True Competitive Advantage With the Owls
The DISC model is a behavioral assessment tool that categorizes individuals into four primary styles to understand their communication preferences, decision-making processes, and behavioral tendencies. Understanding the DISC model equips individuals with a powerful tool for adapting their communication and behavior to effectively collaborate with people of different styles, ultimately enhancing workplace effectiveness.
By recognizing the four primary behavioral styles, individuals gain insight into how others prefer to communicate, make decisions, and approach tasks. Armed with this knowledge, they can adjust their own communication style to meet the needs of others, fostering a sense of understanding, respect, and cooperation. By adapting their behavior to suit different styles, individuals promote a harmonious work environment, encourage open dialogue, and enhance overall team effectiveness.
Velocity Advisory Group works with organizations to determine the hidden genius of each style and how to surface these powerful abilities in others. Based on Daniel Silvert’s book The True Competitive Advantage, they bring these styles to life with birds, recognizing Eagles, Parrots, Doves, and Owls in individuals. These colorful metaphors are illuminating, memorable representations of the four styles. In part one of this four part series of blogs, we focused on the Dominant style, which is represented with an Eagle. Eagles are results-oriented, direct, and decisive. In part two of the series we focused on the Interactive style, which is represented with a Parrot. Parrots are enthusiastic and optimistic, with a pioneering spirit. In part three of the series we focused on the Supportive style, which is represented with a dove. Doves prioritize trust, thoroughness, and inclusiveness.
In this final part of our four-part series, we will take a closer look at the Conscientious style. The Conscientious style is represented with an Owl. Owls are detail oriented, systematic, and analytical. Let’s take a closer look at Owls in terms of their leadership priorities, rigor, knowledge, and systematic thinking.
The Owls base their decision making on data and analysis. Rather than being guided by the emotion of a situation, Owls make practical decisions based on logical analysis of observable, quantifiable information. They prefer to work independently but their even-tempered nature enables them to remain objective and diplomatic when dealing with others. They approach challenges with a logical mindset and are adept at identifying patterns and potential risks.
People with a Conscientious style need tangible verification before making a decision. However, sometimes decisions must be made without all the facts. Owls need to trust their instincts, even when the data is not available to back them up. They thrive in environments that require careful planning, systematic organization, and thoroughness. They value organization and tend to keep their workspaces and schedules well-structured and tidy.
Owls have an innate ability to embrace and solve complex problems that require critical thinking skills. The more intricate the issue, the more energized and engrossed an Owl style becomes. They naturally bring a rigorous, methodical approach that examines every aspect. If the conversation revolves around information and data, Owls are engaging and patient listeners. When confronted with change, Owls respond with questions like, “Why are we doing this?”, “Why now?” and “Where is the evidence that this change will lead to the results we seek?”
Owls are natural born diplomats. They don’t consider emotion as evidence, so they can effectively mediate disputes by dispassionately guiding both sides to a logical resolution. They can cut through the drama and just see the facts. People with a conscientious style are often seen as reliable and dependable. They take their commitments seriously and fulfill their responsibilities diligently, often going the extra mile to ensure tasks are completed on time.
The conscientious style is inclined towards adhering to rules and regulations. Individuals with this style prioritize compliance and prefer working in environments where guidelines and procedures are well-defined. They tend to be uncomfortable with interpersonal conflict. When situations get emotionally charged, they tend to use sarcasm to indirectly raise concerns and mask attacks with humor. They do not always address concerns directly with others.
Owls have a strong commitment to building processes and procedures. They don’t do random tasks, they create systems. It is these systems that enable Owls to organize and execute efficiently and provide them with clarity and direction. Sometimes their standards are so high that the processes are so complicated that they themselves are the only ones who can complete the task. They need to learn to tap into the strengths of others. Owls are on a never-ending quest for peak accuracy. Meticulous planning, rigorous analysis, and logical reasoning allow them to work effectively in the workplace.
They prefer step-by-step processes and are diligent in following established protocols. It is easy to accuse owls of being micro-managers. Owls delegate with a detailed plan in mind. This is a direct result of the Owl’s need for systemization. They have a process, they know it works, and they want you to benefit as well. They believe a systemized approach to handing off assignments is nothing more than professionalism in action. It is their way of arming coworkers with everything they need to be successful.
Owls respond to situations from the head rather than from the heart. They focus on the facts and disregard that others are driven by emotion and intuition. Owls have high standards. When applied to people this can lead to judgment and a lack of acceptance. They need to establish realistic expectations for the work of others.
Conscientious individuals have a commitment to delivering high-quality work. They take the time to review and refine their work, aiming for perfection and excellence in their output. Owls’ perfectionism allows them to engineer quality results, however, perfectionism is time consuming and can lead to ideal plans with little or no action analysis. Owls need to strive for excellence rather than perfection and accept that in some situations, good enough may have to be good enough.
Recognizing an Owl
- Formal in appearance and disposition
- Maintains flat facial expression
- Speaks in monotone
- Asks questions and for detailed information
- Is slower paced
- Focuses on quality
- Displays caution about next steps
Tips for Influencing an Owl
- Provide plenty of physical space
- Avoid intense eye contact
- Calm your voice
- Be thoughtful in your speech
- Give them extra time to fully consider decisions
- De-emphasize feelings and stick to logic when talking
- Avoid saying “I feel…”
- Articulate the process you went through to arrive at your conclusion
Understanding the conscientious DISC style can be valuable for personal and professional development, as it allows individuals to capitalize on their strengths and work effectively in team settings. By recognizing their natural inclination for accuracy, organization, and attention to detail, conscientious individuals can contribute to projects that require meticulous planning, quality control, and precision.
Learning from one another is crucial in the workplace. Actively seeking out how people approach situations very differently than you do expands your toolbox, giving you a wider range of possible situations to complex problems. A positive employee experience is highly individual and goes far beyond making people happy. It is about the benefits that come from engaged and thriving employees, that work together effectively and understand each other.
Velocity helps clients see the hidden genius within the behaviors of colleagues who otherwise drive them crazy. Expanding our behaviors to better match those who are different from us is daunting, but the payoff is tremendous. We gain perspective on ourselves and insights on how to bring out the best in others, giving us the true competitive advantage. Visit our website to learn more.