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Submitted by cwatine on


I would like to initiate this topic to share hints to improve performance and communicationn using DISC.

Mark and Mike have already gone very far in that subject, but I am sure we can find more ideas in our day to day interactions.

Let's start.


I think my MIT manager is a pure "I". He is very nice, but as some trouble with meeting deadlines. Especially on complex or multiple projects.

I found two ways to help him :

1) I asked him to inform the team by Email every night during a very important project. 3 parts : what has been done, are we on track and what will be done tomorrow. He was not very happy about that in the begining and I had to give him some fb because he was not doing it. But once he complied ... It worked like a charm.
I think it worked because he was showing to the others what he was doing and it played positively on what their were thinking about him !
And ... No, he did not include emoticons in this emails. :cry:

2) I followed the advice of giving him not 10 tasks at the same time and ask him to work on the 10 at the same time. I limited it to 2 simultaneous projects, and then give 2 new projects after the others are finished.
Here again ... Big progress.


This one is a little bit personal.

My wife is a pure "S" and never knows how to complain when she is not happy with another person. Instead, she prefers to keep that "inside" even if it ruins her morale. Or (worse) she keeps complaining at me about how the person is inefficient, rude and doest not understand what is expected ... :wink:
In the past, I would take care about that, by giving a proper feedback to the person.

We have now decided that she would do it herself, starting with frequent little feedbacks.
What was the "aha" for her was her understanding two things :
- the other person was anyway feeling something was wrong, so she was hurt in a way
- if you don't give fb to the other, you don't give her a chance to change.

She believed she was "respecting" the person by not giving feedback, but she was not.

Yeah ... There is a downside ... It seems She's now starting to gives me feedback ... Outch, what time is it ? Time to go home ! :?

Have you any hints ?

cwatine's picture
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[i]Help them understand the company/team logic[/i]

You have to be carefull with those profiles about one thing : explain them the company values and system and convince them it is the best.
If you don't make it clear, they will "run" following their own logic and system : they will act in a manner that nobody will understand (except them).

One person in our team had the reputation to be blunt to the others and not collaborative to the team. She was rejecting some tasks and helping with some other, without apparent logic.

By discussing with her, we realized that she was running on her personnal logic which was : "I help people which I find fair to work with, based on what they did for me in the past, or if they need my help, etc".

She had not integrated the team logics. So the team could not include her in its logic ...

She had built her own system based on the old management and history and her own value.

terrih's picture

I'm a high C and you are so right! I've done that! done things the way I thought they should be done, and if I discovered others weren't doing it that way, just shook my head privately and waited for them to see the light. :roll:

What am I doing differently now? Well, I called a meeting of just the desktop publishing specialists (of which I were one b4 promotion) with the express goal of going over our procedures and making sure we're all doing the same things, and if there was disagreement, talk it over and decide what would be best for the dept/company.

I said "This is not going to be a my way or the highway thing... we'll decide together what the best approach is."

We went to Dunkin' Donuts for iced coffee so we wouldn't be interrupted, and had a terrific session.

My point is, this was a stretch for a C like me. I want to be "my way or the highway" about it, but on the other hand I don't want to make waves, so my temptation is to just let things go. But that would lead to frustration and inappropriately emotional feedback somewhere down the line, probably.


cwatine's picture
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Your way is better than what I described.
You found a "common way".
I tried to prove them the company policy was better.

Your approach seems more motivating and requires a better team work than what I described !

Thanks for sharing.


WillDuke's picture
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Cedric - could have been your D coming through. :)

cwatine's picture
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Impossible to hide it ... :?

Mark's picture
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I am guesing that your title of "Tricks" is simply a translation issue. It doesn't translate well at all, and I'm very careful not to associate DISC with anything less than professional. Tricks is unacceptable.

How about HINTS.


cwatine's picture
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Oooops, of course it [i]was[/i] a translation issue. Sorry about that.


cwatine's picture
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One of my directs is also a very high S (and high C).
It is very difficult for him not to take work from his directs (managing in the "wrong direction" !).
He "intelectually" knows that it is not the way to go because he ends up doing an incredible number of hours spending time on the wrong things
It is really a problem because delegation is not done properly in his team.

Any ideas on how I could help him?


US101's picture
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Have him ask his directs,
[list]“Are there cases where you believe that I get too involved and can let go more?
Are there cases when I need to get more involved and give you some more help?”
"Do you ever see me working on tasks that someone at my level doesn’t need to do?"
"Are there areas where I can help other people grow and develop, and give myself more time to focus on strategy and long-term planning?'[/list:u]
Almost invariably, direct reports will come up with great suggestions. He will probably find that in some cases, more delegation is wanted, and in others it is not.

jhack's picture

Two quick thoughts:

Could you create incentives (compensation?) for delegation?

Can you give him more work of his own, forcing him to delegate?


cwatine's picture
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This last point is what I am trying to do now.
I am asking him to be more "on the field" (at the customer for pre and post installation of machines)
It means he will be off site 50% of the time. So impossible to do it without effective delegation.
I thought he would reject my ideas and ask for more time to prepare people and other "excuses".

He did not. He was enthousiastic about it!

We had hired a "right hand"(assistant) for him a few months ago. She is a high D and C. She pushes him to delegate more and more everyday. It seems he really trust her. So I think he needed some time and some trust in her to let "his" team in charge.

Let's see.

Thank you for your help.

fchalif's picture
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I notice as I read this thread that you are very clear on the profile of you team members.
"We had hired a "right hand"(assistant) for him a few months ago. She is a high D and C."

Do you ask your team members to complete the DISC profile test, or is this something that you establish over time from observing from their behavior.

tlhausmann's picture
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[quote="fchalif"]Do you ask your team members to complete the DISC profile test, or is this something that you establish over time from observing from their behavior.[/quote]

I do not know what Cedric did. I had an outside facilitator go through the DISC profile test with me and my entire team. It was incredibly helpful.

cwatine's picture
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Nearly everyone did the test.
The DISC reports of anyone are available to everyone in the company.
It was extremely helpfull for conflict resolution and healthy discussions.
We also have every new hired go through the test.
The more I use this tool, the more I appreciate it. It is simple and very efficient.

The test only confirmed what everyone had already observed about their peers and directs.
And, if you can't do the test for any reason. The book "the 4 dimensional manager" has a quick "pen and paper" test you can use for yourself or for others (based on your observations).

Just the fact that your directs observe each other and try to find their DISC profile is usually a huge step forward because they understand :
- that we have different communication styles
- that we need different profiles in a team
- the difference between behaviour and personnality (avoiding "labelling")
- that by adapting slightly they can dramatically improve