Tips to Ensure Your Participants Succeed After DISC Training

Clients leave your session motivated and ready to put their learning into practice. But, how?

In an ideal world, you have intensive one-on-one follow-ups with learners. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have this option. How then, can you ensure your learners benefit from DISC application?

DISC gives you a head start

Setting Your DISC Participants Up for Success SlideA comprehensive DISC training puts the DISC session squarely at the starting point. The end point of a successful training is the transfer of learning into the job role and life.

You’re off to a great start because DISC itself, is a reinforcement tool. Its strength is that it’s easy to learn and put into practice. It reminds you to make adjustment that better your interactions. People easily see DISC’s value; how it supports your ability to interact well with others.

Unfortunately, ‘life’ has a tendency to get in the way. You are pulled in different directions daily and your best intentions to develop yourself go astray and opportunities are missed.

Tips for bridging learning and application

Tips for Post-DISC Session Application Slide

Reinforcement of learning works best when it transitions easily into your client’s real life. Different and flexible post-session options enable your learners to access multiple paths to success.

Training success is determined by how well the transfer of learning is to the participant’s real world. Practical and familiar post-session reinforcement is more likely to motivate participants to practice self-awareness and behavioral adjustments.

Here are some ways to provide a more comprehensive, flexible, and meaningful training. Try what works best for you and your learners.

Things to consider when building comprehensive learning

  1. Clearly state purpose of DISC training; what is valuable and rewarding if your participants practice DISC?
  2. Know your unique learners. What tends to motivate them to learn and engage in the session?
  3. Keep learning simple and actionable. Use relatable, realistic examples so participants can easily incorporate and transfer to their jobs.
  4. What support will you provide post-training? Do you need a follow-up session?
  5. Have clear post-session goals. What learning and activities will support personal accountability?

You’re closing out a great session and you’ve built the bridge connecting the learning to their real world. Before the session ends is the time to start the post-session reinforcement!

Know your clients when following-up

Know your clients post-disc training tip slideIf you have the opportunity to follow-up one-on-one or in smaller groups, consider their DISC styles. What would be more motivating for them to continue practicing what they learned?

Follow-up emails are practical, but can be more effective if you adjust your emails to your client’s style. For example, if your client is an I-style, then could your email get a better response if you picked up the phone for a quick chat first? Would your D-style better engage if the email was brief, action-oriented and clearly states their potential benefits. Get the idea?

Start reinforcement before participants leave DISC training

Start reinforcement in DISC Session tips slideStarting their homework in session increases the likelihood of continuing it; especially when the effort generates success in practice. Different ideas include journaling their first day’s learning and successes, setting a reminder check-in on their phone, or matching up learners for a ‘phone a friend daily check-in’. The important thing is to commit to something before they leave your session.

We know that creating a simple and concise behavioral action plan is a highly effective way to improve performance. Even if learners don’t refer back to their plans, they are more consciously aware of adjustments they considered making.

The My Personal Action Plan in the back of their Individual Assessments; it couldn’t be easier! It is a quick way to identify adjustments using a ‘start, stop, and continue’ approach. First, write down behaviors you could ‘start’ doing because they can help you to be more effective. Next, write down the behaviors that you should ‘stop’ doing because they impede your success. Finally, write down what behaviors have worked well for you and you should ‘continue’ doing them.

Give action-oriented homework

Action Oriented Homework Tips Slide

Consider the type of homework would continue the learning and application process and maintain accountability. Keep homework practical and easy to submit. Use examples that relate to their job roles.

I-styles and S-styles may prefer a phone a friend check-in. Your D-styles may want a checklist that publicly displays their accomplishments or giving themselves a score for an effective interaction. C-styles may prefer a daily self-check.

Also, keep in mind the present environment may include remote work, pandemic, etc. Would it be better to assign homework in smaller doses over an extended period of time?

