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The Uber CEO’s Secret To A $10 Billion Company: Good Timing

The Uber CEO’s Secret To A $10 Billion Company: Good Timing – http://pulse.me/s/1dBahB

Every Leader Needs a Challenger in Chief

challenger

by Noreena Hertz  |   9:00 AM September 11, 2013

for the HBR Blog Network

We are drawn to those who echo what it is we already believe. We get a dopamine rush when we are presented with confirming data similar to what we get when we eat chocolate or fall in love. On Facebook we defriend those with different political views to our own. On Twitter we follow people just like us.

Yet a vast body of research now points to the import of contemplating diverse, dissenting views. Not just in terms of making us more rounded individuals but in terms of making us smarter decision-makers.

Dissent, it turns out, has a significant value.

When group members are actively encouraged to openly express divergent opinions they not only share more information, they consider it more systematically and in a more balanced and less biased way. When people engage with those with different opinions and views from their own they become much more capable of properly interrogating critical assumptions and identifying creative alternatives. Studies comparing the problem-solving abilities of groups in which dissenting views are voiced with groups in which they are not find that dissent tends to be a better precondition for reaching the right solution than consensus.

Yet how many leaders actively seek out and encourage views alien and at odds to their own?

All too few.

President Lyndon Johnson notoriously discouraged dissent, with many historians now believing that this played a significant role in the decision to escalate U.S. military operations in Vietnam. Excessive group-think is now recognized to have underpinned President Kennedy’s disastrous authorization of a CIA-backed landing at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs. Former employees of the now defunct Lehman Brothers have talked about how voicing dissent there was considered a career-breaker. Yale economics professor Robert Shiller explained that when it came to warning about the bubbles he believed were developing in the stock and housing markets just before the financial crisis he did so only “quietly” because: “Deviating too far from consensus leaves one feeling potentially ostracized from the group with the risk that one may be terminated.”

Is this the feeling the “clubby” environment in your boardroom is inadvertently engendering? Or are you actively signaling that you want to hear views different and diverse and in opposition to your own? We need to have the confidence to allow our own ideas and positions to be challenged.

Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google, has talked about how he actively seeks out in meetings people with a dissenting opinion. Abraham Lincoln’s renowned “team of rivals” was comprised of people whose intellect he respected and were confident enough to take issue with him when they disagreed with his point of view. Stuart Roden, Co Fund Manager of Lansdowne Partners’ flagship fund, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, tells me he sees one of his primary roles as being the person who challenges his staff to consider how they could be wrong, and then assess how this might impact on their decision-making.

Who in your organization serves as your Challenger in Chief? Interrogating the choices you are considering making? Making you consider the uncontemplated, the unimaginable and that which contradicts or refutes your position?

And also challenging you?

For we are not the robotic emotionless decision-makers of economics text books, bound to make the rationally best choices. Instead we’re prone to a whole host of thinking errors and traps.

Did you know that when we’re given information that is better than we expected — i.e. that our chance of being targeted for burglary is actually only 10% when we thought it was 20% — we revise our beliefs accordingly. Whereas if it’s worse — i.e. if we’re told that rather than having a 10% chance of developing cancer, we actually have a 30% chance — we tend to ignore this new information?

Are you aware of the extent to which our emotions or moods can skew our choices? You may already know that stress leads to excessive tunnel vision, but did you know that studies of both judges and doctors reveal that when stressed they typically revert to their unconscious racial stereotyping biases? Or that if we go 24 hours without sleep or spend a week sleeping only four or five hours a night, our thinking is as compromised as if we were drunk? Whilst studies in which people are presented with financial choices reveal that people make worse decisions when their blood sugar has dipped, but also when they’re feeling hot under the collar. Male students presented with a financial decision after having been shown either a “neutral” image such as a rock or a “hot” image of a lingerie clad Victoria’s Secret model, made significantly poorer choices after having looked at the “hot” image.

And how about our propensity to become overly attached to the past?

You remember how huge Nokia was. From the 1990s onwards, Nokia dominated the mobile phone industry. At its peak the company had a market value of $303 billion and by 2007 around four in 10 handsets bought worldwide were made by Nokia.

