It goes without saying that not everyone is alike. Your team is made up of a unique group of individuals who perceive things in a unique way and thrive off of different input and rewards. One critical mistake we often make a team leaders is treating these individuals the same- that is, assuming that they will respond well to the same set of instructions, communication, or feedback. Do you occasionally give feedback or instructions that are interpreted differently than you meant? Or, perhaps you have conflict within your teams from people who can’t seem to get on the same page. How do you solve these issues?
Enter, the DISC profile. The DISC assumes that people are, essentially, divided into 4 different categories (Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive, Cautious) and that these categories help dictate the most effective and impactful way to interact with these individuals. Determining who you work with that fits within these categories can be the key to increasing productivity through effective communication.
So what are the 4 DISC categories?
The Dominant "D" type - An outgoing, task-oriented individual will be focused on getting things done, accomplishing tasks, getting to the bottom line as quickly as possible and MAKING IT HAPPEN! (The key insight in developing a relationship with this type person is RESPECT and RESULTS.)
Dominent individuals (often managerial types but not always) want little detail, real facts, and to know how things are going to get done. They are not interested in idle chit chat or menial tasks- they are focused on action items.
The Inspiring "I" type - An outgoing, people-oriented individual loves to interact, socialize and have fun. This person is focused on what others may think of him or her. (The key insight in developing a relationship with this type person is ADMIRATION and RECOGNITION.) While they may have a great deal to contribute, High I’s sometimes take a minute to get to the details. They enjoy social interaction and chatting. High I’s often make great sales people and do well in client-facing roles.
The Supportive "S" type - A reserved, people-oriented individual will enjoy relationships, helping or supporting other people and working together as a team. (The key insight in developing a relationship with this person is FRIENDLINESS and SINCERE APPRECIATION.) High S individuals don’t respond well to forceful communication or brusk instructions- rather, they respond best to people who seem to appreciate their insight and contributions. These individuals are great at being the glue of a team, and help keep the different parts moving together.
The Cautious "C" type - A reserved, task-oriented individual will seek value, consistency and quality information. This person focuses on being correct and accurate. (The key insight in developing a relationship with this individual is TRUST and INTEGRITY.) High C’s are fact based, and might feel uncomfortable in situations where they are made to be too social or interactive. However, they thrive in situations where facts and figures rule, and are great at independent problem solving.
Understanding the unique inner-workings of your teammates and employees can be a great way to keep productivity up and conflict down. If you find that sometimes your communications may get lost in translation, it might be worth digging further into DISC, to craft your communication to better fit your individual teammates. This doesn't mean you will be required to send out 4 sets of instructions with each email- however, it could be the key to clearing up miscommunications and subsequent conflict.