Strengthen Your Team’s Communication With DISC

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Imagine this situation, a meeting is called to discuss goals for the next quarter. The meeting is scheduled to start at 9am in the main conference room. The first person to arrive 10 minutes early is Dwight. He proudly says out loud to himself “Time is money! If you aren’t 10 minutes early, then you are late!”


Next to arrive is Jan who is 5 minutes early. She looks at Dwight and says, “Where is everyone? I need this meeting to start and end on time. I have a lot to get done today!” They both gave each other a frustrated look and let out a deep sigh.


Coming in exactly at 9am is Jim who is carrying a stack of handouts. Jim says to Dwight and Jan, while passing out his handouts, “I did a lot of research and I have come up with an entire process that will streamline our purchasing which will save us time & money. Look at the charts on pages 3 & 4. This is great stuff!” 


At 9:03am walks in Erin who immediately says “I’m so sorry for not being here earlier. I was in the breakroom, and I ran into Kelly who was telling me about her breakup with her boyfriend this weekend. I wanted to hear her story, but I also wanted to be on time. I’m really sorry! I’ll bring in breakfast treats tomorrow. Is that okay?!”


Dwight looked up and said “Did you say something Erin? I was checking my email. I got my email from 25 unread to 3…BOOM!”


Jan chimes in and says “Hey! Where is Michael? Didn’t he schedule this meeting?!”


The door opens at 9:07am and walks in Michael with donuts and balloons. He says “It’s Monday and it’s time to paaaaarrrrrty!” Jan says “I thought we were starting at 9am!” Michael looks at his watch with a confused face, “I thought we were starting at 9:15am, I guess I didn’t look at the invite correctly. Huh. Anyways, did anyone see the new show on FOX last night? Oh my gosh! It was amazing!”


For the next 10 minutes Michael goes on talking about the show he watched last night was amazing and explaining every detail he enjoyed.


Dwight  cuts Michael off and asks, “Can we get the meeting going? I have a hard stop at 10am for another meeting.”


The meeting finally got going and it was bumpy. There was no clear agenda, but some good ideas did get shared. However, there was no clear direction at the end on who was doing what, when it had to be completed and how would they know the goal was reached.


Ever have a meeting like this? I hope not but maybe some similar things got you to laugh a little. That was 100% made up but I hope you can see that each person in the meeting brought a unique personality to it. Why can’t everyone just have the same personality, am I right? Well, that would be so boring, and your team would suffer because you need a diverse team to thrive. Our company has used the DISC assessment to help us understand WHY each personality is different and how we can work better together as a team with DISC.


Dwight and Jan are your D’s in the room –  People with D personalities tend to be confident and place an emphasis on accomplishing bottom-line results. Having meetings start and end on time is ideal with a clear agenda. They tend to solve new problems very quickly and assertively. They take an active and direct approach to obtaining results.


Michael was the I in the room - People with I personalities tend to be more open and place an emphasis on relationships and influencing or persuading others. Having fun and telling stories is what fills their cup. They can be a bit impulsive and have tons of new ideas.


Erin was the S in the room - People with S personalities tend to be dependable and place the emphasis on cooperation and sincerity. They want to be sure everyone feels included and does not want to disappoint others. They are very loyal and have excellent listening skills. 


Jim was the C in the room - People with C personalities tend to place the emphasis on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency. They want to understand WHY and HOW to the whole process. More information the better AND stick to the defined process.



Why does DISC help your team communicate better?


It brings SELF-AWARENESS – You  will understand how you think, how you respond to conflict, what motivates you, what annoys you and how you work through problems. It gives you words, definitions, and insights to share with others. DISC can help others understand how you think, work and win.


It helps gives CLARITY – For a long time I wanted others to imitate my behavior so I could feel confident we were on the same page for a meeting. I learned that each personality has their own response which can be very different from mine and still be in sync with me. You don't know how what others are thinking but this does give good insights on why each person responds differently. 


It helps you MANAGE better – It’s important to not annoy your team by leading in a way that brings frustrations to them. You can understand how each person on your team responds by learning their motivations and their ideal job that helps their natural abilities to shine. It also helps your team understand why you lead the way you do. 


It helps you TRANSFORM conflict into collaboration – Understanding how the person you are working with is wired will change everything if you use this information. Mirroring each other is not the best way to avoid conflict. You need to embrace your differences and use those traits to complement each other. Don’t try to change someone but use this information to help you relationships thrive by working well together.



There are a lot of resources when it comes to DISC so choose the one best for you. A few things I would recommend:


  1. Have each employee take a DISC profile test and let them study their own profile.
  2. Share the DISC results with each other to learn and understand where each person falls on DISC.
  3. Discuss as a team how the DISC profile gave new insights on how to work with each other.
  4. Transform your meetings to be more effective by understanding each other's DISC.
  5. Make DISC be a key part of your communication. Make it easy and visible for your team to see often. 



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