But when Apple introduced its game changing iPhone in 2007, Nokia was caught sleeping on the job. Despite having themselves developed an iPhone-style device — complete with a colour touchscreen, maps, online shopping, the lot — some seven years earlier. They never released the product. Instead they decided better to stick with what they knew worked — good, solid, reliable mobile phones. As a former employee working in the development team at the time said of that decision, “Management did the usual. They killed it!” When the iPhone was introduced, Nokia engineers sneered at the Apple devices’ inability to pass their “drop test” in which a phone was dropped onto concrete from a five-foot height.

Nokia management believed that their successful past would continue to provide a reliable guide to the future, but as we now know it didn’t. In the six years since the iPhone was introduced Nokia lost about 90% of its market value. And when Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone business this month, the fire sale price it paid for it, only half what Google paid for Motorola last year, firmly reflected just how far it had fallen.

Your Challenger in Chief needs to be alerting you to such thinking errors and foibles. And you need to be listening to him or her.

What Do Employees REALLY Think of Corporate Training?

training

Are your employees telling you what they really think of your corporate training initiatives? Probably not.

Because you’re not asking the right questions, and they aren’t comfortable telling you the “hard truth.”

How do you determine the success of a corporate training initiative? Most organizations survey participants shortly after a course is completed. And training leaders typically listen for the “buzz” or ask participants for their perspectives immediately following a workshop. But that initial positive feedback may not truly represent the effectiveness of the training. Read more

The Ultimate Secret to Fast Learning

Fast Learning

Want to pick up a new skill?

Don’t we all. And we also want it to happen fast, so fast.

And preferably without any effort as well.

Well, I do have one secret that at least will “make it feel” like there’s no effort. And I can guarantee that it will speed up your progress. Here’s the secret. Read more

The ‘C’ Compliant Profile

DISC-Model-CBy Dan Rust for Frontline Learning

At the extreme, this type of individual tends to perceive the environment as an “unsafe” place over which he or she has little or no control.This drives a tendency towards caution and compliance, and dependency upon structure, order, data, and “following the rules” to provide some degree of certainty in an uncertain world.

General Characteristics: You can typically count on this person to be accurate; analytical. Conscientious; careful. Fact-finder; precise. High standards; systematic.

Value to Team: Perspective: “the anchor of reality.” Conscientious and even-tempered. Thorough to all activities. Defines situation; gathers, criticizes and tests information.

Possible Weaknesses: Needs clear-cut boundaries for actions/relationships. Bound by procedures and methods. Gets bogged down in details. Prefers not to verbalize feelings. Will give in rather that argue.

Greatest Fear: Criticism.

Motivated By: Standards of high quality. Limited social interaction. Detailed tasks. Logical organization of information.

Ideal Environment: Tasks and projects that can be followed through to completion. Specialized or technical tasks. Practical work procedures and routines. Few conflicts and arguments. Instructions and reassurance that they are doing what is expected of them.

DISC-Model-1

Click above image for a summary of the complete DISC behavioral style model

Remember a “High C” May Want: Autonomy and independence, controlled work environment, reassurance, precise expectations and goals, exact job descriptions, planned change.

DO: Prepare your case in advance. Delineate pros and cons of proposed ideas. Support ideas and statements with accurate data. Reassure them that no surprises will occur. Submit an exact job description with a precise explanation of how that task fits into the big picture. Review recommendations with them in a systematic and comprehensive manner. Be specific when agreeing. Disagree with the facts rather than the person when disagreeing. Be patient, persistent, and diplomatic while providing explanations.

DON’T: Refuse to explain details. Answer questions vaguely or casually.

While analyzing information, a High C may: Become overly cautious and conservative. Get too bogged down in details. Avoid or postpone decisions, especially if they perceive a risk. Be an effective trouble-shooter.

C’s possess these positive characteristics in teams: Instinctive organizers. “Do it yourself” managers – create and maintain systems. Strive for a logical, consistent environment. Control the details. Conscientious. Evaluate the team’s progress. Ask important questions. Maintain focus on tasks. Offer conservative approaches. Emphasize quality. Think logically. Will share risks and responsibilities. Work systematically. Will strive for consensus. Diplomatic. Analyze obstacles.

