Tips to Improve Communication on Your Team Using DISC
May 24, 2021
In today’s fast-paced, collaborative work environment, communication is key to productivity and positive company culture. When your team can communicate effectively, quality improves and everyone derives more satisfaction from their work. Happy, high-functioning teams breed a vibrant company ready for value growth.
For this reason, focusing on communication is a great idea, but beware, everyone has their own style of communication. If you paint everyone with the same brush, you might end up with mixed results. TTI Success Insights® uses the DISC model to break it down into four categories of communication: D – Dominance, I – Influence, S – Steadiness and C – Compliance.
Everyone communicates differently, but if we read the signs, we will know what to do. DISC is based upon observable behavior. Watch for tips that might help you understand how to communicate with the many personalities on your team.
Watching someone’s verbal style can be a great clue to use when deciding on a communication strategy. A person who is very direct and uses concise language focusing on facts not opinions is more than likely a High Dominance or a High Compliance. When communicating with a direct verbal style, match their directness. Do not try to make small talk or familiarize yourself to them by touching them or sharing opinions. Stick to the facts and provide options, don’t be patriarchal or try to railroad them into one option. Direct communicators drive your team toward productivity, quality and accuracy.
On the other hand, someone who is more talkative, friendly or indirect with their communication could be a High Influence or a High Steadiness. Both styles prefer more personal, relationship building in their communication. Slow down, listen carefully and acknowledge that you hear and understand them. The big difference between the I and S is trust level, a High Influencer will be quick to trust, whereas the High Steadiness might take longer to feel comfortable. Indirect communication styles can be a great asset to your team as they are able to relate to their teammates and promote new ideas to the team.
Some members of your team will hang back in large groups. They prefer one-on-one interactions and don’t seem to mind working by themselves on large projects. These team members are most likely introverted. The High Steadiness and High Compliance styles exhibit signs of introversion. When communicating with an introvert, be mindful that although they can perform well in social situations, large crowds and multi-stimuli will deplete their energy over time. Make sure to provide time for smaller group interaction and breaks from chaos.
Your teammates that are energized by social situations are considered extroverts. These traits are associated with a High Influence or a High Dominance. They may speak with confidence and volume using hand gestures to emphasize their speech. Engage deeply with these team members, they enjoy a lively discussion but use caution not to take the exchange too far. A High Dominance will dig into an argument, enjoying the challenge and confrontation as a sport. A High Influence will prefer interactions to stay friendly and optimistic. High Influence will be put off by aggressive confrontation.
What are they looking for?
Have you ever found yourself in communication with someone asking yourself, “what do they want from me?” Consider these two categories, people are generally looking for facts and information or experience and connection. Those looking for facts and information are likely High Dominance or High Compliance. Within this grouping, the High Dominance will want you to provide the essentials – provide a short, factual synopsis. Conversely, the C will want it all. Bring the facts and figures from every angle, the High Compliance will want to analyze it all.
High Influence and High Steadiness are less interested in facts and data, they are looking for connection and experience. Both want a social aspect to their work. They want to feel good, have fun and build relationships with their team members. They may spend a little bit more time socializing, but the bonds they form reinforce positivity and open communication. The High Influence is looking to present and promote new ideas, to engage and share their story. The High Steadiness is interested in getting to know their team and building trust through listening and relating. When communicating to a High Steadiness, adopt a steady pace. Take time to acknowledge their input, guide by example and use caution when introducing change.
Decision Making and Presentation
When observing the decision-making process of those on your team, consider how they present their ideas. A more confident and decisive approach is often adopted by those with High Dominance or High Influence. Someone who is High Dominance is sure of their decision, they think and act quickly, preferring to drive toward results than spend a lot of time analyzing. Like the High Dominance, High Influence can feel bogged down by details, they will exhibit high confidence and prefer to talk through their decisions and persuade others to their point of view. When communicating with these types, be aware of their impulsive nature and their sense of urgency.
A High Steadiness or High Compliance personality may seem hesitant or slow to act when sharing their ideas. People with High Steadiness tend to share and act more slowly. Be careful to listen carefully and not interrupt them when they speak. Allow them to think and ask specific questions to help them develop their thoughts. Similarly, a High Compliance person will appear cautious, they will be uncomfortable leaping to conclusions without action plans and processes in place. Take time to prepare and present your ideas in a straightforward fashion, examine the situation from all sides. Use patience but be aware that a High Compliance mind may sometimes suffer from “paralysis by analysis” and they may need to be incentivized toward a decision.
Now that you know what clues to look for when deciding what communication approach to take with each of your teammates, you can start experiencing the benefits of a healthy team that is valued and motivated. The best fuel for a great idea is the ability to harness all the unique talents on your team, communicate out the big picture to the group as well as the details necessary to each person; taking your business to the next level. Whether you are a D, I, S, or C, you can learn effective communication tips to strengthen your relationships and understanding of others on your team.
TTI Success Insights® is a registered trademark of Target Training International, Ltd. The Universal Language DISC™ is a trademark of Target Training International, Ltd and its content is a copyright of Target Training International, Ltd. TriMetrix® is a registered trademark of Target Training International Ltd.