Training Tip Tuesday: A Crash Course in Using the DISC
We are here today to refocus our energy on a tool we rely on to improve our communication outcomes: DISC Styles of Communication. This framework helps to explain how humans prefer to communicate and behave. Learning about the various aspects of DISC styles can help you make adjustments when communicating with others so your message is received the way you intend and in a way they can interpret it. Using this knowledge will help you to improve both your personal and professional relationships and work effectiveness.
So then, how do we make use of the DISC? First, we learn to recognize our style as well as others’ styles. Then we practice all of the styles so we are ready to adapt our natural style at any given moment.
Before we get to today’s Training Tip, let’s identify some common characteristics of each style:
As you compare each style, you can predict some common misunderstandings between styles. If your natural behaviors tend to lean toward an Influence Style and you are in conversation with a Compliance Style, you may leave that conversation disappointed and frustrated. Why didn’t that person want to talk about interesting things with you? Why didn’t they care about your plans last weekend? The flipside is that your conversation partner may also leave with frustration. Why did that conversation have so much personal information? Why did I have to wait so long for the important details?
You can probably think back to some conversations, even in the past few days, where your communication style did not match those with whom you were in conversation. So now what? How can you avoid future conversations that end in frustration?
Minor style adjustments
Making small changes in the way you communicate can positively impact all of your relationships. The next table provides some tips on how to communicate with each style:
Your Training Tip is to identify three conversations scheduled this week and prepare for them by considering the communication styles in those conversations. What adjustments will you need to make to your natural style? Perhaps you will need to organize your thoughts in advance so that you can be direct and concise. Or perhaps you will need to practice some personal icebreaker questions for the beginning of the conversation. Consider also the pace of your speech, your hand gestures, your volume, and your eye contact.
Once you identify the adjustments you want to make, practice them!
In front of a mirror, in the car, or with a supportive friend or partner.
Don’t just think about the changes you will make. Practice them each day before those conversations. We are certain your effort will improve the outcome of your conversations…for all of you.
Our Peer Practice Groups regular