Nov 15
How well do you know your colleagues?

How well do you know your colleagues?

The truth is probably not well enough.  Yes, you sit next to your work colleagues Monday to Friday and spend more time with them than your own family. But do you really understand what makes them tick?

Our work relationships have a huge impact on our wellbeing. A happy team equals good communication, and a healthy profitable business.   So, it’s vital to invest in these relationships when there’s so much at stake. So, what can you do to get to know each other better?

Be clear on what you need to focus on

Every team is different and never stops evolving. Whether you are a well-established unit, or a fast-growing company, team development is still important and will unlock new potential in your business. Think of this as a regular audit of the relationships driving your business.

The first thing to do is bring everyone on board early to agree on areas of focus. This could be understanding what motivates different behaviours, project management, negotiation, or addressing conflict.  Or perhaps there are some areas where colleagues have got stuck in their ways.  Sometimes we can get trapped in unhelpful thinking cycles or patterns of behaviour. For example  ‘He’s difficult’, ‘I don’t think she likes me’ etc

This is about unblocking channels of communication and creating a happy, motivated and productive team.

Team development in action – Silverback Case Study

We recently worked with the team at Silverback Studios at a key junction in their journey.  Some new people had just joined their team and it was a good opportunity to review working relationships more generally. Like many businesses, Silverback are a diverse team. They have a range of different behavioural and communication styles and wanted to understand how to get the best from everyone.

How we helped Silverback

By using the DISC profiling tool, we helped Silverback heighten their awareness of each other, and importantly themselves. DISC focuses on 4 different personality styles: D stands for Dominance, i stands for Influence, S stands for Steadiness and C stands for Conscientiousness – and how they manifest in a working environment.  Everyone uses a combination of these styles which influences the way they think, act, respond, and crucially how they interact with others.

Each person at Silverback took the DISC assessment to first identify their own style, understanding their fears, needs, values, and how they respond under different circumstances.  By mapping out the other team members’ styles, they could see how they interplay, what they need to be aware of and what to do to avoid problems.  This meant the Silverback Team could now take a proactive approach to team working, and had the insight to plan and deliver a project more seamlessly.

Hosting a team DISC day

As part of our support, we also designed and hosted a DISC workshop for Silverback.  The day included a range of interactive exercises, both lighthearted and more serious, with the aim of creating meaningful change in the business. This also allowed space for open and honest discussion in a safe environment, with an objective facilitator.

Exercises can be tailored around a team’s needs and for Silverback these included roleplaying stereotypes to recognise styles, using a dartboard to target topics to explore and talking about the different ways people respond to the physical office environment.

At the end of the day each person committed to actions to translate their new knowledge into daily practice.

Putting it into action

The Silverback team can access the DISC Catalyst online platform to refer to colleague’s profiles and behavioural preferences. This is particularly useful when they are just starting a new project, or are unsure about how to handle a situation.  Managers could also use Catalyst to ensure a good blend of DISC styles on a particular task.

DISC can help in a wide range of other situations for business. For example, it will help you hire the best person for your team, support sales’ team performance, develop leaders and help in more complex scenarios such as productive conflict resolution.

To speak to us about using DISC in your business, please get in touch 

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