In a study by Salesforce, 96% of executives said that lack of collaboration is one of the main sources of workplace failures. Teamwork and collaboration are central to the future of work – and yet building cohesive teams can be incredibly difficult to accomplish. Unlocking the full potential of your team requires understanding individual behavior and how individuals work together. Luckily tools like the DISC model help organizations decode employee behaviors to gain insights to improve collaboration.
Based on research from Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston, the DISC model describes the behavioral style that a person tends to have in a particular environment at a particular time. Unlike traditional, static personality tests, a person’s DISC assessment is dynamic and responsive. It will change over time as individuals adapt to changes in the workplace. There’s no “ideal” personality type, either. At any given time an individual’s DiSC report will show a blend of styles with one type being dominant.
Deeper self-knowledge equips employees to navigate teams more productively in multiple ways. DISC also enables team leaders to:
Improve the group dynamic. All significant behavior change starts with self-awareness. When employees are conscious of their dominant style, they can evaluate how they are likely to react to a situation or a particular coworker and understand how their behavior changes the group dynamic. Real collaboration happens when employees can bridge communication gaps by engaging effectively with the dominant peer style. This improvement in collaboration results in a higher-quality output.
Express underlying causes of conflict. Conflicts often arise out of lack of trust. Trust is improved when we understand one another better and are able to express our opinions in a safe environment. One of the reasons conflict is so challenging is that people have difficulty expressing their emotions and explaining why a situation bothers them. DISC offers a workplace-appropriate common language to discuss these differences in values and expectations, and therefore it enables people to cope with conflict more effectively when it arises.
Empower staff to shine. Knowing the workstyles and preferences of team members also helps managers balance different styles throughout a project lifestyle. Research-minded people can run the research phase, people-oriented employees are best managing the communications and negotiations, and task-oriented people work well measuring bottom-line results. In this way, team members work on tasks that intrinsically motivate them and managers get better results.
Onboard new employees. New employees need help navigating the different behavioral works styles of their new co-workers. Evaluating their dominant style and introducing them to the styles of coworkers helps them settle in and minimize the disruption stemming from increases in staff and turnover.
The composite of all individual DISC assessments also offers insight into an organization’s corporate culture. An organization’s dominant style will influence everything from shared values to decision-making and an organization’s risk tolerance. Culture change initiatives rely on behavioral change to be successful and organizations will not be able to meaningfully influence behaviors without first understanding the underlying work styles, values, and behavior of individuals and teams.
Learn how DISC can improve productivity and help change corporate culture.