M&Ms

29 Aug How to Build a Stronger Team

 

As leaders, our role is to bring different people together with diverse backgrounds and expertise and work together effectively to achieve a goal. A strong leader begins with a strong team. But, how can you build a stronger team? One tool you can use, that I have personally found to be pretty effective, is understanding both your DiSC profile and the DiSC profile across the members of your team.  Let me tell you a few pointers that worked for me and may help you determine if this tool is right for your project team as well.

What is a DiSC Profile?

DiSC is a personal assessment tool that is used to improve productivity, communication with a team, and teamwork.  It is a simple behavior assessment test that gathers a series of questions and gives you a detailed report that breaks down your behavior and personality. A DiSC profile helps you to better understand yourself and others around you because it gives you a frame of reference.  So, what does DiSC acronym mean, anyway?  It’s taken from the first letter of each of the four behavioral traits:

  • D =Dominance – direct, outspoken, and results-oriented
  • I = Influence – friendly, optimistic, people-oriented
  • S = Steadiness – maintains the status quo, peacemaker, family-oriented
  • C = Conscientiousness – logical, organized, detail-oriented

Advantages

DiSC helps to build strong and productive teams because if one team member is familiar with another’s behavioral preference, then that will help them modify their approach so that they can better communicate with the other person.  It helps everyone appreciate the different strengths and work together collaboratively with that in mind.  This tool certainly helps with change and conflict management. This assessment will play a role in helping you to analyze yourself and your team to ensure that the common goal is met.

Implementing DiSC

I have personally used this tool during the project initiation stage.  As your team is being identified and coming together, it is a great practice to have them complete their DISC profile before the kickoff meeting so that you can incorporate this as an input to your icebreaker and team building activities. The first step is for you and your team to take the DiSC profile.  There is a minimal fee per test so be sure to include that as part of the project expense. Be prepared to tell your project sponsor why it is important that your team do this so that they can approve this cost as part of the project.  The next step is analyzing the profiles and seeing the synergies and strengths of your team. With this gathered information you will learn how you react to certain personality types and how to increase your effectiveness with styles that are different from your own. Improve the quality of your team, build more effective communication skills and increase productivity using this tool.  You can plot out where each team member is across the DISC quadrant and display that in a PowerPoint slide and explain.  Then have a fun and engaging team building exercise so that the team can appreciate what each other brings to the table.  Be creative! Make it fun and engaging!  One example is during one of my projects, was during a 2-Day Project Kickoff meeting. The team was asked travel onsite.  As part of the team building activity, they were first asked to complete the DISC Profile a week before the onsite meeting.  Secondly, there was a session with a simple PowerPoint deck to share the behavior types among the team based on the results of the test.  And lastly, as part of the team building activity, each team member got a handful of M&M’s and was asked to organize them with no instructions beyond that.  After everyone had ‘organized’ the M&M’s, the team then went around the room and saw how unique and different everyone was in the way they went about organizing the M&M’s.  We had a fun time and the team members worked more collaboratively as a result of having a greater understanding of each other!

The Bottom Line

DiSC profiles are an essential tool to use to building and developing a stronger team. Consider using this as one of your arsenal of tools.  The DiSC assessment helps you to understand your personality to be a better leader and others so you can work together as a team to achieve the same purpose.

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• Create a vision for yourself
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Yvonne Bramble
yvonne@cornerstoneleadershipmastery.com
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