Great trainers are always looking for more ways to build engaging and interactive exercises in their DISC sessions, right?
Today, I’m highlighting one of my favorite go-to exercises for DISC sessions, the Extended DISC® Play & Learn Game. The game reminds me of an old credit card commercial, “don’t leave home without it!” Why? First off, it’s portable, which is great for us trainers who often travel to DISC sessions. I always have more choices whenever I need an exercise to liven things up and more importantly, practice DISC reinforcement. Finally, it’s versatile, with many options for using it, which is what I’ll share with you.
First, I want to thank and give credit to all of you DISC trainers who’ve shared your tips for using the game! Over the years, you’ve found amazing and innovative ways to further expand the game’s usefulness. Now, it’s time to share!
Play & Learn game
For those of you who’ve never used the Extended DISC® Play & Learn Game, it’s a game based on playing cards. It contains four decks of interactive exercises to reinforce DISC learning. I’ll highlight each of the game decks.
Name That ‘Style’ (blue deck) helps participants learn the DISC-styles by identifying adjectives on one side of each card. Participants separate the cards into four piles based on identifying which style the adjective is describing. Once they’re done, they flip over the cards. If they’ve matched the adjective with the correct style, then all suits in each pile should be match. For example, if the adjective on the card is “outgoing,” which D, I, S, or C pile would you put the card in?
The ‘Style’ is Right (green deck) has participants separating the cards into four piles (D, I, S, and C) based on the statement on the card. Once they’ve completed the task, they flip over the cards. The suits for each deck will all match up if they’ve matched the statement with the correct style. For example, one card may ask, “let’s make it fun!'” Do you know which style is the answer?
Role Playing (red deck) is about role-playing and a great energizer to a group session! The deck is divided into two subdecks, scenario and DISC styles. Each participant draws a card from each deck. Let’s say they pick a scenario card and it says, “describe how you pack for vacation.” Next, they pick an S-style card from the DISC styles deck. Now, they’ll describe how they pack for a vacation as an S-style. The rest of the group guesses the scenario and the DISC style.
Trivia (yellow deck) provides a fun way to compete and learn! Each of the 52 cards contains a trivia question. For example, “What one style doesn’t get along with others of the same style?” Do you know the answer?
How to use game
As previously mentioned, the most common use of the game is in DISC-styles training. Trainers have used them for a whole host of training opportunities including sessions focused on customer service, communication skills, team development, and leadership development.
You can choose to use one deck or use them all for your sessions. The games can be used to include your entire group or you can break up participants into smaller groups for more interactions. In fact, break out group competitions can make it even more fun and exciting! You have lots of options! Now, let’s talk about those tips!
Innovative tips for using the game
You don’t have to start from scratch when making your own interactive quizzes. You can use the questions from the Trivia deck (yellow) to get you quickly on your way. In addition, online quiz makers are a highly interactive way to engage your audience. Try ones that use participants’ smartphones, but don’t need an app. What makes this type of activity even better is that it can be played in your virtual trainings. Often games reward for correct answers and even more excitedly, for speed of correct answers. Create your own quiz and you’re ready to go!
A great way to reinforce our understanding of our behavioral strengths and development areas is to use the Name That Style deck (blue deck). You can spread out the cards randomly on a table so all descriptors on each card are visible. Then, you’d ask your participants to select a card with a descriptor that comfortably describes one of their personal strengths. You can also ask them to select a card describing one of their development areas or an area they’d like to develop. The cards can be shared with the group. Trainers have used this exercise at the end of a session to reinforce self-awareness and initiate post-session action plans.
Tips for larger groups
Tallest Tower is an interactive competition to see who can build the tallest self-standing tower in a limited amount of time. It can be an exciting and heart-pumping group exercise, designed to see how our DISC styles interact under pressure. There are many ways to play Tallest Tower – from spaghetti and marshmallows, to notecards. One easy way, without having to bring more materials, is to use the playing cards to build their house of cards. You now have an additional exercise without needing to bring more supplies!
Do you need another exercise for a large group? Try using the Role Playing deck (red). However, instead of each person picking a scenario, you present one scenario to the entire group. Place participants in pairs and have one person, from each pair, pick a Style Card. Now, the person who picked the style card begins the role play and the other person needs to identify their style and practice ways to adjust to facilitate a more effective interaction.
Last, but not least, my simplest and practical tip is for when you could use more than one pack of cards. You can combine and mix up Name That ‘Style’ (blue) and The ‘Style’ is Right (green) decks. Now, you’ll have twice as many cards to play with!
These are just some of the innovative ways trainers use the game. So, how can you use the game?