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089 – Get your flex on and get work done!

Have you ever had trouble getting a co-worker to buy in on a project? Does it seem as though they don’t grasp the importance?

Sometimes when we explain things, we aren’t connecting with them because we aren’t saying how they ‘need’ to hear it.

In this Skill Snippet, Shara Brice discusses DISC and explains how style-flexing can help this situation.

AI-generated dictation of the podcast audio

Please note that this transcription was completed using AI software.  Occasionally, unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophones, and other interpretive errors are inadvertently transcribed by the software. Please excuse any errors that have escaped final proofreading.

Adam Salgat 0:03
Do you remember the day you found the passion that fuels your life? Or maybe the first date you had with your partner? Or how about the day your child graduated college, there was love, joy and hopefulness of change. Over the years, many alumni have expressed that the our community listens course is life changing in a similar way. And we know it has been infectious for many something we know you can’t just keep to yourself. So take a chance to share that experience with those in your circle by telling them about upcoming classes. Even if they live outside of a regional learning hub, we now offer a virtual OCL course. When we all learn to listen, empathetically, we can be part of a caring community. Visit our website at Chapman or follow the link in the description of this podcast.

Introduction 1:04
Welcome to the listen first podcast brought to you by the Chapman foundation for caring communities. Our vision and mission is to strengthen relationships and build stronger communities through listening leadership, care and service to create a truly human connection. Learn and partner with us as we imagine a society in which people care about each other. And listen first.

Adam Salgat 1:34
Hello, and welcome to our skills snippets series. The purpose of these conversations is to give you the listener a chance to refresh yourself about a specific skill from the our community lessons class, we’ll discuss the application of this skill with one of our facilitators. And they’ll share a real life story about how it has affected them, or potentially how it affected someone that they worked with. Today, I’d like to welcome in Shara Bryce, Senior Director of Partnerships and regional learning for Chapman foundation for caring communities. How are you doing today, Sherif?

Speaker 3 2:08
I am well, thank you so much, Adam. I’m delighted to be here with you.

Adam Salgat 2:12
So share today, our topic that we’re going to discuss our skill that we’re going to discuss is style flexing with disc. And we’ll be looking at that through the leadership lens. Can you please give me a quick overview of what style flexing is and how often it happens in the workplace?

Speaker 3 2:30
Absolutely. As we remember from our class style, flexing is really about communicating with the other the way they need to be communicated with. It is temporary. It is designed to meet the need in the moment. But it is an incredible tool that really can help us build connection with another. When we style flex with our disc tendencies, it reminded us of the focus of the needs of the other person. And that takes some energy. But it really is something worth doing. The more we do it is kind of like when we exercise and use a muscle the more we do it, the easier it becomes. And it’s worth taking time to pause and check in and see how well we’re using that skill.

Adam Salgat 3:15
So tell me a little bit about how doing this and workplaces can benefit. The work being done, does it increase productivity, obviously should hopefully increase communication, just the level of communication but talk a little bit about the benefits of utilizing this as a leader in the workplace.

Speaker 3 3:34
Absolutely, particularly when the workplace is busy. If we as leaders can pause and be self aware. And think about who it is that we’re communicating and connecting with style reflective style, flexing can be very effective in helping the work get done more quickly and help people be seen and valued. So for example, let’s say that I have a report Do and I am taking that report to somebody who has a D or a C disk tendency decencies focus on task first, while INSS focus on people first. So I would go to the DRC colleague and I would say, here’s the report. Any questions? And how are you doing? After we get through that? If I were taking it to an IRA or an S tenancy colleague, I would start with, how are you doing? And here is the report. What questions do you have? Task and people are important to all of us, however, particularly in the heat of the moment in the busy place, if we recognize how was that other person showing up and his task, the most important thing, let’s address that first, and then let’s connect as humans for AI and s. Let’s connect as humans and people first show we care create that environment of support and then we are more readily able to get on to the task at hand.

