Curious about how a consultant using The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ uses it in the real world? So were we. We interviewed Virginia Banga, an Authorized Everything DiSC Partner and lead consultant at Spurgo about her experience using this assessment and program for teams.
Working with Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team
I asked Virginia for an example of using The Five Behaviors, which has the Everything DiSC assessment included. She spoke about a manager who presented her with a problem. “Team members were bringing all their problems to him instead of working them out as a team. There wasn’t any accountability. They came to him and he’d tell them what to do.”
Virginia responded to him: “Bring your issue to the table and we’ll walk through the Five Behaviors. We’ll look through the issue and dissect it, and then start looking at the profile. What does that mean in terms of this behavior? Let’s break it down.” This particular team was familiar with Jungian profiles so using Five Behaviors Powered by All Types: Beta was welcomed by the group.
She explained how she worked with the team. “Before they complete the profile I ask about their pain points: what does that look like? I do a bit of—I suppose—emotional soothing before they complete the profile because we know the profile is as good as the mood they were in that day. Half the time I start picking out where the conflict points are during those debriefings. I ask: What results do you want? I’ll have a conversation with you without naming names. If there is a point that could be an issue for you in the group and this is how I’m going to address that issue in the session. I make sure to involve everyone w/o making anyone feel picked on. ”
So how did their first session on trust and conflict go? She reported that the more expressive people were taking control of conversation and others were letting them. So she intervened and shared her observation of their process. “I then reminded them what they agreed to focus on at the start of the session I then bring it back in. If we’re going to make good use of your time, let me introduce a more mindful way of having conversations. The only way of creating buy in is if everyone is heard.”
Virginia shared how she facilitates better listening and participation. She tells the group, “I have a topic on the table. Take a few minutes to consider it from your viewpoint and the impact on your work without feedback. Then when feeding back you let that person speak their mind. You have a notepad: if there’s something you agree with you write it down; if there’s something you want to contradict, you write it down. But you don’t air it until it comes to your turn. If you agree with something said, you share that and your contradictions or questions. If someone contradicted you, you have to stay respectful quiet until it’s your turn to speak. When looking at communication and conflict half the time being cut off mid-flow creates major drama and meetings derail. Agreed with or not, you wait… If you’ve got the stick you talk.”
The team quickly understood the power of hearing from each person and of sharing. She said, “The feedback always is ‘We really like that exercise where everyone gets a chance to talk’ and ‘I didn’t think I had anything to contribute to that topic, but that tool you gave us—I can see how I can improve and be more engaged.'” As you can tell, this exercise requires a good balance of all DiSC behaviors and as a facilitator you need to be tuned into how to flex and maintain participant engagement.
I asked about how the individualized debriefing influenced the sessions with the team. She explained “I probably shorten the teaching of the Five Behaviors and have a more productive section on trust by doing the personalized debriefs. ” As an added bonus, this started building rapport with the team because at the end of the day I feel quite honored to be allowed in to view their issues and be allowed to assist them in improving their relationships.
One more insight
Virginia really got me thinking as we spoke about a team she worked with that educated and evaluated students. She helped me see that what you value most in someone’s performance is very close to what your priorities are in DiSC. She helped the team more clearly define what outcomes they were really needing to observe, thereby increasing inter-rater reliability. For example: Do students need to show they are results oriented or that they seek collaborative solutions?
Who hasn’t worked for one manager (or teacher) and learned what she wanted, then got a new manager and it felt like getting a new job because he valued different behaviors and results? Different manager equals different DiSC style with different priorities. Knowing one’s DiSC style can also help you see how your own judgment might be biased towards your priorities. As Virginia said, “Same problem, different perspectives. Or perhaps you’re looking at four different problems and each needs to be addressed.”
We also shared how we keep the Vision, Alignment, Execution model from Everything DiSC Work of Leaders in our minds as we work with others. She spoke about helping teams come to a common vision, about sharing a common DiSC language can help with alignment, and she’s always interested in what results the executives want to see.
If you’re interested in being interviewed and perhaps being featured in our blog, let us know.