How the DISC Helps me as a Manager and Leader
Today The Communication Gym is proud to share the work of our guest blogger, Pat Noel, President of Talent Development Solutions, LLC.
Connection…production…celebration. What’s the link between these words? For me, it’s DISC styles! Uh, what?
When I started in my management career (back when disco was ‘hot’), I learned about DISC communication styles. I was excited about this new knowledge and was OK applying what I learned. Then I attended a Gym session! There I gained in-depth knowledge and practiced how to best interpret and stretch to use communication styles. During my Gym sessions and applying what I learned over time, I became a master in my ability to interpret others’ styles and adjust my communication behaviors to work with them in a more meaningful way.
As a manager and leader, I found that applying DISC appropriately helped when connecting with people, increasing production, and celebrating with others in styles that were most rewarding for them.
We have a short amount of time and a variety of ways to communicate with others - in person, virtually, social media, email, and so on. Creating a quick positive connection is paramount!
When I use my knowledge of communication styles, I am able to create comfort and respect that move the interaction along because I have built it on a positive foundation.
Once that meaningful and respectful connection is made, I can move forward with the reason for the connection. My “communication partner” is now more receptive, interested, and willing to work with me. This has been especially helpful when working with company owners and executives because I needed their support, resources, and dollars! Frequently I have had the most senior people take time to meet with me when others seemed challenged getting in their door. Why? Because effective and efficient use of communication styles means, they don’t have to ‘struggle’ to understand me, and I’m using communication patterns and behaviors that make sense to them.
So, what does celebration have to do with DISC? When my direct reports, project team members, or peers have performed an outstanding job, thanking them, celebrating their efforts, and showing my appreciation in the manner most significant to each person is the proverbial ‘icing on the cake.’ Some people like group recognition; some like a quiet, personal thank you; some prefer a letter of recommendation, and so on. Customizing my ‘thank you’ shows I’ve taken time to learn about their preferences and I have adapted my communication style in tone of voice, word choice, and physiology to support and work with them.
Did it mean work on my part? Certainly! But the more skilled I became at leveraging my DISC style knowledge, the easier it became and now today, it is second nature. Many people read about styles and take an assessment, but it’s the practice and constant application that make it a part of one’s success.
The Communication Gym gave me a place to practice what I had learned about DISC so I could effectively adapt my style when conversing with others.