Oct 05, 2023 | 4
Minute Read

Beyond DISC: Understanding Team Dynamics

Beyond DISC


I’ve had the privilege of hosting A LOT of team alignment sessions at TTI Success Insights; they are one of my favorite things to do here. For me, when I see teams connecting the dots and being able to understand one another in a way they have never experienced before, that’s what makes it rewarding. Especially when they have those “Aha” moments where the light bulb goes on, and for the first time, they understand why someone behaves the way they do. Suddenly, it changes how team members see one another and neutralizes many of the negative tendencies they may have been experiencing.


Is One Human Behavioral Science Enough For a Team to Better Understand Each Other

It is a good start!

The DISC assessment is usually the first science people think of when looking to learn more about each other. DISC reveals a person’s behavioral style, or in other words, how they do what they do. When delivering a team alignment consulting session, it is crucial to understand the “How” of a person to be efficient and effective when determining how to best communicate with them. The assessment will indicate if they are fast-paced, slow-paced, people-oriented, or task-oriented. Knowing these few characteristics about a person will assist in creating a more collaborative relationship with their team members.

Once you have been able to identify where someone lands on the factor dominant (D), Influencing (I), Steady (S), or Compliant (C), you will understand why they respond to certain situations the way they do. Relationships are built on trust, and just by knowing someone's score on D, I, S, and C, you can adapt to how they prefer to communicate. 

DISC is a language to understand observable behaviors. By watching someone, you could determine if they are fast-paced, slow-paced, task-oriented, or people-oriented.  Even after a brief conversation with them, you might identify their behavioral style by seeing if they want to talk about their weekend or if they want to just get down to business. These small indicators can help you understand how to best work with someone.


What if I Want to Take it Further & Understand What Motivates Someone?

This is where you start to understand the whole picture, looking at why an individual does what they do. Adding the 12 Driving Forces® behavioral science to your assessment will help you understand what motivates someone. The 12 Driving Forces science allows you to understand what gets someone up every morning and out of bed every day; it’s what drives their behavior into action. The Driving Forces are not something you can learn by observing someone; you will need to go deeper and get to know them by asking questions and understanding what they value and have a passion for.

When it comes to team dynamic alignment, combining “How” the team members do what they do and “Why” they do what they do can provide a big picture of the team’s natural strengths and limitations. It can also target where there may be conflict among team members.


How Do I Start Taking Action to Find Alignment?

Using a Talent Insights Team Report, you can leverage data to quickly identify your team’s top behavioral characteristics and Driving Forces to manage your team more effectively. It will allow deeper insight into how to get the best out of each team member and create a more collaborative and productive environment where individuals will find more fulfillment and satisfaction. Investing in your team members usually increases engagement and retention, a win-win for the organization and team members.


Let’s Get into it — Take a Look at This Team Wheel

In the image, you can see that this team tends to be faster-paced and people-oriented. Sue Anderson, because she is a Relater, can be faster-paced or slow-paced, depending on the situation. And while most of the team is people-oriented, Frank Jones tends to be more task-oriented. How do you think the team works with Frank?

Next, take a look at the Behavioral Style Comparison below. We can see that the top 4 behavioral characteristics of this team are Interaction, People-Oriented, Customer-Oriented, and Versatile. 

In a situation like this, I would raise these questions to the clients:

  1. Are each team member’s top behavioral characteristics being leveraged in their job?
  2. Do their top 4 behavioral characteristics align with the team’s goal? 
  3. Who on your team may be the outlier? 
  4. How does Frank J. get along with the rest of the team regarding customers?


After Asking Those Questions, We can Look at the 12 Driving Forces Comparison

We can see that this team is highly intentional driven against the Mean; they are also very driven by commanding, objective, and intellectual. 

Based on your knowledge, can Frank J. appreciate functionality or work well in chaos like the rest of the group?


How do I Blend the Two Sciences? 

Now for the fun part, let’s look at the Primary Cluster for DISC and Driving Forces:

What are some of the observations you see here? How do the behavioral characteristics complement the Driving Forces? Do these drivers amplify this team’s behavioral tendencies or balance them out?

This team is high in interaction and intentional; they enjoy being around others and are driven to help those willing to work hard and help themselves. They are very people-oriented and customer-oriented, enjoy being in the spotlight, and are not afraid to take the lead. This team also tends to be versatile from a behavioral perspective, which goes hand in hand with their objective driver, which indicates they tend to function well in chaos.


What Does it Mean Collectively?

When working with a team, it is important to see the whole picture and how each individual fits within the team. Combining DISC with the 12 Driving Forces allows you to gain insight into your team through the “How” and “Why.” It will enable you to play to everyone’s strengths and ensure everyone on your team is in the right seat. This helps create an ideal work environment and creates success in the organization.

If you’re curious how leaders in this space use the power of multi-science with TTI Success Insights for team alignment and more, click below to access our global panel as they discuss what goes into making an international talent development strategy. 


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Shaunna Adinolfi