Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash
I recently had the opportunity to participate in facilitator training for Everything DiSC® and it has opened my eyes to new possibilities for more harmonious workplaces, both for myself and for my clients who primarily work in human resources and organizational development roles.
I had been exposed to DiSC by taking the assessment myself, but I didn’t understand its benefits fully until I took this training. Now I see the potential for increasing understanding and improving communication between co-workers and team members, factors that ultimately impact productivity. Here's how learning your DiSC style can make a difference in your daily work:
About the assessment
Everything DiSC is a personality assessment designed to help individuals understand their work-related behaviors. It provides a new shared language around personality styles and preferences. DiSC is an acronym for the four different styles, which can be characterized by the following:
Dominance: direct, driven, forceful, results-oriented, and strong-willed
Influence: enthusiastic, outgoing, sociable, lively, and talkative
Steadiness: patient, tactful, accommodating, calm, and even-tempered
Conscientiousness: private, reserved, accurate, analytical, and logical
While each person is a blend of all four, we have certain preferences that can be ascribed more strongly to one or two styles.
About the results
The DiSC assessment results are presented in a circular map so that leaders can see where their personal preferences show up in relation to the other styles. Where we are different from others there is a potential for misunderstanding, but knowing these differences and being able to communicate them can create harmony, which makes for more effective teams.
The self-awareness that DiSC provides is valuable for all leaders. Knowing other people’s styles and being aware of their style’s preferences can be an effective way to create more productive relationships at work. On a personal level, learning how my C style impacts those I work with gives me options for adjusting my behavior.
How to implement this knowledge
If my boss happens to be a D style and likes decision-making to occur at a fast pace, I can support her by providing information quickly and succinctly. Since her more forceful style pushes for instant results, I can better meet her needs by letting her know when something will be completed. I also may have to remind myself to not take it personally if she says something bluntly.
If I am working with someone who is an i style, he or she is probably going to come to the first meeting with a lot of enthusiasm and ideas. My first tendency would be to understand the scope by asking questions, but that might lead my i style co-worker to feel criticized. Armed with that awareness, I could start out my conversation with a phrase like, “It’s helpful for me to understand a little more,” and then I can ask my questions. I could also choose to practice not asking too many questions all at once.
A co-worker who is an S style would have a preference to collaborate and involve other people in projects and decisions. The S style values diplomacy, flexibility, and building relationships that are inclusive. My C style is more comfortable working independently, so I would benefit negotiating parts of the project where I can focus quietly and then come to the group at key decision points, rather than doing everything in a group context.
It’s always beneficial to have another tool in our tool belt when we are trying to create workplaces that are productive. I can recommend the DiSC training for any person or organization that wants to create an environment of greater understanding, trust, and productivity.
For another perspective on DiSC, read the post one of my S style coworkers wrote: What DiSC® Taught Me in My First Year of Work.