Personal Growth Areas for C’s: Concentrate on doing the right things, not just doing things right. Be less critical of others’ ideas and methods. Respond more quickly to accomplish team goals. Strive to build relationships with other team members. Be more decisive. Focus less on facts and more on people. Take risks along with other team members.

This person’s tendencies include:

  • Following directives and standards
  • Concentrating on detail
  • Working under controlled circumstances
  • Being diplomatic with people
  • Checking for accuracy
  • Criticizing performance
  • Critical thinking
  • Complying with authority

This person desires an environment which includes:

  • Security assurances
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Sheltered environment
  • Reassurance
  • No sudden or abrupt changes
  • Being part of a group
  • Personal attention
  • Status quo unless assured of quality control
  • Door openers who call attention to accomplishments

This person needs others who:

  • Desire to expand authority
  • Delegate important tasks
  • Make quick decisions
  • Use policies only as guidelines
  • Compromise with the opposition
  • State unpopular positions

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • Precision work
  • Opportunity for careful planning
  • Exact job and objective descriptions
  • Work associates of equal competence
  • Scheduled performance appraisals
  • As much respect for people’s personal worth as for what they accomplish
  • To develop tolerance for conflict

Click on any of the boxes below for more details on each of the primary behavioral tendencies: Dominant (D), Interactive (I), Supportive (S), and Compliant (C).

DISC-Model-CDISC-Model-SDISC-Model-IDISC-Model-D

Many Frontline Learning products incorporate the DISC behavioral mode, promoting a greater understanding of interpersonal influences and tendencies to enhance sales productivity, customer service effectiveness and general personal competency. The following Frontline Learning products incorporate some form of the DISC behavioral profile:

  • Professional Selling SkillMap™
  • Customer Service SkillMap™
  • Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap™
  • REAL Selling™
  • REAL Coaching™
  • REAL Marketing™

The ‘S’ Supportive Profile

DISC-Model-SBy Dan Rust for Frontline Learning

At the extreme, this type of individual tends to perceive the environment as a safe and supportive place over which he or she has little or no control.This drives a tendency towards being a good listener, reliable and dependable, a loyal team player. But not someone who will take bold action or make a decision. This person will prefer to support the decisions of others.

General Characteristics: Good listener; Team player. Possessive. Steady; Predictable. Understanding; Friendly.

Value to Team: Reliable and dependable. Loyal team worker. Compliant towards authority. Good listener, patient and empathetic. Good at reconciling conflicts.

Possible Weaknesses: Resists change. Takes a long time to adjust to change. Holds a grudge; sensitive to criticism. Difficulty establishing priorities.

Greatest Fear: Loss of security.

Motivated By: Recognition for loyalty and dependability. Safety and security. No sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. Activities that can be started and finished.

Ideal Environment: Practical procedures and systems. Stability and predictability. Tasks that can be completed at one time. Few conflicts and arguments. A team atmosphere.

Remember a High S May Want: Security in situations, sincere appreciation, repeated work patterns, time to adjust to change, limited territory of responsibility.

Click here for more details regarding the DISC behavioral style model

Click above image for a summary of the complete DISC behavioral style model

DO: Create a favorable environment:Personable and agreeable. Express a genuine interest in them as a person. Provide them with clarification for tasks and answers to “how” questions. Be patient in drawing out their goals. Present ideas or departures from current practices in a non-threatening manner; give them time to adjust. Clearly define goals, procedures and their role in the overall plan. Assure them of personal follow-up support. Explain how their actions will minimize the risks involved and enhance current procedures.

DON’T: Be pushy, overly aggressive, or demanding. Be too confrontational.

While analyzing information, a High S may: Be openly agreeable but inwardly unyielding. Internalize their concerns and doubts. Hesitate to share feedback during presentation. Slow down the action. Provide valuable support for team goals.

S’s possess these positive characteristics in teams: Instinctive relaters. Participative managers – accomplish goals through personal relationships. Make others feel like they belong. Show sincerity. Can see an easier way of doing things. Focused and intuitive about people and relationships. Full of common sense. Buy into team goals. Dependable. Identify strongly with the team. Strive to build relationships. Provide stability. Consider elements of a total project. Realistic and practical. Even-tempered. Provide specialized skills. Show patience with others. Loyal.

