It’s time for a quick update on our recent DISC professional development training. I wasn’t intending to write this one but I stuffed up so this one’s all about the importance of communicating intent.
I was feeling pretty confident prior to the DISC workshop. I thought I had done a good job preparing our team for it with the right intent. During one of our staff meetings, the PD was a agenda item. One staff member said ‘We have DISC training coming up,’ and went to move on. I interrupted and asked if she could share more about the DISC training. The staff member said ‘I don’t want to say too much because it is all explained in the PD’. I appreciate that, but what I wanted to share was the “why” behind the workshop. I wanted to make sure that the team all knew that this wasn’t an assessment, no one was going to be judged by the results. The purpose was as I outlined in my previous blog Harnessing the Power of DISC Profiling to delve into our team’s strengths and discover each individual’s sweet spot. Moreover, I believed that understanding how to effectively communicate with one another would only help our team dynamic. I left that meeting feeling like everyone was on board.
Sometimes things don’t go to plan.
But here’s where things took an unexpected turn. When we received the email asking us to do the online survey one of my team members, whom I’ve known and worked with for 7.5 years and who trusts me, responded with, “My behaviours and emotional intelligence are nobodies’ business. This seems invasive.” I will admit I was surprised to receive the email response.
I thought on it a while and then I realised; this team member hadn’t been present at the staff meeting because she was on leave. She hadn’t heard the information I had shared about why we were embarking on this journey and the intent behind it. This is someone I have worked closely with for more than 7 years and who trusts me, imagine what her response may have been if she was uncertain about our company’s culture or if she didn’t feel safe here!
Luckily I had already written the blog post with the intent of sharing how this process went for us. That blog post was circulated to all of the team. After reading the blog post, our reluctant team member quickly jumped on board. It was a moment of relief and a reminder of the power of effective communication. It was also a reminder of what happens when you ASSUME. When you assume that people will understand your positive intent or when you assume that people will understand why you are making a change.
Now, here’s the kicker: this whole situation was my fault. I’ll own up to it. I had discussed the DISC workshop in a team meeting, and because the people in the room seemed to understand and be on board, I ticked it off my to-do list. What I didn’t consider were the individuals who weren’t in that room. My lack of communication could have derailed the entire training!
Learn from your mistakes
You know what they say: “Learn from your mistakes.” It would have been really easy to shift the blame and say ‘far out, there’s always one isn’t there!’ instead of actually reflecting on how I could do things differently. So while I am kicking myself that I didn’t actually think about sharing the information with people not in the room, I’m also pretty pleased with how quickly we were able to turn it around by responding with ‘how can I help?’ and responding from a place of positivity, rather than negativity. Imagine how much worse it could be if a manager were to organise a PD for DISC and not share with their team the purpose behind it. It was a really strong reminder to myself how sharing my ‘why’ can make a huge difference in people coming along on the journey with me.
Learn from my mistakes
If you are thinking of doing DISC profiles or PD for your team then make sure you share your reason why with your WHOLE team! Feel free to use the blog post that I wrote (it worked for my team, it might work for yours too!) Harnessing the Power of DISC Profiling The better you communicate with your team the less likely it is that someone will think you are being invasive and intrusive.
Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I’ll share how the actual training day went.
I’ve got to the end of the post and realised this whole blog could have been summed up in ‘Remember, communication is key, and sharing your intent can make all the difference in getting everyone on the same page.’
P.S. If you have any personal experiences or thoughts on the importance of communicating intent, I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below and let’s start a conversation!