How to Recognize DISC Styles When You Don’t Have a DISC Report in Front of You?

2016-09-22_ekip-newsletter-sept-2016Are you sometimes wondering who the person you’re dealing with really is? Maybe they seem strange to you, or maybe their behavior leaves you wondering “What was he thinking?

Although it’s true that some people appear to be weird to us, many times it’s a question of not understanding where they’re coming from. Most of us process situations and people according to our own “filters”, according to who WE are. But everybody is not like us. For example, I love a new challenge, I find it stimulating and highly motivating. But for some people a challenge is a source of stress, it takes them out of their comfort zone and creates high anxiety. So if I’m a supervisor or a manager and I delegate tasks, understanding these differences can make a huge impact on the response I get when I communicate the challenging task to my team member.

So how can you broaden your understanding of others to consciously connect with them and create different results? Many of you have gone through a “Team Leadership DISC Exercise” with me. Many of you have read or heard about the DISC Model of Human Behavior but did not go through a “Team Leadership DISC Exercise” and maybe you’re wondering how to identify your own style or those around you.

Let’s say you have a colleague, or a team member, you find really hard to work with. But you are a team player and you want to know what you could do differently, and how you can best work with them. Here are two simple questions you can ask yourself to determine what your and their dominant personality trait might be and then adjust accordingly.
slideQuestion #1: Is my colleague, or team member, more OUTGOING or more RESERVED?

This trait has to do with rhythm. Think of it as somebody’s “internal motor” or “pace.” Some people always seem ready to go and dive in quickly. They engage their motor quickly. Others tend to engage more slowly or more cautiously.

Question # 2: Is my colleague, or team member, more TASK-ORIENTED or more PEOPLE-ORIENTED?

This trait has to do with priority. Think of it as somebody’s “external focus” or “compass” that guides them. Some people are focused on getting things done (tasks) while others are more interested in the people around them and their feelings.

These behavioral tendencies are neither right or wrong or good or bad. They are just different. People have different styles, and that’s good.

Now look at the illustration above to see the combinations. For example if your colleague, or team member, seems to be more outgoing and task-focused, he/she might have a “D” trait that is dominant. If your colleague is more reserved and people-focused, he/she might have an “S” trait that is dominant. So based on that, what are a few things you need to know when interacting with them?

Outgoing people: if you are dealing with a more outgoing person, make sure to pick up the pace a bit so you don’t lose their attention. Try to be more action focused and remember that everything does not have to be perfect before you bring it to the table.

Reserved people: if you are dealing with a more reserved person, please slow down a bit and give them time to reflect, process the information, and make a decision or accomplish a task. They need that.

People-oriented: if you are dealing with a people-oriented person, remember to ask “people” questions before you bring discussions about deadlines or processes. Think in terms of their well-being. When they feel you care, they will be more inclined to listen to what you have to say and collaborate.

Task-oriented people: if you are dealing with a task-oriented person, remember that they are highly logical and analytical. Their focus is the task at hand. When you bring issues to their attention, do a little analysis and bring options for solutions too.


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Experience of the week: This week, observe people around you: colleagues, superiors, family members. Try to answers these two questions:

#1 – Is my colleague, or team member, more OUTGOING or more RESERVED?

#2 – Is my colleague, or team member, more TASK-ORIENTED or more PEOPLE-ORIENTED?

Once you have the answers, decide on one small thing you will change in your interactions with them. Observe the results… and celebrate yourself for making an effort to improve relationships @ work!

Proactive idea of the month: Plan to have a team session this fall. Book a FREE strategic conversation with me to discuss it.

Have a good week!

Francine Provost

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