Note: These activities assume that participants have had some introduction to DiSC styles.
DiSC styles and teamwork
Divide your group by styles. If you have one larger group, you can divide it again into one of the eight styles. In other words, if you have a room full of Ds, you can ask some of them to move into a Di, D, or DC group.
Each group should answer a few of the following questions—perhaps with the use of a flip chart—and present back to the larger group on their answers. These questions focus on teams. Let participants answer while thinking about work teams, sporting teams, or volunteer work groups. They can define situations as they choose.
- What’s your immediate reaction to being told you’re being put on a new team?
- What’s your immediate reaction to being told you’re going to need to lead a group?
- How easy is it for you to share personal details with team members?
- What makes it easier for you to trust your teammates?
- What makes it easier for you to admit your weaknesses or a mistake with your team?
- How do you typically deal with conflict in a group in which you are a member?
- How do you typically deal with conflict in a group in which you are the leader?
- How do you like to celebrate team success?
- How likely are you to speak up if you disagree with a group?
- How do you typically express disagreement with a team or team member?
- How do you typically respond to brainstorming sessions?
- How do you prefer to get positive feedback?
- How do you prefer to get negative feedback?
- How do you typically respond to a deadline missed by another member of your team?
- What are your favorite teamwork quotes (.pptx)?
After answering a few of these questions, you can have them add a few answers to their Everything DiSC Workplace Style Guides.
Participants should know their own styles and have reviewed traits of all the styles. Participants select another style (not their own) to role play. It’s helpful for observers if each participant is wearing labels or buttons showing the style they are playing. Encourage everyone to be over-the-top in their acting.
The pairs doing the acting get to pick one of the following scenarios. If there are three or four people in the group, they can take an additional style or act as an acting coach and make suggestions. Additional participants can observe and share what they noticed happening in the acting.
The role playing can demonstrate a successful or a failed interaction.
You might want to create your own scenarios to better reflect the group with which you’re working.
- Salesperson attempts to sell a car to a first-time new car buyer. For example, act as an i selling a Prius to a C. How does each style want to work with a salesperson? How does each style have to adapt their own preferred behaviors?
- Chef teaches person or team how to prepare a complicated dish up to 5-star standards. How does each style deliver or receive instructions?
- Stressed manager attempts to motivate a disengaged employee to complete some work. For example, a monthly report or scheduling a series of meetings. What’s likely to motivate each style? How does each style tend to act when stressed?
- Team leader attempts to hold a chronic late-comer accountable for getting to meetings on time and prepared. How do styles respond to giving and receiving critical feedback?
- Team members disagree on budget for a technology upgrade and try to come to a compromise. How do styles respond to conflict? How can they collaborate or persuade others?
- Team leader or committee chair tries to get the other person to join their team. How does each style try to motivate or get others excited?
- Friends try to convince one another to watch a favorite TV show or movie. What might capture the imagination and emotional needs of each style?
- Your team has experienced a major setback due to another team member not sharing information they had. No one knows why the information was not shared. How do the priorities of each style influence their reaction to a breakdown in communication?
Ask those observing the styles being acted out to respond to what they saw. What was on-target and what was not? What would they add to the scene? What might have made the pretend interaction more successful?
Ask the actors why they chose the actions, language, and body language they did for the style they were playing.
Ask about how uncomfortable people felt using styles that were not their own. Adapting your own style can be hard. Role playing can be stressful or fun. Is there a difference in how different styles felt about having to act?
Use this opportunity to remind participants that DiSC isn’t about putting anyone in a box, but about paying attention to the needs and preferences of others. It’s about adapting one’s style to make communication more productive and satisfying.
Handy visual resources for facilitators to download
Workplace DiSC Styles Poster (four styles with priorities)
Workplace Wall Chart (twelve styles with or without priorities)
Workplace Overview (priorities, fears, motivations, etc. of each of the four styles)
D-style team poster
i-style team poster
S-style team poster
C-style team poster
More DiSC training ideas from our blog: