Mastering the Momentary: Why Adaptability is the Key to success

How to make beneficial adaptations to your behaviour to achieve better success working with others using DISC.
Learn how momentary adjustments to your natural style can enhance performance without draining your energy.

We all have a way of doing things that just feels right, whether it’s writing with your dominant hand, approaching a task in a particular way, preparing for a meeting, building relationships with others, and so on. However, acting in our ‘natural’ style isn’t always appropriate for every situation or environment, and sometimes we need to adapt our behaviour in order to get a better outcome, avoid conflict, or meet the demands of a role. So how can we learn to adapt effectively? 

Using Team8’s DISC Profiles, a ‘natural profile’ or ‘natural style’ describes the behaviours that are most comfortable and unforced for the individual taking the assessment, including  the way they prefer to approach tasks, communicate with others, achieve outcomes, build relationships, receive information, and more. By understanding the behaviours that come most naturally to us, we increase our self-awareness, while also understanding the kinds of behaviours that don’t come as easily, and we can start to analyse where we might need to adapt to those behaviours within different environments in order to achieve a greater outcome than what our natural style can give us. We have found the most successful people, in any endeavour, are those who can be highly adaptable.  

When referring to making adaptations, there are two primary categories we consider: momentary adaptations and sustained adaptations.


Momentary Adaptations are the small, less significant, but often frequent changes we make in our behaviour, something we might do subconsciously if we have experienced a similar situation before. Examples of this kind of adaptation could be see when collaborating with a colleague of a different DISC behavioural style to your own, adjusting the way you deliver a message to suit the way you’ve noticed they like to receive information. Or, it could be altering your approach to complete a specific task at a faster rate than you normally would, to meet a deadline or support your team in achieving what they need to. These kinds adaptations are essential for personal and team benefit, and when practiced effectively, result in achieving optimal results across a variety of situations.

In contrast, sustained adaptations are those changes in behaviour that persist over an extended period, which can be detrimental to performance, and Bo Hanson, Director and Lead Performance Consultant at Team8 explains why,

“Extensive, sustained adaptations can induce stress due to the energy required to maintain adapted behaviour. Additionally, sustained adaptations may lead to a sense of operating outside one’s comfort zone, potentially causing fatigue. Instances include working in an unfamiliar role, being required to employ skills one considers limitations, or being in a role incongruent with ones preferred behaviours.” 

Just like how writing with your non-dominant hand can be tiring, taking a lot of extra focus and time, and ultimately make your notes harder to read! Identifying a sustained adaptation is essential for an individual’s wellbeing and mental health. Bo highlights that the most straightforward way to identify it is by noting the emotional experience during the adaptation, and the fatigue felt afterwards. Additionally, The Team8 DISC Profile serves as a valuable tool for pinpointing our preferred behaviours and the areas where an adapting might be necessary to meet the demands of our role or environment. According to Bo, 

“Having awareness is key. We should support ourselves and colleagues in making momentary adaptations that align with the environment, steering clear of demands for sustained adaptations that could lead to heightened stress.”

Considering the adverse impacts of sustained adaptations, it’s crucial for professionals to cultivate the skill of making momentary adaptations. Inevitably, a situation will arise where  altering actions or approaches to tasks differently is necessary to achieve optimal outcomes for both an individual and their team.

If you have not yet completed a Team8 DISC Profile, we strongly encourage you to do so. Self-awareness is a cornerstone of success, facilitating smoother communication, and the establishment of momentary adaptations. Here are a few instances where the ability to make momentary adaptations proves to be advantageous.

Where to from here?

In our experience collaborating with successful leaders and organisations, we’ve observed that an individual tends to perform better when they can operate in alignment with their natural style, avoiding continual making significant adaptations. The foundational step toward making advantageous adjustments is developing a robust sense of self-awareness, a journey facilitated by Team8’s suite of DISC Profiles.

We are dedicated to delivering exceptional service to support you in performing at your best. If what you have read has piqued your interest, or if there’s anything we can do to assist you, please feel free to reach out and contact us. We’re here to help!

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