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Would you like an Instruction Manual for Managing Your Veterinary Team? Part 1

Posted in Management @ Feb 5th 2020 - By Tracy Kamen, Director OnPoint Veterinary Coaching
Disc An Instruction Manual For Managing Your Veterinary Team

Have you ever wondered why there are some people that you seem to get along with better than others? 

Think about the last time you met someone new, what was the interaction like?

Did you struggle to connect, or did it seem like you had known each other for ages? 

Believe or not, with some basic understanding and knowledge of observable behaviours you can minimise the number of ‘less than perfect’ conversations with your veterinary team members, your clients and your family and friends. 

How psychometric testing can help you

It all comes down to understanding yourself and then increasing your skills of observation of others, and this is where psychometric testing can help. 

Psychometric tests are standard and scientific methods used to determine, and in some cases measure, an individual’s mental capabilities and behavioural style. In this instance, my preferred psych testing method is DISC, and while it’s not the only model available, I prefer it because it is validated, has elegant simplicity and the theory converts well into practical applications.

What IS DiSC anyway?

DiSC is an acronym that stands for dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness and the DISC test gives you an insight into your own natural workplace tendencies. It can help explain how you are different to some people and how similar you can be to others. 

The DiSC  model can give you a common language that you can use to better understand yourself and others. It also gives you an insight into how you can adapt your communication and behaviours to help you develop more effective relationships with teammates, clients, friends and family. DISC helps you discover your strengths and what natural talents you could be utilising more effectively.

It’s not about Good Vs Bad

It is, however, essential to understand that there aren’t good behaviours or bad behaviours. There aren't bad DISC quadrants and good DISC quadrants. Each DISC quadrant has tendencies that can be strengths as well as weaknesses. If your default behaviour style is not compatible with someone then you are not likely to be able to communicate with them easily, nor they you. 

The good news is the more you know about DISC the better equipped you will be to work towards improving communication and relationships in your workplace. 

It is like speaking a different language - the more you practice the better you get and the sooner you will be able to understand and work harmoniously with others in your team.  

No matter what your role is there are benefits of understanding different types of people

By accepting that there are different types of people and better understanding their strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the natural tendencies of different types of people
  • Learn how you make yourself understood better by others
  • Enhance awareness of what motivates different people so that you can reward and recognise them appropriately
  • Increase employee engagement through greater understanding of each other

How can DISC help you as a manager/leader/co-worker?

Regardless of your role in the practice, it is important to understand that you are part of a team.  Communicating well with a large variety of people is an art but applying the science of DISC can increase your effectiveness and take some of the mystery out of the process.  

Understand & Support

Regardless of your natural style, the more you learn how to “read people” and understand the dynamics of all the styles (including motivating factors and fears) then the faster and more easily you’ll be able to understand, relate and support the individuals within your team.  

Reduce conflict

Learning and adapting your communication in accordance with DISC principles has also been shown to significantly reduce conflict within the workplace. Instead of spending all day on “personality conflicts,” you will be able to navigate individual differences and coach employees to communicate more effectively.  

Communicate effectively & build trust

Communication mistakes, frustrations and delays are minimised when you learn to “speak the language” of each individual person, based on their individual DISC style.  

Trust is built more rapidly, delegation is smooth, and employees feel more engaged and motivated.  You can focus more on clearing barriers and helping develop your people based on their natural strengths instead of going in circles trying to get people to understand each other.  You will also have a better understanding your teams’ priorities, strengths as well as how to recognise and reward them according to their needs. 

How will your team members benefit from using the DISC system?

When a team has taken part in a DiSC analysis, each member gains a deeper understanding of their colleagues - what motivates them, how to communicate with them, and what stresses them. 

This can really make a difference on a team!

Develops a more cohesive team

Just sharing information about your own style and having others listen to you can increase your feeling of well-being. There are also various activities you can run in team meetings to help you learn more about who you are working with. 

Helps to recognise and value natural differences

DISC assessments help us to understand natural differences between people.  The more we realise that people aren’t doing things just to annoy us, but instead it’s about their natural observable behaviours, the more we can learn to not only accept their behaviours but to value those very differences. 

Manage conflict

No one likes to be involved with work conflicts and DISC provides a language and process for averting and minimising conflicts.  It increases our team member’s individual self-awareness. It also helps them learn to adapt and be flexible in their styles so they can manage their behaviours to create an awesome workplace culture.  

Helps you to adapt behaviours & communication styles in challenging situations

We all have parts of our jobs that call on us to use behaviours that are outside of our comfort zone. Whether it is discussing fees or having emotionally charged discussions with team members or clients, we all have different natural tendencies and behaviours we prefer. DISC helps us learn to adapt to meet those needs without stressing out.  

Time management

The more we understand our natural behavioural tendencies, the better we can manage our time. If we use our self-awareness and understanding of other team members we will more easily know when we need to work with others, when we need to work alone, what is going to give us energy and what is going to zap energy away from us.

How can DISC help you with client interactions?

DiSC can also make a big difference with your interactions with clients. The key to making recommendations that clients will follow comes down to understanding people and what is important to them.  DiSC can help you learn to recognise verbal and behavioural cues, more deeply understand your customers’ motivating factors, fears, and buying priorities.  

You can learn to talk to the clients’ unique “DiSC-based” language so that they feel heard and understood, subsequently leading to them trusting you more.  

Rather than feeling they are being “sold to”, clients will instead feel like a trusted advisor is helping to solve their problem.  

Benefits of finding out what your DiSC style is

Developing a better understanding of yourself can improve your capacity to better understand the thoughts and feelings of other people. Learning how to better put yourself in other people's shoes is a useful social skill in not only in the workplace but in everyday life as well. 

By using utilising the information that you receive from a comprehensive DiSC assessment can set you on the way to having engaging and good conversations with everyone you meet, not just the people like you. 

Interested in learning more about DiSC & how it can help you?

To find out more about DiSC profiling, contact Tracy at OnPoint Practice Coaching. Tracy is a fully qualified DISC trainer and veterinary practice business coach.

Or if you are interested in learning your DISC style as well as more about emotional intelligence and leadership skills reserve a seat at Workshop 1: Emotional Intelligence (27/2 Sydney, 5/3 Melbourne, 26/3 Brisbane). 

Sources:

http://managerfoundation.com/DISC 

https://www.discprofiles.com/blog/2015/11/using-disc-to-increase-your-employee-engagement/

Image: Shutterstock Royalty-free stock vector, DISC - Personal Psychology (Dominance, Influence,Steadiness ,Compliance) business and education concept, ID: 1541695880 By Chanchai Dunlayaperadit

About Tracy

Tracy Kamens, Director at OnPoint Practice Coaching, is a fully qualified DiSC trainer and has been working in the veterinary industry for over 35 years – as a veterinary technician, practice manager/ owner, industry rep, and business coach.

She has most recently been doing extensive coaching with veterinary practices in the areas of staff engagement, team dynamics, culture and business growth opportunities. With a BSc from Cornell, a diploma of practice management and most recently a diploma in leadership, Tracy as spent her career to date pursuing new skills so that she can share her passion and learnings with others.

 

Comments

Kylie woodstock @ Feb 9th 2020 10:10am
Subscribe me please. Tracy is awesome

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