For Everything DiSC® Facilitators: Using DiSC to Re-Onboard Your Teams

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In a recent Harvard Business Review article, It’s Time to Re-Onboard Everyone, Liz Fosslien shared a story of the most tenured person on the team feeling like a new hire. Remote hiring and team members working from home the last 18 months have left many teams with a majority of team members who may have never even met each other in person. 

Too often this means trusted relationships between team members that are necessary for high-performing teams have not been forged. I have seen the impact of this firsthand in my coaching practice. When there is a lack of trust, team members make assumptions and assign negative intention to actions, rather than giving people the benefit of the doubt or discussing a situation directly as would more likely happen when strong relationships are in place. Toxic conflict often arises, tearing teams apart and hurting productivity. While I believe trusted relationships can be forged virtually, it requires a greater level of intentionality and more effective trust building skills.  

Fosslien asserts in her article that now is the time to re-onboard everyone.  I agree. And for those organizations that use Everything DiSC® throughout their organization, it can serve as a foundational tool in this process. Here’s how. 

The DiSC Model as a Tool for Re-Onboarding 

Building Trust 

Identifying similarities and valuing differences is critical in building trust. The Everything DiSC model is helpful in doing both. Comparison Reports (or the Colleagues section of Everything DiSC Catalyst™) helps people with even very different styles discover areas where they are similar. The model also helps people move up the judging to valuing ladder by helping them better understand where team members are coming from and explore the value that each person’s unique strengths bring to the team.  

Improving Communication 

We all have a little different way in which we communicate and different preferences in how we like to be communicated with. Someone with the D style for example likes issues to be addressed quickly and directly. They don’t need a lot of detail. Bullet points will do. People with the C style want opinions to be supported with logic and facts. They are uncomfortable sharing feelings or personal information and would prefer others keep this information to themselves as well. For someone with the i style feelings are important. They like to establish personal relationships. They generally deliver their message in an enthusiastic upbeat approach and want others to do the same. Those with the S style are uncomfortable with communication they perceive as confrontational. They like to maintain harmony so are generally tactful in their approach, and they prefer to get input from others prior to making a decision. 

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Since we tend to communicate the same way we like to be communicated with, these different communication styles can lead to misunderstandings and conflict. When team members understand their preferred style as well as the preferred styles of their team members, people can both adapt their style and be more accepting of other styles. 

Activities for Re-Onboarding with Everything DiSC  

Here are three activities to get you started with the process of re-onboarding your teams using Everything DiSC. 

  • Have new employees complete a DiSC profile and ask employees that have taken DiSC previously to pull out and dust off their profiles. Or better yet, use this as an opportunity to convert those who have already completed a profile to the new Catalyst platform. (As a reminder, anyone who has taken an Everything DiSC profile can be converted to Catalyst at no charge through the end of 2021.) Have a team meeting where each team member shares two strengths that resonate with them from their style overview and priorities (Pages 4 and 5 of the Workplace profile or “Your Story” under “Your DiSC Style” and “Your Workplace Priorities” under “Workplace-What Drives You” on Catalyst). Also have team members share one thing from these sections that is true for them and has tripped them up or gotten in their way in the past. This allows team members to share the value that they believe they bring the team and also acknowledge something that is challenging for them.
  • During a team meeting have team members share stressors and motivators (Page 6 of the Workplace profile or “Your Motivators and Stressors” under “Workplace-What Drives You” on Catalyst.) Ask them to also give an example of a situation or task they find motivating and one they find stressful. Create a diagram with team member stressors and motivators and make it available to everyone for easy reference.  
  • Ask each team member to meet one-on-one for 30 minutes with each of the other members of the team. If these meetings can be done in person that is optimal. If in person meetings are not feasible then they can be done via video conference with cameras on. During the meetings teammates can use Comparison Reports (or Colleagues on Catalyst) to identify similarities, explore differences, and identify ways to work together more effectively.  

These activities do require a small investment of time. However, the investment is minuscule compared to the time drain (and cost) of unhealthy conflict. 

Reach out if you would like to brainstorm additional ways to use Everything DiSC to re-onboard your teams or if you would like more information on converting existing profiles to Everything DiSC Catalyst. 

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