DISC: Better teams > Better results

Picture your business as a school bus, a really important school bus, and you have taken great care to be sure that the people who sit in the seats on your bus are the right people for the seat. Your Vice-President, CFO, maybe even your HR director and Sales & Marketing directors all have a seat at the front of your bus. Seats further back are filled with managers, supervisors, and others in your business. In normal day-to-day operations, you can comfortably drive your bus down the road you’reIs this your bus? following and avoid the bumps, potholes, and deer in the road.

But what happens if you face a detour? You may find out that the bus you are driving looks like the one on the right. Your detour could be:

  • a fantastic project or contract, the likes of which you’ve been working on for quite a while now;
  • an unexpected loss of business, and you need to make internal adjustments FAST.

You are now lost and you need to get back on the right track ASAP. 
Start by identifying your process issues.

  • Where are your problem areas?
  • Where do you need to allocate personnel in order to manage the problems you’ve uncovered?
  • What are you missing?

Your key to revealing your way through the detour: your people! Those very same people sitting on your bus understand your business from their unique perspective and talents. This knowledge is invaluable to you, and it’s what’s really been moving your bus down the road. But how do you harness this and put it to use?

DISC is your key to revealing the talents of  your people. In order to switch your bus to an updated model, my clients use DISC because it shows you the talents ofMove up to a new bus! the people who work for you. You may use a very different configuration of people for specific topics. Having your DISC results readily available in a spreadsheet format like you get with KITE DISCtest24/7 gives you the ability to quickly assemble the people to remodel your bus.

Detour done and back on the road to success. You may choose to continue along the detour, or you may choose to return to your original route. My points are that:

  • your choice needs to be informed,
  • your people hold the key to your being informed, and
  • one of the tools you use to become informed is DISC.

As you’re driving your bus down the road today, why not stop for a minute and visit with me to see how I can help you? I’ve been using DISC with businesses just like yours for many years. Happy trails!

DISC: The Analytic Tool that can do so much for You


Better teams > better project management

Better teams > better project management

Pick your situation:

  • You are a business owner and you are hiring an employee or employees
  • You have an important project and you need to assemble the best team and you’re not sure how to do that
  • You are an HR professional, and the people you are hiring are not working out, and you need to know why

These are a few we’ve thought of, and we are pretty sure there are more ways you’ll discover where you can and should use DISC to understand someone’s style and how the person will fit with your business.

The use of analytics like the KITE DISCtest24/7 has grown in recent years as the world recovers from economic turmoil. Why? Because the cost to make a mistake is just too high. Misfits cost us money. We need a tool that will help us spot a misfit BEFORE we hire them or add them to a team.

I am working with a client who made a mistake in hiring a few months ago. My client thought the new hire was a good match for the business. He had sales experience in a number of industries. My client had a gut feeling the new hire was a good fit and spent many hours training the new hire in the product and introducing the new hire to existing clients. In other words, setting the new hire up for success.

My client was super surprised when complaints about the new hire started rolling in rather than orders for the products. Another shocker was when the new hire failed to show up at appointments. A little over 90 days from hiring, the new hire was out the door. That amounted to thousands of dollars in payroll, the value of my client’s time, stressed out co-workers, and other expenses.  It was a disappointment for my client!

Needless to say, we are going to use analytics and the KITE DISCtest24/7 to understand the top three applicants as my client takes steps to replace the misfit.

The complexity that is an integral part of humanity can be understood when we use readily available tools. We’ve all had to work with a misfit at some point in our lives. When we avoid the misfit situation, we are all happier and our business runs more smoothly. Isn’t peace of mind worth it to you?

DISC Index: 3 Reasons to Use This Now

You...with DISC Index!Picture yourself engaged in a conversation with a client or co-worker. Unlike your previous conversations, this one is going smoothly. All signs of your prior state of conflict are gone. You speak, the person responds, you successfully deliver your message, check for understanding, know you’ve been understood.

You feel an immense sense of relief afterwards. You’ve never felt so in control of a conversation with this person. You’ve been empowered. You are satisfied. You’ve moved to a new level in your communications skills.

Sound like a dream that can never come true? Nope. You’ve used the DISC Index to understand yourself and you’ve gained the ability to understand others and address them in their style. This is a key to success in communications.

You need to speak to people in their style. Just as you want to be addressed in your style, so they want to be addressed in their style. Is this tricking the other person? Heck no. It’s being ultimately respectful of them. And it’s a true win-win situation.

The DISC Index is used for communications. Here are 3 reasons you need to complete the DISC Index now:

  1. Understand what’s causing you problems and how to work through them
  2. Reduce stress because you communicate with meaning
  3. Focus clarity develops because you remove the emotional entanglement that happens with poor communications

A couple of sayings come to mind, and I think this one works here: You can never know too much about yourself. Call or email me right now to get the DISC Index.