Adam Salgat 4:58
I can see how it Doing that could be much more direct for the person that we’re approaching. But what about ourselves if we’re we like to be communicated a certain way, and if we communicate a certain way, and we need to flex in the other direction? You know, can we overuse it? What happens to someone if they’re, you know, doing that a lot? You know, talk a little bit about that?

Speaker 3 5:21
Well, there’s two great questions and what you said there one thing, it’s good to remember that we have needs and how we interpret other people’s behavior quite often or based on our needs. So if a colleague came up to us and said, Can I have that report, and didn’t ask us how we were doing, we might not feel seen, if we could pause and recognize they need to get something done. It’s a deadline, it’s a task. It’s not that they’re dismissing us. They’re asking for the report. And we don’t layer extra things on that that aren’t there. That is one thing that helps. Now, let’s go back to thinking about when we are doing this. Remember, in class, we have the disc diamond on our report, and we saw this one little dot where we naturally fell. But we could go to many different parts of the disc diamond, and we can connect with people there. The further away it is, from our natural tendency, the more energy it’s going to take us to get there. Right, the more we use it, the easier it is to navigate, I’m directionally challenged. So I really appreciate having a satellite navigation system in my car, if I go someplace. So frequently, I don’t rely on the system anymore, because I just know how to do it. It’s kind of like that with our our style flexing, right, the more we negotiate navigate, use this, the easier it is to do it. But it does require energy. And when we put a lot of energy into something, we are going to be exhausted. So if we stick with our car analogy, when we learn to drive, right, we’re thinking about every piece of that each maneuver, and then we build up and the more repetition we get, the easier it is to go. However, even the most skilled drivers, if you’re driving through stormy mountains, you’ve got to pay attention to what you’re doing all the time. The inclement weather really forces us to really watch what we’re doing in our driving skills. I think it’s like that with style flexing, when logic is high, and emotions are low, and things are working well. It takes energy. But the more we practice, the easier it is to do. Right when a motion is high, and logic is low, and people are overextended. And we see that in front of us and we are overextended, it may take a lot more energy, to flex and to meet the need. But if we can stop and realize that we all have needs all behaviors and expression of a need. And our behavioral tendencies are where we sit naturally. If we can stop and reflect on that, and style flex to the person who’s in the middle of that stormy moment, chances are we’re going to navigate out of that with a lot more grace with relationships intact, and probably a deeper sense of respect and appreciation for the other.

Adam Salgat 8:14
That is such a great reminder to kind of keep in mind where they are, where you are. Keep in mind, like what it takes for you to get there, how much energy it may may take. And I think it helps me remember that at times certain people may be a little bit different when they leave work, for example, because they’ve been flexing at work a lot. And therefore maybe they’re a little quieter. I’m sure you’ve seen that kind of thing with personalities that you’ve been around over the years.

Speaker 3 8:43
Definitely, definitely when you know, and I think that comes with our self awareness too. Right. And and one of the things when we’ve given out a lot of energy at work, where we really perhaps is because we’re style flexing, perhaps is because we’re doing tasks that are challenging to us with our own behavioral tendency. For example, with my es scenesse. With my es I like stability. I like to understand what the risks are. I like to know what the end goal is. I like to understand the timeline with my scenesse I really want to understand the details, the implications, and I run all of these scenarios in my SCNs. Right, right. Yes, we have to move very quickly pivot on the spot, the end goal changes and the whole plan realigns and we move on the moment that’s going to take energy and that isn’t necessarily about me style flexing to meet another person’s me, that’s me, adjusting along with all the rest of my colleagues to a changing environment and across the work spectrum right now. There is so much change and people are needing to react to change rather than proactively pause and to say, How can I best meet the needs needs of my of my team, right? Everyone has kind of been in a survival mode. So reflective leaders, pausing taking time being self aware, that really helps us to even if it’s just in that moment create a connection for those around us. That Adam, your point that when we come home, and we have extended a lot of energy, it’s good for us to let the people we live with know, hey, my Quietness or tiredness right now is not about you, it’s not a reflection of our relationship, I gave a lot of energy out over there. And I don’t have as much to bring home today. But things are good with us. The behavior you see right here isn’t about you. And if we find ourselves in that situation over and over, so that we’re just bringing our leftovers home, for the people we live with, we might stop and pause and consider some other changes that need to be made. And that’s probably not to do with style flexing that maybe other things. So let’s get back to our topic APNS style flexing today.

