The mental health benefits of journaling are well documented. Beyond that, journaling is increasingly used in career coaching and leadership development. Journaling is an effective method of gaining self-awareness, outlining steps for self-improvement, and defining and reaching your career goals.
How facilitators, coaches, and individuals can use journal prompts
How DiSC® facilitators can use journal prompts:
- During training sessions: Have learners take five minutes to write down their reflections, either for their private use or as preparation for small groups. Giving learners a chance to reflect before discussions will help your more reserved folks be ready to speak and help your more scattered folks focus their contributions.
- Between sessions: A few brief journaling prompts between training sessions will get people thinking more deeply about what they learned and what it means for them personally.
- Keeping DiSC in mind: If you have ongoing contact with your learners, consider sending a monthly journal prompt related to DiSC.
If you think your participants will be resistant to the word journaling, try something like written reflection.
Coaches using DiSC can:
- Give select prompts to their clients as pre-session work, then use their responses for a more focused discussion.
- Send a regular prompt for clients to reflect on, either privately or by sending back their response.
- Use short free-writing time during sessions to uncover the goals and motivations of their clients.
Journaling is also helpful for individuals interested in self-improvement or career growth. We have broken the list of prompts into categories by DiSC assessment type and DiSC style, but many of the prompts will work for any situation or learner.
Journal prompts for Everything DiSC Workplace®
- Which aspects of your personality make you proud?
- Which aspects of your personality do you fear might be misunderstood?
- How did you feel when you first read your DiSC profile report? When reading about your style, which details felt like they described you well, and which did you feel weren’t true for you?
- Choose one of the Workplace priorities—Enthusiasm, Collaboration, Support, Stability, Accuracy, Challenge, Results, Action—and write about whatever comes up for you when you think about that word. Try to write for 10 minutes without stopping or editing your thoughts. If you find this exercise helpful, repeat it with other priorities.
- When is the last time you remember feeling strongly motivated to do something? Describe the situation and think about why you felt that way.
- Write about a recent time you felt stressed. Next, review the “What is stressful for you?” section of your Workplace profile. Do you think any of these factors were at play in the situation you wrote about?
- Write about a time you made an authentic connection with someone whose personality differs from your own.
- Review the Taking Action page of your Workplace profile (on Catalyst, go to What drives you > Strategies). Choose one of the key strategies to explore. Why do you think this is difficult for you? Can you imagine what it would feel like to do this? Write about these questions, then brainstorm some ideas for trying it out.
Journal prompts for Everything DiSC® Agile EQ
- Do you think of yourself as emotionally intelligent? Why or why not?
- How do you normally react when a situation isn’t going the way you expected?
- Write about a time you chose to react to a situation in a way that wasn’t your first instinct. How did you make that choice, and how did you feel afterward?
- What are some behavioral patterns you feel stuck in?
- Write about a time when you just couldn’t understand where another person was coming from. Recount the situation from your point of view. (“Yesterday, Maura interrupted me while I was talking to someone else.”) Then, try to recount the same situation from the other person’s point of view, using the “I” voice. (“Yesterday, I discovered something really exciting, and couldn’t wait to tell Steve.”)
- Review your EQ Mindsets in your Agile EQ profile. Now imagine: What would your workplace or home life or social life be like if everyone there shared your same mindsets?
- Imagine acting in a way that is not natural for you. For example, if you are not naturally self-assured, imagine a specific scenario in which you project confidence and take charge. Write about this imagined scenario in the past tense, as if it happened. Add as many specific details as you can. (“I noticed no one was taking charge, so I stepped up. No, I wasn’t an expert in this. No, I didn’t have all the answers. But I stated my opinion confidently, then delegated tasks to the people in the room. I know not everyone agreed with the decisions I made, and that’s OK. My actions got us through a stressful situation.”)
Journal prompts for Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict
- What is your relationship with conflict? How do you think your feelings about conflict have been shaped by your life experiences?
- Do you react differently to conflict at work and at home? Or with different groups of friends? How so?
- Write about a time you had a conflict that was productive. Why do you think it worked?
- Write about a conflict situation you were in that you wish you would have handled better. What impact do you think your DiSC style had on the situation?
- Think about a destructive response you tend to fall back on in conflict situations. These are things like defensiveness, exaggerating, gossiping, caving in, belittling others, passive-aggression, or overpowering others. Why do you think this is your tendency? What thoughts or values are driving this response?
Journal prompts for Everything DiSC® Management
- What aspects of your management style make you proud?
- What aspects of management do you struggle with? How could you work on these?
- Think about a good manager you’ve had, or a person whose management style you have observed and admired. Why do you think of them as a good manager? Try to be specific.
- What do you enjoy about managing? When do you feel most energized and successful as a manager?
- What do you dread about managing? What parts of being a manager drain your energy?
- Write about your relationship to delegating.
- Write about a time you were able to motivate your team.
- Make a list of what is preventing you from managing up. Now, examine each item on the list. Try to be objective. Is this true? Is there another way to think about the obstacle?
Journal prompts for Everything DiSC Work of Leaders®
- What makes a good leader? Describe an ideal leader.
- When in your life do you feel most like a leader? What does that mean to you and what does it feel like when it’s happening?
- What is your vision? How can you communicate your vision to others and get them on board?
- How do you invite feedback? How do you process feedback and use it to change direction?
- What are your most valuable contributions as a leader?
- Do you tend to prioritize the big picture or the details? How does this tendency support or hinder the kind of leader you want to be?
- What are three ways you could be bolder or more adventurous as a leader?
Journal prompts for Everything DiSC® Sales
- Write about your favorite customers. Do they have anything in common? Why do you think you enjoy working with them?
- Write about a sales or customer encounter that went really well. Can you identify what made it successful?
- Write about a sales or customer encounter that didn’t go well. At what point did it start to fall apart? What do you think the customer was feeling? What can you learn from the experience?
- What are your strengths when working with customers? What do you take pride in?
- When do you feel most energized at work? What saps your energy?
- Think about a customer whose personality is very different from yours. Imagine them walking into a situation with a salesperson. What is their mindset? What are their goals? What would make it a pleasant experience for them?
Journal prompts by DiSC style
People of all styles can benefit from reflecting on each of the prompts below. Start with the prompts for your style, then try out some others.
Journal prompts for DiSC i styles
- What are you excited about today?
- What makes you hopeful?
- Write about a recent time when you were able to really focus on something you were doing. What conditions, both internal and external, made that focus possible?
Journal prompts for DiSC C styles
- Make a list of interesting new things you’ve learned or seen recently. Select one item from the list and explore why you think it piqued your interest.
- What is a skill you wish you could instantly acquire, and why?
- Write about a time you enjoyed meeting someone new. What about that experience or that person contributed to your enjoyment?
Journal prompts for DiSC S styles
- What is something you did recently that helped another person?
- What is a small risk you can take this week?
- Write about a time you felt at peace. What conditions, both internal and external, contributed to that feeling?
Journal prompts for DiSC D styles
- What is something you used to believe that you have changed your mind about?
- What makes you feel powerful and why?
- Write about a time you felt exhilarated. Why did you feel that way?
Journaling and DiSC are a good pair—both are methods of understanding ourselves and the world around us. When someone takes a DiSC assessment, they receive a wealth of insight into their personality and motivations. Reflecting on this information through journaling can lead to powerful results.