Improve Your Feedback With DiSC

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make feedback more effective?
  • How do I combine feedback and DiSC?
  • How do I make my team members listen to feedback?

It's been quite a while since we talked about feedback. We think one of the reasons for that is that there's some negativity to it.

What we mean by that is that one on ones are an easy winner. It's about your team member, they want more time with you, a half hour with you every week seems too good to be true. And, if you've stuck to it, you've noticed improvements in areas that go beyond just employee relationships. Maybe they're kind of hard on your schedule INITIALLY, but they're perceived positively. Not so much with feedback.


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Extra Content

I'm not a manager, nor am I in a

I'm not a manager, nor am I in a typical 'job'. I work freelance in the film industry and my boss changes weekly from job to job. I wanted to tell you that your topics synthesize very well for me and I find my self able to apply them regularly, quickly and effectively with every new project.
Great podcast!

MT3

Mike- Thanks for the kind words! We

Mike-

Thanks for the kind words! We often don't make it clear, but these concepts DO travel well - part of that is that we've tried them in about every industry, and every unusual structural situation, we can find.

I've often thought of titline my book The Candid Manager, because a lot of this is about candor, and frankly, speaking truth to power.

Glad you liked the show, glad we're helping you. Stick around, and hopefull we'll continue to help you be even more effective.

It's a privilege to do so,

Mark

Dear Mike and Mark, I’ve

Dear Mike and Mark,

I’ve become an avid listener to MT after taking a little time to get into it initially, and now I really look forward to your new broadcast each week. I listen to it on my commute to and from work each day, and actually the journey even seems a little too short when I’ve got a new version to listen to. It was a thrill getting the most recent broadcast on Friday ahead of schedule, and I got a good laugh out of the stereotypes you were intentionally making – of course, maybe that’s just my D type personality coming to the fore.

I thought your way of introducing the concept of the DISC model and of how to consider it when giving feedback was insightful and really easy to take on board. While I was listening I could clearly hear examples of staff who work with me, and was also trying to be a bit more conscious of my own idiosyncrasies, so thanks for that.

One of the things that I really enjoy with the show is the apparent confirmation that some of the management tools I already employ do have solid reasoning behind them. I’m sure like many of your other listeners who are already in management positions, I naturally tend to use a lot of these techniques, but it’s really interesting to get some more angles on how to use them in a practical sense.

By the way, I have now started my one-on-ones after a bit of scepticism – mainly because you threw down the gauntlet in the Development Challenge. Early days, but I’m enjoying them and the reaction from the staff so far has been very positive. I’ll add a message to the one-on-one comments when I’ve got a couple more months down the track.

It’s a great show and I hope it continues to go from strength to strength. Many thanks for giving so much of your time to your listeners.

Gareth

Gareth- Thanks for listening, and

Gareth-

Thanks for listening, and glad we're making it worth your time!

There will be more on DiSC, I'm sure, so listen up.

Would love to hear what your skepticism was on O3s. We're constantly preaching them, and the more we understand why people shy away, the better our proselytizing will be. Do tell us that when you post.

It's a privilege to do this for you,

Mark

Great as always ! While you were

Great as always ! While you were describing the four points of DISC an image appeared in my mind: the Fellowship of the Ring. I enjoyed to think my reports as dwarf, elves, hobbits and men (Lord of the rings fan ? look my nickname) and guess what ? these are responding to the description of DISC tool. It is a joke but it is useful: when you see your people it is easier to associate the right feedback style. Who is capable of making the right match between characters and behaviuor ? You will not win a book (sorry...)
Thanks for you help
Bilbo

Bilbo- ALL are CAPABLE! The whole

Bilbo-

ALL are CAPABLE! The whole point of the behavioral mapping is to give us a starting place. ;-) In my experience, the style of behavior most likely to match feedback to profiles are the High I's - the sales types. But all CAN.

You'll find LOTS of "well-matched/diverse" teams in fiction and literature. It's an archetype of human history. Look at the trio in Harry Potter for a different type of diversity, but thematically equivalent.

It's a privilege to serve you,

Mark

Dude, tell me how I can get my manager

Dude, tell me how I can get my manager to hire you and learn how to do this!

Great job,
Zorkerman

Here is a quick comments not related

Here is a quick comments not related especially to this podcast but to all your podcasts. It would be a good idea to name your mp3 files for your podcasts with more than a date. Adding the subject talked about in the podcast in the name of the file would be great. Reason is simple, if you keep them on your iPod and try to search for a specific one, it's not that easy to find it with only the date as name of the file.

Just a suggestion (waiting for your feedback :) )

aL.

Zorkerman- We actually do that, if

Zorkerman-

We actually do that, if you're serious. If you're just being kind, let's agree that we'll keep doing this and you keep telling us when we do it well.

With posts like that, it's a privilege and a blast to do this for you.

Mark

Alex- Thanks for the

Alex-

Thanks for the comment/suggestion!

Hopefully, the concern you have regarding our naming convention is based on earlier casts. We have made some changes that we think address this issue. Would you take a look at later casts and see if we did what you needed?

