DISC for TEAMS

Learn How to Improve Team Culture and Communication with DISC

DISC for Teams and Groups

Improve Team Communication with DISC

DISC is a personality tool that provides insights into our personality, preferred behaviors, motivators, and stressors.

It uses a self-assessment process to identify a person’s DISC style. With this knowledge, we, as individuals, can identify why we enjoy working with certain people or why it might be difficult to work with others. The DISC assessment provides strategies for learning to adapt our behavior to work more effectively with others.

But what about a team or an organization? Do DISC assessment reports offer insights for these groups? Compared to other psychometric tools, DISC can take individual insights and leverage them to help teams and organizations improve communication. It offers a wealth of information in group or team-specific reporting. These reports will help improve internal communication and culture.

We have worked with DISC since 1986. We have seen how a group’s style, motivations, and stressors can be easily identified through the lens of DISC. Today, anyone can leverage DISC Group reports to understand their team, group, or organization’s DISC Personality. Pairing these tools with formalized DISC Training will help build a foundational language that everyone can use to promote their needs and learn when and how to adapt to other team member’s behavioral needs.

In this article, we will:

  1. Review how to use DISC Basic or DISC AI to understand team dynamics with DISC and how this understanding promotes better communication and team culture.
  2. Share insights about how a Team Leader or project manager can affect a team’s dynamic based on their DISC Style (Case Study).

DISC offers a wealth of information about communication styles in an easy-to-remember format. This article aims to help you see how you could use it within your own team or organization.

How DISC Identifies Team Dynamics

How teams can use DISC assessment reports

Think back to a time when you started a new job. What was your first impression of your new team’s atmosphere and culture?

Was it quiet, like a library? Or was it energetic and lively? Perhaps you didn’t take notice at first, but you recognized that you meshed with your team over time. Alternatively, maybe there were issues you felt could never be resolved because you felt so different from everyone on the team.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

DISC offers a picture that helps teams and organizations understand the culture of a group.

 

The same DISC map that is used for individuals can be repurposed for groups. Our DISC assessments provide aggregated reports that help teams understand the culture.

DISC can tell a story about a team that is great offering dynamic solutions, but poor follow through or missed details. It can explain why some teams are always talking, when others hardly speak a word to each other. The insights work for both individuals and groups because the model’s simplicity allows for a dual representation.

When looking at how the model describes teams, you can use inferences similar to those you make with individuals. Teams that have more individuals who score high on the D Personality Types or I Personality Types will move at a more urgent pace, make quicker decisions, and be more action oriented. The same is true on the other side of the spectrum. Teams that have more individuals who score on the S Personalty Type or the C Personality Type will take a more moderate or calculated approach to their work.

DISC Model for Groups and Teams

Digging deeper into the data, you can leverage the insights to understand why conflict might arise on a team given two conflicting behaviors.

For example, the individualistic and accommodating scales could cause friction in teams. More individualistic team members might feel smothered by their team members who try to be over-inclusive. The individualistic team members might make the accommodating team members resent them if their efforts are rebuffed.

This data is available in both DISC Basic reports and DISC Ai.

DISC Basic Team Report

DISC Basic Team Overview

The DISC Basic team report provides a detailed graph of each individual team members scores for the behaviors that are scored during the assessment process. The color coding can provide teams an easy way to find areas that might cause conflict when there isn’t a good mix of styles or an extreme sorting of styles.

DISC Ai Team Report

DISC Ai Team Overview

The DISC Ai team report pulls together each individual team member’s assessment scores and places them on a continuum. This allows for an easy visual of team members’ behavioral differences and groupings of behaviors. DISC Ai’s integration with email, Zoom, and external data allows you to leverage these insights anywhere!

These reports are included in the cost of the individual assessment purchase for both DISC Ai and DISC Basic. There is no additional charge to obtain this data.

Teams can leverage this data to hold discussions around:

  • How to work together
  • Onboarding
  • Making decisions as a team
  • Holding better meetings

The most important thing to remember is that DISC isn’t something you do to someone or a team. It’s something that you do together. This data should be shared with the whole team so everyone can understand the team dynamics that are at play everyday.

Teams, Team Leaders, & DISC Data

One of the more interesting aspects of teamwork is the relationship between the team and the team’s leader.

We have worked with many teams where the leader and the team meshed really well. To no surprise, we found that the team’s behavioral styles matched the leader’s DISC Profile. 

Alternatively, when there was dysfunctions we found that there were wide gaps between the leader’s and the team’s behavioral styles.

Of course, we have also worked with teams where there was a wide behavioral gap between the team and leader’s style and little to no dysfunction. On these teams, there was a singular reason why they didn’t fall into dysfunction: self-awareness.

DISC for Teams and Team Leaders

When leader’s recognize that they have a different style from their team, they are able to navigate the needs of the team (and their own) more effectively.

Below is a Team DISC Graph for a team lead by Amber Ferrell.

Before Amber learned about DISC, her team was running into a number of issues. Turnover was rising, team morale was low, and employees frequently contacted HR about issues they saw on the team.

Because Amber was a new team leader, the team and org’s leaders thought it would be a good process to have them go through a DISC training workshop together to focus on building better team relationships. Through DISC, it was evident that Amber had a wide gap in her behavioral needs compared to her team. After the training, the facilitator helped Amber and the team discuss the following areas:

  1. Team Support
  2. Rules vs Results / Procedures vs Action
  3. Accommodation
  4. Working Individually / Making Individual Decisions

The focus of these discussions aimed to help Amber’s team recognize her perspective and for Amber to recognize her team’s perspective.

While the work to rebuild team trust is ongoing, DISC was able to help this team start the repair process by identifying some areas of stress that existed on the team.

Team DISC Profile

Looking at the above Team DISC Graph, you can see the wide behavioral gap between Amber’s style and her team. This gap was a visual representation of the dysfunctions that started to plague Amber’s team.

 As an example, Amber felt that the team didn’t need to spend time developing procedures for managing projects and client interactions. Before she led the team, she was a team member doing the same work as her direct reports. Amber felt that she was successful because she had the freedom to develop her own processes and work solo.

As a leader, however, that same mentality was at odds with her team. They felt she didn’t value their need for procedures when, in fact, Amber did value them – she didn’t see the need to develop them as a group. She expected that each individual could create their own procedures like she had done when she was in the team member role.

While DISC didn’t provide all of the answers for this group, it allowed for a nonjudgmental conversation about topics that caused stress. Using the DISC data to visualize behavioral differences allowed for self-awareness and relationship awareness. Amber found a language to explain her needs. In addition, she was able to better understand the needs of her team as well.

Looking to use DISC Team Reports?

Are you interested in using DISC for team development or to improve group culture on your teams / organization? Connect with our team and let us know what you are looking to accomplish! We look forward to hearing from you.

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