How Well Do You Know Your Colleagues?

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We’ve had some changes at the Centre over the past few months. In the space of about eight weeks, three long-serving staff members retired. We’ve juggled some roles and have added some new faces to our team so it seemed like a good time for an assessment of our working styles and personality types.

Lisa Elliot, President of Ocean Tides Performance Group spent a July morning with our staff to lead us through DiSC®. This was an opportunity to look at how we work and communicate as a team, based on each person’s behavioural differences.

It was a pretty enlightening exercise. Some of us have worked together for years and we feel we know each other pretty well. It was a great opportunity to get to know our newer colleagues and what makes them tick…or ticks them off!

Prior to our session, we each completed an online questionnaire and within minutes received a comprehensive document about our own personality and behaviour. At the session, Lisa provided an overview of DiSC®, discussed the profiles, and walked us through exercises on understanding ourselves and others. We even did a Smelly Cousins Activity but you will have to participate in the program to learn more about that.

So what does DiSC® mean? Each of the letters describes a personality type and with it comes corresponding behaviours:

D = Dominance: A person places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, confidence.
i = Influence: A person places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships.
S = Steadiness: A person places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability.
C = Conscientiousness: A person places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency.

Every person has a high dimension and a secondary dimension. It turns out that we have a pretty balanced team. Every category had at least two staff people with the same high dimension, but no two of us were exactly the same because the secondary dimension was different. In one exercise, the staff with the same high dimension worked together to answer questions. How easy it is to work with people who think like you do. A second exercise had us paired with a colleague with an opposite personality type. WOW – do we react to things differently – not better or worse, just differently. It explains a lot.

It was an informative morning and we each left the session with a better understanding of ourselves and each other. It is interesting to see what motivates or de-motivates people. We left some of the worksheets hanging up in training room so we can refresh our memories about each of the categories and the colleagues who represent them.

By the way, I’m a high C with a secondary D and S…I’m off to make a list.

– Alison Kirkland