It really is a privilege to do this for you,

Mark

Mark, Well I am serious, how does

Mark,

Well I am serious, how does one tell a boss who has two jobs: project management and people management, that he does both those things great according to the culture of the position. However, not according to those of us who'd like actual management.

Zorkerman

Zorkerman- Ah! Sorry I

Zorkerman-

Ah! Sorry I misunderstood. And to keep from compounding my error, let me make sure I have this right.

Your boss is not doing something right.. but at first you say he is doing both right, and then say that (I assume) his directs don't like something. Can you give me an example, or be more specific?

(Sorry... one of the things we've learned is that web comms like this are harder than we want them to be.)

Mark

A nice description of the DiSC profile.

A nice description of the DiSC profile.

Two things that are somewhat tangential to this podcast, and each can probably have one dedicated to it. I'm interested in hearing your ideas about timing of feedback. From this 'cast it seemed like your feedback happens long after the event. Secondly, there was no comment of 'positive' feedback - all your comments seemed to focus on 'negative' feedback...

Enjoy,
Michael.

Michael- Thanks for the kind

Michael-

Thanks for the kind words!

Sorry that we weren't more clear on these two points! First off, ABSOLUTELY feedback should happen as soon as possible after the behavior you're addressing. Didn't think we had sent a "delay" message, but we'll be more clear next time.

As well, we're BIG believers in positive feedback. I guess we just missed that all our examples were "adjusting" versus "affirming" feedback.

If all a manager does is give negative feedback, it's really not feedback anymore, it's browbeating. Sorry for the confusion, folks - positive is critical too.

Thanks for keeping us on the straight and narrow!

Mark

I appreciate a couple of things about

I appreciate a couple of things about this amplification of previous podcasts on feedback.

My take is that the reason this is harder to get the feedback model running well is the degree to which you have to think about the individual personality type (DISC, MBTI, etc.) of each person, plus thinking through the responses, requires much more thought and preparation. It's a template, but it has to be greatly tailored to each individual. Having something like the DISC model in mind makes it more tractible. Having the right form of "this is how your behavior affects you and the team" is hard work. I appreciate the fact that if you can do this--consitently and well--you will be a much more subtle and effective manager. By comparison, the One on One is easy, since you schedule the time and have a more regular dialog with a relatively well understood script. Feedback, especially the adjusting type, is harder.

The other general comment is that I like the fact that you do this as a back-and-forth dialog (even if most of it is scripted). My personal style is that I have to hear the examples to make it reall for me. I have to hear the adaption to a range of specific instances to see how elastic the methods are and to appreciate unitended consequences. If this were a monologue, I would not get as much out of it. The part of the management training I have had that most works for me is the role-playing and discussion.

I also appreciate when you both admit to not knowing the answers, having things knaw at you, having to continually wrestle and adapt. That's what makes this particularly genuine, rather than the pat answers of a consultant or (soon-to-be) book author.

I can't get enough of this stuff.

What about a series of 'casts on negotiation?

David- Glad you continue to benefit

David-

Glad you continue to benefit from the shows!

We'll always give examples - they make things clearer for us, as well. And, glad the format helps.

Negotiation is in the future, no question. I'm a big fan of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and have taught it. On the other hand, it all boils down to relationships and goodwill in my book.

It's a privilege,

Mark

Excellent podcasts, guys! I"ll be

Excellent podcasts, guys! I"ll be recommending them to my managers. Plus-delta: I like the examples and the humor. One thing I would change is to get down to business faster. I'm guessing here, but I would think people listening to business podcasts want it short, sweet, and funny.

I'm just starting to do management podcasts of my own for my staff and would appreciate knowing what software you're using.

Keep up the good hard work! I'll be listening.

Dear Mark and Mike, Terrific

Dear Mark and Mike,

Terrific podcast! very useful topic, your examples were both fun and ultra clear. I took some useful cues for offering feedback to my team, I had not taken your perspective before.

I second David's suggestion above to include topics on negotiation, perhaps even influence. Modern organizations are flat, so formal authority becomes less relevant, the key to be effective is to be influential.

Best wishes, looking forward to your next podcast,

Alex

Alex-- Thanks again! We promise

Alex--

Thanks again!

We promise to discuss negotiation. That said, it's important to recognize that negotiation, as it is taught as a discipline, is NOT a widely-used skill for managers. Negotiation - what they teach in seminars - generally requires an issue in the balance. This is less common than most realize - work is more fluid than that.

What has happened is we're substituting a (potentially) adversarial process at the moment of decision for the long slow boring work of developing relationships. When you develop relationships, you don't need to negotiate.

It's worth saying again: when you develop relationships, you don't need to negotiate.

It's a privilege to serve you.

Mark

Hey guys, terrific podcast! I'm really

Hey guys, terrific podcast! I'm really starting to key in on the content, now that it's addressing my biggest concerns -- managing effectively (as opposed to communication plans, hiring, or making resumes).

I was wondering, is this disc model written anywhere in more detail? The PDF is a nice quick reference, but there's a lot of nuance to the four types that I don't know so well.