Personal Growth Areas for S’s: Be more open to change. Be more direct in your interactions. Focus on overall goals of the team rather than specific procedures. Deal with confrontation constructively. Develop more flexibility. Increase pace to accomplish goals. Show more initiative. Work at expressing thoughts, opinions, and feelings.

This person’s tendencies include:

  • Performing an accepted work pattern
  • Sitting or staying in one place
  • Demonstrating patience
  • Developing specialized skills
  • Concentrating on the task
  • Showing loyalty
  • Being a good listener
  • Calming excited people

This person desires an environment which includes:

  • Status quo unless given reasons for change
  • Minimal work infringement on home life
  • Limited territory
  • Sincere appreciation
  • Identification with a group
  • Traditional procedures

This person needs others who:

  • React quickly to unexpected change
  • Stretch toward the challenges of an accepted task
  • Become involved in more than one thing
  • Apply pressure on others
  • Work in an unpredictable environment
  • Delegate to others
  • Are flexible in work procedures
  • Can contribute to the work

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • Conditioning prior to change
  • Validation of self-worth
  • Information on how one’s efforts contribute to the total effort
  • Work associates of equal competence
  • Guidelines for accomplishing the task
  • Encouragement of creativity
  • Confidence in the ability of others

 

Click on any of the boxes below for more details on each of the primary behavioral tendencies: Dominant (D), Interactive (I), Supportive (S), and Compliant (C).

DISC-Model-CDISC-Model-SDISC-Model-IDISC-Model-D

Many Frontline Learning products incorporate the DISC behavioral mode, promoting a greater understanding of interpersonal influences and tendencies to enhance sales productivity, customer service effectiveness and general personal competency. The following Frontline Learning products incorporate some form of the DISC behavioral profile:

  • Professional Selling SkillMap™
  • Customer Service SkillMap™
  • Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap™
  • REAL Selling™
  • REAL Coaching™
  • REAL Marketing™

The ‘I’ Interactive Profile

DISC-Model-IBy Dan Rust for Frontline Learning

At the extreme, this type of individual tends to perceive the environment as a safe and supportive place over which he or she has a high degree of control.This drives a tendency towards enthusiastic expression of thoughts and ideas and well as encouragement of others. But there is also the potential for over-expression and over-sharing of thoughts and ideas. May be inattentive to detail and feel “ambushed” when surprised to find that a particular individual or group is not supportive.

General Characteristics: Enthusiastic. Trusting; Optimistic. Persuasive; Talkative. Impulsive; Emotional

Value to Team: Creative problem solver. Great encourager. Motivates others to achieve. Positive sense of humor. Negotiates conflicts; peace maker.

Possible Weaknesses: More concerned with popularity than tangible results. Inattentive to detail. Over-uses gestures and facial expressions. Tends to listen only when it’s convenient.

Greatest Fear: Rejection.

Motivated By: Flattery, praise, popularity, and acceptance. A friendly environment. Freedom from many rules and regulations. Other people available to handle details.

Ideal Environment: Practical procedures. Few conflicts and arguments. Freedom from controls and details. A forum to express ideas. Group activities in professional and social environments

Remember a High I May Want: Social esteem and acceptance, freedom from details and control, people to talk to, positive working conditions, recognition for abilities, opportunity to motivate and influence others.

DO: Build a favorable, friendly environment. Give opportunity for them to verbalize about ideas, people and their intuition. Assist them in developing ways to transfer talk into action. Share testimonials from others relating to proposed ideas. Allow time for stimulating, sociable activities. Submit details in writing, but don’t dwell on them. Develop a participative relationship. Create incentives for following through on tasks.

DISC-Model-1

Click above image for a summary of the complete DISC behavioral style model

DON’T: Eliminate social time. Do all the talking. Ignore their ideas or accomplishments. Tell them what to do.

While analyzing information, a High I may: Lose concentration. Miss important facts and details. Interrupt. Be creative in problem solving.

I’s possess these positive characteristics in teams: Instinctive communicators. Participative managers – influence and inspire. Motivate the team. Spontaneous and agreeable. Respond well to the unexpected. Create an atmosphere of well-being. Enthusiastic. Provide direction and leadership. Express ideas well. Work well with other people. Make good spokespersons. Will offer opinions. Persuasive. Have a positive attitude. Accomplish goals through people. Good sense of humor. Accepting of others. Strong in brainstorming sessions.

Personal Growth Areas for I’s: Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision; be less impulsive. Be more results oriented. Exercise control over your actions, words, and emotions. Focus more on details and facts. Remember to slow down your pace for other team members. Talk less; listen more. Consider and evaluate ideas from other team members. Concentrate on following through with tasks.

This person’s tendencies include:

  • Contacting people
  • Making a favorable impression
  • Articulate verbalizing
  • Creating a motivational environment
  • Generating enthusiasm
  • Entertaining people
  • Desiring to help others
  • Participating in a group

This person desires an environment which includes:

  • Popularity, social recognition
  • Public recognition of ability
  • Group activities outside of the job
  • Democratic relationships
  • Freedom from control and detail
  • Opportunity to verbalize proposals
  • Coaching and counseling skills
  • Favorable working conditions

This person needs others who:

  • Concentrate on the task
  • Seek facts
  • Speak directly
  • Respect sincerity
  • Develop systematic approaches
  • Prefer dealing with things to dealing with people
  • Take a logical approach
  • Demonstrate individual follow-through

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • Control of time, if D or S is below the midline
  • Objectivity in decision-making
  • Participatory management
  • More realistic appraisals of others
  • Priorities and deadlines
  • To be more firm with others if D is below the midline

 

Click on any of the boxes below for more details on each of the primary behavioral tendencies: Dominant (D), Interactive (I), Supportive (S), and Compliant (C).

DISC-Model-CDISC-Model-SDISC-Model-IDISC-Model-D

Many Frontline Learning products incorporate the DISC behavioral mode, promoting a greater understanding of interpersonal influences and tendencies to enhance sales productivity, customer service effectiveness and general personal competency. The following Frontline Learning products incorporate some form of the DISC behavioral profile:

  • Professional Selling SkillMap™
  • Customer Service SkillMap™
  • Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap™
  • REAL Selling™
  • REAL Coaching™
  • REAL Marketing™

The ‘D’ Drive/Dominance Profile

DISC-Model-DBy Dan Rust for Frontline Learning

At the extreme, this type of individual tends to perceive the environment as an “unsafe” place over which he or she has a high degree of control.This drives a tendency towards bold action and decision-making, but also the potential for being overstepping boundaries, taking on too many tasks and bulldozing others.

General Characteristics: Direct. Decisive. High Ego Strength. Problem Solver. Risk Taker. Self Starter.

Value to Team: Bottom-line organizer. Places value on time. Challenges the status quo. Innovative.

Possible Weaknesses: Oversteps authority. Argumentative attitude. Dislikes routine. Attempts too much at once.

Greatest Fear: Being taken advantage of.

Motivated By: New challenges. Power and authority to take risks and make decisions. Freedom from routine and mundane tasks. Changing environments in which to work and play.

Ideal Environment: Innovative focus on future. Non-routine challenging tasks and activities. Projects that produce tangible results. Freedom from controls, supervision, and details. Personal evaluation based on results, not methods.

DISC-Model-1

Click above image for a summary of the complete DISC behavioral style model

Remember a “High D” May Want: Authority, varied activities, prestige, freedom, assignments promoting growth, “bottom line” approach, and opportunity for advancement.

DON’T: Ramble. Repeat yourself. Focus on problems. Be too sociable. Make generalizations. Make statements without support.

While analyzing information, a High D may: Ignore potential risks. Not weigh the pros and cons. Not consider others’ opinions. Offer innovative and progressive systems and ideas.

D’s possess these positive characteristics in teams: Autocratic managers – great in crisis. Self-reliant. Innovative in getting results. Maintain focus on goals. Specific and direct. Overcome obstacles. Provide direction and leadership. Push group toward decisions. Willing to speak out. Generally optimistic. Welcome challenges without fear. Accept risks. See the big picture. Can handle multiple projects. Function well with heavy work loads.

Personal Growth Areas for D’s: Strive to be an “active” listener. Be attentive to other team members’ ideas until everyone reaches a consensus. Be less controlling and domineering. Develop a greater appreciation for the opinions, feelings, and desires of others. Put more energy into personal relationships. Show your support for other team members. Take time to explain the “whys” of your statements and proposals. Be friendlier and more approachable.

This person’s tendencies include:

  • Getting immediate results
  • Causing action
  • Accepting challenges
  • Making quick decisions
  • Questioning the status quo
  • Taking authority
  • Causing trouble
  • Solving problems

This person desires an environment which includes:

  • Power and authority
  • Prestige and challenge
  • Opportunity for individual accomplishment
  • Wide scope of operations
  • Direct answers
  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Freedom from controls and supervision
  • Many new and varied activities

This person needs others who:

  • Weigh pros and cons
  • Calculate risks
  • Use caution
  • Structure a more predictable environment
  • Research facts
  • Deliberate before deciding
  • Recognize the needs of others

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • Understanding they need people
  • Techniques based on practical experience
  • An occasional shock
  • Identification with a group
  • To verbalize the reasons for conclusions
  • An awareness of existing sanctions
  • To pace self and relax more

 

Click on any of the boxes below for more details on each of the primary behavioral tendencies: Dominant (D), Interactive (I), Supportive (S), and Compliant (C).

DISC-Model-CDISC-Model-SDISC-Model-IDISC-Model-D

Many Frontline Learning products incorporate the DISC behavioral mode, promoting a greater understanding of interpersonal influences and tendencies to enhance sales productivity, customer service effectiveness and general personal competency. The following Frontline Learning products incorporate some form of the DISC behavioral profile:

  • Professional Selling SkillMap™
  • Customer Service SkillMap™
  • Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap™
  • REAL Selling™
  • REAL Coaching™
  • REAL Marketing™

Understanding Behavioral Styles

DISC-5By Dan Rust for Frontline Learning

Four-factor “DISC” behavioral models are ubiquitous in the world of corporate training and development today. A simple Google search produces over a hundred different DISC-style behavioral profiles, assessments and surveys, all based upon the same fundamental research.

The best way to make sense of all these options is to start with a baseline understanding of the underlying model for these assessments, and that is the goal of this article. I’m not a psychologist or a psychometrics expert, but I have leveraged a broad range of DISC-style assessments over the past 20 years. When I explain the DISC behavioral model to others in a practical, straightforward manner, it helps them make better decision regarding which specific assessment to use, and how to leverage it most effectively in their corporate training program.

So let’s start at the beginning. The search for understanding regarding our distinct personalities and the nature of human interaction is as old as humanity itself. The age-old question is, “Why do people do what they do?” The Greek philosopher, Hippocrates (400 BC), believed in four distinct personality styles; choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholy. Although Hypocrites’ theory has no medical validity, it was the first substantial method for categorizing types of behavior.

Hippocrates’ theory was expanded upon at the turn of the 20th century by a number of behavioral scientists. Carl Gustav Jung (1921), a Swiss psychologist, was one of the most influential modern behavioral theorist. In 1921 he published “Psychological Types” which described four psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. Jung also classified these four types further by calling them either “introverted” or “extroverted.”

The DISC Behavioral ModelDISC-Model-safety

The development of the DISC behavioral profile as we know it was primarily due to the work of the American psychologist, Dr. William Moulton Marston. He was an expert in behavioral understanding. In 1926 he published “The Emotions of Normal People” in which he outlined the essence of the modern DISC behavioral model. Until that time, this type of work was confined to criminally insane and mentally ill people.

Marston observed (in “normal” people) a behavioral continuum with two extremes. Based upon his observations he grouped people along two axis:

  1. Either antagonistic or favorable view of the environment.
  2. Either active or passive tendencies within their environment.

In other words, when people instinctively perceive their environment (at home, at work, etc.) do they feel “safe?” Do they perceive others within their environment as supportive or antagonistic, or somewhere in between? This is about instinctive perception, not objective reality. Some of us can walk into a room of strangers and immediately feel comfortable. Some of us can sit at a dinner table with a supportive family and feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Of course most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes.

DISC-Model-control

The other axis Marston focused on was the degree to which individuals are instinctively active or passive in their environment. Do they perceive themselves to have a high degree of control (active) or to have little or no control (passive) over their environment? Marston observed that this behavioral element was independent of perceived “safety.” Some individuals who perceive  an unsafe environment are instinctively passive, they view themselves as having little or no control over their environment. Others who also perceive an unsafe environment tend to be more active or assertive, because they perceive themselves to have a high level of control over their environment.

DISC-Model-3

An important point to reinforce is that Marston observed that these instinctive perceptions tended to remain consistent for an individual no matter what the objective reality of the environment might be. So an individual who tends to perceive the world as a safe, friendly place – where he or she has little or no control over the environment – will tend to have this same instinctive perception even when the environment is un-supportive, and even when he or she is given full control over the environment.

DISC-Model-4

By viewing individuals through the prism of these two behavioral continua, the four DISC-model quadrants are created and the four behavioral styles were formed: Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C).

DISC-Model-1

 Since Marston, many individuals have contributed to the maturation of the DISC behavioral model. It became a common tool for the US military’s recruiting process before the second World War. Today companies frequently use it to choose the most appropriate candidate for their employment, sifting out countless other applicants.

 

Click on any of the boxes below for more details on each of the primary behavioral tendencies: Dominant (D), Interactive (I), Supportive (S), and Compliant (C).

DISC-Model-CDISC-Model-SDISC-Model-IDISC-Model-D

Many Frontline Learning products incorporate the DISC behavioral mode, promoting a greater understanding of interpersonal influences and tendencies to enhance sales productivity, customer service effectiveness and general personal competency. The following Frontline Learning products incorporate some form of the DISC behavioral profile:

  • Professional Selling SkillMap™
  • Customer Service SkillMap™
  • Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap™
  • REAL Selling™
  • REAL Coaching™
  • REAL Marketing™

 

Manage Your Fears

Frea-1Fear and uncertainty are an unpleasant reality when dealing with difficult economic times. How you manage uncertainty is the measure of effective leadership.

Fear is endemic in an organization facing hard times. But managers should not show fears they feel to their team. It sends the wrong signal and can cause employees to lose faith. Stoic, perhaps, but it is the reality of leading in an organization. Fear persists, however, so how leaders deal with it is important.

First and foremost, the leader needs to remain in control of himself and his team. Until told otherwise the manager must adopt the command position by knowing and acting on expectations for self and the team. Moving forward, here are things a leader can do to deal with the situation.

Be realistic. High achievers fear something more than business failure; they fear they will not perform up to expectations. It is critical to address that possibility. One way is to game it out in your mind. Play the “what happens if” scenario for each action step. If this happens, then what? Or if that happens, what do I do? Rolling the scenario out in your mind may give you comfort of knowing the consequences. So often the unknown is more fearful than the known. “Fear,” goes the German proverb, “makes the wolf bigger than he is.”

Confide in a friend. Talk it out with a friend, preferably not a subordinate. You can role play the scenario with her as a means of gaining perspective. Invite your colleague to ask you questions. So often the simple act of speaking out loud is helpful. Verbalizing the situation forces an individual to frame the situation in ways that can lead to greater clarity.

Look for inspiration. Find an outlet to release your fear. Exercise is always good; keeping yourself fit is healthy. Some find hope in their faith; others find it in doing something completely different, perhaps coaching a team, volunteering at a shelter, or organizing a food drive. These things can be fulfilling because they get you outside of yourself by helping others.

Lighten up. Dwelling in fear is a zero-sum game. You must abandon that mindset. Make light of the situation. Lampoon it. Take a cue from humorist, Dave Barry, who wrote, “All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears—of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words ‘Some Assembly Required.'” Absurdity never hurt anyone.

Fear is reality when dealing with tough times, but how you manage it is the measure of effective leadership. One who succumbs and gives up surrenders the ability to lead. Standing up to fear, acknowledging its presence, and resolving to move forward, requires determination, and yes courage. That’s the stuff of leaders.

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