Team member profiles and team DISC styles give you an outline of what is common in each behavior type. However, as you are using these tools to improve your working environment and team dynamics, remember that each team member is so much more than their particular quadrant on a chart. Using DISC styles can give you a starting point for structuring time with each team and individual.
Learning about and understanding your team, their communication and behavioral styles, and other traits is a journey. As humans, we are very complex. We all have different values and different experiences, and that goes for those of us who have the same DISC styles as well. As a result, we each approach work differently and bring different values to the table.
Bring what you know from DISC to every interaction with your team members. Then add what you learn from interactions with them to your knowledge base. The more you practice this, the more effective you will be in leading your team.
Personality Styles and Stress
As discussed above, we all exhibit unique complexities in our everyday behaviors as humans. There are many different approaches that we all take to handling stressful situations, for example, as well as different triggers that cause us stress. What might be a highly stressful situation for one team member (be it because of the unknown, because of a traumatic event experienced, or otherwise) might be barely noticed by another team member.
Dominance and influence styles tend to vent stressful emotions while conscientiousness and steadiness styles tend to suppress them instead. With this in mind, what can a leader do to understand their team dynamics and manage the team through stressful situations? Here are some helpful suggestions:
1. Start with DISC styles.
While DISC doesn’t give you full insight into each of your team members, it is an excellent starting point. The team DISC as well as individual DISC profiles can help you as a leader understand where to start in making a connection with your team members.
For example, dominance styles tend to be results-oriented team members who enjoy challenges. With these team members, you might start a conversation by asking them about their goals and what they are working toward. Influence styles are oriented toward people and have interest in social interactions. You might connect with these team members by inquiring about who they have been working with and what their experience has been like. Steadiness team members value stability and harmony. Discussions of how the workflow is going may be an effective way to draw these team members into conversation. Finally, conscientiousness style team members tend to be detail-oriented. Here, you might start by learning about their expertise and where they believe improvements can be made to the team’s work.
2. Spend time with your team.
Take time with your team in a group setting. Knowing each team member and what their everyday behavior looks like can help you understand how a team member’s DISC profile resembles their behavior. During your time together, consider asking questions about their motivations, preferred work styles, and interests inside and outside of the workplace.
3. Encourage team members to spend time with each other.
The better your team members know each other, the better they are likely to communicate and perform as a team. Creating opportunities for team members to spend time together can go a long way in what your team members are able to accomplish working together versus working on their own.
4. Discuss DISC profiles.
Have conversations with each of your team members in one-on-one settings about their DISC profiles. Take this opportunity to learn what resonates with them and what doesn’t regarding their DISC profile. This can help you understand a bit more about where the team member’s DISC is spot-on and where your team member has other unique traits.
DISC is a highly-effective tool in bringing a team together to accomplish its goals. Knowing the tool’s capabilities and limitations can help you use the DISC profiles and DISC Team styles to your full advantage.