DISC Behavioral Styles – Dealing With Cautious Carla

Are there people who drive you crazy because they seem to worry too much or they’re sticklers for following the rules? Are you one of these people and right now you’re thinking, “Of course we should follow the rules?”


These are people who have the Core C (Cautious, Compliant) behavioral style. The C factor in our behavioral profile measures how we handle rules and regulations set by others. Those high in the C factor believe rules were made to be followed. They are compliant to their own high standards.

Cautious Carla is analytical, reserved, precise, orderly, meticulous, organized, and detailed. She tends to be a perfectionist. Task-oriented, she wants it done right the first time. Carla tends to be hard on herself and critical of others. She needs facts and data before making a decision, which can sometimes result in “analysis paralysis.”


If you have Carla’s style, you may be limiting your effectiveness in several ways. You may be too low risk, require too much data, and make excessive rules. You may believe expression of feelings is irrational and thereby limit your relationships. People skills are not your strong suit.

If you are low in the C factor, you tend to bend or break rules; you will ask forgiveness, whereas Carla will ask permission. Those low in the C factor can become impatient because of the time it takes Carla to make a decision; and she can get irritated when they break the rules, take short cuts, or fail to follow procedures. These differences can cause conflict between these two types of people if they haven’t learned how to understand and adapt to each other.

If you work or live with those who have a Core C style, here are some of the ways in which to communicate and not communicate with them to be effective:


• Be straightforward and direct, present specifics

• Prepare your case in advance

• Take your time, but be persistent

• Provide them with the data, facts, and time they need to make a decision

• Allow them space, don’t stand too close


• Be disorganized, messy, casual, or informal

• Be abrupt and rapid

• Force a quick decision

• Try to convince them with feelings or opinions

• Fail to follow through


When communicating with Cautious Carla, move and speak slowly, thoughtfully, and deliberately. Use direct eye contact with little or no hand gestures. Sit or stand across from her and don’t touch her, except to shake hands. Your tone of voice should be controlled, direct, and precise. Use words and phrases such as “These are the facts,” “The data shows,” “No risk,” “Take your time, think it over.”

Understand that people with the Core C style take pride in doing research and getting the data necessary to support their decisions. To be effective with them, respect their logical approach and the quality of their work. Understand that they don’t take personal criticism well, especially if it relates to their work.

Admire Carla – and Carl – for their attention to detail, their ability to do accurate work, their organizational skills, and their ability to solve complex problems.

Source by Annette Estes

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