I've always been drawn to personality tests, ever since I was a kid. From quizzes in magazines to more professional ones like The Big Five that I took in business school and everything in between.
For me, it was never just the results themselves that intrigued me, but rather the conversations that they elicited. Personality tests allow us to learn more about ourselves and each other, and moreover, they give us a common language to work with.
At The Grand, one we teach in Becoming an Effective Manager Quest is the DISC Personality System, often described as the universal language of behavior. We chose this assessment because it's a simple tool that can help us uncover our blind spots, our default actions and help us change our behaviors especially as managers by identifying the intensity of four personality profiles:
D = Dominance
I = Influence
S = Steadiness
C = Compliance
When I first completed my assessment, I have to admit that I felt a little uncomfortable learning about my results. I was Influence, and the profile was spot on. I learned my strengths but also confronted the shadow sides to each of those.
Here's one example of what I learned about myself.
"You transmit energy and are great at improvising and adapting to situations."
I read that and nodded along, feeling validated for my positive energy and my resourcefulness.
"You can find it hard to get to the operational part of a project and comply with deadlines, procedures etc."
Yikes, that cuts to the core. I reflected on the fact that I tried to push out the deadline for this newsletter earlier today.
There are many more of these ahas that I went through during this exercise. And through The Grand Quest, I was able to get a deep dive into each of the profiles and I learn tactics around communication, persuasion, and problem-solving – insights that I can apply immediately with my team. I was even able to role-play and practice some of the scenarios that I'm encountering in my day-to-day working with personality profiles distinct from me. And what I'm walking away with is not that I'm in a box, but rather I now have the awareness to move away from my default behavior and really understand what's best for each interaction.
Empowered with these resources, I was able to spark a candid discussion with my team about how we each want to be treated and what we should avoid with each other. I'm thankful for this tool and the ability to practice it in a safe space. This was the impetus for having a real conversation and a common language to improve our understanding of ourselves and one another.
The things I'm actively working on with my Compliant teammates:
Listening more than I talk
Always including relevant context
Setting very specific agendas
I know that they feel more seen through these discussions and it was an eye-opening experience for all of us.
If you want a safe space and a group of supportive peers to practice tools like these to uplevel your management skills, join us for the next cohort of Becoming an Effective Manager Quest. Applications close on July 14th.
And if you're at a company that wants to partner with The Grand, please reach out here. We can't wait to help you support your teams in a more intentional way.
Finally, if you're interested in working with me, an "I", I'm hiring for two roles right now:
All DISC types welcome. Apply here and share your story with me (and yes more story, less data) 😊