Adam Salgat 10:58
As we kind of wrap up, do you have a specific example where you’ve used this skill or know someone who’s used this skill? And you know, and then what was the benefit of when when they did utilize it?

Speaker 3 11:12
Oh, Adam, every single day, a lot of us, you know, we’re working. We’re working in virtual offices with the Chapman Foundation, procuring communities, we’re spread across a lot of regions. So we rely on our virtual meetings, we send a lot of emails, we do reports for each other. So there’s an amount of style flexing, and everything that we do. I had a situation a couple of weeks ago that really impacted me in a big way and stuck with me. I work really closely with our executive director who uses her D tendencies with such skill and expertise. Misty can listen and take a concept. And it feels like within an hour, she can have a whole presentation about it right and she sculpts this beautiful big tree that lets us know, this is what it looks like, this is where we’re going. And then she gives me the grace and space to go in and use my s&c tendencies. And she invites me to create the branches and show how they’re connected. And use my my knowledge and expertise around the people and the processes and fill it in. And we recognize the gifts that the other brings to the table and we work in this space. But you know, for her fast paced, active tendency to go go go and my more reserved kind of how and why to her who and what, that can be a little bit challenging sometimes. So I found out a couple of weeks ago, like on the Monday that miski was going to be out of the office for the week. And I hadn’t realized that and had a lot of projects going on. So I took time I crafted her an email, I summarized all those projects. And I left space between each bullet point to let her know where I needed her to weigh in before she went away. She responded to that email with Wow, now you’re speaking my language. Like I could tell she was so happy that I had done this. And two things happened for me in that moment one, I was thrilled that I could do something to meet her needs to it made me realize just how much energy, it probably takes her to work with me on a weekly basis. Like she honors what I bring to the table. And she acknowledges how it complements her natural gifts. And yet, I never want to take for granted how much energy somebody is using to style flex so that I can be the best version of myself, I want to give back. I want to honor that too. So it was a big moment of kind of like, wow, I really appreciate that you recognize the behavior that helps you be your best self, it gives me a chance to lean in. And to do that more so that we can all be more productive and effective

Adam Salgat 13:56
is a wonderful story to clearly illustrate how you were able to connect with her and how much she appreciated it. And then for you to reflectively think to yourself, Okay, she’s also putting an effort when I’m not doing it quite like this. And I’m thankful for what she’s doing. Thank you so much for for sharing that. It’s It’s unbelievable. Would you be able to give me a key takeaway for our listeners to to think about as we wrap up today’s skill snippet.

Speaker 3 14:26
Certainly so remember, style flexing is communicating with the other treating them the way they need to be treated. When we put in the energy and effort to do that, well, it saves time. It enhances our relationship. It makes us more productive. And hopefully, if we all practice it, we all go home with a little bit more energy, rather than just taking our leftovers out of the office for the parts of our lives with the people that we’re really going to be going the distance with. So Adam thanks for giving us all space to be better leaders and giving us space to reflect so that we can keep growing. You’re very welcome.

Adam Salgat 15:03
And if you’re interested in more skill snippets stay tuned to our podcast channel, the listen first podcast. And also, check us out on our YouTube channel, the Chapman foundation for caring communities. Share. Thanks again for being on today’s skill snip.

Unknown Speaker 15:19
Thank you so much