Connecting With Your Audience
Now that you’ve developed a plan on how to execute an idea, you need to connect with your audience. An effective way to do this is through Everything DiSC, a great suite of tools designed to help learners discover their own priorities as well as the priorities of others. The Everything DiSC program starts with a trust-worthy assessment that uses adaptive testing methodology based on strong psychometric properties and extensive scientific research. Participants attend a facilitated session that illustrates a variety of customizable and flexible solutions that are easy to understand and apply in daily interactions. The method is simple, but not simplistic; rather than rely on a data dump of information, the program translates assessment results into a personalized narrative that’s actionable and easy to remember.
Through DiSC, you learn why some people are driven to simply get things done while others hunker down to get things done right. You also learn how to handle conflict so it can create productive opportunities to generate diversity of thought, creativity and innovation. While we all have varying reactions to how we handle difficult situations and confrontations with others, DiSC teaches us four basic styles, each with its own unique response to conflict.
- A Dominant style is active and questioning, direct, forceful, and outspoken with their opinions. They are fuelled by conflict to explore new opportunities, but may also get confrontational and aggressive.
- The Influence style is active and accepting and describes people who are outgoing, enthusiastic, and lively. In a conflict situation, they try to make light of the situation, but can get heated and say things they don’t mean if pushed up against the wall.
- Someone with the Steadiness style is thoughtful and accepting. They are gentle, accommodating, and patient with others’ mistake and don’t like to engage in any form of conflict and will try to diffuse it.
- Those with a Conscientiousness style are also thoughtful, but they are more on the questioning and skeptical side, and are often analytical, reserved, and precise. In a conflict situation, they try to separate the logical from the illogical, and if faced with a difficult situation, they may withdraw and completely shut down.
While DiSC describes these four basic styles, we don’t use it to pigeon-hole others or make excuses for ourselves. By knowing your own DiSC style, you can identify what motivates or stresses you. As you learn the styles of others, you accept that change must first start with you, so you learn to adapt, adjust or change to accommodate others in order to avoid destructive conflict. According to one Canadian study, conflicts are costly — 52% of work time is wasted defending, avoiding, and venting to others, which normally results in high absenteeism and costs Canadian firms more than three billion dollars a year. Furthermore, employees who feel mistreated and disrespected often react by withholding ideas and refusing to share information, skills, and knowledge, which in turn costs organizations. This behaviour can also result in increased client complaints, sabotage, increased injury and accidents, rising disability claims, grievances and litigation, employee turnover, and low morale.
DiSC is also a great tool for understanding what motivates us in our personal lives, because what we learn about our work selves can help us understand our private selves as well. In the end, Everything DiSC helps us achieve the following for ourselves and our teams:
- It provides a common language to help teams understand one another and work better together
- It can act as a springboard for conversation and team building by improving employee and workplace communication
- It can help you understand people who aren’t like you… or maybe even those who are too much like you
- It can help reduce the costly outcomes of destructive workplace tensions, because it reduces conflict and prevents misunderstandings.
As participants come out of an Everything DiSC workshop, they learn to make decisions that drive towards collective results. Group thinking and decision-making allow us to make better decisions, especially when we are open to the diverse inputs of the group. When different ideas come together, we have a greater opportunity to get people to weigh in, and when people weigh in, they can also buy in because they’ve been part of the decision-making process, even if the final decision is not their own.
 Safety Council of Canada, 2002
 CPRN, 2001