Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team® Meets Everything DiSC®

Five Behaviors of a Team & Everything DiSC Workplace

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is Wiley’s Workplace Learning Solutions’ first major new brand since the release of the Everything DiSC Product family. The Five Behaviors are only available through authorized partners of “The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. This new assessment does not replace the DiSC model, nor does it clash with DiSC in any way. In fact, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team meshes Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctional of a Team with the insights of the Everything DiSC Workplace Profile. Let’s look at each of the Five Behaviors in turn, and how a participant’s DiSC style affects how he or she reacts to that behavior.

Building Trust

Building Trust. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team teaches participants how to be more comfortable and honest with their fellow team members. The assessment helps participants create trust by fostering openness.

The DiSC model tells us that high-D individuals have a fear of appearing weak to others. So trainers may need to reassure high-D’s that creating this type of trust does not make them vulnerable or powerless.

For the high-i person, trusting others comes more naturally. However, trainers must be prepared for high-i people to take it personally if criticism, even if it is legitimate, is directed at them.

High-S individuals are also likely to default to trusting others. They may have trouble, however, giving honest feedback, for fear of hurting someone’s feelings, and the trainer must recognize this possibility.

The high-C person will respond well to building trust if he or she views feedback as grounded in fairness. Trainers may have to remind high-C’s, however, to consider other people’s emotions when giving constructive criticism.

Mastering Conflict

Mastering Conflict. Once trust has been established, participants learn how to debate forcefully but respectfully with their team members. The assessment helps participants stay focused on making decisions rather than engaging in heated arguments.

High-D individuals are prone to being demanding and forceful when debating. Trainers may need to encourage the high-D to let other people have their say. High-i people often become flustered or emotional in conflict situations. As such, the astute trainer may have to remind high-i individuals that lashing out is never a positive development.

Because high-S people dislike being pressured or pressuring others, the idea of vigorously defending one’s position may be intimidating to them. Therefore, trainers may need to encourage high-S people to speak up, rather than just go along with the consensus.

For the high-C person, a debate is the perfect occasion to overwhelm others with facts, figures, and data. So trainers would be wise to instruct high-C people that not every decision can be based on pure logic.

Achieving Commitment

Achieving Commitment. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team shows participants how to make a real and meaningful commitment to the team’s goals. Buy-in becomes a concrete step in the process, rather than an empty catchphrase.

High-D’s may be suspicious of “groupthink” and embrace their natural tendency to stick to their individual plans. But trainers can show high-D people how their leadership and determination can have a profound effect upon the team, thus earning their buy-in.

Because they are often so enthusiastic about achieving the team’s vision, high-i individuals may sign on quickly before they have considered all the options. As such, trainers would be wise to encourage high-i people to make a commitment carefully, rather than rushing in too eagerly.

High-S people are often hesitant to make commitments, for fear of embracing a bad decision. However, trainers can show high-S people that making a commitment is the best way to end the stress-inducing indecision that often plagues them.

Gaining buy-in from the high-C is not difficult as long as the plan is sound and free of risky assumptions. Trainers can encourage high-C’s to analyze plans to their hearts’ content—as long as they don’t shoot down every idea over nitpicky objections.

Embracing Accountability

Embracing Accountability. After commitment is established, team members work to keep their peers on track and focused. The assessment teaches participants how to remind one another of common goals and avoid counterproductive actions.

High-D’s usually hold themselves to lofty standards. Trainers can reinforce this tendency for personal accountability, while reminding the high-D person to lead by example rather than intimidation.

For high-i people, the requirement to hold others accountable may be daunting, as they often view the potential for conflict as too overwhelming to risk direct confrontation. However, trainers can appeal to the high-i person’s focus on team goals, convincing him or her that an awkward conversation is not as bad as a group that has lost its way and come undone.

A high-S person may also have difficulty holding others accountable, because of his or her natural drive to please people. But trainers can reassure high-S individuals that their tendency to be gentle and diplomatic will defuse any tension before it gets started.

High-C’s usually have little trouble keeping themselves on track, but they may be more resistant about reaching out to others. As such, trainers may need to steer the high-C person’s desire for accuracy and precision into a drive to keep his or her team members accountable.

Focusing on Results

Focusing on Results. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team teaches participants how to value collective team results, and more importantly, how to achieve them.

A high-D person may find it difficult to put individual goals on hold in favor of serving the team’s interests. So trainers may need to reassure high-D people that success for the team means success for them as well.

The high-i individual could be so enthusiastic about the team process that he or she loses sight of the bottom line. As such, trainers may need to tell high-i people to remind themselves of the end game from time to time.

High-S people may be eager to fulfill the group’s vision, but they may have spent little time contemplating that vision for themselves. Therefore, trainers may need to check in with high-S people to make sure they are not simply going along with the group, and that they have not acquiesced their faith in the results to others.

Because high-C people are interested in results, it may not be difficult to keep them focused on the whole point of the team’s efforts. However, trainers may still have to remind the high-C to not get bogged down in details that effectively hide the forest behind the trees.

As you can see, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is a powerful complement to the DiSC model. Trainers who embrace both assessments double the value they bring to their clients.

About John Goodman, MSOD, MSW

John C Goodman, MSOD, MSW, is the President / Chief Creative Officer at Center for Internal Change, Inc. He brings 34 years of diversified experience in the corporate and private sectors, with a heavy emphasis in organizational and individual systems, behavior and development; life, career, change and business coaching; performance improvement, psychology, and group/system dynamics. He has a history in designing, facilitating and conducting customized programs in all facets of personal/work development and interaction.