Hiring an Employee Who Fits Your Company

Finding the game day mix of employees that your business needs can be a challenge. A few of the questions you might ask yourself are:

  • How can I tell if the applicant sitting across the table from me will work out?
  • What will I do if I hire the wrong person?
  • How will my other employees and my customers respond?

Here’s information you can use to not only understand what the job requires but also what the individual you are interviewing brings to the job. Even better, once you understand this, you will probably find other situations where you can use this information to help you understand the style of the person you are interacting with.

How can you tell if the applicant sitting across the table from you will work out?

First of all, see my blog post How People Buy to see the different styles we deal with every day. These are common around the world, regardless of the culture or language. The difference with a hiring or promotion situation is that you need to match the person’s style with the requirements of the position.

There are 2 hiring outcomes I often see that you can avoid if you pay attention to the syle.

  • On the one hand, I often remind employers that an applicant can pretend to be anything you need for 20 minutes (the average length of an interview). This means you have to ask questions that dig deep and you must pay close attention to their body language, especially their eyes.
  • On the other hand, if you only hire people you are comfortable with in an interview, you are only going to hire people just like you and that may not be what you need in the position. This means you need to take a look at the styles to identify the best characteristics for your position and then screen accordingly.

Quite frankly, both of these situations can lead to a failure that can be avoided if you pay attention to styles.

What will you do if you hire the wrong person?

It’s not the end of the world. By the time you reach the end of your rope, you have a significant investment of time and money in an employee. When the employee doesn’t match up with your expectations or fails to hit the benchmarks you’ve established, if it’s not due to changes in your business, then the chances are good that the employee can be coached to change attitudes and behaviors in order to generate the return on investment you have in them. It will take a matter of weeks, and the results will become visible to you shortly after we start working together because of the materials my coaching uses. It’s up to you as the manager or business owner to respond quickly to the situation.

How will your employees and your customers respond to your new hire?

Your employees and customers are crucial to your understanding of the performance of your new hire. They have expectations. They understand what they need your new employee to do for them, what the job requires from their perspectives. As the leader, you need to make sure these important people are heard from and understood and that this critical information gets to the new hire. Companies accomplish this through a process known as on-boarding. When we on-board a new employee or recent promotion, we listen to the stakeholders to understand their needs and expectations, then we bring the new hire together with the stakeholders for an open dialogue. Devoting a few hours to this process can save you months and significant dollars of training and re-training, reduce the stress among your stakeholders and the new hire, and get your new hire started on the right foot for your business. The best news? Your return on investment in your new hire begins sooner when you pay attention to your hiring practices.

For more information on how I can help you with this, I invite you to call me at 910-215-0077 or email me at sbarr@thebarrassociates.com. If you’ve got an employee that’s not working out, I can help.


360 Degree Feedback at the Organizational Level

I was helping a friend who was teaching a Masters-level course. The group had completed DISC assessments, and I was doing a group debrief as a way to help the group understand the impact and value to management of assessments. As one of the conversation topics, the group was asked if any of them had ever participated in an individual 360 Degree Feedback. Not surprisingly, some had.

How about 360 degree feedback at the organizational level? Unheard of, you say? Not exactly. It’s possible, and it  uses some very well established parameters, namely the Malcolm Baldridge Criteria. The quality assurance push of the 1980’s was influenced by these Criteria There’s even an award.

Why should you do an organizational 360? Because you don’t know an awful lot about your organization at the deep levels.There are a lot of impacts that occur at this deeper level and affect your bottom line. To only look at the bottom line and wonder what’s happening should be a strong indicator to you that you need to do an organizational 360 degree feedback. You need answers, and you need them now.

360 organizational feedback can be open to everyone in your business or only to certain departments. It’s completed on-line, of course. The responses are confidential, so much so that no one can access the individual responses.

You use this tool when you want to focus on performance for the entire organization in an overall management framework. The benefits of the tool are that it identifies and tracks all-important organizational results in these areas: customer, product/service, financial, human resource,  and organizational effectiveness.

The Criteria include these core values and concepts:
Visionary leadership
Customer-driven excellence
Organizational and personal learning
Valuing employees and partners
Focus on the future
Managing for innovation
Management by fact
Public responsibility and citizenship
Focus on results and creating value
Systems perspective

As our economy recovers locally as well as nationally, it’s important that you get your feet underneath you so you can go forward. One of our greatest fears is that we will make a mistake. There are no seminars you can attend that will pinpoint and resolve the issues covered by the organizational 360. You need to listen to your people, and this tool gives you a way to hear what they know to be the reality of your business. We can get you the answers you need within 30 days, so it’s time to get moving before you get left behind.