Whilst personality can be a complex thing and we each respond to the stresses and strains in our lives in our own way, knowledge of behaviour can be effective in helping Managers guide their teams through the climatic events of the past few weeks. This post provides a basic overview of the four main DISC traits, and some tips for managing them.
The ‘High D’ or Driver
This naturally assertive and direct individual is highly competitive and ambitious by nature. Seeing themselves as natural leaders, a Driver will often take charge instinctively and, in pressure situations, may become rather dictatorial or aggressive in their approach.
Using a challenging or competitive approach is usually best avoided. A more productive approach would be to acknowledge their authority/status (whatever their position). Drivers look for quick responses and concrete ideas with obvious advantages and so an efficient and responsive attitude will be the most productive approach to use.
The ‘High I’ or Communicator
Communicators are positive, friendly, informal and outgoing people who value attention, seek approval and avoid isolation. The key here is to build a strong personal relationship with them, showing your trust and appreciation for them.
Though open and expressive, the Communicator is also quite assertive and impatient especially when they sense a negative reaction or situation and can often express their antagonism on a personal level, so it can be a good idea to avoid putting them under direct pressure. First impressions count greatly for Communicators, so think before you speak, remembering that they often don’t.
The ‘High S’ – The Planner
Planners are not generally pro-active types, preferring to react to situations as they develop. This attitude gives them a degree of patience and steadiness above those of other types. Being supportive of others, they seek the same in return from those around them.
Because Planners like to settle into established work patterns and environments, change is a word that does not sit well with them. Pressure to change is likely to be avoided, but when applied they will seek to compromise. Providing positive support, patience, explanations and time to adjust are therefore important when managing a Planner.
The ‘High C’ – The Analyst
Analysts are cautious, accurate, precise and systematic looking for certainty and precision. More than any other type, they base their decisions on a dispassionate and objective view of the facts in any given situation. This means, they’ll take their time to consider the evidence, options and implications before taking action.
Uncertainty and acting on instinct are avoided by Analysts and for this reason it’s common for them to use an evasive strategy when under pressure until they can formulate a solution. For this reason, exerting pressure on them is unlikely to produce positive effects. You need to be ready to explain things in considerable detail and patiently answer any questions they may have. But remember, being less expressive or assertive than other types, it can be difficult to know when you’ve answered all of their questions satisfactorily.
Of course this is just a quick introduction to DISC types and there is far more to be gained from having a fuller understanding of the model. However, I hope by reading these few tips you are already starting to see how you can manage your team more effectively.
By John Belchamber, Invoke Results