|D … Dominance (Driver)
I … Influence (Socialiser)
S … Steadiness (Steady Relator)
C … Compliance (Cautious Thinker)
||William Moulton Marsdon
Dr. Tony Alessandra
Hippocrates 400 B.C.
Using DISC to Build Teams That Work
‘Round up the usual suspects’, the gendarme ordered in the famous line from the movie ‘Casablanca’. And frequently that's how executives think when they create teams, committees, or task forces. The boss says or thinks something like: ‘Let's appoint anyone who might know something about this issue’. Or even more likely: ‘Grab anybody who's got a stake in this thing’.
Phase One … Finding Focus
Any new group at first gropes to find its focus. Members of the group ask, or at least think … ‘is this going to be worth the effort’? In addition, each member at this point is seeking to define his or her role. They silently ask, “do I fit in here, or am I an outsider?” “Am I going to be an important member of this group with real input, or am I just here for appearances?” “Is this going to waste my time”?
If the challenges the group faces are intellectually complex, the ‘C’ will be in his or her element. Because they're so good at reasoned analysis on tasks, ‘C’s can help clarify the mission and give the team focus.
Similarly, if the main hurdle the group faces is more of a conflict, say a history of discord among members and/or a split over its goals, a ‘D’ will likely shine. In fact, the group may be yearning for just such a strong leader who can tell the warring members to quit banging heads and either commit, or leave. That's a situation ready-made for the ‘D’.
Phase Two… Facing the Realities
While a tough-minded ‘C’ or ‘D’ may get the group going, this stormy second stage often cries out for the buoyant optimism of the ‘I’. Their friendly, informal, brand of leadership can send out a strong, clear signal that this group can work together and make things better for everybody.
A people-oriented approach is needed at this stage because not just the team's internal dynamics but also external issues must be addressed here. It's at this point that reality often intrudes. The group may begin to see how difficult its task really is, how little time and resources are available, and how members may need to settle for less rather than shoot for a stunning breakthrough.
All these factors can breed frustration, confusion, and disillusionment. That's why “I’s”, who are good at smoothing over rough edges and encouraging all to share their thoughts and feelings, can be a key here. If the “I” can convince them that who's in charge is less
important than who has what know-how and attitudes, the group will have entered the next phase.
Phase Three … Coming Together
Cooperation and collaboration become increasingly apparent, and it's now that “S’s” can give the group a boost. Because they are especially good at coalescing differing views, the “S’s” help meld individual differences into group progress.
By opening their hearts and heads to one another, the “S’s”, or others with “S-like” behaviour, can blend the discordant elements into more of a single melody. The team begins to narrow the gap between what it earlier said it wanted to do and what it is actually doing. There is a shift of identity, and it becomes a true team because members who previously thought in terms of "me," begin thinking "we."
Phase Four … Reaching for Stardom
The final stage is more the exception than the rule. When reached, it means a team is performing at its best and highest level, that it is functioning as a whole, not just as a collection of individuals. Its members learned how to work together. Morale is high.
The group continually produces quality and quantity output and is effectively self-managing.
At this stage, a hands-on, controlling “D”-type isn't needed. In fact, once a group has this momentum, such a strong-handed style can be counterproductive and could even torpedo the group's progress. Differences in styles among members of the team become a source of
strength, not dispute.
If team members are chosen carefully and if they practice adaptability,
So what if you don’t have a “D” “I” “S” or “C” available when setting up a team. As human beings are unique and we can adapt our behaviour so a person or persons can take on the role of the missing style. If other team members recognise this then boundaries are set and cooperation results.
the advantages of stylistic diversity can quickly outweigh the group's