By Gianna DiBlasio, Head of Employee Experience
Learning and development for employees of all levels is one of Athena’s core initiatives in 2023. That’s why we launched a DiSC assessment exercise and training to help understand our employees’ leadership styles and continuously improve workplace teamwork and collaboration.
DiSC assessments are a way of modeling and talking about our different work styles based on a series of targeted questions that evaluate personality traits. By dividing our work personalities into four quadrants – D I S C – we’re able to understand ourselves and others better. This helps us have more effective relationships, improving the quality of our work and our teams. While work styles vary, each letter is equally valuable. The best organizations and teams know how to lean into these differences to make the most of everyone’s strengths.
D: Dominance – direct, firm, strong-willed, forceful, results-oriented
I: Influence – outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited, lively
S: Steadiness – even-tempered, accommodating, patient, humble, tactful
C: Conscientiousness – analytical, reserved, precise, private, systematic
Here are some thoughts and reflections from Tina Turner, a Project Management Director.
My letter I was no surprise — I prioritize enthusiasm and a positive attitude. I am naturally upbeat, and my work style merges this attitude with a realistic perspective. While my approach brings essential energy to projects, it can also come off as overwhelming to colleagues who are more on the C or S side of things.
Through these DiSC assessments and workshops, I’ve learned to adjust my communication style accordingly, resulting in an even more dynamic, collaborative engagement within our different teams.
For instance, our Senior Director Jose is an archetypical S. When it’s time for project resourcing, he’s inclined to set aside time to listen and understand the goals, then reflect on the project challenges to ensure we provide comprehensive support. While the I in me wants to rush to solutions, it’s vital to adjust our pace and have a plan to resolving challenges. In this way, the accuracy of the S and the agility of the I balance and enhance one another. Both are essential, and being aware of our differences enables us to leverage them for greater success.
Similarly, DiSC assessment break-out sessions helped reinforce my own strengths as a leader. I love new possibilities and challenges, and my enthusiasm can help generate momentum for new projects. Collaboration and teamwork are key, and my ability to manage team dynamics, getting everyone involved and on the same page, can be really valuable for successful partnerships. And, by prioritizing action, I can help the whole team get a foothold and see the path forward. My fast-paced I work style is balanced by someone more inclined towards risk management, like an S, but it is also often the spark that sets a project off full-steam ahead.
When you’re thinking about your dream team, for projects or as a company, each letter and colleague plays a role and offers a skillset. Part of collective success is accountability. Employee investment opportunities like this help us rediscover our aptitudes, making us aware of not only our traits but their impact on our teams, projects and organization. Only with this kind of reflection can we make positive adjustments.