Business Consulting & Coaching - Nashville, TN

Leadership is a crucial element of success in any organization. Whether you’re a CEO of a multinational corporation, a team lead in a small business, or a community leader, your ability to lead effectively determines the success of your team. To become an effective leader, it’s essential to understand your leadership style and how it impacts your team. What’s equally important is understanding the personality styles of those you are leading so that you can effectively communicate with them. 

Leveraging the DISC assessment is an excellent way to approach this. 

The DISC assessment is a tool used to evaluate an individual’s behavior, communication style, and work preferences. The assessment categorizes individuals into four primary personality types: Dominant, Influential, Steady, and Conscientious. Each type has its unique strengths and challenges.

Once you’ve identified the personality style of those you are leading, here are some tangible ways to utilize the DISC assessment to effectively lead:


Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Describe what actions and results are desired. 
  • Show the gap between actual and desired performance and results. 
  • Clearly suggest the needed improvement and establish a time to get back to you: “We need to streamline communication so that one hand knows what the other is doing. Last month,  we had two separate divisions calling on the same CEO for corporate donations. I want you to work up a plan to keep everybody informed about who is working on what so we do not duplicate our efforts. Get back to me by the end of the week.” 


Influence – High “I” Style

  • They avoid facing problems, and, if pressure persists, may walk away from the problem.  Encourage them to stay engaged and seek support by working with others. 
  • Sometimes stress manifests itself in animated panic. “I can’t talk now, Hal. It’s really hit the fan  this time!” Help them specifically know the challenge and define the behaviors to solve the problem. 
  • Confirm the mutually agreeable action plan (in writing) to prevent future problems. 
  • Use positive, optimistic questions and phrases: “How’d you like to increase your sales beyond  your normal range?” 


Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Reassure them that you only want to correct a specific behavior, not them personally.
  • They tend to take things personally, so remove the “something is wrong with you” barrier as quickly as possible. 
  • Point out in a non-threatening way what they are already doing right while also emphasizing what needs changing: “Norma, admire your persistence, but we have to add more details to the proposal before we send it out. For example…”.


Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

  • Show them how to get a job done and they will master and modify it to suit their needs.
  • Specify the exact behavior that is not working and how you would like to see it changed.
  • Mutually agree on checkpoints and timeframes. 
  • Allow them to save face, as they fear being wrong. “Henry, you produce excellent work and  always hit your deadlines. Our new software platform will help you to be even more efficient.  I’d like you to take a training course to get up to speed quickly…”



Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Give them the bottom line and then let them do their thing. 
  • So that they can be more efficient, give them parameters, guidelines, and deadlines. 


Example: “We need to get that mall built a month sooner or we’ll lose the business. Fourteen  tenants are threatening to bail out of their contracts if we do not open in time for the  holidays. Don’t spend more than another $30,000, keep everything legal and out of the  newspapers, and get back to me by Monday morning.” 


Influence – High “I” Style

  • Receive clear agreements; set up checkpoints/times to avoid long stretches with no progress reports. 
  • I styles are often concept people who come up with plenty of ideas, but not necessarily the  means of carrying them out, so steer them toward implementation of the ideas. 


Example: “Olivia, this proposal for the King Company looks good so far, but let’s include more  direct benefits for each employee. Marian has surveys filled out by each employee. Get  together with her, bounce some ideas around, and then include more essential information  about the eight key people in your proposal. Add some extra plus points on the others…no  more than 12 pages in all. Olivia, thanks for making the extra effort on this project. It’s really  important, and they will be excited to hear what you’ve come up with.” 


Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • S styles may be reluctant to ask others to do their share of the work, so make a personal appeal to their loyalty and sense of teamwork, focusing on getting everyone involved and  collaborating. 
  • Give them the task, state the deadlines that need to be met, and explain why it is important to  do it that way. Acknowledge the contribution they are making by enlisting others to be a part of the process. 


Example: “Al, you’re an example for this company of genuine cooperative spirit. By giving  everyone in your department just 10 of those names to call, you can all reach the goal  together by noon tomorrow. Otherwise, you’ll probably have a lot more difficulty reaching all  those people by the target date.” 


Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

  • Take time to answer the most critical questions about structure or guidance they require. The  more they understand the details, the more likely they will be to complete the task properly. 
  • Be sure to establish deadlines and checkpoints if necessary. 


Example: “Angela, the court date on the Mortimer case has been moved up to Monday, so we  have to respond by speeding things up a bit. It will proceed almost as efficiently as if you  researched everything by yourself if we enlist two associates to work under your direction on  tasks you delegate to them and then review. Before getting started, do you have any preferences on who should be involved or how to move this process forward that you think  are essential?”

In conclusion, using the DISC assessment can be an effective way to improve your leadership skills by understanding your communication style, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, understanding the needs of your team, and building a diverse team. By taking the time to understand your personality type and communication style, you can become a more effective leader and help your team achieve success.

If you are interested in hearing more about how this powerful tool is used to increase the productivity of you and your team learn more about the DISC assessment HERE.

At Write a New Story, we offer individual leadership coaching sessions as well as package programs. When you commit to going deeper to work on your personal development goals you can accelerate your plan of growth from where you are now to where you want to be. Learn more about our offerings HERE. 

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