Using the DISC Assessment to Improve Your Leadership
Every great cook has a recipe book designed to help him/her make delicious dishes. These recipes guide the cook toward success. Wouldn’t it be great if you had such a guidebook for leading your team?
The DISC is a very effective assessment tool that can give you that guidance. With the DISC, a leader can discover how comfortable or uncomfortable employees are with certain behaviors, work situations, or tasks. It does not assess one’s abilities. It assesses a person’s comfort and energy level with certain situations. It also determines a person’s work preferences. For example, have you ever noticed that some types of work are easier and more natural for you than they are for others? And, whatever comes most natural to you requires less energy. Because you feel more comfortable doing those types of work, you prefer it.
Here’s how I use the DISC with my clients: I begin by asking each member of a team to complete a DISC assessment. Each team member then receives an individualized report that increases their awareness of how they prefer to do things and how they interact with others. As their coach, I then use the DISC report to help each team member understand:
- the four DISC “types”
- their own individual DISC profile type
- their strengths, motivators, and communication style
- how to improve their daily interactions with others
- actions they can take to help them adjust to others on the team.
Next, I provide the leader of the team a DISC assessment. The leader’s DISC results will help the leader better communicate with the team, be more effective in his\her interactions with team members, and learn how to motivate them more effectively. The DISC team reports allow the manager to have quickly accessible information to refer to when meeting one-on-one or in team meetings.
After I focus on each individual’s behavior styles, I help them learn to identify other team members’ DISC styles. Finally, I practice with each team member how to adapt his style to those of others in order to be more successful. After individually reviewing DISC results, I focus on how each team member interacts with the team. I help them understand:
- what strengths they bring to the team
- how team members feel
- how to be an even more effective team member
For example, many leaders with whom I work want to have the positive D Style traits: being driven, decisive, directive, and results-oriented. However, people with a D style may also have negative characteristics. They may be poor team players who are impatient and arrogant. They may lack humility listen poorly, act superior, and remain reluctant to change. In their haste, they may be aggressive, inconsiderate, and belittling. This is where I come in. I help the client develop more of the behaviors and traits in the first list and overcome the tendencies in the latter lists. I help people remain true to their style yet avoid behaviors that de-rail them. Rather than change who they are fundamentally, I help my clients accept themselves while modifying their style for others or for the situation. I help them embrace their strengths.
As we all know, team members may need help with something that they are doing wrong. However, sometimes the manager may be the problem. So, with each team leader, I review the section of the DISC report called “your team at a glance”. This helps the manager identify attributes of team members requiring him/her to adjust her/his leadership style to better lead them. This helps the leader quickly change any behavior that needs adjustment. Next, I review with the leader the “how to motivate your team” section of the DISC report to identify what motivates each of the employees on the team. The information in the DISC report helps leaders manage the team effectively. With this information, they can better understand their team and grasp the big picture. It helps the leader better support and develop each team member individually. What’s more, a leader can use the DISC report to support and develop the team as a whole.
After the assessments are debriefed individually and as a team, most of the teams that I work with display their team DISC map in an office. This is a quick reference for the leader and the team. It reminds the leader and all team members that each of them have different strengths, preferences, and ways of approaching their work. Knowing each other in these ways can help employees appreciate the diversity of the team and work more efficiently.
Do you have a new leader with:
- Problems handling authority and communicating assertively?
- Difficulty prioritizing tasks, making decisions, delegating, and managing time?
- Tendency to micro-manage, procrastinate, or strive for perfection?
Or, a leader who:
- Fails to mentor others? Or has a lot of conflict?
- Lacks clear goals, accountability, or strategy?
- Communicates poorly?
- Seems uncomfortable with leadership roles, responsibilities, and tasks?
Call us if you want less struggle and stress, more results with less time and effort, and more focus, employee engagement, harmony and success. Our coaching & training is individualized and focused on goals, actions, & solutions.
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