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There we go. All right. Okay. Good. Good Day to everybody and welcome to LeaderGov's podcast. My name is Bill Stark, and I'm with LeaderGov and it is great to have you with us. No matter where you are across the country, whether you're in city government or county government, or some other agency, like even a tax commission, we're really glad you're here. We appreciate the fact that you want to learn and grow and become better at what you do and lead your teams better. Today, we have a really terrific podcast for you a group of folks from the city of Fayetteville, Georgia, and we're going to be talking about teamwork and disc. So how does the DISC assessment how's the DISC personality report? How does that affect and how does it really help teams and local government thrive and so with me today are a wonderful group of people from Fayetteville, Georgia. They are the city manager Ray Gibson, the Public Information Officer and Bardet fire chief, Alan Jones and police chief, Scott gray. Good day to y'all. All right, doing great, you know, this is the first time we've done a podcast with a group so y'all help me out. I don't want to be embarrassed here. Okay.
will do our best.
Uh, you know, we have actually done a lot of training together, leader gov and city of Fayetteville and have really enjoyed getting to know the team and getting to know their personalities. But as you sort of think back, maybe the first time we you all were exposed to desk was a year maybe more than maybe a couple of years ago. Tell me kind of what interested you and even wanting to do that way in the very beginning.
Or bill, I can answer that we actually was actually 2017 When we became interested in doing the desk because we're looking at The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. And at that time, we were looking at enhances our team building tools. By improving communication, which I thought was an issue with our team. We're looking at improving personal development, identifying or enhancing each team members self awareness in the process. And we're all
hang on hang on just a minute. Sorry, sir, that microphone. Be careful with that microphone with your notebook there. And
we're also looking at ways of enhancing our finding ways to better motivate our team. And what other what better way to do that than knowing each other's personalities and knowing what actually motivates your team members to do great things.
Yeah, so I will be curious. Yeah. And go ahead.
So as Ray was mentioning, when I joined the team, and I think I was the last person, when we first did the first disc with the team, it was very informative for me to see where I fit on the disc wheel as it were, and how I really could assimilate into the team. And it was very interesting for me to see that I was a C, a true C and what that meant, and how that was going to play into the integration and development in our building the team and what that meant in the cohesiveness in building our projects going forward, and how I could then lend my skill set into all of our projects that go into really making the team work. And so I was really very pleased to see how the DISC assessment works.
Yeah, yeah. You know, Scott now and as you think back over the last few years, you know, what, what were some of the teamwork or productivity challenges, relational challenges that you all were seeing in the city? They're in the staff, the leadership team? What was going on? Was there awesome communication already? Or was there just kind of a lack of connectedness between departments or understanding of each other's temperaments? What What was it that was going on that that sort of where you thought the DISC assessment was going to maybe help you out?
Well, you know, I've only been on the team about four years now. When I first came in it was being real quiet right? Even mentioned to me one time in one of our one on one meeting. cuz I would like you to talk more in our Monday morning meetings. And I was just taking the assessment of all the people and personalities we had in the room. Every Monday, I've been doing this for been associated with that for many, many moons on four came to the city of Fayetteville, both on my academic career and in my professional career. And it was interesting to see the dynamics change as team members left the thing. And we added newer team members that were closer related to what we were doing and a better fit to the team organization. I think Ray took that DISC assessment and could decide or at least try and decide who was going to be a better fit on our team as he hired new directors and other department at zoom.
So you all have used it, then when new people come into the organization as they're coming in and the interview process,
I think, right, takes a look at it and tries to tailor questions around.
It's something we do want to put in our onboarding process at some point.
Well, yeah, what else? What What were some of the teamwork challenges that y'all were seeing? That that sort of compelled you to to look to desk or how as desk help helped you address some of those original issues?
Well, Bill, I've been the course level for a very long time. And
could you could you talk into the microphone or move the microphone closer to you? Okay, because you're there you go. Thank you. And when you sit when you speak, just say, this is Alan, and then make your comment.
Okay, this is Alan. I have been with fable for a pretty long period of time. And I've been on the management team for quite a long time. And at the time that we did the disk, we had a very new team, we've had a lot of the directors written had recently retired, Ray had been on board and just a couple of years at that point. So he had a very new team and the team that a couple of people had been around for a while, but a lot of the members were new came from new organizations. So I know early on a trust was a big concern or an issue with each other because really hadn't gone through anything together, you know, at that point. And when you kind of have a group that you've put together, we all know what we're supposed to be doing. And we interact, and we're working towards things. But I think this was kind of a shortcut to trial and error. So I think once we did that, it kind of helped us kind of learn each other a little bit better, learn what to expect, out of each other kind of learn what maybe we were perceiving to be one thing was not really that but you know, something else just kind of helped us learn each other a little bit better gave us a jumpstart on that. And then of course, once we started dealing with some issues, we had a little bit better feel and trust for each other because that's where you really kind of feel kind of see what people are going to do when there's a little bit of pressure.
I would add this as Ray, I would add also that there is a lack of accountability on our team. And that not that's not just me to help holding the team members, it's each team member holding each other team member accountable for projects are various items. And for the most part, I believe the managers look to me to hold everyone accountable and to solve their problems rather than solving their own problems.
Yeah, so it sounds like what you're saying is that having gone through disc, they are, they're able to understand each other better, and have more honest dialogue, because they they know each other better, they're more connected to each other. Thus they're able to have those harder accountability conversations is is that kind of what you're saying? Right?
