Do you enjoy traveling?  I do, and it’s a good thing considering the nature of my job.  My Marriott Bonvoy account is showing 127 nights in 2022 alone!   Needless to say, I spend a lot of time in hotels and airports, which sets the stage for our first blog post of the year. 

Ah….the airport.  The hustle and bustle.  The hunt for best coffee shop (ahem….Miami), or the obscure bookshop in the corner (ahem…Chicago Midway), or the candy shop with double-dipped chocolate covered peanuts (ahem….Phoenix Sky Harbor).  And now you know how I spend my time during layovers. 

And what about the people watching?  Oh yes, the airport is perfect for that too.  Slow and fast walkers.  Early and late arrivers.  Loud cell phone talkers.  Angry people.  Sad people.  Individuals.  Families.  Businesspeople.  Vacationers.    Digital tickets.  Paper tickets.  Rule followers.  Rule breakers.  Heavy packers.  Light packers.  And how about those clothing choices?  My last flight of the year was just a few days ago as I flew home to Birmingham from Dallas Love.  And wouldn’t you know it…the last guy to board took the middle seat to my left, and that wasn’t the worst part.  He was wearing a tee shirt saying, “I like hunting and maybe two people”.  Welp.   Ok then.  Knowing that I’m not one of those two people, I quickly reached for the airpods.  No chance of having conversation with this guy.

The airport is the perfect place to observe human behavior.  The examples listed in the above paragraph are effective at painting the picture of our MANY different individual behavioral profiles.  And that’s only the start.  If you’re familiar with several of the most popular “personality” tests, you know the Enneagrams Test provides 9 personality possibilities.  Myers-Briggs Personality Test provides 16 possible combinations.  The DISC Behavioral Profile presents 60 different possibilities (or more, depending on the version).  And if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, yep, you can see them all of them in the airport!

So what about those “tests”?  Have you heard of them?  Have you ever taken one?  If you answered yes to those questions, nice.  You’re ahead of the game.  If not, let me encourage you to make the leap.  I became a certified DISC Behavioral Consultant in 2012 and I will confess that it changed my life.  I’m a big fan of DISC, both as a student and as a consultant, and I’m a fan for multiple reasons.  Let me take a moment to recognize and express appreciation to my mentor, instructor, and friend…Mrs. Judy Suitor.  Judy was the founder of Competitive Edge, Inc., the very first distributor of the digital DISC Profile Assessment.  She provided my certification in 2012 and has been a consistent influence in my life ever since.  Let me repeat…learning about behaviors and the DISC assessment tool was a life-changer for me.  But why?

  1. The depth and breadth of what I learned about myself (presented in a 48-page custom report) was incredibly valuable, enlightening, and humbling.   
  2. The assessment and theory behind it also taught me to
    1. observe the behaviors of the people around me
    1. predict their preferences (such as how they prefer to communicate)
    1. adapt to their style.  Imagine that…customizing my communication style to the preferences of the other person. 

Observing, predicting, and adapting is a super-power.  It really is, and if you have it, the people around you will agree and will appreciate your efforts.  Parents, coaches, counselors, teachers…stop now.  If you are performing one of those roles and have not taken time to learn about behaviors, please reconsider.  But be careful.  The internet is full of fakes and frauds.  Consultants tend to create and sell their own assessments (in an effort to increase their profit margins) rather than utilizing true assessments that have been validated through data and testing. 

So start now.  Contact me at and ask about the DISC Behavioral Profile.  If you have a group, we can administer the assessments and then present the results in a team-building seminar, either on location or via Zoom.  Trust me, you’ll be amazed by what you learn and the positive impact it will have on your ability to lead your team, group, or family. 

Oh, and let’s not forget, you’ll have a much better understanding of what you’re seeing in the airport too!

[Todd Gober is a DISC Certified Behavioral Consultant.  Thrive offers DISC assessments to individuals and groups, along with team building seminars  Todd can be reached at or (205) 266-0510.]