Examples of homework:

    1. The Communication Strategy Worksheet is an action plan targeting someone the participant wants to improve interactions with. It is available for download from the VIP Client Resource Site.
    2. Check-in by reviewing 2 key adjustments learners identified in the session. Ask them questions, ‘did they practice it?’ ‘how did it work?’ and ‘do you have any re-adjustments to make?’
    3. Keep a journal of the adjustments they did well and adding and editing their behavioral action plan.
    4. Use a daily check-in; whether it’s a self-check or checking on someone else. They can rate themselves from 1 – 10 based on how effective their interactions were, based on how well they adjusted.

Use technology

Use Technology Tips SlideYour social learners may respond well to a chat group. Others may find it fun to do an online quiz; prizes can make it more motivating!

Learners can set up reminders and alerts in their phones or laptops with a daily affirmation. They could ask themselves what they did well today or what they will try adjusting next time. The affirmation can be as simple as ‘take a breath’; the breath is the action of a pause and reminds you to reset and adjust between interactions.

Involve managers

Utilize managers tips slidePeople recognize the value of DISC even more when their managers and leadership do. Managers can reinforce it daily by using the language of DISC. It may be as simple as asking their employees, ‘what was the DISC style of their client?’ or ‘what adjustments did you consciously make with your client? They can review DISC styles in a team meeting or build DISC style identification into their CRM.

You can provide reinforcement activities for managers to use. Even if the manager simply models DISC awareness and practices conscious adjustments, they are already effective.

Repeat, revisit and reflect

Repeat reinforcement tips slideHave learners redo or revisit worksheets, DISC report, and journals to reflect and make additional observations and adjustments. Repetition and practice lead to successful habits.

If you have the opportunity, follow up on their practicing of application. For example, ask them to describe a situation where they adjusted effective or what they would try next time. Discuss any additional key adjustments.

Use customized reinforcement workbooks and resources

Use reinforcement workbooks and resources tips slide

Extended DISC has a variety of resources including handouts, guides, activities, and Reinforcement Workbooks. The Client Resource Site is available to all active users of Extended DISC® Assessments.

The Reinforcement Reports are personalized, brief, standalone workbooks. Reports are topic specific and include handling stress, time management, and maximizing strengths. They are based on the learner’s existing DISC Profile results so the report format and information are familiar. Key development questions are built into the reports to support practice and further development. You have the flexibility of using one, a few, or all.

Ready?

Doing all the above tips does not equal reinforcement success. Choose the ones that works for you and your learners.

Awareness and personal responsibility are key to long term success. Learners need impactful information about themselves, knowing others better, and how to adjust effectively. Help them find ways to practice DISC and build it into their everyday interactions and situations. The good news is the successes reinforce the practice; until they become a habit.

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Know Thyself When Entering or Reentering the Job Market

A gloomy job market and millions of job seekers…how do you stand out?

In the past year, the unemployment rate has reached historically high numbers. Many of us may find ourselves looking for a new job. Those graduating and entering the workforce, find themselves up against a lot of competition in job seekers. Many are looking to return to work after staying home to raise kids or care for elderly parents. In addition to the higher number of job seekers, there are also fewer jobs available. So, how do you gain a competitive edge?

Know Thyself

Socrates, the famous philosopher, spent much of his time exploring and pondering what it meant to “know thyself“. Well, I’m no philosopher, but I am a Senior Trainer at Extended DISC, NA. Knowing thyself is Step 2 within our 4 Steps to Effective Interactions. Of course we use different language to describe this step, we call it ‘Understanding your DISC style and how others perceive someone with your DISC style’. At Extended DISC we want you to embrace who you are and own your behaviors. I believe, knowing thyself gives you a competitive edge for entering or reentering the job market. This awareness can give you a boost of confidence and a path for success. 

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to reacquaint yourself with you. Look within yourself. What lights you up? What turns you off? What do you do well? Where do you have areas to improve? What makes you, you? 

Side Story

Back in the day, I hated looking for a new job and interviewing. I didn’t like to talk about myself. It felt awkward. It felt like I was bragging. I dreaded the question: “Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.” Then, in 1998 it all changed. Now, I enjoy interviewing and the whole job seeking process. What happened? Well, I’m glad you asked. In 1998 I attended a week long leadership training; in which I was introduced to my very first DISC assessment. (Anyone remember the scratch-off versions?) My DISC report gave me a ton of information about myself and the language I needed to communicate my strengths and weaknesses. It’s amazing how knowledge could boost my confidence. My whole perspective on job seeking and interviewing changed from that moment on. 

