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Jumanji - Our “Wiring” Explains Our Behavior

One of my favorite movies is Jumanji - especially the one that came out in 2017. (Original

Jumanji came out in 1995 - Robin Williams was amazing! Sure do miss his extraordinary talent!) I want to focus on the 2017 version because it does an excellent job of demonstrating our fears and the behaviors that we exhibit based on those fears or the person that we believe that we are.

Not only do I find the movie entertaining, but I also like it as it applies to one of my favorite behavior tools, Maxwell DISC.

Setting the stage...

First let’s set the characters - the “person” characters as high school students.

If you know at least a little bit about the movie, then you know that they get involved with a game. And that game actually transports them into the game - they actually become characters in the game and get stuck there until they can “finish” the game, at which time, they can exit and go back to their real lives. And of course, because of playing the game, they learn about themselves and each other which gives them (and the audience) life lessons that they can choose to learn from and apply to their lives as well as our own.

I love some special things about each of these “high school” characters because I can see some of myself and my characteristics in each of these individuals. And I can then see some characteristics of each of the game characters that I either have, or desire to have in myself. The really incredible thing, at least for me, is that this applies to what we do, when we offer the Maxwell DISC assessment to people. This is an amazing tool to add value to better understand a person’s personality and behavior “wiring” and why we each do (or don’t do) what we do. It’s really quite predictable. And if you always promised yourself that you would not do things like your mom or dad, and do it anyway - take heart - we are “wired” to be and become who we are based on three things: heredity, environment, and role models. And our parents (unless we are adopted) may be a contributor to two of these factors, right (heredity and role model)?

And to let you in on a little secret...

... about my wife and I, we frequently watch movies/shows and try to understand the DISC style of their character as that will explain and foretell why they will do or say the things they do.

DISC (Very) Basic Explanation

D - Dominant

I - Influencing

S - Steady

C - Compliant

Each style also has some definite fears, which impact their thoughts which translates into their actions.

DISC - Fears of:

D - Losing Control or being taken advantage of

I - Not being liked

S - Security

C - Being criticized

Let’s consider one character - Spencer Gilpin/Dr. Smolder Bravestone. As a high school student, Spencer is a bit of a nerd…..wearing a rain jacket when it isn’t expected to rain, doing the school jock’s, Anthony ‘Fridge’ Johnson’s homework because they used to “know” each other, and Spencer wants to be able to think of him as a friend, and secretly wishes he had Fridge’s athletic talents. Fridge is great, except for his self-absorbed egotistical jock persona. So, when these two are transformed into Jumanji game characters, and Spencer becomes the attractive, muscle bound, smart Dr. Smolder Bravestone with all the athletic capabilities and more….with the exception of being shy, and not believing in his own strengths and Fridge becoming the more diminutive mouthy smart-aleck that isn’t so brilliant, but isn’t afraid to give anything a go - there personality switch is quite comical.

From a personality perspective...

Spencer is likely a CS - Precisionist style, which means he is compliant and likes to know the facts, but also security conscious. In comparison, Fridge is likely a DI - Influencer style, which means that he is a decision maker, but also wants people to like him. When these two become their Jumanji game alter egos, Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Spencer) becomes the DI - Influencer style, being brave, decisive ; and Franklin Finbar (Fridge) becomes knowledgeable CS - precisionist, knowledgeable about all kinds of things, and is always shocked to have had any idea of the information.

The interactions become really interesting when the character’s secondary characteristic becomes more demonstrated. This would be the I (influencing) for Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Spencer) as his “smolder” gaze has a somewhat hypnotic effect (softening composure) on people (eEspecially Bethany, aka Dr. Shelly Oberon (played by Jack Black) - tearfully funny/hilarious!) Also intriguing is when Franklin Finbar (“Fridge”) must conquer the security conscious, S-style part of his characteristic, and the fear of something, like a snake that he knows all the details about. Each of these characters must learn to focus on their strengths (their dominant first characteristic) without letting the less dominant characteristic limit their potential strength.

What are your strengths?

Do you focus almost exclusively on them? If not, do you know why you look at what you lack, and understand how that is holding you back? You have so much more potential! If you are intrigued, let’s investigate the Maxwell DISC assessment, and gain greater clarity on your personality and behavior strengths, and learn your leadership strengths - a result that no other DISC assessment offers, only the one created in partnership with Maxwell Leadership. Remember what John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” and “Leadership develops daily, not in a day.” Let’s get started!

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