It looks like the “Isolate in Place” directives are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Learning how to adjust to working remotely is a necessary step for you to remain productive and efficient during this challenging and uncertain time.
Our communication styles, personalities, and work preferences will undoubtedly impact our experience while we navigate these changes. Last week we explored how to use the DiSC assessment to adjust to your new routines and work environment by covering some best practices for each different behavioral styles.
Our organizations rely on teamwork; it’s important for your whole team to adjust successfully to the new routines and learn how to communicate effectively while in different locations. In this article, we’ll look at the best practices for communicating with the people on your team with a different behavioral style than you.
Remember that most of us are a blend of more than one profile. For today’s post, I will discuss the dominant buckets of D, i, S, and C. If you look at your assessment and you have two letters in your profile, the first letter listed will be the profile considered your “dominant” profile. Chances are the work from home tendencies I will share will align with that dominant profile.
D – Dominant
If you work with a D:
If you work with a D, you might be taken aback when they log on to Zoom and launch straight into business.
Don’t take it personally. The D profile is wired for action and next steps. It does not mean they do not care about how things are going for you on the personal front; it just isn’t top of mind for them. Usually, though, if you ask how they’re doing and check in with them, they’ll reciprocate and often realize that “oops!” they should check-in, too. When it comes to working with the D profile, you can also strengthen the relationship with them by sticking to scheduled times, being ready to take action, and keeping meetings short and sweet. A D struggles with full-day meetings in person, let alone over the internet. Be mindful of this when you’re scheduling time with them. And it’s okay to coach a D kindly. If they’re railroading through a meeting, be prepared to step in and ask them to slow down.
Saying something like, “Grace, I know you’re ready to move forward with this plan, but I think I need to understand the details a little bit better. Do you mind slowing down and explaining it in greater detail for the benefit of the team?”
i – Influencer
If you work with an i:
Find time to connect with them socially. And be prepared to listen. We know that Influencers thrive on talking and sharing, so sometimes the best thing you can do is just let them talk. The energy they’re feeling has probably been bottling up for hours, days, or even weeks, and the isolation they feel is real. Be an outlet and let them share.
Additionally, be mindful of not scheduling your meetings too tightly. If you have multiple influencers on a team, you might want to consider some buffer time in the beginning and the end of each session for social time.
Remember that I’s need praise like the rest of us need air and water. And it’s not a gloating thing; it’s merely how our Influencers are motivated. When they don’t hear that they’ve done an excellent job, Influencers can assume that they’ve done a lousy job and feel demotivated. When an i colleague does something great, tell them. The energy they’ll feel from such praise will lead to excellent results for the firm.
S – Steady
If you work with an S:
Know that your S colleagues are worried about you. Reach out unprompted and just let them know that you’re doing okay, but you miss interacting with them daily. This act of kindness will not go unnoticed and will motivate your S counterparts to get through this time. Also, remember that the S profile is very motivated by consensus and the good of the group. So, they may be reticent to chime in when it comes time to make a decision. The best thing you can do is ask an S directly for their input. Saying something like, “Donald, you’ve been quiet during this discussion, what do you think we should do?” can be very helpful when engaging an S in important decisions. The S profile does not need public praise the way an Influencer does. Still, a greeting card, a handwritten note, or even a personal email that comes from the heart when they’ve done something praise-worthy would be very much appreciated. When it comes to the S profile, the best thing you can do is connect one-to-one as often as possible.
C – Conscientious
If you work with a C:
Your C colleagues will be less likely to reach out for purely social reasons. Cs live by their calendars and tend to be very scheduled and organized. When a Zoom meeting is scheduled, or a team meeting is called, they expect to stay on the agenda and on time. You can help by being respectful of their time. If you schedule an hour meeting, try to stick to an hour. Each minute the call runs over will stress your C colleague out. They probably have something already scheduled for the next time slot. They will grow increasingly frustrated with each minute that passes. Cs thrive on accuracy and details. When preparing agendas for meetings with C colleagues, be as detailed as possible. Additionally, Cs are proud of their work. When time allows, give them the floor and ask them to explain their work.
It can be demotivating to a C to short-change their detailed analysis.
DiSC and Team Dynamics
Our organizations rely on teamwork, and this can be more of a challenge in a remote work environment. Even the most productive teams will have some hiccups as they move from the comfort of seeing each other daily to working from home as we try to flatten the curve of this global pandemic. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to post your DiSC profile in a visible place of your Skype, Zoom, Teams, Slack, Yammer, Jabber, or whichever system you are using for team communication and productivity. This quick reminder can help tremendously and gives us a guide to be more deliberate in our interactions with colleagues.
Click here if you or your team are interested in completely a DiSC assessment. Virtual delivery of a DiSC session is a great way to keep your team motivated during this challenging time; click here to get in touch with us to discuss virtual training options or schedule a call here. If you have any additional questions, or need anything, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.