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I often say, if you have one training to pick for your team, choose the DiSC Personality Style Training. I have worked with this system for over 15 years and I can truly say it is extremely effective at creating a more positive team culture and work environment. Transformative Training offers DiSC Training in Denver, Colorado and beyond.

I am such a DiSC geek I have even been known to take a napkin out at a party and start charting it for people so that they can understand the system. Yes, I’m serious. But you see, that is because I am a Di (more on that later) and my primary motivation in life is to make a difference and inspire people to learn and grow. Now, depending on YOUR style you are either nodding your head in agreement or saying to yourself – really? Give me a break!

You see, the key is that the DiSC personality training is so simple that I can explain it in 10 minutes – and yet after 15 years of working with this system I am still learning the nuances of the different personalities from my participants. This simple yet profound system is why I recommend this training over all others. I’m not just being a sales person here, I really believe in this stuff and it is the lens through which I see all human interaction.

Step 1: Understand the DiSC Personality Style System.

If you already know your style, great. Do you know the style of those you work with? How about your family members? This is where it is beneficial to hold a team training that focuses on the DiSC. No matter what your goal or challenge is, the DiSC can help. The reason is that the DiSC gives your team a common language so that you can increase understanding and team cohesiveness.

Case study: Last month I did a training for a team whose supervisors I have been working with for the last year. Before the training, the supervisors talked to me and said,

“Look, there are these two people on our team and they are in constant conflict. We have worked with them and we don’t know what to do. They just don’t see eye to eye.”

My response:

“Well, we can do a conflict mediation process, but before we do that let’s wait for the DiSC Training coming up in a couple of weeks to see if that helps.”

A week after the training I spoke with the manager. She said – the two people who were in conflict had “aha” moments during the training. They got that they are different personality styles and see things completely differently. They were able to resolve their conflict.

Wahooo!!!  I love this stuff. I am not making that up, it really happened. This also is not unusual. In the training I like to say that we see the world through our own glasses (personality style) and expect others to do the same. That is where the problems begin. In order to work together better (play in the sandbox as it were) we have to get that we have different styles, motivations, and ways of dealing with conflict. Other styles aren’t wrong, they are just different. Let me say that again: OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT WRONG, THEY JUST DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. That is one of the main teachings of this system. It sounds easy, but it is not so easy to put into practice.

One more point of clarification. The DiSC was designed to be used positively to increase the effectiveness of interpersonal relationships, specifically in the workplace. It is not to be used to put other people in boxes to stereotype them or put them down. The theoretical framework for the DiSC Personality Styles was originally created in 1928 by a psychologist named Dr. William Marston. He also created the Wonder Woman comic, so you know he was a pretty cool guy.

The main benefits from doing the DiSC Personality Training with your team are:

  • Understand the strengths and challenges of your personality style
  • Understand the strengths and challenges of those you work with
  • Capitalize on the diverse strengths of your team
  • Adapt your communication to those you work with at all levels of the organization
  • Get your ideas heard
  • Be more persuasive
  • Better motivate others
  • Navigate conflict more successfully
  • Practice problem solving

Step 2: Understand the main strengths and challenges of each style

OK, let’s give a brief description of each of the four styles so that we are on the same page.

Now, we have to keep a sense of humor about ourselves as we go through our strengths and challenges. I often tell groups that my assessment says at my worst I can be belligerent. Everyone laughs, I guess they can tell! The point is that I make it a fun and safe environment to share our foibles. After all, we are all human!

Here is what the DiSC stands for:

D = Dominance

i =   Influence

S =  Steadiness

C = Conscientious

The DiSC Personality Style Assessment is basically measuring two dimensions.

In the workshop we draw it out with a vertical and a horizontal axis.

The horizontal axis measures our tendencies to be more task oriented and skeptical on one side, or more relational and accepting on the other. This does not mean that those on the relational side do not get work done or that those on the task side don’t care about relationships, but it does give us an indication for how we approach our working relationships.

The vertical axis measures our tendencies to be fast paced and outspoken on one side or more reflective and cautious on the other side. Again, there is no right or wrong here – all the styles are actually needed to make for a well-rounded team. I tell a great story to illustrate this in the training about my fast-paced decision to buy a car – but I will save the punch line on that one for the training!

The Ds are fast-paced and skeptical

The I’s are fast-paced and accepting

The S’s are reflective and accepting and

The C’s are reflective and skeptical

Obviously it is a possibility that you could be a combination. In fact, we all have SOME of each of the styles. Usually though we have a preference for one or two of the styles that gives us a particular character.

For example: as a Di you can usually count on me to be fast-paced and depending on what the situation calls for I will be either task-oriented or accepting and relational.

The most usual combination of styles are:

Di/iD
iS/Si
SC/CS
DC/CD

Sometimes we will se an iC, although this is less common because these are opposite styles. Very rarely we will see a DS because these are really opposite tendencies.

See if you can see yourself or your co-workers in these descriptions:

D – Dominant – Motivated by Results and Achievement

Strengths

  • Decisive
  • Strong Leaders
  • Confident
  • Bold
  • Task Oriented
  • Get things done

Challenges

  • Lack compassion
  • Think they are right (they often say, no, we KNOW we are right!)
  • Act without input or consensus
  • Inflexible
  • Impatient

i* – Influence – Motivated by Positive Energy and Making a Difference

* The i’s often want to know why they are lower case. I like to reassure them that it is only an indicator of a trademark by Inscape Publishing and NOT a reflection of how important they are!

Strengths

  • Optimistic and enthusiastic
  • Motivate and encourage
  • Want to know how they can make a difference
  • Fun and lively
  • Creative

Challenges

  • Staying focused and following through (initiating is more exciting)
  • Get bogged down with details
  • Being micro-managed
  • Listening (they want to but are on to the next idea)
  • Taking things personally

 S – Steadiness – motivated by harmony and sense of team

Strengths

  • Patient
  • Even-tempered
  • Accommodating
  • Tactful and humble
  • Helpful and caring

Challenges

  • Avoid conflict (really their biggest challenge)
  • Timid
  • Get overwhelmed because they can’t say no
  • Don’t get their ideas heard
  • Getting their feelings hurt

C – Conscientious – motivated by quality of work

Strengths

  • Dependable
  • Precise
  • Analytical
  • Detail-oriented
  • Committed

Challenges

  • Prefer to work alone – not usually team oriented
  • Withhold ideas
  • Reserved
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Tendency towards perfectionism

In light of these descriptions you can probably see that there is room for a lot of creativity and collaboration between these different styles – AND there can be conflict and misunderstanding when these styles are not understood and people think THEIR WAY is the RIGHT WAY.

In part two of this blog/article I will cover:

Step 3: How to adapt to each others’ styles and

Step 4: How to keep the DiSC Personality Styles alive over time

We offer DiSC Training in Denver, Colorado and beyond!

© Jeannie Gunter, MA
President and Founder
Transformative Training Solutions

Jeannie Gunter, MA

Jeannie Gunter, MA

Founder, Transformative Solutions

303 653-3097

Jeannie works with a wide variety of clients to help them increase their team effectiveness and leadership capacity in their teams. She has worked both nationally and internationally as an organizational consultant, facilitator, speaker and wilderness guide.

With a strong background in group dynamics, over the past 20 years Jeannie has guided hundreds of teams in a wide variety of organizations to successful outcomes in team, personal and professional development.

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