DISCover One of the Best Kept Secrets of Successful Teams


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When asking what is the major factor in making one team more successful than another the answer is always communication, communication, communication.
 
Whilst this is common knowledge it is far from common practise. Common problems caused by poor communication are reduced productivity, misunderstandings, ineffectiveness, unnecessary stress and conflict between staff, increased staff absence and turnover and also the potential loss of new and existing business.
 

Positive and Productive Team Working

The DISC Personality Profiling system is widely regarded as the ultimate coaching tool as it enables management and individual team members to understand why others behave in a particular way, what motivates and de-motivates them; what their strengths and challenges are. When there is a lack of understanding, comments and actions are often taken personally. By including all the team in becoming aware of self and others can dramatically improve communication throughout your organisation.
 
Because DISC talks about behaviour styles rather than criticising the individual, all members of the team can give feedback to each other in a non-threatening and constructive manner. By identifying natural strengths and challenges this information is extremely useful in developing and promoting staff, this increasing everyone’s self awareness.
 
By having greater understanding of others preferred methods of communication allows staff to modify their behaviour to appeal to styles that are different to their own. As well as improved communication within the team this can also increase confidence when dealing with clients and generating new business.
 
With the definition of communication being the results that you get. If you are not getting the results you want from your team, perhaps it’s time to look at ways you can improve your communication and understanding of each other.
 

Improved Communication and Conflict Resolution

 
People are predictably different. However most people do not appreciate this and can find difference irritating and hard to understand, causing conflict. DISC profiling enables all your team to appreciate the value of being different and how this gives essential balance to a team, thus increasing overall performance. 
 
Most people are a blend of one or two of the different personality styles. DISC makes the different styles easy to recognise and remember which is why it has such a massive impact as people gain instant insight into not only themselves and their colleagues, but also clients, family members improving relationships in all areas which gives a triple win/win which can only be good for your whole business. 
 

D – stands for the Direct, Driven and Domineering personality (3% of the population)

 

I – stands for the Inspiring, Influential and Uplifting personality (11% of the population)

 

S – stands for the steady, solid and team player personality  (69% of the population)

 

C – stands for the Conscientious, Careful and detail orientated personality (17% of the population)

 
Another way to help understand the personality types is people tend to be either introvert or extrovert and task or people orientated.
D’s are task focused and extrovert, I’s are extrovert and people focused, S;s are introvert and people focused and C’s are introvert and task focused.

The strongest teams have a balance of the different personality types, which allows everyone to play to their strengths and creates a supportive and in house resource for overcoming areas for development. On a personal level one of the greatest insights I have gained since becoming familiar with DISC personality styles that previously used to irritate have become my new best friends as they can help me overcome my blind spots and become a more well rounded and effective person.
 
At a glance it is easy to see the vast majority of people are S which means they favour a steady routine and are usually very dependable and reliable as they crave stability. The S’s are great team players as they love to be led and want to create a harmonious environment for everyone. S’s resist change as this unsettles them and they fear uncertainty, this causes them to slow right down especially when making decisions or taking action. Just look at how the majority of people have reacted to the current economic situation. The S;s are very people focused and driven by their feelings and have a tendency to take any criticism personally which can bring them into conflict with the task focused and dominant D’s. S’s really benefit from being able to separate individuals from them behaviour as this makes them much more receptive to addressing areas for development.
 
D’s are the smallest percentage of people and often tends to be in a position of leadership and authority. They have the drive and determination to create business empires from scratch and are very task and results focused. Simon Cowell and Madonna are classic examples of the D personality. The D’s are excellent at being the captain of the ship, however their lack of people skills like tact or diplomacy can cause them unintentionally to upset the sensitive S types. D’s would do well to be aware how the other styles prefer to be communicated with as this will speed up their need for results.
 
I’s tend to be the big ideas people who love to inspire others as well as themselves, however they struggle with focus and are easily distracted. They are chatty and friendly and great persuaders. They bring energy and enthusiasm to the team but need support to follow through and take the actions necessary. They can clash with the detail orientated C’s who can frustrate them with the need for endless information. The D’s and C’s love the I’s creative and original ideas but want them presented in a clear and concise manner, anything wishy washy or airy fairy will not be received well by these task focused people.
 
The C’s love detail, they strive for high quality systems and standards. They are very conscientious and take pride in being precise and accurate. This need for perfection can cause paralysis of analysis when getting started on new projects as they can get stuck in the research phase as they fear criticism and conflict. The C’s again benefit from being able to separate behaviour from individuals as they the experiment with taking small calculated risks and living life on the wild side!
 
Personality profiling is very popular during the recruitment of staff and it is a missed opportunity to leave these reports in the bottom of a dusty filing cabinet in the HR department. When choosing a scientifically validated profile it makes sense to choose one that can be used as a management down as well as management up tool to improve communication and self awareness.
 
When your staff have a personality profile, sharing it with them is one of the quickest ways to boost their confidence as it identifies their key strengths and value to the team. The next benefit is that the individual and their manager is aware of how they are best motivated, this is invaluable to promote self-leadership and reduce the need for micro-management as well as avoiding the risks of the manager accidently de-motivating . Just in case the report also lists how an individual is de-motivated so there really is no excuse not to have a team full of happy, engaged employees.
 
How much easier is it for managers to have at their fingertips the preferred motivation methods instead of assuming everyone is motivated the same way as them, which is the usual management style.
 
With outcomes being top of the agenda for most businesses, the managers who are able to adapt their motivational styles to individual staff members will get more of the results they need, whilst creating a loyal and valued team and harmonious working environment.
There is no personality type that is better or worse than another, all have their strengths and weaknesses, again making your staff aware of areas where they may need support or coaching will make them feel valued and more motivated to address these areas. Sharing this information as part of team building, helps everyone to appreciate each other creating positive, productive teams and will help your business grow from strength to strength. 
 
DISC profiling helps master the art of giving feedback non-confrontationally. Careless criticism risks both relationships and morale. By understanding an individuals preferred method of communication you can adapt your style to suit theirs, thus potential misunderstandings can be avoided. The effectiveness of your communication is the RESULT that you get. The people most flexible in their communication style will get the most successful outcomes.
 
Helping people to become aware that there are predicable personality and behaviour styles empowers people to take responsibility for their strengths and areas for development and open the lines of communication that is vital for effective team working.
 
If you would like more information on how to get a computerised DISC profile report for you or your team please get in contact with emma@stridingout.co.uk or ring her on 07968 942112 as you may be able to get funding to cover some or all of the costs. DISC profiling can be provided as 121 individuals sessions or a team workshop depending on your preferences. 

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