Looking for ways to kick off 2015 with some motivation? Are the Holidays demoralizing productivity within your team? Discover three great activities to do with your team.
Three Team Building Activities to Incorporate in Your DISC Training
By Merrick Rosenberg, Team Builders Plus
One of the biggest challenges faced by trainers is capturing participants early and engaging them in the subject matter. Interactive exercises create involvement and drive application. When delivering training programs based upon the DISC styles, we have seen the power of incorporating the characters from our book, Taking Flight!: Master the Four Behavioral Styles and Transform Your Career, Your Relationships…Your Life.
Rather than discuss D’s, I’s, S’s, and C’s in conceptual terms, we use visual imagery of eagles to represent D’s, parrots for I’s, doves for S’s, and owls for C’s.
The following are three activities that use the birds to teach participants about the DISC styles. Integrate them into your DISC training and watch your participants Take Flight!
Opening Exercise: 4 Corners
The following activity gets people moving within the first few minutes of the DISC training session. It also gets them talking about style (without even realizing it).
Follow these steps:
- Ask the group to consider the four birds: Eagles, parrots, doves and owls.
- Tell them that they must make a gut decision about the following question: “Which bird’s characteristics are most like you? For example, if you are more social, which corner should you go to? Or, if you are more soft-spoken and seek harmony, where would you go?”
- Point to one corner and say, “Whoever thinks that they are most like an eagle, go to this corner of the room.” Designate subsequent corners for parrots, doves, and owls and ask them to go to their appropriate corner.
- Once the group is divided into the four bird corners, ask them to have a brief conversation about why they picked that corner.
- Have each group share the various characteristics of the bird they selected.
- Reveal that each of the birds parallels one of the DISC styles.
The Corporate Watering Hole Activity
Just after the participants discover their DISC style, organize the group so that they are sorted by style. This activity gets people talking about the styles in a fun way.
Follow these steps:
- Say, “Imagine that senior management at your company has installed four water coolers, each in a different location in the building. One of the water coolers is just for the Office Eagles. One is for the Office Parrots. One is for the Office Doves and the final water cooler is for the Office Owls.
- Turn to the group of D’s and say, “You just passed by the dove water cooler. What is happening there? Are they loud or quiet? What are they talking about? Is the conversation about the office or home life? Work together and write down what you witness.
- Assign the S’s to discuss what is happening at the Eagle water cooler.
- Assign the I’s to discuss about what is happening at the Owl water cooler.
- Assign the C’s to discuss what is happening at the Parrot water cooler.
- Give the group 5 minutes to gather their thoughts.
- Have each group report their observations and relate their comments to the DISC styles and real-life experience. For example, the S’s may note that the D-style Office Eagles get their water and head back to work. You can easily relate this to the D’s need to get results and not engage in chit-chat. On the other hand, the social Office Parrot I’s are hanging out at the water cooler and laughing about their weekend fun. This show how I’s build relationships by connecting with others.
Consider the Flock Activity
In this activity, you can begin the exploration of team dynamics by examining the impact of having a team comprised of just one style or a team that is missing a style.
Follow these steps:
- Ask each table to examine the impact of an entire flock of eagles. In other words, what would be the strengths and challenges of a team made up of all D’s?
- Repeat for a team of all parrots (I’s), doves (S’s) and owls (C’s)
- Have each team report their findings and discuss.
We have found that the birds help bring the DISC styles to life. We hope you enjoy these activities and they allow your DISC training programs to Take Flight!