What’s Your DISC Sign? I’ll Label You If You Label Me.

Adam Stamm

Nobody likes to be labeled. Or do they?

There are plenty of people who love to be labeled. You might see them at your office, where they post the results of their DISC assessments on their cubicles, proclaiming to the world that they are high I’s or revealing themselves as to be C’s with secondary D’s. Someone else might proclaim that she is an ENJS (use your decoder ring), a Capricorn on the cusp of Sagittarius with Saturn rising, or a left-handed extrovert with control-freak tendencies and ADHD.

Are Labels a way of saying:

  • Understand me.
  • We have something in common.
  • You get me now. What is your sign so I can get you?
  • You know I am D, get to the point.

Yes, there are truly no limits to the types of labels we can affix to ourselves. But if we get too much into labels, they become pigeonholes, even prisons. They distract us from what is important and undermine the very reasons for using them in the first place.

Do the labels we choose provide useful information about ourselves? Do they help us understand other people better? Unless the answer to each of those questions is a resounding yes, we are wasting our time. The purpose of identifying labels for ourselves or others is to help everyone (including ourselves) become more comfortable, effective, efficient, and respectful of one another. And when we achieve that, the need for labels goes away. For over 40 years the DISC model has provided a safe and respectful language for creating such understanding.