Date Published: 06/09/2020

Often I am asked by business owners, HR professionals, Trainers and coaches how to embed DISC in their or their client’s organisations. After the workshops and report debriefs how to make it “stick?”

Commonly, the purpose of DISC initiatives in the workplace is to enable deeper self-awareness and knowledge about our natural behaviours and responses. Then moving on to being able to identify the behavioural and communication styles of others, and then adapt our actions and communication to interact more effectively in our interactions.

However, with good intentions to practise the learnings, the DISC Report is put “somewhere handy” to refer to and is soon forgotten, and behaviours remain unaffected.

To keep the learning alive and change behaviour takes awareness and effort. I have found that a planned approach works best. There needs to be frequent and regular reinforcement. This is most easily achieved with a planned approach.

Where to start?
The higher up in the organisation, the better – as always, nothing new here.

If my boss is actively involved, then I better make an effort. If my boss’s boss thinks it important, then it becomes important for me. If the CEO communicates the value of DISC and uses the language of DISC daily, then it will soon be adopted across the organisation.

Each manager plays a critical role.
Remember, people rarely quit organisations – they quit their managers. Every interaction matters!

If you are a manager
Get into the habit of asking yourself, and your team, “What DISC styles is that prospect/customer/co-worker?” This ensures that employees know it’s important, and expected that they use their DISC learnings in their work role. In your staff meetings, you can create conversations around DISC. This type of activity help to integrate DISC into your work activities.

Ask two questions. First, “Is that person more active or reserved?” Listen to what a person talks about, how they talk, and any visual cues. Secondly, ask, “Is the person more task or people focused?” Does the person focus more on team or numbers, processes or emotions, or things rather than relationships? If you can help your employees put those two answers together than you can easily identify others’ styles. It becomes a habit, and it supports the primary question.

Keep DISC physically visible
A DISC Diamond Chart with each employee’s photo, name and position, reinforces DISC and reminds us that employees communicate differently and we constantly need to make adaptions.

Don’t forget there are training and support materials that can also help reinforcing DISC learning. I particularly like the Quick Reference Cards and the DISC Mouse Pads. They are both great the recognition of style and quick ideas to remind us how to engage better with each style. People carry it around and keep it handy.

Reference DISC Styles
Add a DISC style field to your HRM and CRM systems. The more information we have, the better. This is critical because we don’t always have face-to-face interactions. You can use adaptive DISC in your phone calls and emails. If you are not sure, then put your best guess style followed with a question mark. Then next time you can listen or look for more clues. This makes your life and co-workers lives easier.

Are you using DISC at home?
Using it at home with most important people in your life has a powerful impact, let it flow into all areas of your life!


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