I live in Coopers Mills, about 14 miles east of Augusta. I have been married for almost 50 years to my husband, Chuck Vaughan. Our business is called Legacy Years Transition Services.