What do Dr. William Moulton Marston and Wonder Woman have in common? You might be surprised. Dr. Marston
Dr. Marston the founding father of the DISC theory. His work paved the way for what has become an amazing tool for helping businesses and people improve communication and connect at a deeper level.
What you may not know is Dr. Marston is the creator of the comic book character Wonder Woman! With opening day for Wonder Woman being today, I thought it would be appropriate to share her origin story.
The Birth of Wonder Woman
To give credit where credit is due, we must start by looking to Dr. Marston’s wife. With the superhero comics of the time, all the characters were male and she suggested he create a female heroine.
Marston would go on to create Wonder Woman and in June of 1942, the Wonder Woman comic would begin. The Wonder Woman comic continues to today and has been made into a major motion picture.
Wonder Woman’s DISC Profile
With Dr. Marston being the founding father of DISC what would his Wonder Woman character’s DISC profile look like? Of course, I can’t have Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) take the assessment herself but she is at odds with herself if you look at her character.
She is assertive, dominate, in need to solve problems, decisive, and definitely aggressive. Yet, she shows a compassionate and caring side. Always willing to help and rescue. And of supreme emotional intelligence.
When you separate out these behaviors and characteristics, you get the two primary styles of Dominance and Steady. These two styles are opposite of each other in a DISC profile and will bring internal conflict to the person that has them.
The pace of a Dominant Style is fast while the pace of a Steady Style is slow. The priority of a D-Style is that of the task, the end goal. While the priority of the S-Style is that of relationship and heart. This creates a tension within the character yet a beautiful synergy and effectiveness in her heroism.
What Does This Mean For Me?
So what does Wonder Woman’s profile have to do with you? It is important to recognize many people have styles within them that are opposed. An I-Style is very much opposite of a C-Style. The I-Style is enthusiastic, inspiring, emotional, and social to name a few. In contrast, the C-Style is tactful, cautious, and systematic.
When someone has these two styles within them in tension and we understand this (either as their friend or a person that experiences this tension), we can better understand their behaviors. It may seem the person is contradicting themselves. Or that they are wishy-washy and indecisive.
The reality is people with this combination of styles are consistently making choices about their behavior. If we know this, we can give them space, time, information, or support to help them choose.
This tension/synergy shows up in the S-Style and D-Style. The D-Style is ambitious, decisive, risk-taking while the S-Style is deliberate, stable, and resistant to change. When you look at this contrast it would be a challenge to work through the push and pull of deciding on which approach to take. Be decisive and take the risk or maintain the stability and resist change?
This is the tension thousands of people live in. When we know this, we can better communicate and connect with them. Knowing their behavior in one situation will be different than another. And that this difference does not represent a lack of integrity, but a beautiful synergy/tension of their own styles.
Can you think of what some other comic book characters styles might be? How about Batman, Ironman, the Green Hornet? Observing the behavior of fictional and real people (or superheroes) is a great way to improve your communication and use of the DISC tool.