Project Management

Become a better communicator with DISC profiling

Projects are about people, but what KIND of people?

Projects may be about people, but that doesn’t mean that project managers necessarily focus on how well they treat their staff and stakeholders. Susanne Madsen, project leadership expert, discusses one of the most important elements of successful project management: communication. This isn’t just about being understood, either: it’s about communicating in a way that makes employees and stakeholders feel like you are on their side.

Use the DISC®

To help facilitate this discussion, Madsen focusses on the DISC® tool, which uses the two ways that people normally behave when communicating (outgoing and assertive or reserved and slow-paced), and how they think (detail and task-oriented or big picture and people-oriented). As Madsen explains, everyone shows all four of these habits in one way or another, but generally some are more apt to show one or two of them more prevalently.

Madsen then shares the possible outcomes of the quadrant map, including this explanation of someone who exhibits “steadiness”:

Steadiness represents a reserved, people-oriented individual who enjoys relationships, and who helps and supports others in working together as a team. They are also referred to as Amiable. In most situations they will be reserved but kind, and will happily comply with what they're told. They are mostly concerned with harmony and want people to be happy. Amiables excel at cooperation and dislike telling others what to do. You will usually find them working as receptionists, HR managers, therapists, or in a teaching capacity. When communicating with S-style individuals, be personal and friendly and express your interest in them. Take time to provide clarification, be polite, and avoid being confrontational or rude.

Understand yourself and your audience

The personality-style quadrant map serves two purposes. First, it can help you determine what kind of person you are, and it can also help you determine what kind of people your team-mates or stakeholders are. By knowing this, you can better understand how to communicate with them effectively; allowing your message to be heard but also embraced.

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