As those familiar with the DiSC model know well, the acronym is explained as the following 4 style model.
The primary dimensions of behaviour are explained as:
Dominance – direct, results-oriented, strong-willed and forceful.
Influence – outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic and lively.
Steadiness – even-tempered, accommodating, patient and humble.
Conscientiousness – analytical, reserved, precise and systematic.
So if you are managing people, how might that inform you of your tendencies when managing them and where you need to be aware of your impact ?
The pure 'D' style boss can be overly directive, and may have some tendencies to exercise power and control, while certainly over task, also over other people they manage is possible too. D's may need to let go some times, particularly when managing those who are competent, otherwise these people will feel micromanaged.
An I style boss can be quite energetic and enthusiastic and appear to be a pleasure to work with for many. They can at times (as a boss) feel overwhelmed due to an inability and struggle to stay organised. Learning key personal organisational skills is a pre-requisite for 'I's'. They also tend to lean toward coaching us, where we may not need coaching, but more direction.
S's like stability and not too much change, so working for a S style manager could be feel like "steady as she goes" and you also may feel a lot of support.This 'S' manager can appear quite understanding. However, getting things moving as quick as you might like can be difficult for S's. They're more cautious and slow at decision making but are in it for the long haul. They tend to say a long time..
The C style people manager can be a person who expects very high standards, which some find hard to meet. I's might find this style of boss a real challenge, as their idea of good procedural follow-up may vary. Direct reports to a 'C' may find their manager comes across as too perfectionistic.
All people managers have their own ways in which they'd like work to be done, but as ever, learning about your tendencies and when they are overused is a key learning, so that you learn to people read with DiSC and to flex your style dependent on the situation and the needs at that time and with that person you manage.
This blog by Peter O’Connor, Managing Director and Facilitator, Performance Partners Ltd. For Leadership, Management, Sales Development Ireland, Service & Teams Training.