For Everything DiSC® Facilitators: Building Trust with Everything DiSC®

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Note: If this is a topic of interest to you, register for our complimentary webinar: Building Trust with Everything DiSC.

Most business leaders today would agree that trust is an important component of a healthy culture and a healthy culture is important to a healthy bottom line. What is less clear is how to build and maintain trust. 

And those questions are more relevant today than they have ever been. Why? Because the pandemic has eroded, perhaps fractured trust. Even in those companies where there was a culture of trust prior to the pandemic and where leaders took actions to maintain trust, it has likely been damaged.

On a physiological level, stress reduces the amount of the neurochemical, oxytocin, in our brains and when oxytocin is reduced trust is lowered. Our thinking becomes myopic and we go into survival mode. In this state, trust is lowered. 

The good news is you can leverage your organization’s investment in DiSC and use it as a tool, in combination with the trust model developed by Integro Leadership Institute, to help increase trust.

The Integro Trust Model

The Trust Model developed by Integro Leadership Institute identifies four trust-building behaviors:

  • Congruence: Straightforwardness. People who are strong in Congruence are straightforward. Their words and actions are aligned, and you always know where you stand with them.
  • Openness: Receptive to the ideas and opinions of others; willing to disclose information about themselves. People who are strong in Openness seek out input from others and engage in two-way dialogue. They are willing to share their thoughts and especially their feelings.  
  • Acceptance: Respect others for who they are and what they believe; recognize and show appreciation for others. People who are strong in Acceptance are more understanding and forgiving of those who make mistakes. 
  • Reliability: Keep commitments and seek excellence. People who are strong in Reliability avoid over committing. They won’t make a commitment until they are sure they can do it to the best of their ability. 

As with most things in life, each of these behaviors comes easier to some people than to others. There is likely an association among these behaviors the Everything DiSC® personality styles.  For example, we would expect congruence or straightforwardness to come most naturally to the D style, openness to the i style, acceptance to the S style and reliability to the C style.

When the Integro Trust Model is combined with the Everything DiSC model we can better understand why the current situation is likely to erode trust and gain insights into how to increase trust levels on an individual, team and organizational basis. 

We know that we are hard-wired to trust those that are most like us and distrust those who are different. And at times of high stress, we are more attuned to differences than we are similarities. We can see this playing out daily in our culture and political system. We also find it more difficult to exhibit flexibility and stretch to use behavioral approaches that come less naturally when we are under stress. 

Using the Models to Increase Trust

The diagram above shows which of the trust-building behaviors can be expected to come most and least easy to each DiSC style. The behaviors that come easiest to us also tend to be the behaviors we value and want from others. And we tend to most trust those who use the behavior we most value. 

Someone with a D style is likely to value straightforwardness in others. This behavior is often a challenge for someone with the S style for whom acceptance comes easiest and is valued in others. When someone with a D style and an S style interact, the individual with the D style approaches the situation with the trust-building behavior of straightforwardness while the individual with the S style approaches it with acceptance. 

Because we are most likely to trust people who use the trust-building behavior that comes most naturally to us (and that we most value), the dissimilarities in approach can lead to an erosion of trust.

One of the key benefits of DiSC is to help us see the world from the perspective of others and then adapt to meet those needs so we can work more effectively together. Increasing our ability to use all four of the trust building behaviors, will increase the level of trust others have in us. 

Applying the Understanding

The key to increasing trust is to identify similarities and to move from judging to valuing. Here are some ideas for leveraging your organizations investment in Everything DiSC.

  • Provide managers, whose teams have taken DiSC, materials to do a “pop-up” training session to use at the beginning of a meeting that reviews the DiSC styles and provides information on DiSC and Trust. Ask team members how they are seeing this play out in their day to day interactions.
  • Have people do a comparison report with someone of the opposite style (i.e. pair someone with a D style with someone who has an S style or someone who has a C style with someone with an i style) and ask them to focus only on those areas where they are most similar. (Comparison Reports always include the continua where the two respondents are most similar.)
  • Do a quick review of DiSC styles and ask team members to talk about what they value in each of the other styles or more specifically in a team member of another style. This helps reduce judging, which is a big trust buster, and increase the ability to value differences.

If you would like to further explore the Integro Trust Model and ways to use Everything DiSC to increase trust, register for the complimentary webinar: Building Trust with Everything DiSC that I am doing June 11 from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon CT. The webinar will be recorded and everyone who registers will receive a link.  

 

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