For Everything DiSC® Facilitators: Developing EQ with Everything DiSC Training
Imagine this scenario: You have a team member who is bright, motivated, punctual, a wiz at the technical aspects of the job, wants to take on more responsibility, and advance. Sounds like a dream employee, right? There is just one catch.
The individual also has an “edge” and rubs people the wrong way. They lack self-awareness around how they are perceived by others. They are unable to read other people and situations. Therefore, they cannot effectively adapt their approach to navigate the myriad of circumstances they encounter. In short, they lack emotional intelligence.
You have probably encountered this individual many times. I know I have. At some point in the past, you may have even been this person.
It has long been recognized that EQ is a critical characteristic of managers. Today, with the exponential speed of change and the need for agility, EQ is a critical skill that everyone needs if an organization is going to be effective.
In its simplest form, Emotional intelligence is based on four critical skills:
- Self-awareness: Understanding strengths and weaknesses and knowing your emotional “hot buttons” or triggers.
- Self-management: The ability to not only know what triggers you emotionally but being able to step back and manage those emotions in a productive way.
- Social Awareness: The ability to read situations and the emotional needs of the people involved.
- Relationship Management: The ability to manage and adapt your response based on the needs of a specific situation and the people involved.
When I took my first DiSC® assessment in the late 1980s, the concept of “emotional intelligence” was already being discussed in academia. Ten years later Daniel Goleman brought the concept into the mainstream with his book: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
Years later I realized that one of the gifts I gained from exposure to the DiSC model early in my career was enhanced EQ. DiSC provided self-awareness and illuminated blind spots that were getting in the way of me advancing. It helped me understand the perspective of others and provided me with the skills to adapt to meet the needs of both the specific circumstances and the individual people involved. The DiSC model has been a tool for improving Emotional Intelligence before most of us had ever even heard of EQ.
Developing EQ Skills
Whether you are using Everything DiSC Workplace, Everything DiSC Agile EQ (both available on the Catalyst™ platform) or one of the other Everything DiSC solutions, here are activities you can use to help participants develop skills in each of the four areas of Emotional Intelligence.
Self-Awareness: To help illuminate blind spots around weaknesses, ask participants to identify two to three characteristics of their style that have tripped them up or caused them problems in the past. Have them provide specific work-related examples of when this aspect of their personality caused a problem and have them elaborate on the specific issues it caused.
Self-Management: Building on the self-awareness exercise, ask them to identify characteristics of another style that might have been more effective in the situation(s) they identified. For example, someone with the D style might have said “failing to consider others’ ideas” was something that has tripped them up in the past. “Being a good listener” which is characteristic of those with the S stye might be the more effective characteristic. Have participants develop an action plan for
Social Awareness: To help team members gain insight into the needs, motivators, and stressors of other styles have them meet with people of other styles (one-on-oner or in small groups) with each person sharing the answers to questions like: “What motivates you?” “What does a great day consist of for you?” “What is the best way to recognize you or show appreciation?” Be creative. The list of possible questions is long.
Relationship Management: Have team members identify someone they would like to work with more effectively. Have them review the characteristics of that person’s DiSC style and identify three ways they could adapt their approach to more effectively work with this person. For example, someone with the i style who wants to work more effectively with someone of the C style might identify “provide more detail when sharing an idea”.