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FBP 045: Why Do My Sales and Admin Teams Not Get Along?

In this episode of the Fluid Business Podcast, we cover why it isn’t uncommon for sales teams and admin teams to clash. Using DiSC profiling tool to understand how to better communicate.

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Understanding an ‘S’

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?

  1. Take initiative in clarifying situations that you feel are difficult and confusing.
  2. Develop your capacity to accept change/instability
  3. 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

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Understanding DiSC- ‘D’

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 in 2012 from 20112

DiSC is a communication tool aimed 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 and discuss how to recognise a style, and what adaptations we need to make to communicate effectively.

Let’s begin by looking at the ‘Dominance’ dimension.

disc-d

Let’s quickly summarise 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 Dominance dimension or D’s are faster paced and task focussed. So if we met a person with a high level of D in their profile we would expect to see someone who is competitive, determined, decisive, bold, and a person that loves to solve a problem.

The D style is a quick decision maker, and often won’t wait to be given the authority to take action. This makes them natural leaders but it does mean that they can struggle with being a ‘control freak’. D’s are most comfortable when they are in control of their situation and environment, when they are free from any restriction or control measures. A D will make their decision quickly and will act upon it quickly. Speed is of the essence to a D, they become bored quickly and will lose interest if things move too slowly or become bogged down with the ‘fluffy stuff’. New and varied tasks will appeal to the D and keep them motivated.

The D style has a tendency to make big logic leaps. When they are explaining a task to someone they may start at A but go straight to E, missing out steps B,C and D. This has the potential to leave other communication styles very confused. This is a key development area for a D.

For some of the other communication styles such as the C and S, a D can be hard to handle, the speed that they process information and decisions can be too quick and lacking in detail. Whilst for the D, communication with the other styles can be frustrating because they perceive them as slow or obstructive, because they don’t act quick enough. The contrast of styles can also mean that other dimensions are intimidated by the D’s communication style, meaning that they may not feel comfortable asking for clarification, fuelling the D’s frustration. The D will do things like finish the other person’s sentences, keep jumping in when someone else is speaking, become fidgety. This communication situation can often lead to the D being very blunt and lacking tact in their criticism. This is one of the most common areas of communication tension in a workplace.

D’s may often have their communication style reinforced because it brings them success, in their terms of getting results. However in many instances it is getting the task done that is important rather than the people involved in getting the task done.

If you think you may have a high level of the dominance dimension in your profile, how can you improve your communication with others and ease your frustration?

  1. Slow down and think before you speak. This is much easier said than done but will make a massive impact on the communication with other styles. Pausing before you speak and considering the feelings of others will help with being more tactful.
  2. Active listening. This means actually listening to someone when they are talking to you, not thinking about the next thing or new ideas. Give the person you are talking to 100% of your attention at that moment.
  3. Try and reach win:win situations. So the other person feels the outcome is as positive for them as it is for you. This may also be achieved by praising others more, recognising a job well done and giving recognition when it is deserved, will go a long way to getting people on your side.

In the next article we will look at how to work with, manage and motivate a D.

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