Many workplaces have transitioned employees to working from home and this means adapting to a different style of interacting – exclusively online.
We covered ways to improve communication in remote teams in our recent blog, and we noted that regular video calls is one of the most important ways to foster team engagement. If people are used to working and interacting within a traditional office environment though, transitioning to the virtual office is more than just getting a home office and IT set up. Understanding each person’s communication preferences, and the reasons behind these will help you make the most out of your online interactions.
Virtual team meetings
Connecting online is important and effective video meetings are one of the best ways to regularly engage with your team. Have you noticed that not everyone seems to be comfortable with this format? Do some people avoid turning their video on? Others seem frustrated or distracted? Do you feel you’re making the most of these video calls?
Its no secret that we all have different styles of working and different communication preferences. Using the DiSC framework, we can apply this understanding of the different styles to help create more effective meetings.
What does DiSC stand for?
The DiSC framework defines 4 main working styles, and although every individual is a unique blend of styles, generally people will have a leaning towards 1 or 2 styles. DiSC Profiling is a useful tool in developing team dynamics at the best of times, however during times of change or challenge, understanding the ways different styles interact can really help. The DiSC profile refers to 4 main styles – Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness and Steadiness. Often people are a blend of 2 styles and
can “stretch” into other styles, but for simplicity, we’ll stick to the 4 main profiles.
D is for Dominance
D-Style personalities are often results focussed, confident and action oriented. When interacting online, you’ll find they prefer meetings that follow a set agenda, and are direct and to the point. They might find chit chat or small talk frustrating if it takes up too much time and strays too far from the agenda.
i is for Influence
These people are often enthusiastic, cheerful and outgoing. They’re usually very social in the workplace and thrive on those face to face interactions. In virtual meetings, they’ll relish the opportunity to express their opinions and will enjoy open dialogue.
C is for Conscientiousness
With an analytical and logical approach to workplace situations, C-Style personalities place a lot of importance on accuracy, and facts. You’ll find that C-styles will appreciate notice if they need to present at all during a video meeting, and like to be prepared so that they’re not rushed or pressured into making decisions on the spot. Those with a very strong leaning to the C-style will find privacy critical to feeling safe online, and may have their webcams disabled. Its important to respect this preference, but if you need them to present for video calls, try to clearly explaining the reasons you need to see their face, and be sure that your reasons are logical and/or factual.
S is for Steadiness
You’ll find S-style personalities are usually very calm and patient in their pursuit of harmony in the workplace. They’ll often back away from confrontation and may feel more comfortable with online meetings if they’re provided with an agenda outline in advance. They are the peacemakers of the DiSC profile and like to see everyone involved, so will appreciate if each team member has a chance to be heard or contribute during meetings.
How can you incorporate knowledge of the DiSC styles into your meetings?
If you’re leading a video meeting, prepare in advance with an agenda, or a daily team meeting outline, so everyone knows what to expect. If you have S-style and i-style personalities on your team, perhaps include a social element where everyone can participate, for instance, showing your pet, or sharing a piece of inspiration. If you’re working with a lot of C-style personalities, ensure you have your facts straight and are clear and logical in your presentation. If you’re working with D-styles, stick close to your agenda, aim to include objectives with deadlines and follow up with action points after your meeting.
Want to understand your team better?
DiSC profiling is an excellent tool for understanding your own work style and those of your team. Completing a DiSC Workplace assessment is an incredibly valuable exercise and we help you to apply the results of the assessments to improve working relationships in your team. If you’d like to know more about DiSC for developing your team, get in touch with us today.
If you find out articles helpful, sign up to our email newsletter here to receive our updates and tips straight to your inbox.