Taking DISC Behavioural Assessments To Another Level

Understanding behavior and how it impacts performance will make you a better manager, leader, teacher or coach. Leading others is not about you – it’s about the people you are leading. Understanding their behaviour and how they like to be managed will make you a better leader. Understanding their behaviour and how they like to communicate and receive information will make you a better leader. Understanding their behaviour and how they like to socialize and interact with others will make you a better leader. A successful manager, leader, teacher or coach is prepared to adapt their leadership style to to be more in tune with how others prefer to be led.

Worth Remembering – “The task of an executive is not to change human beings. The task is to multiply performance capacity of the whole by putting to use whatever strength, whatever health, whatever aspirations there is in individuals.” – Peter F. Drucker

According to Dr. Daniel Goleman, author of “Working With Emotional Intelligence,” your technical ability alone no longer guarantees success. Dr. Goleman believes that emotional intelligence, our ability to interact more effectively with others, now plays a more pivotal role in determining one’s overall success. The Haygroup – a leading authority on emotional intelligence, (EQ) suggests that sixty-seven percent of the competencies needed to manage and lead others effectively are emotionally based. Empathy, open-mindedness and patience, often referred to as soft skills, are considered must-have leadership traits.

Worth Remembering – “We are being judged by a new yardstick; not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other.” – Dr. Daniel Goleman

There are a number of popular assessment tools available – Myers Briggs and Colours to name two. I use a DISC behavioural assessment tool developed by Dr. William Marston because they are easy to administer, and you don’t need a degree in behavioural sciences to understand it. Behavioural assessments are not new. Personality research dates back to Hippocrates in 400 B.C. Hippocrates believed that we each have our own natural, perfect, unchangeable personality style, and while each has the same factors comprising our personalities, four distinct behavioural styles emerge. Each personality style, Dominate, Interpersonal, Steadiness and Conscientious, react to the same situation differently. If you want to be more successful working with others, then work with them in a way they like. Chances are they will be more receptive to what you are saying and what you are trying to teach them. You don’t have to change who you are – just change how you manage and lead others. Taking DISC behavioural assessments to another level will make you a better manager, leader, teacher or coach.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian is available for delivering a key note speech, training session or consulting. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly at: brian@briansmithpld.com

Perception is Their Reality

How often have you been in a conversation with someone, and they are non-verbally telling you that they’re not interested in you or what you have to say simply by the messages their body language was sending you? They were looking down at their watch, scoping the room to see if there was someone more important to talk too or they constantly checked their phone for messages. According to research conducted by Dr. Ralph Nichols, we communicate 55% of the time by our body language alone. We are speaking volumes, and we haven’t said a word. As a matter of fact, Dr. Nichols believes we only communicate 7% of the time by the actual words that we say. If you want to improve your ability to communicate more effectively, make sure your verbal and non-verbal messages are congruent. Your body language and what you are saying must be in sync. People believe the non-verbal as being more accurate.

Worth Remembering – “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” – Alan Greenspan

While verbal and written communication skills are essential, improving your nonverbal skills will ensure others receive your message the way you intended.

The following tips can help you improve your nonverbal communication skills:

  • Pay attention to the nonverbal signals you are sending. Try to mirror their body language. Keep your head up- chest out and make eye contact. When making eye contact, use the 5-second rule. Too much eye contact can be interpreted as seeming confrontational or intimidating. Smile – you want to appear open and receptive. Keep your arms down at your side – not folded across your chest.
  • You communicate 38% of the time by the tone and inflection in your voice. It’s not what you are saying as much as it is how you are saying it. Your style and volume can convey a trove of information ranging from enthusiasm, disinterest or anger. Your voice is an instrument. Vary the cadence and pitch. Don’t talk too fast or too slow. Emphasizing certain words or pausing for effect can be powerful.
  • Ask questions. Asking questions lets the other person know that you are interested in them and what they are saying. Asking questions is an excellent way of ensuring you understand what was said. I listen to understand, not necessarily to agree. I respect your right to express your point of view, but I don’t have to go along with it.

