Have you ever wondered why is it that some teams work so effectively and smoothly together, while there are others where there is a lot of internal conflict? While there are several reasons behind this, but 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 suggesting means of resolving these issues. In other words, DiSC can be used a powerful predictor for team effectiveness.
An ideal team composition depends on the task that the team is intended to accomplish. However, successful team building is dependent on diversity. Teamwork and collaboration between team members depends on how well the members communicate with each other, how they function as a unit, and how each individual adapts to different personalities.
A high performing team is considered to be the one that is diverse in terms of their capabilities and is aligned in terms of their 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 offers a framework which helps you to comprehend the preferences and motivations of every member in 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.
Team Building Activities
Note: The activities outlined 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 need 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 are focused 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?
- How do you usually celebrate team success?
- 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 a few of these questions, you can have them add a couple of answers to their Everything DiSC Workplace Style Guides.
- Role Playing
The participants of this exercise should be aware of their own styles and they need to 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 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 late comer accountable to get to meetings on time and to come prepared for the meetings.
- Team members 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 favourite TV show.
- Your team has experienced a major setback owing to another team member failing to share the information that he or she had. Nobody is aware as to why the information was not shared. One of the participants wishes to engage in a gossip or to criticise the other team member. One of the team members has been asked to assist the team leader to prevent this type of negative ‘in hall’ discussion.
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 working that they picked up for the style that they were playing. Also, ask the participants how uncomfortable they felt while using the 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, 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 cross through an 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.