I spent last Friday in a CMC (Canadian Management Centre) leadership course called “Go Beyond: Creating Extraordinary Leaders”. I was a bit skeptical going into the day but actually ended up thoroughly enjoying it. It’s very true that you only get out of these courses what you put in and how open your mind is to learning.
Our instructor did a great setup for the course, took us through what we’d be learning, and our objectives for the day and was personable and well-spoken. The day was set up to cover 3 major sessions: what is leadership, dealing with challenges and then our DISC personality assessments and how to apply them.
I enjoyed discussing the role of a leader first. All of the things covered were things we should already know but I liked covering them again to get our mindset in the right place. Everything was presented in an interesting way to distill the information for us.
As leaders, we are responsible for results and for our staff simultaneously. If we can create great conditions for our staff, care about them, and provide clear directions then the results will happen.
“Being a great leader requires that you genuinely care about the people who report to you”
We spend the majority of our day with our co-workers but many of us can have a mindset that our job is just our job and get so focused on the tasks and key performance indicators that we forget about the people side. I do like that we need to challenge ourselves to develop a work-family mindset of care so that when we focus on the tasks at hand they are easier to achieve.
We broke up into 3 small groups in the morning and were asked to write out together the challenges that our company, Kobo is currently facing as an organization. We then moved on to discuss reasons why employees leave. I was a bit scared the day was going to take a negative turn as discussing challenges could leave to a pure venting session. However, our facilitator was able to keep everyone on track. I do agree that it was important for us to have a perspective of all the challenges (different in every dept) we face so we can keep them in mind as we delve into the personality traits of leaders and direct reports. Our workplace is a combination of our goals & objectives, the daily tasks on hand and the people in it. They are all interconnected.
Following that section of the course, we dove into the meat of the day when we were handed our DISC assessments. The DISC assessment is a behavioural profile that contains a personality assessment, behavioural overview, and motivation factors and discusses typical approaches to managing others. I believe it is important to learn how to understand ourselves so we can then understand others and how we interact with others. Although personality tests can tend to be quite general and miss out on nuances of our personality my assessment was actually quite accurate.
I am a high D & C (Dominance & Conscientiousness) personality. Some of my co-workers already guessed I’d be a high D. I read my assessment and confirmed with the “I’m a proud high D!” Some of the general characteristics of a D personality that I agree I reflect are; driven, action-oriented, natural leader, competitive, adventuresome, decisive and confident.
On the flip side, I also scored fairly high as a C which I agree with as I also identify with personality traits such as; analytical, detail-oriented, perfectionist, cautious, accurate and having high standards. We were given a really good chart to understand the differences between D, I, C and Ss. D & Is are tell-driven individuals while C & Ss are ask-driven individuals. D & Cs are task-driven individuals while I & Ss are people-oriented. It makes sense that I’m a D & C as I’m very task-driven and while I can adapt to my environment to take charge and be tell-driven I also seek a lot of guidance and mentorship so that aligns with my ask-driven nature.
All 4 personality types have strengths and weaknesses. Because D’s can be very direct and to the point, they usually have a bad reputation. However, at this point in my career, I know you need an organization built on all types of personalities. Companies all over are really just large dysfunctional families of individuals with different skill sets and then different personalities and as long as we know the best way to communicate and motivate our peers then we can function as an amazing organization. The afternoon of our day was spent going over how different personalities can work better with other types and then we definitely started thinking about how our direct managers and reports fell into the spectrum. We were given homework and will regroup in 3 weeks for our next full-day training session. I’m excited to share my profile with my direct manager & report and discuss ways we can better work together as we are usually so focused on tasks that we haven’t talked about the people aspect of our interactions lately.
I may be a complete keener on this but I really do enjoy learning, and finding out how I can challenge myself to be a better leader in the corporate world, a better employee and a better manager and also even apply this to my personal life. Does anyone else in the corporate world love a good personality leadership training session?
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I hope that at some point you’re able to take the updated (and more reliable and precise) version of the DiSC Classic: Everything DiSC Workplace. You’ll get more from it and a better understanding of the other styles. You’re so right that all are needed for a healthy and productive workplace.
I’m a CD, and I think it can be hard to be a D woman while you’re growing up and getting started. You can be seen as abrasive. I’m always happy to see a strong D woman be proud of it.