Basically I would like to know how to evaluate more accurately what someone is dominant in.

Willer- Sorry this took me so long.

Willer-

Sorry this took me so long. Thanks for the kind words! We're glad you like what we're doing.

I have two answers for you. First, if you Google "disc profile", you'll get a thousand hits for sites that will sell you a GREAT and DETAILED profile once you answer 28 questions online. It takes about 15 minutes, and is well worth it.

On the other hand, if you are willing to wait, Manager Tools will be rolling a DiSC tool out fairly soon (not this or next month, though), and it will be linked to other tools that we'll be providing as well. There will be a charge (otherwise we'd REALLY go broke), just to be clear.

I have paid attention to my profile for years, and I'm a better manager and communicator because of it.

It's a privilege to serve you,

Mark

Gentlemen, My VP gave me some feedback

Gentlemen,
My VP gave me some feedback today. Do I follow up with an email or some other form of tangible communication outlining what we discussed, confirming that I "heard" him?
Keep up the great podcasts - much appreciated.
Mike

Mike- Not really necessary, but if

Mike-

Not really necessary, but if you want to, it's not wrong. Ask yourself what kind of guy he is. If he's a High D, he is WAY past this and the note won't work. If he's an S or I, sending the note as a way to strengthen the relationship and SAY THANKS is a good idea.

If you think he is new to feedback, or that something like this is out of the ordinary, stop by or send a short mail and say thanks, noting how rare candid feedback seems to be. I would NOT give him positive feedback... somehow, that is just seen as sucking up.

What I would do is be certain to SHOW that you got it, by engaging in the behavior he wanted. THIS IS THE KEY.

It's a privilege to serve you...

Mark

[...] Another example: Since I have

[...] Another example: Since I have aspirations of being a manager, I’ve been giving feedback wherever I can, to my coworkers, to my band mates, to my daughters, using the feedback model Mike and Mark talk about on Manager Tools. It’s a simple technique that produces immediate results, even if you’re not a manager. But I’m practicing it in easy situations, the easy-going circumstances we encounter day-to-day. By the time a tense situation occurs, it’ll be second nature to me. [...]

Hi Mark, I can't tell you how

Hi Mark,

I can't tell you how helpful this podcast was for me. What was critical for me was understanding how to give feedback as it relates to the DISC model. I am more of a high D and I and I have a member on my team that is high S and C. This kind of information is exactly what I needed before I start giving regular feedback.

Thanks Again!!!

Cori- GREAT! That's why we're doing

Cori-

GREAT! That's why we're doing this. coming out next week (in our registered users stuff, so you have to register) is our podcast on High S folks... will be great for you, with more detail.

It's a privilege to do this for you.

Mark

[...] Like last month, it isn’t

[...] Like last month, it isn’t necessary that you have listened to all the previous detailed DiSC shows, but you should listen to the “Improve Your Feedback” show from Feb 17, 2006 show where we first introduced the DiSC model. This will give you a high-level overview of the DiSC model that will make this particular cast more effective. [...]

[...] Manager Tool’s episode on

[...] Manager Tool’s episode on Improving Your Feedback which talks about the DiSC model [...]

[...] At first sight, this is NOT true

[...] At first sight, this is NOT true when we talk about technical stuff. When a technical problem occurs, it’s usually important not only to solve it but also to understand why it happened (route cause). In fact, the typical technical manager (often, in my experience, an High C), asks her team: why did it happen? [...]

[...] If you aren’t familiar with the

[...] If you aren’t familiar with the DiSC model, I do suggest that you start listening to this podcast. [...]

The site looks great ! Thanks for all

The site looks great ! Thanks for all your help ( past, present and future !)

Mark and Mike- I re-listened to this

Mark and Mike-

I re-listened to this one when on the road and after I had made a quick presentation about he DISC model to one of my teams ...
This podcast is really great, I wish I had listened to it before the presentation so I could have used the example you draw about how to use the DISC model to better communicate TO others !
And ... You were really full of energy and humour that night !

Thanks again.

Cédric.

Cedric- Glad to hear it! I'll have

Cedric-

Glad to hear it! I'll have to listen again and see what we did that worked for so many folks. Thank you.

Mark

Mark- Well, I did not want to

Mark-

Well, I did not want to suggest this because I did not want to seem rude to you guys.
But yes, I must admit, when I listened to this one, I had the kind of feeling like : "Wow THIS was the good old time !".
My feeling is, even if the quality is still in, you are not as excited (motivated ?) as when you made us discover the tools like O3, feedback and disc.
But, I have not heard your post about taking notes, yet ...

My best regards, please see my remark as a way to keep the bar high.

Cédric.

Hi, Mike. How can I download this

Hi, Mike.

How can I download this and the first podcast into itunes? I would like to save the podcast.

thank you

George

George, Your best bet is to use the

George,

Your best bet is to use the Member-Only RSS feed ... it contains ALL the shows. You'll find instructions on how to do that here: http://www.manager-tools.com/subscribing-to-podcasts-via-itunes/

Hope that helps!

Mike

Mike, thank you for your

Mike, thank you for your help.

george