How DISC profiling can help to increase effectiveness in leadership skill-coaching

By Saskia van den Dool, Trainer/Coach/Consultant- Nimble Institute

During my leadership training and -coaching sessions, I often see managers who only have a single leadership style that they apply to everyone, in every situation. Research shows that employees require different levels of direction and support, depending on their individual level of competence and commitment (situational leadership- Ken Blanchard). Here the coaching skills of a leader become important. Great leaders offer guidance, caring, and autonomy, and provide just the right amount of direction and support to help their team members succeed. They know how to develop competent, self-reliant contributors who deliver faster results for your organization. But how can leaders get insight in their own leadership style and the behaviors of their team members?

First a short explanation about DISC. DISC is a powerful easy to learn tool which helps to understand people better. DISC measures peoples most comfortable behaviors or how people naturally prefer to do things.

The DISC Model is a basic and user-friendly theory of human behavior. It gives people a common language to better understand themselves and others. Behaviors are not judged, so no good or bad, or right or wrong. Each of us has all 4 DISC styles. The DISC assessment reveals which behavioral styles are more natural for us (natural) and which styles take more energy (not natural).

You can divide people into 4 DISC styles. People are identified as either People-oriented or Task-oriented. They are then further identified as Reserved or Active. The resulting personality types are called:

D-style (Dominance)

I-style (Influence)

S-style (Steadiness)

C-style (Conscientious)

DISC in leadership can be used to improve communication, avoid misunderstanding, shorter meetings, less conflict, effective teams, more cooperation, increased productivity, and improved financial performance. When leaders know their own style, they can more easily adapt the interaction with team members.

Leaders use DISC which can give guidance for each individual profile to specific points to be aware of when it comes to coaching the team.  See the table below for an overview which you can use when coaching:

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