DiSC Profiles Can Bring Remote Teams Together
Covid-19 has made us all appreciate the things we used to take for granted, like having all your people in one office. When everyone was together, you could swing by someone’s desk to check in or gather the whole team for a meeting. That’s no longer possible in an age of remote working.
And remote working is here to stay. Even before the pandemic, almost 24 percent of people were working from home at least semi-regularly. For leaders, the challenge is to find new ways to motivate and collaborate. One tool that can help is DiSC.
What is DiSC?
DiSC is a personal development tool that helps measure an individual’s preferences and behavioral style. You take a short questionnaire, which generates a report that tells you your DiSC style.
The philosophy of DiSC is that you can measure human behavior along two axes: Thoughtful-Active and Questioning-Accepting.
When you combine these two axes, you get four distinct personality styles:
- Dominance – Active and questioning: D-style people are strong willed, direct, and driven by goals.
- influence – Active and accepting. i-style people are friendly, enthusiastic, and driven by relationships.
- Steadiness – Thoughtful and accepting. S-style people are patient, supportive, and driven by collaboration.
- Conscientiousness – Thoughtful and questioning. C-style people are analytical, precise, and driven by quality.
Some people may be a combination of styles, such as Di (active and enthusiastic) or SC (supportive and analytical). Each of these styles collaborates and communicates in their own way.
Leading the DiSC styles as a Remote Team
Each of the four styles can thrive in a digital work environment, although they will face different challenges. Here's how you can help each team member thrive and collaborate depending upon their DiSC profiles below.
Helping them thrive: Remote working can be ideal for D-style people. They take the initiative, get things done, and generally prefer to work their own way. Give them a goal and let them get to work – they will deliver.
This employee may choose to do things their own way rather than seek clarification, so make sure that you set expectations with them before they get started. Let them know what you need, when you need it, and how you expect it to be done.
Helping them collaborate: D-style communication is direct and forthright, which can help to keep meetings on-topic. Unfortunately, digital communication doesn’t always convey subtlety, and the D style might come across as rude or blunt.
You can help by reminding D-style people to be mindful of how they come across on platforms like Zoom or Slack. They might also appreciate it if you keep all meetings tight and focused. If a meeting isn’t strictly relevant to the D-style person’s interests, you could record it and let them watch back later.
influence StyleHelping them thrive: i-Style people like to be in the office where they can interact with colleagues, share ideas, and build relationships. They also enjoy public recognition for their achievements. Remote working can sometimes make them feel isolated and demotivated.
You can help these people thrive by giving them space to connect with others. For example, you can create some off-topic Slack channels where people can hand out, chat, and bond. Remember to keep the positive feedback flowing. Let the whole team know whenever i-Style people do a great job.
Helping them collaborate: i-Style people are often the glue that holds a team together. Their enthusiasm motivates others, so everyone benefits from having them around.
You can help them collaborate by allowing some extra catch-up time at the end of meetings. This structure will also help influence types to stay focused during the more structured part of the meeting. i-Style people tend to have good ideas about bonding and team-building, and they may be able to suggest ways to bring your remote team closer together.
Helping them thrive: The Steadiness style also focuses on relationships, although these people tend to be more supportive and nurturing. They are excellent collaborators who empower their co-workers while also being motivated by the team. For the S-style personality, the worst part of remote work is that they don’t get to talk to colleagues as often.
You can help this person by being available when they need you. Make sure that they can get in touch whenever they need advice, and that they can connect to colleagues with ease. The Steadiness style responds well to affirmation, so a “thank you” goes a long way.
Helping them collaborate: The S Style is best in one-to-one interactions. During meetings, they tend to sit back and pay close attention to what others are saying. In a videoconference environment, this can sometimes seem like non-participation, especially if they’re muted.
If you’re chairing the meeting, you may need to draw the S-style person out by asking some questions. Encourage them to speak up and share their ideas. Often, they will spot issues that everyone else has missed. They can also be a source of optimism when the team is feeling under pressure.
Helping them thrive: C-Style people are happy to work remotely, as long as they have clear goals and the right support. Their priority is quality, so you can trust them to hit goals and meet deadlines with minimal intervention.
C-style people like clarity, so make sure they have the right resources and that they understand your expectations. If you help them plan at the beginning of a project, they’ll take care of the rest.
Helping them collaborate: The Conscientious style prefers planning over improvisation. If you’re hosting a meeting, make sure that this person has a copy of the agenda in advance. This will give them a chance to plan what they want to say and bring along any supporting materials.
C-style people aren’t necessarily all business, and they may appreciate a chance to chat and bond with their colleagues. However, they are task-oriented, so they prefer if work-related discussions are prioritized ahead of lighter subjects.
Getting started with DiSC
If you’re interested in applying DiSC principles to your office, talk to Helios HR. We are a registered Everything DiSC partner, and we can help you get started right away, wherever you are.