Have you ever experienced high performance at one company, only to fail at another? Or loved the company and its mission but felt only moderately happy working there?
Comparing your DISC style to the culture helps shed light on why. William Schneider’s culture model from his book The Reengineering Alternative is an easy framework to use for this exercise.
Collaboration Culture – People/Reality-Oriented
The collaboration culture is the “S” style – very much about relationships and celebrating that we do things together.
- D styles can work in a collaboration culture but may find group decision-making a waste of time. When collaborating within a team they’ll have a tendency to take over and push for a specific decision and action. In fact, D styles should be utilized in this manner. Be mindful of that everyone’s contributions are valued here and that time must be taken to work together to reach a common goal. Tamp down your impatience and learn to recognize when the timing is right to push for action – use questions (“would you agree this is the best choice?”) rather than dictating.
- I styles – you love it here. You are a great match, though you can become frustrated when the group makes a decision that you aren’t on-board with. You may have a tendency to “go it alone” when you are so sure you are right, but this will be perceived as show-boating so tread carefully.
- S styles – you love it here, but will dislike collaboration teams led by styles you feel move too quickly. You prefer a slower pace and want all the “people” angles considered. You prefer stability and sameness but will be required to work within multiple teams. Prepare yourself for the stress of that – create a personal “forming” strategy when you join a new team; for example, introduce yourself individually to each person so you’ll feel more comfortable.
- C styles – this will be a stressful environment for you if you are constantly thrown into different work groups. Your skills are critical when it comes to decisions and planning but may get lost when collaboration is in action. Remind yourself that what may seem a waste of time to you is critical for the organization and that your skills are best used at critical moments. Be less critical when others are less detail-oriented than you.
The Control Culture – Reality/Company Oriented
The control culture is the “C” style, which is REALITY/TASK oriented. Both the person and the organization prefer decisions made with rational logic, processes that are specific and do not change, a scientific approach.
- D styles – will be very frustrated at the slow pace and carefulness of this culture, though you’ll love the rational way decisions are mad. Tamp down your desire to skip steps – there is zero tolerance in this culture and it could label you as careless or even get you fired. Use your great ability to get results within the boundaries of the organization. Practice patience.
- I styles – will feel constrained and under-valued here. The attention to detail will be exhausting. The best role for you in this culture is as communication, marketing, training – anywhere you can interact with and develop people.
- S styles – will like the stability and consistent pace but will be distressed at “process before people” decisions. Remind yourself that this is how the organization operates and separate facts from emotions.
- C styles – love it here – process, procedure, quality and precision are a perfect match for their preferred behavioral style.
Cultivation Culture – People/Possibility oriented
The collaboration culture is the “I” – all about people and possibility.
- D styles – will fit if, and only if, they believe in the organization’s mission, otherwise they’ll find talk about achieving the mission as glib and inauthentic. “He drank the koolaid” will be something a mis-matched D will say. A D style who DOES believe in the mission can thrive – he/she will use their formidable ability to get results for the greater good of the org.
- I styles – will love it here. The emphasis on results through people is a natural fit. Ideating future possibilities will enthrall the “I”.
- S styles– will like emphasis on people before process but the possibility-orientation of the culture could mean constant change, which is very stressful for the “S”.
- C styles– will clash in many ways; C’s are critical for planning, facts, etc. but will feel like a fish out of water when emotional decisions are made or when projects or decisions are made without what the C perceives as enough research. Practice going with the flow!
Competence Culture – Company/Reality Oriented
The competence culture is the D style – use the facts to set a clear goal then win at all costs.
- D styles will thrive here. Leaders will be encouraged to hire “only the best” talent. They’ll have ample opportunity to use their best skills to achieve specific outcomes.
- I styles – can thrive here but these cultures can be ruthless. Wearing your “heart on your sleeve” here will be perceived as a weakness, or a distraction. I styles need to be on their game when it comes to being prepared – this is not the culture to have ideas that are not thoroughly researched. Take time to prepare your daily to-do list, never miss deadlines.
- S styles – will struggle here. The fast pace, competitiveness will feel cold to the S. When in this culture create your pockets of ‘safety’ by working on people-focused committees, start a business book club, etc.
- C styles – will be highly valued for their rational, well-thought out data but will be asked to move aside when it’s time for action. C styles can thrive here as long but will be uncomfortable in highly competitive, fast-paced situations. Focus on what you do well here and let others hunt lions.
Click here for the Schneider Culture Assessment: Culture-Assessment-Schneider Culture