DISC Leadership Blind Spots: A Path to Better Communication
In both our personal and professional lives, we've all encountered those moments when someone dives into a topic that leaves us feeling ill-equipped or uneasy. Let's face it, not everyone in the workplace is as intrigued by the mystery casserole your colleague brought to the company potluck or the intricate details of last month's board meeting. However, such individuals do exist, and they're more than willing to share their life stories if given the opportunity!
Perhaps you're the type who discreetly exits a conversation when the subject matter veers off course or becomes uncomfortable. In most cases, the other person might remain blissfully unaware that their behavior is becoming a communication roadblock. Many times, individuals are oblivious to the behavioral traits that create tension or conflict in their personal and professional relationships.
These behavioral indicators often reveal gaps in self-awareness, which we refer to as blind spots. Blind spots are those aspects of our natural personality styles that are glaringly obvious to everyone except ourselves – until someone points them out. They are the behaviors or words we engage in without realizing their impact on others.
Now, don't fret; blind spots aren't all doom and gloom. The good news is that as leaders, when we invest time in building relationships with our teams, these blind spots can transform into greater self-awareness and more profound connections. By doing so, we become more attuned to the factors that might otherwise hinder trust-building.
Let's dive into some common leadership blind spots that each DISC leadership style may encounter. Keep in mind that these are universal blind spots, even for the most seasoned leaders.
"Maybe I need to be a better listener…" - D Style Blind Spots
D behavioral styles tend to have several blind spots. They can easily feel taken advantage of, which can cloud their judgment. Impatience is another issue – D styles often fail to listen actively to what others are saying. To improve, make an effort to engage in more meaningful conversations with your colleagues, get to know their interests, desires, and needs. Learn to be a better listener and understand that you don't always need to solve every problem will be my focus.
"And I thought this was such a great team-building activity!" - I Style Blind Spots
I styles tend to emphasize the positives while neglecting potential risks. When planning projects or outcomes, they often consider only the best-case scenario. It's crucial to pay attention to the "what ifs" and establish a plan B before embarking on a venture. Being open to input from other team members, especially those with S and C DISC styles, can help prevent hasty decisions.
"A change in direction can sometimes be a good thing." - S Style Blind Spot
S personality styles are resistant to change and may remain in unfavorable situations longer than others. They tend to believe that time will improve things, even when evidence suggests otherwise. However, this isn't always the case, and swift decision-making can be necessary, even if it means changing direction.
"Tear down walls rather than building them when feeling criticized." - C Style Blind Spot
C styles are perfectionists and often take criticism harshly, even from themselves. Sometimes, it's important to prioritize progress over perfection and let go of minor criticisms that can trigger frustration. Accepting that not everyone sees or comprehends things at your level of detail is crucial. Embrace both yourself and others for who you are and consider helping those who struggle with the analytical thinking that comes so naturally to your style.
Even well-intentioned leaders can be caught off guard by new blind spots, especially during significant life changes and events. The key to overcoming any adverse effects is to focus on continuous self-awareness and growth. The DISC profile for leaders serves as an invaluable tool, aiding individuals and organizations in developing a deeper understanding, thereby reducing those awkward conversation moments in life.