What is your management style? What do you enjoy about management? What drains your energy as a manager? If there were only a way we use your DiSC® style to provide help with your management priorities and preferences! Well, there IS a tool that helps you do that!
Introducing Everything DiSC® Management Profile. As you guessed, it uses Everything DiSC® as the engine. My goal here is to increase your understanding of the Management Profile using specific results from an actual assessment.
How does DiSC® connect to management? Maybe you’ve noticed that you have an easier time managing people who are similar to you in style? Are you challenged by people who are vastly different from you in style? The Management Profile creates the intersection between your style, others’ styles, and your management priorities and preferences. You can improve the quality of your management experience by using DiSC® to build more effective relationships.
The research-validated Management Profile is intended for all managers and is designed to:
- Help managers understand their management style
- Help managers better understand their direct reports
- Provide tips and guidance for improving management effectiveness
Let’s begin with a look at those 8 words placed around the model and what they really mean. The eight words around the Management Profile map are priorities. These priorities are unique to the Management Profile. In other words, they are the primary areas where people focus their energy depending on their DiSC® style. They are the instinctive priorities where people – given their DiSC® style – will focus their energy.
Everyone has at least three priorities; some have four to five. Having more is no better or worse than having three. Your Management Profile is unique to you and based on your results. Priorities simply help us understand how our style might be reflected in real-life work scenarios. The important thing to remember is that when things get foggy (such as when stress or uncertainty appear) we seek the priorities associated with our style. We’ll see what the Management Profile tells the participant, and what action plans can result.
Breaking it down further, we see 3 priorities assigned to each quadrant, respectively.
A first look at the model shows the following priorities identified with each primary style:
D: Challenge, Drive, Action
i: Action, Encouragement, Collaboration
S: Collaboration, Support, Reliability
C: Reliability, Objectivity, Challenge
This approach can at least provide you high-level understanding of the priorities associated with each quadrant before we even know a person’s DiSC style.
Let’s always consider the basic styles before we dive deeper. Suppose we have a participant whose name is Jeff and initial review of his Management Profile indicates he’s in the D style quadrant.
We know from our DiSC® Basic Model that Jeff has an outward activity level (or PACE) described as: Fast-paced, Outspoken. We also see that he has an agreeableness quotient described as: Questioning, Skeptical. When we combine these two dimensions, we know that Jeff’s traits as a Dominant style include: Direct, Firm, Strong-willed, Forceful, and Results-oriented. The Management Profile will show us much more.
Priorities are where Jeff focuses his energy. For example, as we uncover more information about our participant, we see that his ”D“ style has the following 3 priorities of Challenge, Drive, Action. These priorities are the lenses through which Jeff views various situations and interactions. AND, they shape his leadership experience. So, now we have not only identified his “D” style traits from the previous slide, but we also know his Management priorities.
What we know so far about Jeff is now in one picture:
Behavioral dimensions of:
- Fast-paced, Outspoken, and
- Questioning, Skeptical
- Traits of the Dominant style, including: Direct, Firm, Strong-willed, Forceful, and Results-oriented
- And, Management priorities including: Challenge, Drive, & Action.
All the profiles begin with a very good summary of the DiSC® and what the 4 quadrants mean in terms of basic styles. Then the profile provides several paragraphs of helpful information and context unique to Jeff’s “D” style to help him understand the unique nuances in his personal Management Profile report. Jeff is provided a detailed summary of each of the 3 priorities that shape his management experience. I’m choosing ONE of those THREE to share as an excerpt for your understanding:
Displaying Drive: Jeff, like other managers with the “D” style, you tend to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind, and you may encourage your team to share this focus on achievement. Because you emphasize concrete accomplishments, you aren’t likely to . . .
His report continues with explanation of his Challenge & Action priorities, respectively.
Jeff is then directed to his management preferences by understanding what his “D” style may enjoy about managing, including:
- Implementing your ideas
- Achieving results
- Making key decisions
- Getting things moving
- . . . .
This is important because many people know their DiSC® style, however have never thought of it in terms of management preferences and priorities. And, as you may expect, we continue with Jeff’s “D” style and what aspects of the management role may drain his energy, including:
- Following strict rules or protocols
- Keeping your opinions to yourself
- Performing routine tasks
- Being faced with inefficiencies
- . . . .
What comes naturally to your “D” style is Directing and Delegating. However, different employees require different types of instruction and feedback. So, we look at how does your “D” style approach directing and delegating. We start with your strengths, including:
- Holding people accountable for their actions
- Getting people moving and keeping them on track
- Being clear about your expectations
- . . . .
Jeff’s challenges to directing and delegating include:
- Listening to people’s concerns about assignments
- Considering the needs of others
- Highlighting the importance of routine tasks
- . . . .
What about directing and delegating to another style? Here is where we begin to intersect with other styles. This is designed into three broad areas:
- How does the _____ style like to work?
- Potential problems when working together
- How to be effective with the _____ style. (The report even breaks this down into two areas: 1) if they are less experienced, and 2) if they are more experienced)
I’m going to use the “S” (or Steady) style as the “other” style in our actual example. Take a look at an excerpt of the first item, “How does the “S” style like to work?
Jeff, people with the S style are often accommodating and flexible. Because they may be hesitant to speak up or assert themselves, it may be difficult for you (as a D) to identify when they are ready for new . . .
Jeff also needs to understand the employees’ motivation and the environment he creates through addressing the following questions:
- What are the motivational needs of the S style?
- What demotivates the S style?
- How does conflict affect the motivation of the S style?
- How can you (as the D manager) help create a motivating environment for the S style?
- What is the best way for you to recognize and reward the S style?
One of the most important but often overlooked areas of management is employee development (i.e., supporting employees’ long-term professional growth by providing resources.) Jeff’s report provides him with advantages and disadvantages of his own D style before he follows a plan for each of the four DiSC® styles of employees.
Each style has several paragraphs to help Jeff address:
- Areas where the employee has strong potential
- Obstacles and strategies in the employee development process
Another important but often overlooked aspects of management is sometimes called “managing up.” This refers to effectively working with and influencing your own manager. This section helps you understand how your manager sees you through your 3 “D” style priorities of: Challenge, Drive, & Action. Let’s look at Jeff’s Driven priority and see how he might be perceived:
- Your manager may see you as overly insistent or demanding when you’re pushing toward your goals
- Some managers may believe that you’re too focused on your own agenda
As we wrap up, we review working with each style of manager that Jeff could encounter. I’m again choosing the S style (Jeff’s manager) as our example. The Management Profile breaks this interaction down into three broad areas:
- Their priorities and preferences (Your manager with the S style wants to lead a team in a calm setting where tension is rare)
- *Unlike you, they would rather work collaboratively than independently
- Advocating and getting buy-in (Your manager with the S style wants to see how your ideas can contribute to steady progress and reliable results)
- *Emphasize how your idea helps people; lay out your plan in a step-by-step manner
- Dealing with conflict (Your manager with the S style wants to avoid conflict whenever possible)
- *Be direct without being confrontational; avoid forceful tactics
I hope this overview increased your awareness, knowledge, and familiarity of the Management Profile. Whether your needs include Employee Engagement, Conflict Management, Team Building, or simply Communication, DiSC® is the research-based, proven, leading training solution.
As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DiSC® is understanding your and others’ styles and then using that knowledge for improved interactions.
If you would like a live, complimentary webinar (online) for your team or organization, please send an email to email@example.com. If you’d like to purchase the DiSC®, visit DiSC® Classic or Everything DiSC® at our website. And, check out our products from The Ken Blanchard Companies as well.