Thank you for inspiring me to document musings and learnings from the field of leadership, team performance and conscious change. I trust you'll find the exercises, resources and insights useful whether you are a leader, team player, coach/consultant or change agent.

Monday, March 5, 2012

DISC and Crucial Cues

DISC is a great tool to understand communication, problem-solving, decision-making and work style preferences on teams. It's also incredibly helpful to increase awareness of how team members deal with tough conversations. When we are centered and neutral it's easier to have courageous dialogue in service to team goals. When we are not, our DISC preference can block the very conversation that is needed.

In "Crucial Conversations" by Patterson, Greeny, McMillan and Swtizler, the authors suggest that when stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions are strong, we have different coping mechanisms to stay safe. Here are some cues to look for as their research relates to DISC:
  • D's (Driver/Dominance) may become more autocratic by controlling or masking as they fear loss of control. 
  • I's (Influencer/Expressive) may push back by attacking or labeling as they fear rejection.
  • S's (Steadiness/Amiable) may acquiesce by avoiding or withdrawing as they fear loss of stability. 
  • C's (Conscientious/Analytical) may avoid by withdrawing or masking as they fear criticism.
Extroverted styles tend to be more assertive, louder or violent in their response to stress while introverted styles tend to be more passive, quiet or silent. Strive to understand your own preferences and those you work with to minimize self-protection and maximize performance!

For more on crucial conversations check out http://www.vitalsmarts.com/

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