Hi there!

I wonder if someone can share a fresh perspective on a behavioral challenge. One of my reports (recently hired) is a DI in DISC. For this particular case it means that he doesn't like to report on status, has trouble finishing things, but it also means that he will go out of his way to take on new work and challenges.

All this drive and energy are positive, but I have found myself in situations where I was surprised by new commitments, disruption caused on other teams, etc. I have been trying to get a plan and status report so I can at least intervene for coaching and supporting, but he simply doesn't report back. It's impossible to know what he is working on as he seems to make all his decisions on the fly and doesn't like sharing.

Any suggestions on how to approach this?


NLewis's picture

If it was me I'd start coaching them on reporting and be as specific as possible.  Whenever I assign a task reporting is part of it.  "Would you please release the following purchase orders by EOD Wednesday and report back to me when complete?"  If I needed regular status reports I'd assign weekly reporting requirements ("... and send me an e-mail on status every Friday morning that summarizes your progress and challenges?")  Then go on to request they title it "Status Report on X - Green (or yellow or red depending on status)"

If they failed to get back to me I'd approach them about it with feedback.  Explain why the reporting is important.  "When you don't report back to me on status I can't report up the chain, which the owner requires me to do.  What can we do to make sure I'm updated?"  Count the number of times they failed to report back as instructed and bring that number to the O3.  Continued failure to improve on that would likely result in discipline.

More casually I might also work status questions into the morning greeting.

Don't know if that helps but in any case - Godspeed!

mmcconkie's picture

I agree with NLewis. Include reporting as part of the task. 

Something that has helped me earlier in my career (I'm a high I/S) is when my managers kept a running list of my tasks/projects. In our O3's they would pull out their list and ask for a status update on each task/project on their list. Then I found David Allen's book, Getting Things Done, which helped me learn to create and manage my own list so that I could be more productive and effective.

I think that you could apply a similar solution. Keep a list of this employee's tasks and ask for status updates each week in your O3. That way nothing falls through the cracks. Also, get this direct report a copy of Getting Things Done and discuss how those methods could be applied in your direct's current position (as a part of the coaching model). 

I hope this helps. Good luck!


chadhassler's picture
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I'm a DI and I can completely relate to where your direct is coming from. Just because it's his personality to always want to get into new things/never finish other things doesn't mean it's effective. For me, GTD was the first thing to save me. It was the only thing that would allow me to get a hold of all my "stuff". 

You didn't explicity say it but I'm assuming you're doing O3'. If not, that's where it starts. It'll be way easier for the high I (who wants to be well-liked) to cope with the pinch you deliver when you talk to him about tasks and reporting (deliverables). If this was my direct (assuming I had established a good relationship), I would discuss some of the challenges you've mentioned here and reccommend GTD as the approach to overcome them. It helps if you're a GTD practictioner yourself, though I'm not sure if the DI will notice if you're not: "Oh! A book! Awesome! I'm gonna read this right now!" Finishing the book and putting it into practice would be the big challenge.

For me personally, GTD was a lifesaver. 

I'm sure this is challenging right now, but what an opportunity you have to really help this direct. I've been reccomending GTD to my directs for about 6 months. Last week, one of them showed me their system and I was just over the moon about it. It is very rewarding to help someone grow!

Hope this helps!