by Therese Johansson
Before my first assignment as a leader, I can attest that a lot of training was needed. We were three key players who would drive a fairly extensive change work. One of my co-workers and I work less well together, to put it mildly. The third teammate needed to mediate for it to work at all.
I was sent to a leadership training course where we learned about profile analyses. I realized that the employee with whom I worked less well was my most important teammate as it was the opposite profile to mine. I went home with a white flag in hand and politely asked for a meeting where I explained why we had such challenges with each other. My profile is more extroverted with a direct and clear communication style and that goals and results are a great motivator. My teammate instead had a profile that was more introverted with a calm and balanced communication style. Should he move at all in the direction Forward then we would first have full control of the facts that proved that we would drive correctly and not make any mistakes.
We agreed that I would do what I do best in moving things forward and he would do what he does best, find out the necessary facts so that we would reduce mistakes. We became best friends and worked together for many years after that, I can guarantee we both got better together.
When I lecture and train in the Extended DISC tool, there are always different reactions. Some think it's great and others are more skeptical. There are a plethora of profile analysis tools and in my opinion, all of them are rewarding. I get bored of the people who have to compete about which tool is the best. I usually say that it is a tool, for managers/leaders but also for employees, which should facilitate communication in the organization. It is also a tool that helps raise awareness of what different personalities are motivated to do at work. In both cases, it is incredibly cost-effective to train ourselves to become better. Undeveloped communication is time-consuming and does not create the best interaction in organizations - time is money. If we do work that does not motivate us, it results in even lower productivity and then we may need more resources for the same amount of work, which means a higher cost for the business.
Division into boxes
Since the book "Surrounded by idiots" was published, criticism has increased against profile analyses. All practitioners of profile analysis have their ideology about the tools. My opinion is that it is no worse than people's characteristics being divided into colors, red, yellow, green and blue. The tools help us train our self-insight, self-acceptance and self-awareness. This, in turn, increases the opportunity to lovingly accommodate, respond, interact, lead or work with other profiles in the best way. All people have characteristics in all colors but to different degrees and that each person is unique, therefore it is unnecessary to feel divided into a box. I believe that it is not enough to read a book or attend a lecture to be able to profile your surroundings, but it requires training with certified trainers as well as a will and motivation to train yourself to function in interaction with others.
Extended DISC is a tool where we complement each other with our differences and practice together to achieve better understanding, interaction and communication in our organizations. It is no more remarkable than the carpenter's use of his hammer when building.
Owner and CEO at NLC