Building more effective working relationships with DiSC
By Erin Petersen
Director of Operations, Certified DiSC Facilitator


Have you ever kicked-off a new project only to realize at the end of the day that no one was on the same page as you during that morning’s team meeting? Is one of your new employees continually going about things the wrong way no matter how explicitly you think you’ve explained a process to them? Or is that rock star manager you’re mentoring falling flat with their new team?

There are many solutions available for removing the invisible obstacles to seamless office communication; however, only a few have stood the test of time. The Everything DiSC Application Suite (DiSC) is one of the most highly regarded platforms due to its evidence-based methodology, no-nonsense approach, and ease of use. It goes deeper than just communications tips to help professionals actually improve working relationships, strengthen management skills, elevate leadership impact, or tackle conflict with a new mindset. Many leaders have found that DiSC is the key to unlocking the chemistry of their team.

How does DiSC work?

The simple yet powerful behavior assessment measures a person’s DiSC style by asking them the degree to which they agree with a series of statements about themselves. These responses are then calculated into a scoring system that determines their most likely style of communicating with others.

Based on that style, participants receive a detailed report explaining the tendencies of their style and how they’re likely to interact with others. DiSC combines both adaptive testing and sophisticated algorithms to deliver precise insights. The detailed report also provides personalized, actionable strategies for improving interpersonal communications and performance. They gain insight into their own preferences and tendencies (both good and bad) as well as learn more about relating to others.

What’s the science behind the DiSC system?

DiSC derives from the DISC theory of noted psychologist William M. Marston. The theory describes four inclinations or styles based on a two-dimensional model. The traditional explanation of Marston’s DISC model is that people who fall onto the bottom half of the vertical axis of the model view themselves as less powerful than their environment. These people are also more likely to adapt themselves to it.

People with styles that fall on the right side of the horizontal axis of the model are more receptive in nature and inclined to believe that the environment is aligned with their own interests. They are more “people-focused”, “empathetic”, and “agreeable.”

The two axes divide the model into four quadrants denoting four styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. While each person is a mix of these styles, typically there is one dominant style where they feel most comfortable. This graphic provides a snapshot summary of each style.

How can DiSC help your organization?

Each DiSC style has its own variances, strengths, challenges. After taking the assessment, participants receive personalized insights that deepen their understanding of self and others, making workplace interactions more enjoyable and effective. The result is a more engaged and collaborative workforce that can spark meaningful culture improvement in your organization.

The individual assessment works best when coupled with Catalyst, the DiSC online platform that allows one to see their own style alongside those of teammates, including recommended behaviors to improve communications and relationships. These insights help employees discover new ways to connect and appreciate each other.

‘DiSC has worked for me on a personal, team, and organizational level countless times. It has made me a better worker and also more mindful of how certain interactions may play out. It has also shown me why a coworker and I might not be on the “same page” after a meeting or conversation,’ said Greenleaf’s Instructional Design Specialist Kyle Springer.

Like many organizations, Greenleaf Integrative’s staff utilizes DiSC to spark meaningful dialogue as they get to know, adapt to, and value others in the workplace. DiSC will provide your team with a robust foundation for building mutual understanding, trust, and appreciation among colleagues on

a fundamental level.

What if my employees are resistant to change?

“People that perform important work are often reluctant to take time out of their busy schedules to learn a new skill,” said a Greenleaf certified DiSC facilitator. “However, we frequently observe a change of perspective among our clients’ employees using DiSC. They quickly realize they can easily use the knowledge to quickly improve communications and team relationships. They can also apply the learning to their personal lives. It is a powerful tool for motivating and supporting others. I recall one leader lamenting that wished he had something like DiSC 20 years ago when he became a supervisor. It has clearly benefited his team,” she continued.

The DiSC tools spark a positive change in how an employee connects, resolves conflict, gets buy-in, and collaborates with others. Communication becomes a more mindful and tailored process. DiSC participants learn to effectively express their needs, engage in productive conversations, and better understand what their colleagues need from them.

How can your organization get the most out of DiSC?

Once all current employees have taken their assessments and shared styles, it’s important they rely on them as tools. They should refresh their memories on the styles of specific people and mentally prepare to honor and adjust to those styles before coming together with them for important work or sensitive talks.

Equally important, using DiSC can be very helpful for orienting new employees, who often feel unsure on how to build their new working relationships. Rather than relying on small talk, DiSC acts as a catalyst for building camaraderie and meaningful conversations. Your team members will recognize their commonalities and differences from the start.

So, what’s my final word on DiSC and what it can do for you?

DiSC can unlock the chemistry of your team, helping to build a more engaged culture with stronger relationships based on mutual respect, understanding, and admiration. Greenleaf can help you implement DiSC within your organization, ensuring that your employees have an invaluable, easy-to-use tool for more effectively expressing their needs, engaging in productive conversations, and producing better results.

I encourage you to reach out if you’d like to learn more about DiSC. We’re happy to show you a sample report over Zoom and answer any questions you may have!