What's your current focus with your team? How can you improve them, both individually and in group, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness and potential? Do you want to grow them? Are you forming a new team?
To respond to these and related questions, we have been using DiSC© to help us understand group functioning. DiSC© is a validated behavioral inventory of our preferences, produced by the Inscape Publishing Co. It is NOT a personality assessment; the focus is on what people do (behavior), not what their underlying personality characteristics are.
DiSC© is distinctly different from Myers Briggs (MBTI) which is a widely used personality assessment. Our basic philosophy is that leadership can be taught. Individuals can learn to change their behavior, but the psychologists and biologists tell us that our personality is ingrained at an early age. It therefore makes little sense to utilize a personality assessment to teach leadership.
With the DiSC® you will learn about four basic behavioral styles:
- D, Dominance. Active, assertive, take direct action
- i, influence. People focused, friendly, optimistic
- S, Steady. Calm, supportive, cooperative
- C, Conscientiousness. Detailed, accurate, complete
We typically use DiSC© in one of three ways. In individual executive coaching/career advising, we help people develop their strengths and respond to those things they do less well. In public speeches, workshops, and keynotes we use it to help people improve their leadership capabilities. In private offerings, we use the DiSC© to help leadership teams work better with each other.
However the DiSC© is used, the focus is on individual and team behavior. The assessment identifies behaviors that we engage in every day at the workplace. Of these behaviors, we seek to determine which ones help us achieve success, which ones may hold us back. At this point individuals can determine where they want to improve.
At the team level, focused discussion among teammates, including a sharing of individual behavior styles, allows everyone to understand each other's focus. We see that
the talkative "high i" (influence) needs conversation as much as the quieter "high C" (Consciensciousness). The assertive "high D" (Dominance) needs to take charge and make a decision, while the "high S" (Steady) works to ensure that the entire team is working together, even if this consensus takes more time.