Using DISC to Create a More Effective Team

by Profiles Global 22. November 2010 07:14

Very few of us work alone. At some time or another we are asked to work with others, as part of a cohesive team. And usually these teams are thrown together, with very little thought given to the dynamics of the group.


But putting people to work together on a task, based on no more than “Stephen is the best with clients” and “Tricia is the best speaking in front of a crowd” isn’t going to garner the best results. That’s like tapping all the best Canadian hockey players to represent us in the Olympics. More often than not it just doesn’t work. We end up with too many stars on the ice fighting for the puck and not enough players taking the time to set up the plays.


There needs to be a balance of talents in order for any team to get the job done well. That means a balance between leaders and followers; big picture thinkers and detail oriented workers; people-focused and task-focused team players; and innovators and standard bearers. In other words, we usually need a bit of everything. More importantly, we need to understand and appreciate the varying strengths of our teammates in order for our team to be truly successful.


Of course it’s easier to work with people who share our behavioural preferences. Few things are as frustrating as, say, working with a colleague who likes to ‘bend’ the rules, when we adhere to them like glue. Yet, there are times when rules should be broken, when the old way of doing things is no longer getting the job done. In those instances, we need the rule breakers to open our eyes to new possibilities. Just like we need people to tell us when we’re ‘fixing’ something that isn’t broken.


And that is where a behavioural assessment like DISC could, and maybe even should, come into play. By determining the objective and the behavioural needs of the project first (by completing a behavioural benchmark), and assigning people to the team second (based on the results of their individual behavioural assessments and comparing it to the needs identified through the benchmark), we’re much more likely to reach our goal successfully and with fewer set-backs.


Again, to ensure our team is a success, it is also important that the people chosen to be a part of the project team understand and appreciate the different strengths of the other team members. By sharing the behavioural needs of the project with the team, and explaining where each team member fits into the equation (which behavioural needs each person is fulfilling), we are helping to guarantee the success of the project.


So here is the process for creating a project behavioural benchmark and selecting appropriate members for the project team:


Step 1 –

The project manager completes The Position Analysis form, keeping in mind the purpose of the project, to create a behavioural benchmark. It is important to have at least two other individuals who are cognizant of the project complete the Position Analysis as well. The key consideration to keep in mind when answering each question is: "How critical is this statement in the day-to-day performance of the team who will fill the position?"

Sample questions from the questionnaire:

·  The Ability to Deal with New and Varied People (Influence)

Having the ease to meet and interact confidently with new and often varied people in an outgoing and active manner.  The "stranger's" could be within one's own company e.g. employees from another division and at a different location.

Very Low




Very High


Step 2 –

The individuals who completed the Position Analysis then discuss their results to achieve a consensus. (It is important that each person filling out The Position Analysis does so independently and then gathers for the consensus meeting). As a result of this meeting, a project benchmark is established, which can then be used to determine which workers would be best suited to fulfil the project’s objectives.


Step 3 –

The project manager then compares Graph III from the Person Analyses (How you see yourself) of the potential team members to the established benchmark, determining which workers are best suited to fulfil the project’s objectives.


DISC | human resources | talent management

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