Over the last five years, Tyto has proven how well the remote model has worked for the organisation by creating a close-knit team that works seamlessly across European borders. As remote working fast becomes the new norm across the globe with the number of employees who telecommute increasing steadily, Tyto has been seeking new ways to help foster our positive company culture.
Although we take every possible opportunity to work together from the same location, remote work does not come without challenges. As the agency grows, it is up to us to make sure we are constantly in tune with our team, embracing the importance of clear communication between all team members. Communication is complex enough between teams but when individuals are working remotely with little in-person interaction, barriers inevitably arise. It’s not always easy to achieve clarity in the virtual workplace but there are tools that can help encourage cohesion and mindfulness. When we begin to understand each team member’s preferences, stressors and motivators, we can improve collaboration.
Having always been fascinated by human behaviour and the nuances that exist within us all, I was over the moon to be entrusted with spearheading a new initiative for Tyto to help build stronger relationships within the team and encourage empathy and enhanced communication. In January this year, I attended an intensive 3-day training learning all about a behavioural assessment tool called DiSC and the ways in which we can implement it within the organisation. After successful accreditation as a DISC certified trainer, I was excited to be able to plan and deliver workshops to the rest of the Tyto team.
So, what is DISC?
DISC is a non-judgemental self-assessment tool used in the workplace that measures our behavioural tendencies based on four main personality styles. DISC is an acronym for these four styles: D for Dominance, S for Steadiness, I for Influence and C for Conscientiousness. These four styles are broken up into quadrants and are based on two fundamental dimensions of human nature – fast-paced or moderate-paced, sceptical or accepting. Each style is inherently different but equally valuable. These dimensions were explored by Carl Jung who came up with the four distinct personality styles and attributed the differences to the way we think and process information.
Psychologist William Marston further built on Jung’s discovery and came up with the DISC model which he published and explored in his book “Emotions of Normal People” which later developed into the DISC assessment that we know and use today. After completion of the assessment, you receive in-depth and personalised results based on your unique profile. These self-assessments are taken to determine which style we gravitate towards the most and captures how we do things – how we react, our preferred pace, our preferred modes of communication, what motivates and what stresses us out. The assessment identifies individuals’ comfort zones among each of the styles. The language of DISC allows participants to think of new ways to reflect on their behaviour and to become more mindful of others’ differences.
Introducing the four main styles
D for Dominance
D-styles are direct and focus on getting results. They like to be in charge and challenge the status quo. Some of their greatest fears are loss of control, being taken advantage of and vulnerability.
I for Influence
The I styles are not afraid to be the centre of attention and tend to place an emphasis on influencing or persuading others. Some typical characteristics of these types are optimism, being impulsive and talkativeness. They trust others naturally and enjoy being around others. Their fears are social rejection, loss of influence and being ignored.
S for Steadiness
The S Styles love to give support and maintain stability. They are patient, good listeners and are always on the lookout for opportunities to help. They are compliant with authority and a loyal team player. Some of their fears include loss of stability, change, and offending others.
C for Conscientiousness
The C personality is motivated by opportunities to gain knowledge. They think analytically and systematically and carefully make decisions with plenty of research to back them up. Cs are perfectionists and have high standards both for themselves and others. Some fears of the C styles include making mistakes and being criticised.
Strong communication and awareness of other people’s work styles are essential in any company, but for virtual teams, it is vital. Typically, remote teams can easily get too focused on their own responsibilities and tasks but by enabling more of a human connection between colleagues we build trust, inclusion, and representation. The most important message that DISC promotes is that regardless of which style you are most inclined to, all are inherently valuable with unique strengths and attributes. When we begin to understand that we can manage team dynamics more effectively through awareness and respecting each other’s unique differences, we can build a team that communicates effortlessly and delivers results.