Recent studies have shown that the ‘vast majority (82%) of UK business leaders identify disengaged employees as one of the top three greatest threats facing their business’ 1. Communication is listed as one of the top factors influencing and improving employee engagement. Yet still a recent study showed how effective communication in companies fell from 2011 to 20122
DiSC is a communication tool to create effective communication. It is a look at someone’s observable behaviour and encourages us to understand how we and others like to communicate. It also gives us the tools to deal with any misunderstandings if they arise, but crucially prevent them from arising to start with.
This series of articles will look closely at DiSC taking each dimension in turn. To understand the motivations and characteristics of each dimension in turn. Discussing how to recognise a style, and what adaptations we need to make to communicate effectively.
This article will be looking at the ‘Steadiness’ dimension.
Let’s quickly recap the DiSC quadrant. From a communication point of view people will have a natural tendency to be either Task focussed or People focussed and either faster or moderately paced. In reality we all have a balance of each of these but most people will have a natural preference and one style will stand out above the others.
From the quadrant we can see that the steadiness dimension or S’s are moderate paced and people focussed. So if we met a person with a high level of S in their profile we would expect to see someone who is relaxed, methodical, amiable and calm. Someone who would be described real team player.
The words that are used to describe an S all contribute to an S being the rock of an organisation, qualities such as loyalty, reliability, patience.
A high S is typically a really good listener and their calm approach means they are great diplomats within an organisation. They get the best from the team by co-operating with other behavioural styles.
The S will work best in an environment that allows them to work to a routine at an relaxed pace. They will work best when the have consistency and security. The moderate pace of the S contributes to the S not being fond of change. Many texts refer to the S as being fearful of change, in fact many high S people are comfortable with change providing they maintain their security. They will resist change if that are unsure where their security lies, be it job, personal, financial or relationship security. Managing change with an S can cause conflict in many organisations, the reason usually comes down to the faster paced styles (D & I) not giving enough consideration to the changes and how this will affect the security of the S.
The S style will get on with all lots of different personality styles and other dimensions will see the S as just a really nice person that is easy to get along with. They are patient and supportive and so work well as part of a team.
A S can be controlled and so their reactions can be hard to read unless you ask them specific questions. The S will assume you know how they feel, which can again cause conflict in many organisations. The faster dimensions (D & I) can sometimes miss this with an S. in their haste to get going they may take the nod of an S that they are comfortable with a task but actually they are just trying to process what is going on and are really not happy with everything that is going on.
Sincerity is very important to an S. This includes sincere eye contact, genuine active listening, and a genuine value of the work that they do. The S will see through insincerity very quickly and it will have a detrimental effect on your relationship with and S if you are insincere and it will be hard work to rebuild the relationship, as they will bear a grudge.
If you think you may have a high level of the steadiness dimension in your profile, how can you improve your communication with others?
- Take initiative in clarifying situations that you feel are difficult and confusing.
- Develop your capacity to accept change/instability
- Be more independent, have faith in your own opinions and abilities.
In the next article we will look at how to work with, manage and motivate an S.
1 HR Magazine Taken from Global management consultancy Hay Group and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
2 Aon Hewitt – 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement