Friday, June 4, 2010

Managing with 4 Dimensions

As a leader, I often encounter people who tell me they are not managers or leaders.  Many times I tend to disagree.  To illustrate my thoughts, I refer to one of my favorite books:  "The 4 Dimensional Manager, "by Julie Straw.   Here are some thoughts;

Do you provide feedback and work direction to others?  Do you help others solve problems or make decisions?  Are you in a position to motivate or compliment others?  If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you're a manager whether or not you have the title, and this article is for you!

You are a manager if you are responsible for getting work done through others.  You may be at any level of an organization, working formally or informally with employees as well as outside contractors and vendors.  Many managers, especially managers with no formal title, have had no training in the critial skills they need, particularly people skills-yet managing is about, above all, managing people. 

I've used many techniques over the years as I've managed and led 100's of people, however, I've found the 4 dimensions of the DiSC model the easiest and most effective tool to implement.  Over and over, I have seen DiSC make a difference which is why I'd like to share DiSC with you.

As manager, you play a key role in your organization's success by motivating other people, guiding and directing their work activities, and recognizing and rewarding their accomplishments.  To be effective, you have to take the time to get to know each one of them. 

You may be wondering how the heck you will possibly find the time to work with individual differences.  DiSC will make the learning quick, easy, and practical.  By focusing on the four dimensions of DiSC, you will be able to better understand each person you are managing.  With DiSC as your "golden rule" (treat others have you would have them do unto you), you'll be able to treat each person individually and be more successful.

Here is a snapshot of the DiSC Model:

The "D" Dimension:  Dominance
Direct and Decisive:  D's are strong willed, strong minded people who like accepting challenges, being in charge, taking action, and getting immediate results.

The "i" Dimension:  Influence
Optimistic and Outgoing:
  i's are "people people" who like participating on teams, sharing ideas, and energizing and entertaining others.

The "S" Dimension:  Steadiness
Sympathetic and Cooperative:
  S's are helpful people who like working behind the scenes, performing in consistent and predictable ways, and being good listeners. 

The "C" Dimension:  Conscientiousness
Concerned and Correct:
  C's are sticklers for quality and like planning ahead, employing systematic approaches, and checking and re-checking for accuracy.

The DiSC Model has helped over 40 million people around the world succeed not only at work, but in their personal lives.  I can't tell you how many of my clients have told me that the "light bulb" just came on after they learned this simple model and started to apply it in their everyday life.  We can all learn how to flex our own behavior to get more desired results from each of the different styles. 

When we learn to people read and flex our own behavior, the frustration begins to fade away.  The most important thing I always remind myself of is that I can't control how others act, but I can control how I react to it.  So True!!
Until next time, FLEX, FLEX, FLEX

Michelle Jones, Executive Vice President
Adventure Training Concepts