DiSC for Leaders

Everything DiSC363 for leaders describes a rich spectrum of behaviours called ‘Eight Approaches to Effective Leadership’, shown in the pie chart alongside. Individual leaders, followers and organisations may prefer certain approaches over others. Effective leaders tend to use a range of approaches. Through the DiSC363 for leaders program I was able to identify which aspects of the eight approaches are my strengths, those that I use most frequently and which areas I might benefit from developing further.

In a 360 review, peers, superiors and reports are asked to anonymously provide feedback on all aspects of a person’s behavior.

The idea of participating in the program was exciting and a little intimidating but I quickly found comfort in the way the program was structured with anonymous and relevant questions being asked. Comments weren’t open ended but were chosen from a list of behaviour-focussed examples. I have seen many surveys that ask open ended questions leading to  unspecific and often inappropriate comments.

I quite enjoyed the experience. As a result of my individual assessment I was provided with an overview of my leadership strengths and weaknesses.

“Andrew, you’re probably an inclusive leader who takes pride in doing your part to help the team succeed. Since competition isn’t your top priority, you don’t need to win to feel good about yourself. In fact, when you receive credit for a job well done, you’re probably quick to acknowledge the contributions of those who support you. Likewise, you might prefer to share responsibility rather than give people orders.

Leaders with your style are extremely accommodating, and they often tie their sense of self-worth to the approval of others. Consequently, you may put a lot of energy into meeting other people’s needs and creating a positive and supportive environment. In fact, you may have difficulty saying no, and you often put your own needs on the back burner without acknowledging your sacrifice.

You tend to lead with an approach that is affirming of both people and ideas. In fact, because you’re instinctively trusting, you usually give people the benefit of the doubt. Likewise, when people present new ideas, you try to stay open and show support.

Compared to other leaders, you probably have more patience for long, routine projects. You show steadiness and consistency, and you want to be known as someone people can count on. Because you prefer stability, you strive to have set procedures in place for the group. Similarly, you like to provide clear directions that others can follow.

Andrew, all of these behaviours reflect your top leadership approaches. Your most valuable contributions as a leader may include your inclusiveness, your humility, and your affirming nature”.

Through this process I was able to build self-awareness and a better understanding of what I could do to be a more effective leader. My peers and direct reports were asked to complete a range of survey questions to rate my leadership across the 8 key areas, I was also asked to complete the same questions to understand how others see me and how I see myself.

“Overall, Andrew, there seems to be relatively little difference between how you rate your leadership performance and how others view your performance. In fact, only 9% of leaders show a difference as small as yours. In general, you seem to have a relatively high level of self-awareness when it comes to your leadership skills.

  • Others tend to see you as more humble than you do. For example, you may underestimate how composed you appear during stressful situations.
  • You tended to see yourself as more resolute than others do. For example, you may overestimate how often you set high expectations.
  • Others tend to see you as more commanding than you do. For example, you may underestimate how often you step up to take charge”.

As  a result of the program I was provided with details on the areas my ‘raters’ saw as my key strengths:

  • Strength #1 – Communicating with clarity
  • Strength #2 – Maintaining composure
  • Strength #3 – Being approachable

I was also provided with ideas on areas I could immediately improve making me a better communicator and leader.

  • Focus #1 – Need to rally people to achieve goals
  • Focus #2 – Need to speak up about problems
  • Focus #3 – Need to set high expectations

For more information on the disc theory visit the disc website.