Do we really know ourselves, despite being in a time of heightened self-awareness? Can DISC assessments work in a pop culture world?
We live in an era where advertisers target each of us as individuals. We have even come to expect information to be personalized and quick. Everyone expects solutions in real time. We want it delivered on a silver platter with a customized email. Is our sense of self influenced by pop culture? How does this factor into our work roles? Can we adapt to these changes in a way that keeps us successful?
Does Pop Culture and Social Media Help Us Understand Ourselves Better?
Social media is rife with quizzes that claim to be able to tell us more about ourselves. We are constantly asked to compare ourselves to famous people and even Disney cartoons. We click checkboxes and fill out surveys that are supposed to tell us about ourselves. You’ve most likely taken one on Facebook or Twitter. The quiz may even tell you if you should be a CEO or a bookkeeper. The quizzes often promise to tell us exactly who we are. Hence, you will understand yourself better, right?
We have access to more information about ourselves than ever, but does it really help us understand ourselves better? Information in the pop culture era is abundant, but it doesn’t always help or make our lives better. Also, do we interact better with others because we have so much information? The real answer is to look at the value of the information. Do I understand the data about myself and can I use it in a way that helps improve how I interact with others? Most quizzes on social media can provide data, but is the data really useful you?
What is really going on here?
We can argue that our notion of self-perception is being influenced by an adept marketing culture. They are trying to profit from us because that’s their job. We are bombarded with more advertising than ever. We receive different messages about self-awareness and who we should or should not be. Generations often get lumped together and mixed messages are rampant.
In one snack food ad, we are encouraged to enjoy it by ourselves and not to share it with our friends. Therefore, should we only think of ourselves and not of others? However, in a commercial for a diamond wedding ring, we are told that this is the only symbol for love. Should we be pushed to show our love through a costly token? We communicate more, in the sense that we have cellphones glued to our hands and travel with laptops. We are bombarded with all kinds of messages from our social media driven world. However, are we really developing a better sense of self and of others?
We have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.
Our social awareness stems from our self-awareness. If we know who we are, then we tend to surround ourselves with people who uphold that narrative about ourselves. Is it any surprise, then, that Generation Z and Millennials are more socially nomadic? In addition, they may be less able to focus the younger they are. The average human being now literally has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. In the article, Generation Z: 10 Stats From SXSW You Need To Know by Rachel Arthur, tech execs discussed marketing to these groups.
“Their attention span is estimated at just eight seconds, comparative to 12 seconds for Millennials,”
Anna Fieler, VP of marketing at Popsugar
The span of focus is brief and seems to be getting briefer. We have more choice than ever in every aspect of life, from clothing to gender. There is no aspect of self that is not on the table to be changed. We could argue that this focus on endless choice has destroyed any notion of defining the self in the world we live in, at least without help. Hence, our choices are increasing, but our ability to focus is getting shorter. If we can’t change this tide then how can we adjust to make sure we continue to succeed?
We ask those of you scotched in mainstream culture to think about this dilemma. Is it possible that you have lost yourself in a sea of personalities that are foisted upon you by various interests? Is there a way to quantify your self-awareness using a tool that has no ulterior motives? Will you then be able to make a better assessment of your ability to be socially aware with a validated tool?
Science, Business and the Personality
We live in a world that manipulates our perception of ourselves. It is nearly impossible to become more socially aware with so much influence and data. We are being pulled by forces that are driving us together when it is profitable. These same forces will also push us apart when it is profitable. This is chaos in the business world. In the modern landscape of always-on connectivity, remote, globalized workforces and location-independent service contracting, our work lives seem to be in closer contact than ever. However, we need to redefine how we interact with others. We are going beyond face-to-face interactions and phone calls. We may be more socially connected, but are we actually interacting better with others?
In order to become more socially aware in the workplace, we must look at a more scientific way to first assess ourselves. Then we can assess our relationships with others. This cannot be done through any of the informal methods presented to us by mainstream culture. We must rely on scientifically vetted vehicles that are backed by research and results. Personality is a vague enough concept without allowing pop culture to invoke itself upon our sense of each other and self.
How Does Our DISC Assessment Help?
DISC helps to describe your most comfortable behavioral style. It shows how you do what you do. DISC does not place value or judgment on the results. There are no right or wrong, or good or bad results. Our DISC self-assessment relies on validated behavioral tools to assess a person’s DISC style.
Using these DISC reports, you can find out whether you may be a Result-Oriented Specialist, a Creative Team Player or an Inspirational Persuader. You will have more knowledge of how your actions are actually affecting the people around you. You will be able to interpret your own actions without the blinders that we all put up around ourselves. Furthermore, you will be able to accurately assess how well teams of people may work together on important projects before committing time and money.
The DISC assessment can be used, not just as a HR resource, but at every level of the organization. If you have problems within a team, providing team members with their DISC reports can help them understand what they may need to develop. It is much easier to accept feedback and correct actions when faced with non-judgmental DISC data. Other uses of DISC assessments include employee feedback, gathering supportive information on prospects and employees, and determining the best fit for an employee to thrive.
Melding Generational Differences
Validated, data-driven behavioral tools are especially important if you are looking at the Millennial or Gen Z culture. They are most likely to be affected by digital pop culture. They are also the most likely to bring your business a cost-effective technical savvy that all companies need to stay on top. Many companies face issues when trying to meld this younger and more upfront generation with the more traditional Gen X and Baby Boomer workforce. Older employees tend to have seniority. However, there is an undeniable trend of companies moving towards a more youthful, digital culture. If younger employees have more knowledge in certain areas than their managers or executives, your office is ripe for conflict.
Being able to assess DISC styles will go a long way in creating successful teams with generational differences. All sides can access a nonjudgmental DISC report that helps to identify how a person prefers to operate. Once people become more self-aware then they can practice identifying the DISC styles of others. Hence, the goal is improve daily interaction.
Now the experience and business acumen of the older generation can be used to guide the technical expertise of the younger groups. All sides can have a better understanding of self and how others prefer to communicate. Remember, you cannot rely on social media surveys or pop culture psychology to give you this information– you need real science. DISC assessments don’t take sides, which can help defuse office politics. People can acknowledge their differences and work together, even within a generational divide.
Why DISC Works in Today’s Pop Culture World
Pop culture helps to describe the recent trends and attitudes, but it does not provide a clear picture of who we are. Do not rely on understanding yourself and others to pop culture. It doesn’t matter if they are born to the pop culture world or not. We have internet access to take all kinds of tests and assessments. They promise to tell who you really are. Don’t believe all of the hype. In addition, we’re constantly targeted with a barrage of advertising every where we look. They’re telling us what we really need or who we should be. We are often judged as a generation instead of as a person. DISC tools can help us cut through the smoke and hold up a true mirror to our real self. You are the only person that truly knows you.
We all have our own preferred ways to communicate, but it is not always the best way for different situations. In addition, we can only control how we interact with others, but not how others interact with us. In order to know how to adapt, we need to know more about ourselves. We need a tried and true tool that makes our complex and over-hyped world simpler. Our DISC assessments provides easy to read data so that we can better understand each other and ourselves. You can move away the barrage of useless and deceptive information that can cloud your ability to see yourself more clearly.