Diversity of all kinds, including diversity of thought, has been shown to result in improved performance – but only when there is a high level of trust and the team members are able to move from judging differences to valuing the differences that each individual brings to the table – regardless the source of the difference.
Everything DiSC® is a tool for helping people move up the ladder from judging to valuing. DiSC® helps participants understand that the way they perceive the world is likely different from how others perceive the world. It provides a framework for understanding these different perspectives and leads to an awareness of the different filters through which they and others perceive the world. This leads to a deeper understanding of differences which in turn allows for acceptance, appreciation and ultimately valuing the different strengths that each individual brings to the table.
Moving from judging to valuing requires that we are able to step into the shoes of and view the world through the eyes of those with whom we interact. By helping participants develop an understanding of the perspectives of other styles, DiSC helps build the skill of seeing the world from the perspective of others which is critical to fully capitalizing on the benefits of diversity.
Using DiSC to Climb the Ladder from Judging to Valuing
The most effective way to help participants of an Everything DiSC session move from judging to valuing is to incorporate exercises and activities that help them identify the strengths and characteristics they value in the other styles. Here are four of my favorites.
- If you are working with a small group of participants that know each other, such as an intact team, have each participant share a strength they believe each of the other participants brings to the team and why they value that strength. If you choose to, you can provide cards with words associated with each style (one word per card). Participants then choose a word for each of the other participants and share the word and why they chose that word. For larger groups you can split participants into smaller break-out groups. Be sure the groups are representative of all styles, if possible.
- Add a question to the debrief of the activity outlined in this article where participants are put in groups by DiSC style to answer a series of questions about their style. After a style group reports out, have someone from each of the other three style groups give a characteristic of the reporting style that they value and how that characteristics helps the team.
- Have each participant identify someone they would like to work with more effectively. (No need to share the person’s identity with the rest of the group.) Ask them to determine the person’s likely DiSC style by asking if they are:
- More Fast Paced & Outspoken or Cautious and Reflective, and
- More Questioning & Skeptical or Warm & Accepting.
Then ask them to list all the characteristics of this person that they value using information about that DiSC style as a guide. This can be done as an individual exercise or in groups of people based on the likely style of the person they want to work with more effectively. (Note: Avoid asking the participants to first talk about what makes it hard for them to work with this person or why. Research indicates that the anchoring effect is quite powerful, and it is difficult to overcome the perceptions that are anchored first. You want to anchor what is valued.)
- Split participants into four groups based on DiSC style. Ask each group to identify three things they value about each of the other styles. You can add nuance to this exercise by asking each style group to answer a question such as, “What makes each of the other styles an effective communicator. Or, “What do you value about the way each of the other styles approaches conflict?”. Taylor the options based on the objectives of your training.
If you would like more information on any of these activities or want to brainstorm ideas for additional activities to help participants move from judging to valuing differences please reach out.
TAGGED : Diversity, diversity of perspective, leadership, the value of different personality styles in workplace teams