Managing relationships is a necessary and vital skill in business. The ability to work well with people of different backgrounds and personalities, with diverse strengths and weaknesses, can make work both intellectually complex and emotionally challenging. Since people aren’t clones and don’t roll off assembly lines, no one person is exactly the same as the next, which makes the ability to adapt to different types of people and work well in a team environment one of the most highly valued and in-demand business skills.
With the rapid rise and adoption of the concept of emotional intelligence — a term that has come to replace “people skills” and “soft skills” — most businesspeople would now acknowledge that knowing how to deal with others effectively is the elusive x-factor that can make or break a career. This notion is perhaps best captured by the popular corporate maxim, “IQ gets you hired, EQ gets you promoted.”
The hardest competencies to master in business (and life) include things like communication, empathy, influence, trust, teamwork and leadership. In other words, skills the centre around working well with others. A big part of what makes this challenge so complex is that everyone has different beliefs, values, motivations, task preferences and wide-ranging views about how work should be done. Personality conflicts are a common part of group dynamics that can interfere with productivity, which are often preventable when people have a better understanding of what makes their colleagues tick.
All people — regardless of age, race, culture or gender — share similar behavioural characteristics. One person you meet might be talkative, sociable and loud; the next might be quiet, shy and methodical. Some people like structure; some don’t. Some like to move at a fast pace; others prefer to take their time. These sorts of behavioural quirks can make “clicking” with someone similar to you feel like a breeze, but for those who are not, it can make life tricky, challenging, and even exhausting at times — particularly if you are trapped in an enclosed office space with them for 8-10 hours a day!
This is where a behavioural assessment like DISC comes in handy.
DISC is the world’s best known behavioural assessment and one of the most popular team building tools, taken by millions of people every year and estimated to be in use by 75% of Fortune 500 companies. The DISC model is a simple four-quadrant framework that measures observable human behaviour. Specifically, it identifies the four most common groupings of behavioural tendencies found in people all over the world.
At a glance, the DISC acronym stands for:
- Dominance (tends to be direct, forceful, assertive, fast paced, etc.)
- Influence (tends to be outgoing, talkative, trusting, enthusiastic, etc.)
- Steadiness (tends to be steady, stable, easy going, amiable, etc.)
- Compliance (tends to be careful, precise, analytical, cautious, etc.)
In other words, DISC measures how people prefer to act and communicate. The overall preference that individuals have for these four factors is referred to as their behavioural “style.”
Most people have a clear preference for one or two of the four behaviours. In many cases, this natural preference will be formed at a young age and remain relatively stable throughout their lifetime. This information becomes invaluable to know in the workplace.
Enquire about how we can help you with increasing team productivity with DISC.
Post reprinted with permission from DTS International.