Let’s continue to explore the DISC concept, a feature of employee recruitment and training in businesses from government agencies to Fortune 500 companies. The “DISC” aspect stands for the four traits addressed by this model: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. The concept of “DISC-Flex” introduces the idea that we can dial up or dial down certain behaviors to adapt to any situation or person.
Through revealing questions, a DISC assessment reveals and charts the elevations of each trait. Once this data appears, patterns emerge that display a picture of your and your employees’ behavioral tendencies: how they guide relationships and interactions, how they govern the choices made on the job, and how they influence your business’ chances of achieving its goals. The ideal “big picture” for a business is to have a team of employees with DISC-trait diversity. Often, the best way to fill gaps and shore up your foundation is to “hire your weaknesses.” For example, if you require consensus and teamwork to make decisions, you might want to hire someone who’s more assertive when it comes to making snap decisions in isolation—then debriefing with the team later.
Building knowledge of employee behavior through the DISC system can help anticipate (and avoid) stressors, guide business strategy, and diffuse tense or sticky situations. It’s also more efficient, economic and scalable than one-on-one sessions with a business coach or consultant, with an e-learning module and the promise of a “flexing” component to adapt any worker’s style to a range of situations. Sometimes, an asset in one situation becomes a liability in another.
For example, a Conscientious assistant may jump to fulfill a request a supervisor’s request to book a hotel for a business trip. But if she follows up with email, text and phone confirmations, it can disrupt workflow. Instead of reprimanding the worker for a core strength, the supervisor may invite her to watch a brief video on “dialing down” this trait when working with him, but keeping the high level of detail when interacting with clients – an example of “flexing” behavior in different situations. The urge to provide reminders of appointments, requested documents, and follow-ups to clients remains, when needed; and the assistant may gain a more nuanced understanding of clients, distinguishing those who value efficiency from those who rely upon or prefer detailed explanations.
Through careful analysis and the willingness to adapt, you’re well on your way to recruiting, building, and securing your “Dream Team.” Diversity is always a strength in the workplace, and the realm of behavior is no exception.