Why Facilitators Should Talk Less in Team DISC Sessions

15 Nov, 2022 / by Christina Bowser

Why is speaking less when delivering intact team sessions beneficial to your audience? How should your intact team sessions differ from your other DISC sessions?

Building a better team session

DISC-Identifying-DIamondUltimately, the goal of any DISC session is to help your participants be more productive and successful, right? "Helping" is providing supportive feedback information and letting participants own the process because it's all about them. Remind participants they can only control their own interactions and DISC helps them understand how they can adjust to be more effective.

DISC describes four main behavioral styles nonjudgmentally. There are no styles that are better or worse; only different. DISC creates opportunities for team members to share their preferences for doing things, including communication. DISC provides a framework for team members to better understand each other's communication style, identify their combined strengths and challenges, and dialogue about their team dynamics.

As a DISC facilitator, the most impactful team session is one where you play a secondary role to your participants. Consider stepping back and offering a flexible agenda. You can help the team interpret their DISC results by using report statements as speaking points. For example, do they agree with their results? Ask them what statements stand out to them. If they disagree or are unsure, ask them to process the information within the team.

Ideally, they forget you're there because they're having a constructive discourse and you only need to keep them on track. Think about it. How often do teams have the chance to actually sit down and talk about their interactions?

Team DISC Session Goals

Team Assessment Cover ScreenshotBefore the session gets underway, prepare your participants. Establish trust by setting up a mutual agreement for the session. 

  • Ask each person permission to share individual results with the expectation that 'no' is okay.
  • Help them understand this team session is part of a developmental process and a starting point to knowing their team members' preferences and for team members to know theirs.
  • Sharing is optional, but their insight is valuable to their team and to understanding each other better.
  • There is work to be done in the session and it continues post-session.

Team development does not begin or end with one DISC session. DISC provides a language to support ongoing efforts. The Extended DISC® Team Assessment is not designed to answer critical questions. In fact, it is likely to generate more questions!

The assessment is a non-judgmental dialoguing tool and provides supportive feedback. It identifies 4 main behavioral styles; none of which are better or worse, only different. Oftentimes we believe our own style is better because we focus on the strengths of our style and not necessarily how we are perceived by others.

The report provides information on team members' preferred ways of doing things; how they are similar and different. In addition, it identifies the style of the team; to better understand their team's strengths and potential areas of development. 

The Discussion

Screen Shot 2022-11-02 at 1.57.06 PMOnce the mutual agreement is set then it's time to move on to generating observations and discussion by using the Team Report.

  • What observations can you make from your team's Extended DISC® Team Diamond Map?
  • Are there any of the 4 main DISC quadrants that seem to be more or less represented?
  • Do you see any half of the Diamond better represented?
  • Do you see any outliers (outside the groupings of styles) and how does that impact the dynamics of the team?

In the example Team Map above, you can easily see the bottom half of the Diamond has more team members. As facilitators, it's not our job to know why. Rather, ask the team if they feel their team tends to be more people-oriented versus task oriented and how that affects their productivity and success. Ask them what additional observations they have about the data. 

Continuing the discussion:

  • How would you prefer your team members communicate with you? What would you like them to know about your communication style?
  • What adjustments would you make with each team member that could improve the interaction?
  • Consider your roles and responsibilities. How do they match to the strengths of your team members?

Most of these questions are designed for continuing discussions. DISC helps people understand that what may be motivating for one person may have the opposite effect for another. What frustrates you about a team member is likely frustrating the same team member about you!

You may be pleasantly surprised at how much discussion there is. Continue to use the facts and data of the report to support the conversation and steer away from judgment. Flexibility and being open during these discussions are critical. Likewise, it's important to challenge the team to use this opportunity to develop as a team.

Tips for a more effective session

Tips for Team DISC Sessions (1)

  • Create a set of mutual expectations to establish trust and participation. Start with a few suggestions of your own and ask for additional input. Remind the team this session is about them and for them. The goal is to develop their relationships and understand each other better.
  • Protect anonymity and ask for permission to share DISC results. You still have options of using the anonymous Team maps.
  • Don't review the entire report. You can share the report with the manager and screen shot map(s) into your presentation. Encourage the manager to continue to share results in future team meetings or as needed.
  • Use smaller breakout groups. Enhances participation from all team members and they will come back together to share findings.
  • Flexibility - don't over stack your presentation. Remember, it's not about you; it's about them. Use your presentation to encourage discourse. Remember, it may take more time for your more reserved styles to share.
  • Application to the real world - customize examples to fit the team. Listen to what the team is discussing and help them make connections to the materials and each other.  
  • Remind the team that the session is about providing an open setting to share preferences, identify their team and motivate them to continue the conversation post-session. Team development is an ongoing continuous process. New members come and go, and responsibilities and goals change. 

We have presentations, activities, and exercises to help you build your team session. Contact us at CustomerService@ExtendedDISC.org to learn more or visit our Client Resource Site as an active Extended DISC client.

Topics: DISC Training, Success, Blog, Communication, DISC Teams

Christina Bowser

Written by Christina Bowser