There are many ways in which your personality type drives your facilitation style. Even if you’ve been facilitating for a while, a little self-reflection can do wonders for the success of your trainings.
Your DiSC® style influences factors like the pace of your workshops and how you deal with unengaged learners. If you’re a facilitator with a DiSC i-type personality, you probably display enthusiasm and warmth. You like being at the front of the room, and your energy gets learners involved. Rather than sticking to a strict schedule, you may prefer to improvise and make spontaneous changes based on what is happening in the room.
Facilitators of every style will benefit from reviewing learners’ profiles and group reports ahead of time. This type of preparation may not be as exciting to you as the training itself. However, taking even a bit of time to study profiles will pay off. Tap into your creativity by using this information to tailor your approach to the group’s style.
For example, C- and S-style learners are likely to be more reserved than you are. If your group is heavy on these styles, think in advance about:
- how to encourage people to share their thoughts
- how to begin the session/set the tone
- whether you can put reminders in your script to assess how people are responding to your energy level. Do they seem overwhelmed? Should you adjust?
D- and C-style learners will probably arrive with a more skeptical mindset than yours. You can prepare by:
- reviewing common questions about DiSC and readying your answers
- thinking about past skeptical learners you’ve had and what worked well to engage them
- reminding yourself to stay patient and not take it personally when you are challenged for more details or clarity
If you have a lot of fellow i-style folks in the group, you’ll have to be extra diligent about staying on track. Enjoy the discussions and social interaction—just make sure you cover what you need to so the training doesn’t run long.
We offer tips specific to i, iS, and iD styles below. (See also: Tips for S-style facilitators, D-style facilitators, and C-style facilitators.)
Your i style as a facilitator
As an i-style facilitator, you probably enjoy:
- being in the spotlight and thinking on your feet
- engaging people with your enthusiasm and feeding off their energy
- creating a warm environment that encourages meaningful discussions
You may not love:
- facing a roomful of skeptics
- sticking to a strict agenda
- cutting off discussions or redirecting tangents
Tips for i-style facilitators
- Make a plan for staying on time. Your engaging nature means learners will likely forgive the occasional tangent or time overrun. But to make sure you cover everything and end on time, consider:
- using timers during discussions
- collecting questions to address at the end of the session, or in a follow-up email, rather than when they arise
- empowering learners to let you know when they’re ready to move on by agreeing to a visual cue or other feedback
- Remember that skepticism from learners isn’t a personal attack. People express their curiosity about new topics in different ways. If a learner has a skeptical approach or a lower energy level than you, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you or don’t appreciate how you’re facilitating the training. Engaging with their skepticism as a form of curiosity can set the foundation for a strong relationship moving forward.
Your iS style as a facilitator
As an iS-style facilitator, you probably enjoy:
- engaging learners with your warm demeanor and encouraging them to participate
- tuning in to your empathy by reading the room and making sure people are comfortable
- sharing DiSC as a way people can build better relationships
You may not love:
- having learners resist activities they see as emotional rather than factual
- dealing with negative and detached people
- having to correct people when they are misunderstanding DiSC
Tips for iS-style facilitators
- Flex that open mind when learners are skeptical. How can you engage with their skepticism as a form of curiosity rather than getting defensive or taking it personally? Likewise with the more detached or resistant learners: Get interested in how their style differs from your own and how you can meet them in a place that works for both of you.
- Uphold good practices, even when that means correcting people or disagreeing with them. With your iS style, you likely want people to see you as warm, accepting, and approachable. You may worry that contradicting learners will come off as harsh. But think about your ultimate goal: helping people understand themselves and get along better. People won’t get the full benefits of DiSC if you don’t guide them in its correct use.
Your iD style as a facilitator
As an iD-style facilitator, you probably enjoy:
- bringing the material to life with your energy and enthusiasm
- improvising and being spontaneous in how you respond to each new group of learners
- being in front of a group
You may not love:
- encountering a more reserved group of learners
- spending a lot of time on preparation
- slowing down your pace or dampening your energy to try to connect with quieter groups
Tips for iD-style facilitators
- Develop strategies to draw out less talkative learners. These learners have just as many thoughts and ideas to contribute, but you might need to make space for them to speak up. You likely excel at speaking your mind, so you’ll need to stretch your mindset to better understand the needs of more reticent participants. You’ll learn, over time, which strategies you like best. Some learners speak more in small groups. Others may need a quiet moment or two before they speak up. What feels like “dead air” to you may feel like an invitation to someone else.
- Mirror your audience in body language and tone. Your natural energy is one of your strengths as a facilitator. We’re not suggesting you act in a way that is inauthentic to you—just that you tune in to the group’s energy as well. If it’s a particularly cautious or quiet group, they might feel overwhelmed by a very energetic leader. Read the body language of your learners and experiment with adjusting your own presentation (body language, tone, volume, etc.) to mirror theirs. This more measured approach may resonate with quieter groups, allowing for stronger connections.
Gain a deeper understanding of your DiSC type and facilitation style
What motivates you? What stresses you out? What do you find exciting and exhausting when you are leading a group? There isn’t a single model of what a great facilitator looks like. Understanding what effective facilitation looks like for you personally can be quite empowering.
Review your Everything DiSC® profiles, particularly the sections below. Think about how this knowledge can make your facilitation experiences more effective for learners and more enjoyable for you.
- Everything DiSC Workplace®:
- On the Catalyst platform, see Workplace > What drives you.
- In the traditional Workplace profile, review “Motivators & Stressors” (page 6) and “Taking Action” (page 16).
- Everything DiSC® Management:
- On Catalyst, review Management > Your management style.
- In the traditional Management profile, look at “Your Management Preferences” (page 6).
Each DiSC style has its challenges and strong points when it comes to facilitating. Reflecting on your DiSC style in facilitation settings is a great way to take your training sessions to the next level.