You're likely reading this from home instead of your normal workplace. Learn how DISC helps you take on these sudden changes and new challenges.
Many of us have the opportunity to do our part in this pandemic by officing at home. For some of us, myself included, we may have thought working from home would've been an easier transition. We may have seen these changes as exciting; loving the benefits of rolling out of bed and being at work! For others, working from home may have been a welcome opportunity to manage families schedules or a place to focus without office distractions. What we also may have discovered is there are benefits and challenges to doing it, but we can do it!
Our styles in transition
Many of us are appreciative in being able to work from home, but it doesn't mean the sudden changes always feel comfortable or easy. Tasks may take longer or are not done the usual way. We can't just walk into our colleague's office and say, "what do you think?" or have a face-to-face session with our client to debrief their DISC report. The daily interactions you had with your colleagues and clients are temporarily changed.
I was overly excited recently, just from an impromptu virtual consult; a great change of pace! I told my client, "you don't understand how happy i am to be talking to someone other than my family!" Luckily for me, my client felt the exact same way! Except, what do I do with the rest of the time? Understanding our DISC style and the style of others can help us adjust to these transitions more effectively.
In the infographic above, we offer some simple and practical tips for working from home. Now, let's take a look at how we can leverage our DISC style to optimize it even further.
Using the strengths of your DISC style
We need our behavioral strengths now more than ever. Strengths are items that tend to feel more natural and require less energy from us. We sometimes overlook our strengths or take them for granted. Don't let that happen to you. Use your strengths and ask yourself if you're taking advantage of them.
Independent D-styles tend to be self-starters who usually don't need a lot of instructions. They're usually more at ease with new challenges and thinking outside of box. Non-essentials are easier for them to overlook in order to focus on the getting to the end point. I-styles tend to jump right in and keep others involved. They often have a "can do" attitude.
The chaotic setting we find ourselves currently in may feel more comfortable for active D and I styles. You can use your active strengths to maintain the "big picture", take care of the short term, and keep things and people moving forward.
The usually reliable S-styles will try to complete tasks once they have clear instructions. They will do it as agreed upon. They tend to be conscientious; taking the input of their team members into account. The disciplined C-style tends to strive for high-quality work. They may be seen as the team's "resident expert"; helping us find solutions to problems.
Knowing that change and chaos are more challenging for these reserved styles can help them better manage and practice ways to deal with it and continue to keep the team productive. Their diligence and persistence are strengths to help their teams reach their goals.
Remember to use your strengths, but be careful you don't overuse them. For example, if you're the one who's always helping others out, you may be slower in getting your own tasks done; you're "too" helpful. Your awareness helps you capitalize on your strengths and prevent them from becoming weaknesses and a potential liability to your performance.
Finding our behavioral motivators
Motivators are the factors we are more likely to respond positively to and we feel more energized if they are present in our environment. One way we can be more productive in our remote settings is to find and revisit our DISC results to identify our most relevant motivators.
D-styles are more likely to be motivated by opportunities to be independent and in charge. They tend to respond well to new challenges and measurable goals where they can reach the ultimate goal. Work days are more energizing if the pace is quicker, task-focused, and has more variety.
I-styles are more energized when they are able to speak, influence, and talk about people and feelings. They are more likely to be motivated if they are able to find ways to connect with others, whether it’s on an online meeting or on the phone. They also find new opportunities to take on new tasks and roles because they find them exciting.
S-styles tend to feel motivated by a sense of security, familiar situations, and working with a sense of perspective. They tend to value clear direction and a sense of belonging to a team where everybody is aware of their tasks and supports each other.
C-styles tend to be more motivated when they have opportunities to specialize and time to examine data and details logically. They value practical behavior from others and when things are explained carefully, with time for them to process and decide.
We all have different motivators, regardless of our style, because we have different roles, experiences, attitudes, and knowledge. Review your DISC assessment to identify the motivators and strengths, that if you were to focus on them right now, would have the greatest impact on your performance.
Final and most important tip!
Working at home can mean we're around family members or familiar people a lot more. We're less likely to adjust around people we're comfortable with. In addition, when we are tired or frustrated (who isn't with our current environment?) we can lose our capacity to adjust; our energies are put towards dealing with our strong emotions.
We can end up becoming more of our style, by overusing our strengths or not adjusting. For example, if you're someone who likes to spend parts of your day chit chatting, you may end up frustrating people in your home with what others may see as constant chatter.
All of us are able to put a little more energy into being flexible and empathetic to get through this together. And finally, with a little humor, you have to keep living with these people even when you go back to your workplace!
Christina Bowser is the Training Director at Extended DISC North America