Updated: Sept. 2017
Some facilitators use the QuikDiSC Card Deck in these ways:
- Business simulation: Each person takes three to four cards that are least like them. These represent the roles that they will play in the simulation. They should let their partners see their cards. Give pairs a fairly realistic business scenario and ask them to behave in the manner of the styles on their cards.
How comfortable were you? What made this exercise difficult for you? What did you learn? What did you have to restrain yourself from doing? What did you want from your partner but didn’t get because they assumed you were a different style?
- Sales scenario: Give one person a toy and ask them to try to sell it to their partner.
- Management scenario: Provide feedback on how well their partner performed a task. Motivate them to do even better next time. The task should be something simple as drawing a sitting stick figure or making a paper clip necklace.
- Guess their type: Give the participants five random cards and ask them to trade cards until they hold ones that describe a team member in the room, or their immediate supervisor, or an executive whose DiSC profile you know. How well did people do?
- Strengths/Challenges: Each person takes 1-3 cards and talks about how they’ve used these behaviors/traits successfully and how they might need assistance learning to flex into other behaviors they’d like to adopt. You can also ask participants to choose a card and hand it to another person, saying “This is a strength you bring to our team” and give an example. Or “This is a trait I’d like to see you use more often.”
- Team traits: Teams can select the cards that represent their team culture. How have these contributed to the team’s success? What cards represent qualities they’d like to have more of on the team? Ask them to select a current challenge they are experiencing and pick other cards that might support them being more successful with that challenge.
- Organizational vision or values: If the organization you’re working with has a strong vision or values, give each table or triad a random handful of cards. Have each person select one and talk about how that behavior can contribute to the company, company vision, company values, or long-term goals.
Other facilitators like to challenge their groups to expand their thinking about DiSC by reflecting on how the concepts in DiSC can be applied in various situations.
- DiSC in the world: Ask groups to apply DiSC to their own fields or interests. How could you use DiSC when preparing for a presentation, writing a blog post, or creating a new product, planning a menu, announcing layoffs, or asking for a raise? How applicable is DiSC?
- DiSC and disagreement: How would you respond to a serious customer complaint if you knew the injured person was a D, i, S, or C? Assume that you failed to deliver on a promise or meet a deadline. You can also write a complaint about poor service (a car repair failed, for example) as if you were each type.
- Raps and rhymes: Ask small groups to write short poems or raps about each DiSC style. Examples of bad haikus can be found on this blog.
Strategies for the other side of the room
Often trainers get participants out of their chairs by asking them to move into a corner of the room that has been identified as their style. First they move into the Fast-pace and Outspoken or into the Cautious and Reflective side of the room. Then they split from that space into Questioning and Skeptical or Accepting and Warm. Now you have them split into one of the four DiSC styles and you’ve introduced a quick way of people reading.
Take learning to the next level by having each of the four quadrants list or draw on one flip chart sheet ways they prefer to be given work assignments and feedback. Then they place a second sheet over that one and come up with ways they could work better with people on the opposite side of the room. So how can the D folks work better with the S folks? Ask participants to think about the priorities of the differing style. (This works best if people have some familiarity with each other. If they don’t, you’ll want to let them refer to their reports. They shouldn’t be using their reports for the first chart. You want to be sure they are using their own language and experiences.)
Ask one group to report on their tactics for working with their opposite style. So the i group will report on their second flip chart. Now ask the opposite side—the Cs in this case—to reveal their first chart. Now let them ask each other questions about how their charts differ. Reassure the Cs and others that the goal isn’t to make the charts match, it’s to stimulate discussion. Repeat for each group.
More activities for DiSC
DiSC styles of behavior (PowerPoint file)
Reminder: Facilitation kits are available for all DiSC profiles. They are easily customized by topic or the amount of time you have with participants. Share your favorite DiSC activities and experiences with others on Facebook in our DiSC Practitioners and Fans group.