The Extended DISC® report(s) provide you with a wealth of knowledge to get you started. So, let’s take a look at how the report can help you stand out in the job market.

Pretty young woman with sketched strong and muscled arms

Your Strengths

How well can you talk about your strengths? The Extended DISC® report provides you with a full page all about how you rock it. Use the page to remind yourself of what you do well. Think of a specific example of when you used the strength and there was a successful result. Think outside the box. It doesn’t always have to connect to a project at work. Maybe it’s an example in sports, extra curricular activities, volunteer committees, etc. The main thing is to be specific.

Most people love to hear and talk about what they do well. However, we all have challenges as well. Phase one is having awareness around what you do well. Phase two is being aware of how you use your strengths. Oftentimes, a strength overused, becomes your weakness. At Extended DISC, we call this the “too” effect. Too much of anything is never a good thing. Simply place the word “too” in front of your strengths and it becomes an example of how you may overuse your strengths.

So, if you want to stand out from the competition, be comfortable talking about your challenges as well. Think of a specific example when you overused a strength and it did not have a successful result. But, don’t end your story there. To shine above the rest, include a story about how your awareness has helped you adjust behaviors to prevent unsuccessful outcomes.

Practice telling it like a story and not just answering a question. It’s all about the details. The details provide proof you have done or not done those behaviors. Use the Strengths page in the Extended DISC® report to help jar your memories. Talk about it with a trusted colleague or family member. Or, simply read the page for a boost of confidence!

Business man pointing the text What Motivates You?

Who’s Interviewing Who?

Back in the day I used to think I had to “sell” what I could bring to the job and organization. Then, I realized, “wait, this is a 2-way relationship.” I’m interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing me. They need to sell me on what the job and organization can offer. It needs to be a good fit on both ends to make it work. 

To ensure a good fit, it helps to know what motivates you and what decreases your motivation. Well, you are in luck. The Extended DISC report has a full page dedicated to situations that motivate you and situations that decrease your motivation. Use these pages as a starting point. Look at the job description for the position you are interested in. Do you see any of your motivators or demotivators listed? Circle the motivators and underline the demotivators. Which has more?

Prepare your own set of questions to ask. Use the motivator page and demotivator page to help you phrase questions to learn about the team, culture of the organization, role and responsibilities of the job position. Make sure the job and organization are a good fit for you. 

DISC Personality Styles Under Pressure Infographic

Calm Amidst The Storm

How do you work under pressure? Another question I used to dread. Everyone experiences stress, pressure, and fatigue at some point in their careers and in their lives. How we respond is what sets us apart from the rest. So, how do you respond to pressure situations?

Yep, you guessed it! The Extended DISC® report has a page for that. Oftentimes, this page is overlooked because people feel the most vulnerable here. Who wants to admit, “Yeah, under pressure I tend not to talk to others. Do you want to hire me?” Well, not when you put it like that.

Understanding how you react to pressure situations can make it easier to deal with them. Again, phase one: awareness. Phase two: action. Awareness allows you to make better choices and decisions. If you were not aware, you wouldn’t do anything differently. So, share a story: “yeah, under pressure I noticed I tend not to talk to others. So, when I start feeling stress or pressure, I put an hourly reminder in my calendar to get up and talk with others; share information. Would you like to hire me now?”

4 Steps to Effective Interactions Infographic (1)

Practice What You Preach

Apply DISC. DISC is more than a self-awareness and communication tool. Remember, knowing thyself is only 1 step within our 4 Steps to Effective Interactions. Our ultimate goal is applying what we know about DISC, what we know about ourselves, and making temporary, brief adjustments to improve the interaction. The adjustments don’t change you; it’s what differentiates successful people from others. Successful people have a keen self-awareness and an ability to adjust for the situation and person. Successful people also always embrace themselves and own their behaviors.

Are you ready to embrace yourself and own your behaviors?