Imagine a workplace where everyone gets along, where differing opinions and perspectives are aired and resolved through productive and enlightening conversations, where staff members are skilled at understanding and sensing others’ needs and can adapt their way of communicating in order to reach mutually agreeable decisions. Not very realistic, huh? But can it exist?
It is possible to move a lot closer to this utopian workplace if all of your employees are equipped with two things – an awareness of their own styles as well as those of others, and skills for successfully having critical conversations. It is a powerful combination of Thoughtful Leadership™ practices that can rid your organization of time-wasting conflicts and petty turf wars, while it leads to better work relationships.
Most of us go about our lives believing that our way of doing things is really the best way. When we encounter people who see and do things differently than we see and do, who behave in ways that we do not find sensible, we generally view them as “wrong” and often as really annoying. Multiply that throughout your organization and you have an environment rife with potential conflict, personality differences, avoidance tactics, and low productivity.
Tools that help employees become more aware of their own styles and preferences as well as those of others – such as DiSC®, Myers Briggs Type Indicator®, and the Neethling Brain Instrument™ – are ideal for giving employees the skills to identify style differences and adapt their way of behaving and communicating in order to interact more successfully with others. For example, DiSC® is an assessment that focuses on individual behavior looking at four primary behavioral styles – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. After taking an online assessment, each individual receives a personalized report that describes characteristics of their style and offers very specific guidelines for working with each of the other styles. We have found that using DiSC® creates a common language in an organization to discuss differences and helps individuals become skilled in knowing when to modify their behavior and “flex” their style in order to have more effective relationships. This graphic illustrates the DiSC® model and provides additional information about the four DiSC® styles.
Look for our next quarterly newsletter to learn about the second half of our Better Work Relationships formula – skills for having critical conversations.
Thanks and all the best,
Lisa and Robyn
To learn more about DiSC®, critical conversations, and other ideas for enhancing your organization, contact Robyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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