Deciphering DiSC for Effective Meetings

Deciphering DiSC for Effective Meetings

If you surveyed your workplace and employees, how do you think they would respond to the question: Are your meetings effective?

Would they roll their eyes? Would they laugh? Would they say, “of course, I love meetings!” Maybe they would be the person who says, “emails are better and easier.”

Meetings are a necessity of business. Some may even say a necessary evil. That’s how strong opinions are on the subject.

An employee’s response to this question can tell you a lot about the effectiveness of your meetings and an essential factor that contributes or detracts from effective meetings: Their work styles.

Meetings are organized to move ideas and initiatives forward and share important information with a specific group.

The most important and often lost purpose of meetings is to provide value to those participating.

And I can guess that if your employees are answering the question above about effective meetings in a negative or “waste of time” way, they aren’t focused on purpose and outcomes. It is also highly likely that those leading ineffective meetings are not focused on who is attending, their work styles, and how to best engage and show value.

This is why Everything DiSC® is a vital tool to support effective meetings. Again, meetings are necessary and can be incredibly beneficial for moving your business and teams forward; if done effectively.

5 Ways Meetings Are Ineffective

  • Not sticking to the scheduled and allotted time
  • No clear purpose with an intentional outcome
  • Participants don’t get a heads-up on discussion points (an agenda ahead of time)
  • Roles are not assigned to attendees to engage based on their strengths
  • Miss revisiting and evaluating meetings and their necessity

There may be more, but these five insights are typically the cause of most ineffective meetings. Let’s break down each of these to understand how DiSC can support turning these unproductive traits into effective ones.

Stick to Scheduled Time

If you value your employees, you need to respect their time. If you have an hour-long meeting scheduled, keep it to one hour. If you’re finding your scheduled time consistently goes longer, identify why (personal chit chat or work-related) and determine if you need to extend the meeting time or alter your schedule.

S and I styles enjoy catching up with others. D and C styles want to get to the point and make it concise. If you have a lot of S and I styles, consider adding extra time to your meeting (10 minutes or so) to allow for this socialization. If you have many D and C styles, keep it concise and on track. 

Have all styles? Include a little of both. Start with small socialization, but then get to business.

Going over scheduled time hinders productivity and adds more stress to any work style. Value their time, and they will value your meeting.

Purpose & Outcomes

Regardless of work style, it’s vital any meeting has a clear purpose and desired outcomes. All of your styles will want to know this to engage better and participate. Is this a meeting where they get to provide input or is this strictly informational? Participants need to understand the next steps.

Providing the intent and desired outcome allows your styles to understand what you expect during the meeting to avoid frustrations like not asking questions (S and C style) or not getting to share their input (I and D styles). This also will reduce the “meetings after meetings” scenarios because the intent has been clearly stated.

Give a Heads Up

You don’t have to give out ALL the details ahead of time, but sending out an agenda 24 hours in advance of your meeting will allow your different work styles to understand the purpose, the desired outcomes, and can best prepare to engage.

S and C styles don’t always do well with information dropped. They are more calculated and want time to process. So not understanding the topics beforehand doesn’t give them the time to process and provide input. They also tend to avoid confrontation and conflict, so they would likely avoid engaging during the meeting without time to prepare for an emotional discussion.

D and I styles can be more flexible and confident with on-the-spot decision-making. Still, it’s always best to be upfront with discussion points, give opportunities for questions to arise, and be addressed beforehand so that the focus during the meeting stays on track.

Assign Roles

Each DiSC style has some incredible strengths that can be utilized during meetings. I styles are outgoing, and enjoy talking. They may feel more confident, along with a D style, to lead a meeting. Assign roles for your meetings to engage each style to give them more value.

S and C styles are more supportive and detail-oriented and may prefer to be notetakers and time watchers.

This can also encourage more engagement from styles that may not typically speak up or feel comfortable speaking up, such as an S style.

Evaluate Your Meetings 

The most annoying meeting you can have in your employees’ eyes is the one that truly could have been an email. 

Often meetings have become a part of a routine and are passed on from leader to leader. It’s without thought for why other than “because we’ve always had this meeting.”

Whether you’ve just moved into a leadership position or are currently in one, it’s important to evaluate all your meetings to identify and confirm:

  1. Is this meeting necessary? 
  2. Is this schedule effective (should it be more often or less often)?
  3. Are the right people attending the meeting?
  4. Are there improvements or adjustments I can make to bring more value?

All of your DiSC styles will appreciate this evaluation. I also encourage you to ask for their input on this evaluation, which will demonstrate that as a leader, you value their time and opinion.

Last, But Not Least

As a leader, it’s important to understand your work style and the styles of those in your meeting. Learning how to adjust and stretch in your approach is the true test of an effective leader and managing effective meetings.

“Meetings should have as few people as possible, but all the right people. ” – Charles W. Scharf

Want to learn more about how Everything DiSC can support your workplace meetings? Connect with me to schedule a free 15-minute meeting to discuss DiSC and my approach to growing healthier organizations through influencing others.

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