Every organization has a culture, a set of behaviors that define ‘how things are done around here.’ Some cultures are very formal, (e.g. investment banks), others celebrate a more casual approach (e.g. internet start-ups). If your DISC style is very different from your company’s culture, over time you will find yourself adjusting to the demands of the environment. For many, this adaptation is a healthy process that adds versatility to a person’s personality. For others, working in a culture that contrasts sharply with one’s own nature can create stress that is difficult to resolve.
Which DISC style combination best encapsulates your company’s work culture?
Cultures that embody the Dominant DISC style are extremely outcome-oriented. How you arrive at a result is less important than your overall success. D cultures stress ambitious goals, rapid response to market changes, big picture thinking, and a can-do spirit that steers the company towards rapid growth. Decision making in D cultures typically flows from the top down in an established hierarchy. D cultures do not place a high emphasis on people-oriented issues such as the tone that people use when communicating under stress. Likewise, work-life balance is not a major focus. In a D culture, your total immersion in the success of the company is assumed and expected.
I style Interactive cultures embrace innovation and change and believe that happy employees create the best environment for success. I cultures seek to unleash innovation by de-emphasizing traditional boundaries when it comes to decision making and planning. In an I culture, employees have more access to strategic plans and vision. Cross-functional project teams working within a matrix structure replace top down decision making. In an I culture, celebrating success is a top priority and flex time options that promote work- life balance are woven into the culture. I cultures will also place an emphasis on corporate social responsibility – seeking ways to better the world in some way outside the scope of the business model itself.
Supportive cultures place a premium upon consensus decision-making and an absence of conflict. This is an environment where the highest value is placed on established processes that promote a calm atmosphere and deliver consistent outcomes. S oriented work cultures are not eager to launch change initiatives that shake things up. Change is, at best, incremental and well thought out before implemented. An S oriented company is likely to have events that enable employees to get to know each other’s families and interests outside of work. These experiences build trust between co-workers and promote personal support during stressful times. Finally, S cultures strive to retain long-term employees to ensure an orderly transfer of knowledge and values from one long standing generation of employees to the next.
Conscientious work cultures are very task-oriented. Communication centers around processes that ensure the highest levels of quality and accuracy. Unlike S oriented cultures that trust spoken communication, C oriented environments place a higher value on written communication to ensure consistency and the ability to fact check should an issue arise down the road. Decision making is based upon intense planning and data analysis. C cultures set goals based upon observable facts and rigorous logic. C oriented companies are unlikely to take large risks, choosing to work within established paradigms that ensure consistent results.
Each culture has strengths and challenges that will be reflected by the prism of your own style. High I’s working in a C culture will find themselves forced to focus on detail and process oriented tasks that are not natural to their nature. This will either expand their skills, exhaust them, or both. An S working in a high D company will need to adjust to a fast-paced environment where quick decision making and shifting priorities may pose real challenge to that individual. In addition, most cultures are a combination of styles – D/C, I/S, I/D, D/I, just like people who run them. Comparing your style(s) with what your work environment values and minimizes may provide valuable insights in how you can best adjust to get the most out of your work.
Daniel Silvert, is a sought-after facilitator, executive coach, and speaker. As the VP of Learning & Development for Team Builders Plus, Daniel designs and leads training programs at every level on teamwork, accountability, and transformational change. Daniel is the co-author of Taking Flight!: Master the Four Behavioral Styles and Transform Your Career, Your Relationships…Your Life. You can follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielSilvert, learn more about Team Builders Plus at www.TeamBuildersPlus.com, and discover the DISC system at www.TakingFlightwithDISC.
Wed, June 6, 2012
by Daniel Silvert filed under