Worth Remembering – “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying.” Emerson.

We are not born knowing how to be a great communicator – but we can learn to be. Practice your non-verbal skills. Remember – you are not the most important person in the conversation. If they didn’t receive the message the way you intended – then whatever you said means nothing. If they think you are a good listener, then you are. If they think you are a great communicator, then you are. Perception is their reality.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian is available for keynote speeches, corporate events and training sessions. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit his website – https://briansmithpld.com

To Get Buy-in – You Need to Buy In

Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book – “Working With Emotional Intelligence” said it best: “A new yardstick is judging us: not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”. Productivity is still the name of the game, and that will never change. Your job as a manager or business leader has always been to minimize the input and maximize the output. Right-sizing has put added pressure on management to hold the line on the expense side of the ledger while still growing the profit side. To accomplish both – managers and leaders must change from being task-focused to being people-focused.

Worth Remembering … “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing – expecting a different result.” – Einstein

You need to decide whether the management style that got you here will be the same style that will get you to where you need to be to stay in business? I’m betting that it won’t because there’s been a dramatic shift in people’s attitudes. Their wants and needs have changed. For the newest generation, Generation Z, whose leading edge is just entering the workforce, life outside of work is just as important, if not more important, to life at work. Today’s managers and business leaders need to change how they lead to keep step with those changes. It’s no longer managing as usual.

Worth Remembering … “One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you also have to know what’s at the heart of business and that’s people.” – Oprah

Technical skills are essential, but you can get those out of a book. What is needed to be successful managing and leading others today is someone who understands people. Managing and leading others is about them – not about you. They need someone who possesses exceptional soft skills, the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others. Someone who spends time getting to know them for more than just the job that they do. How do they like to be managed? How do they want to receive information? Are they visual learners or do they learn by reading a set of instructions? If you can’t or you’re not willing to change your management style to be more in tune with how they like to be managed, you will have difficulty convincing them to buy in. Different folks = different strokes. To get them to buy-in – you need to buy in.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Find out more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization by visiting his website. – https://briansmithpld.com

Creating High-Performance Work Teams

Creating high-performance work teams is more than just throwing people together and expecting them to perform as a cohesive unit. Work teams can create a synergy that results in a level of performance far greater than any one person, but to accomplish that, you need a game plan. Together, everyone achieves more if you can get everyone on the same page, committed to accomplishing the same goal. The most popular team-building model taught in business school is a four-stage model first introduced by Phycologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Tuckman believed that these stages are necessary for a team to grow, overcome challenges, solve problems, and deliver results.

Worth Remembering … “Teams are now the primary force of organizations. They are worth cultivating at their core. Their core is the mind of each team member.” – Nancy Kline

Forming: Forming is the getting acquainted stage in which team members meet each other, form initial impressions, and try to get a sense of what it will be like to work together and be part of a team. You can help this process by planning social get-togethers outside of the workplace or having a company-organized meet and greet so team members can begin to build those all-important relationships.

Storming: Conflicts and disagreements are inevitable as team members start to work together. Different personalities and work styles will clash. That’s why soft skills, the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others, is critical to team success. Hire people who like to be around people and who want to be part of a team.

Norming: Norms shape team behaviour by establishing and imposing group standards. This is when the real work begins. Never allow standards to slide. First, team members need to know what is expected of them. Next, they need to understand what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. Finally, they must be willing to do what ever it takes to be a good team player. Then, you need to step up and call out those who are not meeting those norms.

Performing: This is the final stage of creating a high-performance team. People do what you inspect, not what you expect. You need to get out of your office and manage the team by walking around. You must monitor their performance to ensure team goals are met.

Worth Remembering ... “It is not the individual but the team that is the instrument of sustained and enduring success in management.” – Anthony Jay.

The next time you’re charged with creating a high-performance team, try Tuckman’s four-stage model. If that doesn’t work, you can always use Tuckman’s fifth stage – adjourning. Adjourning was added to his model in 1977. I think it’s for project teams that have accomplished their objective, then disbanded. I’m not looking to break the team up if the team concept is working.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find our more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com