Leadership is a crucial element of success in any organization. Whether you are a CEO of a multinational corporation, a team lead in a small business, or a community leader, your ability to lead effectively determines the success of your team. To become an effective leader, it is essential to understand who YOU are, your leadership style, and how it impacts your team. It's also equally important to understand the personality styles of those you are leading so that you can effectively communicate with them.
Foundational Insights with the DISC Assessment
Leveraging a behavioral assessment such as the DISC assessment is an excellent way to begin understanding the personalities and behaviors present within an organization. At Write A New Story, the first step in our process when working with a new client is to have them take the online DISC assessment.
The assessment takes 10-15 minutes to complete. It is a foundational tool we use to help evaluate our client’s behavior, communication style, and work preferences. We do an intensive debrief on their assessment results which identify which “behavioral style” they are. During the debrief, clients receive tips on how to identify the primary styles of the people they manage and lead. After going through the assessment and debrief process many clients are hungry for more training for themselves and their staff related to behavioral styles and communication.
At Write A New Story, DISC training workshops are offered by certified DISC professionals to leaders and their teams. All workshop participants take the DISC assessment and receive individual debriefs on their results. These workshops provide a deeper level of knowledge where participants learn actionable steps on how to shape their leadership style based on the four DISC types: Dominant, Influential, Steady, and Conscientious. Each type has its unique strengths and challenges. Once you have identified the behavioral style of those you are leading, you can utilize the DISC assessment results to understand yourself, your team members, and become a more effective leader.
One invaluable way to apply your DISC-type findings is understanding how to delegate work within your organization.
Delegating Work Based on Your DISC Type
DOMINANCE – HIGH “D” STYLE
Give them the bottom line and then let them do their thing.
So that they can be more efficient, give them parameters, guidelines, and deadlines.
Example: “We need to get that mall built a month sooner or we will lose the business. Fourteen tenants are threatening to bail out of their contracts if we do not open in time for the holidays. Do not spend more than another $30,000, keep everything legal and out of the newspapers, and get back to me by Monday morning.”
INFLUENCE – HIGH “I” STYLE
Receive clear agreements; set up checkpoints/times to avoid long stretches with no progress reports.
"I" styles are often concept-oriented people who produce a lot of ideas, but not necessarily the means of carrying them out, so steer them toward implementation.
Example: “Brittany, this proposal for the McGuire Company looks good so far, but let us include more direct benefits for each employee. Marian has surveys filled out by each employee. Get together with her, bounce ideas around, and then include more essential information about the eight key people in your proposal. Add a few extra plus points on the others...no more than twelve pages in all. Brittany, thanks for making the extra effort on this project. It is important, and they will be excited to hear what you present.”
STEADINESS – HIGH “S” STYLE
"S" styles may be reluctant to ask others to do their share of the work, so make a personal appeal to their loyalty and sense of teamwork, focusing on getting everyone involved and collaborating.
Give them the task, state the deadlines that need to be met, and explain why it is important to conduct the task in a more collaborative manner. Acknowledge the contribution they are making by enlisting others to be a part of the process.
Example: “John, you are an example for this company of genuine cooperative spirit. By giving everyone in your department just ten of those names to call, you can all reach the goal together by noon tomorrow. Otherwise, you will have more difficulty reaching all those people by the target date.”
CONSCIENTIOUSNESS – HIGH “C” STYLE
Take time to answer the most critical questions about structure or guidance they require. The more they understand the details, the more likely they will be to complete the task properly.
Be sure to establish deadlines and checkpoints, if necessary.
Example: “Angela, the court date on the Mortimer case is now this Monday, so we must respond by speeding things up a bit. It will proceed almost as efficiently as if you researched everything by yourself if we enlist two associates to work under your direction on tasks you delegate to them and then review. Before starting, do you have any preferences on who should be involved or how to move this process forward that you think are essential?”
In conclusion, using the DISC assessment can be an effective way to improve your leadership skills by understanding your communication style, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, understanding the needs of your team, and building a diverse team. By taking the time to understand your personality type and communication style, you can become a more effective leader and help your team achieve success.
Olivia Smith, Transformation Expert, founder of Write a New Story, and Master Certified Professional Coach (MCPC), specializes in personal and professional strategies for growth. Olivia started her career as a Registered Nurse and transitioned to the corporate world founding and running a multimillion dollar organization. Due to a life-changing volunteer experience at The Tennessee Prison for Women, she shifted her focus to the nonprofit world.
She paired her passion for helping those healing from trauma with her entrepreneurial experience to found Healing Housing, a transitional living community for women in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. Serving as Executive Director helped her lead Healing Housing to become the first and only transitional living facility for women in recovery in Williamson County. Olivia brings an unparalleled combination of skill and experience when it comes to challenging the limiting beliefs of her clients and equipping them for lasting forward motion. As a certified trauma-informed coach, a special designation held by a limited number of coaching professionals, and a seasoned businesswoman with more than 25 years of experience, Olivia helps her clients to have a better quality of life with the confidence to face personal and professional challenges through the viewpoint of turning obstacles into opportunity. Her signature process begins with a behavioral assessment and gives both corporations and individuals the ability to thrive in team situations, expand leadership potential and see possibilities they haven’t before identified so that they can Write a New Story. Olivia loves sailing and the water, so much that it served as the inspiration for her organization’s logo.