SUCCESSFUL TEAM BUILDING USING DiSC PROFILES
Have you ever wondered why is it that some teams work so smoothly together, while there are others where there is a lot of internal conflicts? While there are several reasons behind this, one of the most significant factors is the interaction of different styles that takes place within the team. Using DiSC, it becomes relatively easier to highlight probable problem areas and suggest means of resolving these issues. In other words, DiSC can be used as a powerful predictor of team effectiveness. An ideal team composition depends on the task that the team needs to accomplish. However, successful team building is dependent on diversity. Teamwork and collaboration between team members depend on how well the members communicate and function as a unit. It also depends on how each individual adapts to different personalities.
A high-performing successful team building is considered to be the one that is diverse in terms of its capabilities and is aligned in terms of its intention towards achieving one unified goal. In order to work cohesively within a team, the relationships between team members need to be navigated in such a manner that it propels the team forward. The styles laid down per DiSC offer a framework that helps you to comprehend the preferences and motivations of every member of your team. Within a team structure, each of the dimensions of DiSC has a role of its own to play. However, the key thing here is all about achieving balance.
Successful Team Building Activities
Note: The activities in this article assume that the participants have some basic introduction to DiSC.
Teamwork Using DiSC Styles
For the purpose of this activity, you need to divide your team by styles. In case you have one huge group, you may further divide it into one of the eight DiSC styles. For instance, if you have a group full of Ds, then you may ask some of them to move into a D, DC, or Di group. Each of these groups needs to answer the below questions with the help of a flip chart. They would then need to present it to the larger group on the basis of their answers. These questions focus on teams. Allow the participants to answer based on their thinking pertaining to volunteer work groups, work teams, and sporting teams.
Here are the questions:
- Whenever you are placed in a new team, what is your immediate reaction?
- When you are being told that you need to lead a group going forward, what is your immediate reaction?
- How easy do you think it is for you to share your personal details with the members of your team?
- What is it that makes it relatively easier for you to accept your mistakes or weaknesses with your team?
- How do you usually deal with a conflict within your team?
- How do you usually deal with conflict in a team where you are the leader?
- Do you usually speak up in case you disagree with a certain opinion within a group?
- When you are in disagreement with a team member or a team, how do you express yourself?
- How do you usually respond to brainstorming sessions in a group?
- What is your preference in terms of receiving positive feedback?
- What is your preference in terms of receiving negative feedback from team members?
- When a member of your team misses a deadline, how do you typically react or respond to it?
After the group has answered these questions, you can have them add a couple of answers to their Everything DiSC Workplace Style Guides.
The participants of this exercise should be aware of their own styles and have an understanding of the traits of all the DiSC styles. The participants should select a style different from their own style for the purpose of role-playing. Instruct each participant to wear labels displaying the style that they are playing, as it is helpful for observers. Encourage the participants to go over the top while acting. The pairs who are doing the role-playing are allowed to pick from one of the below scenarios. You can also create your own scenarios to reflect realistically the group with which you are working. This activity is best done in groups of under five participants.
Here are a couple of Scenarios:
- A sales executive is trying to sell a car to a first-time new car buyer.
- A manager who is stressed is trying to motivate a disengaged employee to finish some assignment.
- A team leader is trying to hold a regular latecomer accountable to get to meetings on time and come prepared for the meetings.
- Team members are in disagreement on the budget allotted for a technology upgrade.
- A team leader is trying to get a team member to join a committee.
- A group of friends trying to convince one another to watch a certain movie or a favorite TV show.
- Your team experiences a major setback owing to another team member failing to share the information that he or she had. Nobody is aware of why they did not receive the information. One of the participants wishes to engage in gossip or criticize the other team member. One of the team members assists the team leader to prevent this type of negative ‘in-hall’ discussion.
Concluding the Activities
Now ask those with the styles being acted upon to respond to what they saw, what they would add to the scene being acted, what was on target and what wasn’t etc. Ask the participants why they chose a particular action, body language, or work that they picked up for the style that they were playing. Also, ask the participants how uncomfortable they felt while using a style that was not theirs.
After listening to their responses, you can now help them understand that adapting your own style can be difficult. It is not natural. Similarly, successful team building using DISC is not about enclosing anyone in a box, but it is about paying attention to the preferences and needs of others. It is all about how you adapt to one style to make communication more satisfying and productive within a team.
In order for any team to be effective in the long term, it needs to pass through the initial phase of uncertainty and flux before it begins to perform well. This formative period is in fact an ideal time to introduce any kind of formal structure that is necessary for the smooth functioning of the team.