Team Progress DISC

How to Observe the Progress of Your Team

Some people get the idea of “being busy” confused with “productivity.” Walking into the physical office space can portray a false sense of productivity. In general, you may see people at their workstation typing, answering or returning phone calls, faxing or mailing documents, sitting around the table in the conference room having a meeting; these activities as a whole can suggest work is getting accomplished. However, without directly engaging with the workforce, the appearance of busyness can lead to a false sense of progress. The best way to determine if the team is effectively making progress is by checking or observing. We often take for granted the luxury of having a physical office space to walk around and the convenience of knocking on doors and walking down hallways to the meeting rooms. When it is no longer the option, leaders must prepare the organization for a new, virtual environment!

Prepare to Move from Physical to Virtual Observation

Since the push from the physical to a virtual office, many leaders may be struggling to determine what progress individuals and teams are making from week to week. While connecting virtually (observation) may be a new and uncomfortable experience for some, leaders can prepare to address those challenges by reviewing the DISC styles and behavioral attitudes of each team member. Knowing one's DISC personality will sensitize the leader to team members who may struggle in areas such as communication, motivation, connection, or focus, and the leader will be able to identify indicators through verbal cues and behaviors they can observe on camera.

A Model of Routine Observation

It's important to observe the progress of your team; however, after a significant shift in normal operations, establishing a new, predictable schedule allows team members to prepare for virtual observation. Since we've been working remotely and don't see each other in the office as we had, we meet twice a day at 11 AM and 4 PM. This way, we can all collaborate and see each other. We can see how each other are doing and know whether anyone needs any additional instructions for their projects. We can also see if somebody is struggling physically or emotionally and understand whether they need any help. We can all be on the same page and observe each other's progress in a virtual manner. This approach helps our team to stay in communication, and for me to be able to observe the team to see what's happening and know how to help them when they need it.

Progress Observation for each DISC Style

Understanding the individual personalities of your team and how they combine as a group dynamic during times of significant change will provide major benefits for each of the styles:

  • “D” styles will get the feeling of tasks being accomplished by keeping an eye on everyone’s progress and decrease their fear of losing control by not knowing what everyone else is doing. Ask them to present a list of their daily or weekly achievements in a bullet point format.
  • “I” styles will benefit from maintaining the communication that is vital for their performance and will be able to stay as connected to everyone as they need. During virtual meetings, allow enough time for social engagement and small talk. Do not forget to praise them for their achievements; they enjoy the attention.
  • “S” styles also need these moments for small talk and keeping their bond with the other team members. They also may need more explanation on the approach you expect them to take to achieve a task. Let them summarize their weekly achievements in a short outline, and show your appreciation by pointing out that you count on them.
  • “C” styles need to know what the scope of their task is and their deadlines. Be sure they will find the best way to achieve these if you give them the information they need. “C” personalities best present their achievements in a table or numbered list format, and don’t mind them for all the additional data they like to immerse themselves into.

Communication and observation are critical actions for leaders to take to remain engaged and informed on team productivity in the virtual environment. It keeps everyone connected, accountable, and on track; mitigating any pitfalls that could otherwise blindly derail teams or the organization from succeeding in its primary mission.

How are you observing your team's progress?


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Written by: Brad Smith

Bradley Smith, Ph.D. is the Director of International Business Development at PeopleKeys, and works directly with our international distributors and business partners. Personality Style: D