Three weeks later, I was at the front of the room with the aforementioned group, who were already living up to their reputation. Thirty individuals slouched down in their seats, leaning back, legs outstretched, arms folded and facial expressions to match their apparent mood. Not the best start you might think but ‘ever the optimist’ I introduced myself and then asked them - “Please sit as if you are totally disinterested and didn’t want to be in the room.” Awkwardly, they immediately concluded that they were already adopting the stance and little (if any) movement was required. I quickly followed up with - “Now sit as if you were totally engaged and wanted to be in the room, excited for the day ahead.” Almost everyone sat up straight, unfolded their arms, changed their facial expression to a positive one and gave me their undivided attention. This helped me illustrate the point that they already knew what to do to be engaged but interestingly chose to not to begin the day in this way. It’s was not a new technique, but it was one to get some attention at the outset and make the team accountable for their own behaviour.
This accountability is an important part of leadership, as Hutt W. points out, ‘motivation is internal; people are responsible for motivating themselves, and they can't motivate you any more than you could motivate them. Instead, as an organisational leader, you are responsible for creating an environment in which people can motivate themselves.’
This statement in turn then begs the question - How can a leader create such an environment?
The first step is to understand that it’s not a one-size fits all situations, different people will be motivated by different things, and the way you manage them should reflect this. I know this from my own experience, as after more than two decades both as a DISC master trainer and as a business leader, I have found that people are different…. but they are PREDICTABLY different. Even a cursory knowledge of DISC will give you a great insight into how these predictable differences can help enhance your rapport, communication and management.
Here is a quick snapshot of some DISC factors which are known to influence environment and motivation individuals & teams:
The D’s are motivated by an environment that gives them the opportunity to oversee something or at least being responsible for something - anything! D styles prefer an atmosphere where there is an opportunity for advancement, taking control of a project or a team and they enjoy working at a fast pace. They are task orientated and respond well to a leader, who is quick to respond in turn and is respectfully direct.
The I’s are motivated by a less formal environment where it’s acceptable to have some FUN getting their tasks completed. This personality style is outgoing, people orientated and persuasive and they like variety and a fast pace. They respond well to a leader, who is positive and optimistic who will publicly praise for a job well done.
The S’s are motivated by an environment where working together as a team is the order of the day. Participative, inclusive and striving for peace and harmony, S styles like to work towards a ‘win-win’ scenario where possible and seek to build relationships with others which result in loyalty and sincerity. They are reserved and people orientated, in turn, they respond best to a leader, who takes time to listen to others, appreciates teamwork and makes them feel secure.
The C’s are motivated by an environment where quality and excellence are both required and achieved. They are reserved, task orientated and like to get on with things in a logical, systematic and quiet manner. This personality style will try to influence others by presenting facts and data to prove their point. They respond best to a leader, who makes considered decisions, sticks to the facts, recognises the importance of rules and supports the need to strive towards perfection.
These are just a few of the ‘headlines’ relating to DISC types but there’s so much more to learn about what makes teams ‘tick.’ Applying DISC knowledge to your workplace can make all the difference when you’re trying to get the best out of people. As it’s important to remember that although people are different, when you take the time to understand their preferred style of communication and management more, they become predictably different.
For those of you that want to know more about DISC and how to use this powerful information to better manage interactions with others, join us at our next DISC Certification Workshop.
DISC is included for students as part of The Coaching Academy’s Personal Performance Diploma and is available as a Certification Workshop for non-students.
We are now offering nationwide dates, please click this link to secure you place: https://www.the-coaching-academy.com/disc/level1-events.asp
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