One of the benefits of combining DiSC and charity workshops is that together they can help turn a toxic environment into a healthy one.
Take Candy, for example. She is a district manager at a midsize company on the East Coast. But don’t let her name fool you. She had mastered the art of sweet and compliant behavior in front of her superiors, but with subordinates, her disposition soured quickly.
She was ruthlessly demanding to everyone under her supervision—even those who busted their humps every day to please her. Rumors about her caustic demeanor abounded, but the big chiefs were loathed to rebuke her because she got results.
Mercifully, one of her peers observed her behavior and suggested to the CEO that they conduct an intervention. Miraculously, he agreed. That’s where our team came in. He invited Magnovo to conduct both DiSC personality discovery training and a charitable team building workshop with a dozen of the company’s other district managers, of which, ironically Candy was the best.
DiSC: the magic mirror
Another of the benefits of combining DiSC and charity workshops is that they reveal what makes people tick and then provide hands-on activities for colleagues to practice learning how to work together better.
DiSC is a small acronym for a big tool. It stands for Dominant, Influential, Steadfast, and Conscientious. These four profile descriptions are the building blocks of every personality on earth. Most of us have a least one main personality type and understanding the characteristics of each one makes it easier to understand the people we have to deal with every day.
For example, a coworker with a Conscientious personality profile may prefer to work alone instead of in a group. Quick decision-making probably won’t be one of his strengths, but he’ll likely be a champion when it comes to data analysis and strategies based on the intel he gleans.
Candy was a textbook D: Dominating, demanding, deal maker! Yup! Dominants rarely win congeniality contests, but they are lauded for rallying the troops and getting the job done on budget and on time. That was Candy’s forte and her bosses loved her for it.
Candy’s DiSC session was small and intimate. She met off-site with the CEO, her supervisor, and our facilitator in a quiet comfortable suite—an environment that was both welcoming and relaxing.
And that mattered because DiSC personality discovery is designed to be non-threatening and non-judgmental. Self-awareness can be a scary proposition, triggering fear and defensiveness. Our goal is always to make our participants feel safe lowering their guard so that we can help open their eyes.
DiSC: the open door
And of course, in the process, her bosses’ eyes were open as well. For example, it turned out that her mother was gravely ill, and as the primary caregiver, Candy was stretched beyond her limits. This accounted for the escalation of tension in her department.
She wasn’t simply being a monster—she just had a monstrously heavy load on her back. And as a typical Dominant, she was determined to handle it on her own, confiding in no one because she figured her shoulders were made to handle it.
Candy was genuinely touched by her company’s willingness to invest in her by conducting this session. She was relieved to finally talk about her mom and was surprised at how sympathetic her bosses were to her plight.
Gradually she began to recognize how what she regarded as her most positive attributes could actually cause problems among her coworkers and subordinates. And when we trained her in some self-awareness exercises and interpersonal skills she could adopt, she was eager to comply. But she needed a chance to start applying everything she’d learned.
Practicing charity makes perfect
And that’s another one of the benefits of combining DiSC and charity workshops: you get to put new skills into practice in a safe setting. Shortly after our DiSC personality training session, we conducted one of our favorite charitable team building workshops with Candy and the other district managers, as well as some of her subordinates.
During Hospital Helpers workshops, participants collect items to help hospital patients pass the time more easily. Toiletries like lotion, hand sanitizer, and toothpaste. Doctor-approved munchies like crackers, candy, cookies, and gum. Novels, magazines, crossword and puzzle books, even miniature boardgames can provide hours of comfort.
This kind of event is inspiring because colleagues get to pull together when it matters most. For Candy, it was a poignant experience because of her mother’s situation. And when the team found out, they sympathized with her and she was actually able to receive their compassion graciously and gratefully.
We learned some months later that as quickly as all of the rancor about Candy had spread, so too did the news about her being a good person with a lot on her plate. And she learned to temper her “drive” to succeed without driving everyone crazy!
The benefits of combining DiSC and charity workshops can be pretty sweet. Just ask Candy.