Saturday, December 19, 2009

Developing Managers with Everything DiSC®


On August 30, I published this blog entry: New Take on an Old Standard. It is about Everything DiSC®, which is a style assessment tool that allows users to gain insight into their behavioral preferences at work. At the time, I had just purchased the Everything DiSC® package so my team could administer it and incorporate it into some of our management training programs. We have used it several times since then, and as promised, I wanted to report back on our experience using this tool.

The Training Approach: We have incorporated Everything DiSC® into several of our management programs. Participants go online prior to their scheduled class and complete the DiSC® profile as pre-work. It takes them approximately 30 minutes to complete. Once they are finished, they are able to immediately generate a very rich feedback report which we ask them to bring to training. During training, we define what the different DiSC® styles are and we help the participants identify the implications of their style preferences. We also cover how to read other people to determine what their likely DiSC® style is, and how to apply DiSC® in various management situations such as delegating work and developing employees. Essentially, Everything DiSC® enables us to cover some aspects of Emotional Intelligence (Self Awareness and Social Awareness) in training without calling it that. In my experience, managers sometimes get uncomfortable when emotional intelligence is mentioned, so this gives us a way to address their learning needs in this area in a non-threatening way.


(The four basic DiSC Styles surrounded by eight corresponding management behavioral preferences)


The Participant Take-aways: We purchased the management version of Everything DiSC®. The profiles generated for the participants and the feedback they receive on their style preferences is presented in a very practical context for the jobs that they are doing. Although there are only four DiSC® styles, there are many potential combinations of responses to the profile questionnaire, so each feedback report is unique. The reports contain personalized feedback on how DiSC® style preferences influence behavior in the following areas:

  • Management Style (priorities, preferences and implications for time management)
  • Directing and Delegating
  • Motivation
  • Developing Others
  • Working with Your Manager (influence without authority) 
The Measurement Results: The DiSC® segments of our management training programs are receiving some of our highest level 1 (participant reaction) ratings. I know level 1 metrics are nothing to get excited over, but considering that the discussions that take place during the DiSC® segments of our training are really discussions about topics such as delegating and motivation, I think this is noteworthy. Many “seasoned” managers attend our training sessions. To have them rate these segments highly tells us that they are adding new insights to topics that might otherwise seem like a retread to them.

We are also seeing positive results in our level 3 (behavioral change) metrics. Evidence that our managers are incorporating DiSC® style information into their management approaches can be seen in the goals they are setting in their post-training action plans and in their follow-up progress reports.

The Added Bonus: In addition to the personalized profiles and feedback reports the participants receive, Everything DiSC® also gives us the ability to generate composite and comparison reports. The composite reports plot DiSC® styles for a given population such as everyone in a particular job or an intact work team. We have been conducting DiSC® training separately for managers in our Sales and Service organizations. The composite reports for these two groups show that very different patterns of behavior have emerged within each group. It provides us great information for performance consulting and change management. The comparison reports plot two individuals on a continuum for the same categories in the individual profile reports. They provide feedback that is helpful for coaching and conflict resolution.

On the whole, Everything DiSC® has been a very positive addition to our management development programs. Each time we have used it we have been asked by at least one member of the class if we could administer it for their work group. So it looks like it has franchise possibilities as well!

8 comments:

  1. Mike,

    Great summary on Everything DiSC! I have been going back and forth about whether to finalize the process with Inscape. It seems like such a waste of money and time since I have been using DiSC for years and have multiple certifications in other assessment instruments. Are you a distributor?

    Robert
    http://managementisajourney.com

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  2. Robert,

    Thanks for your comment. I am not a distributor, only a satisfied user. We get our assessments and training tools from here: http://www.onlinedisc.com/

    If you refer back to my August 30 post http://mwtl.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-take-on-old-standard.html you can read about what is included in the package. For a relatively low investment, our managers are getting very valuable feedback that is helping them to make adjustments to their management approaches.

    Mike

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  3. Interesting stuff Mike! I really like the Forte Institute's communication profile - I used it at a previous job and found it very useful. It's not a full training program, just an assessment tool but we found it really helpful in understanding interpersonal and team dynamics. Have you ever worked with it?

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  4. Katy,

    Thanks for your comment. I am not familiar with the Forte Institute's communication profile, but thanks for the tip. Their website looks interesting. I bookmarked it for future use.

    Mike

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  5. Mike,

    I will look at your August 30th post and thanks for the referral to onlinedisc.com. I have been hearing some good reviews of this new way of administering DiSC.

    Robert

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  6. Robert,

    If you are a DiSC user, I think you'll appreciate this new package. It is easy to administer online and the training materials give you a lot to pick and choose from for your specific audience and situation. The details are in the August 30th blog post.

    Mike

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  7. I think that supervisors could benefit from providing this DiSC assessment to their team so that they could form a more cohesive plan of action based on each other's strengths.

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  8. Just thought I'd let you know that the folks at onlinedisc.com appreciate your referrals. However, our new site at www.discprofile.com is much easier to use.

    ReplyDelete