The concept of using behavioral tools has been around a long time. At PBC we use the Everything DiSC tools for the majority of our analyses to help people better understand who they are so that they can understand what is it about them that’s different from others. That knowledge forms the basis of our ability to notice the effect that our behaviors have on others. For example, consistent with my style, I talk too much. Often times I don’t notice that I’m talking so much more than a lot of people around me really appreciate. Understanding my natural behavioral style helps me to focus on that point, to make sure that I’m listening to others and not talking over them in a conversation. So once I’m able to know myself relative to others and then control myself to better fit general situations, the next step is to know others.
One of the things we spend a lot of time helping our clients with is understanding how to read other people which helps them in the fourth step, which is to adapt to other peoples’ needs. This is what Tony Alessandra calls the “Platinum Rule: Treat others as they wish to be treated.” One of the important lessons that I was reminded of in this certification training is to never pigeonhole people. We don’t learn these people concepts so that we can put people into boxes. We learn these concepts so that we can better adapt to others. Also, just because I have a particular style doesn’t mean I can hide behind that and then excuse my behavior because well it’s “just who I am.” The idea is to use this newfound knowledge to help us get along better with all those around us. I have countless client examples where they say, “Wow, I just figured out why I was having such a hard time connecting with that particular coworker. They are of the type that requires lots of detailed information. I am the type that appreciates very short instruction. I always assumed that she would appreciate my brevity when giving her instructions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now that I know that she needs more detail, I’m providing that extra level of detail and we are communicating and working together at a much more effective level.”
The tools we use from Everything DiSC come in many varieties. At the coworker level there is the Everything DiSC Workplace, which in addition to helping people understand their style helps them understand how to better work together with their coworkers by helping people create strategies to improve their working relationships. Another tool called Everything DiSC Management, looks at people’s management styles and how they delegate work, motivate people, develop people, and also how they manage up in an organization. For people who are in one-to-many leadership positions, we use the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders tool. This tool, in addition to using the DiSC method, also examines a person’s abilities in the classic leadership areas: Crafting a Vision, Gaining Alignment, and Championing Execution. This tool has been particularly useful working with senior executives who often don’t recognize the blind spots they have in their leadership styles.
When working with sales teams, Everything DiSC Sales is a really big help for people to understand how their behavioral style affects them as salespeople. It also helps them identify the behavioral styles of their prospects so that they can create unique strategies for how best to work with their prospects.
Very often one of the first things we do when working with leaders, particularly in larger organizations, is to conduct a 360 review. This analysis asks people above, alongside, and below them in the organization to comment on their leadership style. Everything DiSC 363 helps us conduct the surveys in a very objective manner giving our leaders specific feedback and often identifies significant blind spots. The tool is called the 363 because at the end of the report it makes three recommendations that are most often spot on for the leader to help them begin improving their leadership ability immediately.
When working with teams we will often conduct DiSC analyses of everyone in a group and then prepare a summary report and review the individual and group result together in a team building meeting. Many organizations benefit greatly from getting their teams together at an off-site or on-site for regular sessions to get people to understand each other better as human beings. Having a DiSC analysis as the backdrop for these team-building exercises is incredibly effective. Everything DiSC has a Team Culture report which brings together the results from everyone on the team and prepares an overview of their styles which helps teams understand which behavioral types may potentially be dominant in their group or even missing in their particular group. Knowing that information is very beneficial for creating a strategy to improve the overall effectiveness of the team. Knowing that a particular behavioral style is missing simply means that everyone else on the team needs to be on the lookout to make sure that we don’t miss that important aspect of working together.
A very new tool which is been added to the mix is The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. This tool is based on the groundbreaking work of Patrick Lencioni in his best-selling book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. This tool automates the process laid out in Lencioni’s work for creating more cohesive teams. The questions help identify where the issues are in an organization, and the facilitation materials help us run productive workshops to help the teams create actionable plans to improve their cohesiveness. We’ve had a lot of success improving the health of our client’s teams using this tool.
Finally, in order to sustain the good work we do at seminars or one-on-one session, we give clients access to an Everything DiSC portal where they can get more details about DiSC and their styles, as well as create an unlimited number of free Comparison Reports that compare any 2 colleagues and gives strategies for improving their ability to work together.
As you can see, we get an awful lot of help by using sophisticated tools with our clients. If you think any of these tools might be beneficial in your organization, please be sure to give us a call. We are here to help.
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This originally appeared in my July 2016 Newsletter.