How to use the Focus of your Team’s DISC Styles

A recurring source of frustration in the leaders with which I work is changing the behavior of their team members.

One of the reasons behavior change isn’t communicated effectively is leaders fail to consider the focus of each team member.

Ds and Is tend to be future focused. That is they are looking up at the top of the mountain, not the path in front of them.

Ss and Cs tend to be present focused. That is they are looking down at the ground where their next step will take them, not their ultimate destination.

For a leader to effectively communicate why a team member must change their behavior they must help that team member understand how their focus affects their behavior.

For a D- or I-dominant employee, help them understand how their present behavior will prevent them from reaching their future focus (e.g. focusing on the mountain top is great, but how are you going to cross this river first). In a sales context this would be a future focus on doubling income going unachieved by a present behavior of not doing enough prospecting.

For a S- or C-dominant employee, help them understand how their present focus will affect their future behavior (e.g. focusing on your next step is great, but if you don’t look up at the mountain top occasionally you’ll likely end up way off course). In selling to S- and C-dominant prospects this would mean helping them understand that their present course of action (constant repair of aging equipment instead of replacement) will affect the future behavior of their business (no being able to fulfill orders on time because equipment is continually down for repair).

As with all things DISC there is no good or bad there is only easier (burns less mental calories) or more difficult (burns more mental calories).

For Ds and Is looking to the future burns less mental calories, but planning the steps to get to their future burns a lot. For Ss and Cs planning in the present doesn’t take their mental calorie reserves, but casting their eyes ahead to the future drains them quickly.

Professional leaders will leverage the focus of each team member to achieve organizational goals faster.

Hamish Knox is the author of Accountability The Sandler Way

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