Yes. And also, I did want to add is we didn't really have a clear strategy. As an organization. We're just in the early process of creating our strategy at that point, we came up with our strategic plan in 2018. So we're actually in the model of team development, we're really in the forming stage. And so were there everyone's roles were not clear, and the strategy was unclear.
So So while things are a bit up in the air, the team is being formed, strategies being developed. As Alan says, you've got some new team members that you don't even know. It sounds like what you're saying is the disc was a really helpful tool in helping at least allow individuals to get to know each other. So you could deal with each other in an honest way. Is that? Is that what I hear you saying?
Yes. In an honest and professional manner, we could solve situations rather than getting confrontational having negative conflict.
Yeah, yeah, it's interesting how oftentimes, people react a certain way, to something that comes up at work, and they have a knee jerk kind of reaction. And oftentimes, we miss understand what those knee jerk reactions mean, we take them personally, we think they're, maybe the people aren't interested in the work. But really, a lot of their, you know, immediate reactions are just them expressing who they are, it's just their personality, it's the way they're wired. And the more we know about the way that person is wired, the more we come, just understand that's a part of who they are. Now, if it's disruptive, or hurts the team that's different, but just having an understanding of their personality and knowing that, you know, Joe is likely to respond this way to change because of he's a see on the desk, you know, that that's good understanding to have as we're entering into something like change. So yeah, that's good. I'd be curious to hear any stories that you all have of us interactions you've had with team members or challenges that you've had stories around how you've been able to take a different approach, now that you know each other a little better, and you've been through the DISC assessment, any any any specific stories of how you've been able to better and more effectively deal with people on your team and help each other?
This is Scott, you talking about on the management team, you know, all the directors, our police department,
in anywhere, any story
at the police department been able to understand my team a whole lot better, they went through the DISC assessment, as well, as you know, along with some of the mid level managers, and understanding how to deal with them a little bit better. I had most of them down pat from doing the DISC assessment before other places. But one of them really surprised me. When I got the look at their assessment, because I didn't, I didn't I didn't see it that way. One of them is a captain in there. And they're, they're a D. And I didn't see him that way as a B.
And so they're a D, they're a driver their results oriented? And how did your new understanding of their style? How did it help you lead them or interact with them better,
be more direct with them, you know, they understand that they understand here's your mission, go accomplish your mission, now get out of their way, and let them go do it. And able to set a little better parameters with them, as opposed to you know, narrowing them, there was a wider parameter range, so they can feel like they can accomplish it. Within those
Yeah. Yeah, that's a really good insight, you know, ds like to be independent, they like to make decisions, they like to make progress. And this idea of giving people a wider berth, you know, if they have the capacity is a very, very good technique for a day, it shows them that you value them and that you trust them. And that is what they want. They want that kind of respect, where they, you give them the ability to make decisions and consider options kind of on their own, you know, within certain, certain guidelines. That's a really good insight. And the other thing, I know, Scott, that you're, you're a little bit closer to the eye on the desk, and so you're a sociable person, and you are a verbal person. And so for you to go into a DS office, and talk about your weekend, and the fact that you went hunting, or whatever is going on in your life, you know, a day you really don't want to hear a lot of that, right?
That's right. And she does not
so so you're able to really, again, we're talking about the more effective interactions with your team you know, if you drone on for 10 minutes about what you did this weekend, a decent their their thought perhaps is, you know, you're wasting my time I want to get some results. Why are we talking about your weekend? So now that can be a downfall of a D, right. But as far as you as a leader, that's a way that you're able to then better interact with the folks on your team. So yeah, that's a great I really liked that insight. Any other stories about how you've, I mean, I'd be cute areas, Alan, how you interact with Ray, the city manager, you know, Alan is a de Ray, you're, you're closer to the s I think supporter. And sometimes supporters need extra time to think about things massage ideas, before we make a decision. How is that affected you, Alan? And how have you and Ray kind of come to terms and been able to work together around timing issues?
This is Alan. Look, I was a D, when we did our initial assessment. I think the fire department you know how we have to operate in the fire department, I tended to become or evolve into the, I guess one of the things with the desk is now that I am part of a bigger team up here at City Hall, and we have a lot of different personalities, I think in public safety do have a lot of people that are BS, not all but a lot of them. One of the things I've learned from this is that this doesn't give you an excuse to just be what you are and say, okay, look, I'm a D, everybody knows that. So just deal with it, it actually requires you to work on moving towards the center, you know, that circle where you we've got everyone scattered, I think everyone needs to work towards the center of that circle. So that the D can operate much more favorably with an S or a C or, or an AI. And that those differences are kind of you understand where your, how people react to you. And so instead of me requiring them to react to me how I am I have to, I have to react to them, understanding where they are, and they move a little bit more towards me understanding how I am, I think that's the big value of the disc is not just okay, this person is gonna react now is how can we work together and offset some of those conflicts? I think that's probably the thing that is between me and Ray, we certainly had a couple of times where we were definitely had a conflict. But the thing about it is, is we both know, look, we got to we're gonna have to get by this, we got to get past this. And so we were able to kind of fix it pretty quickly after it happened. And over the course of I guess, five, six years now has really not been that that big. But he he did understand that I was a D, but also understood, you know where he came from. And I think we've just kind of worked worked out the the conflict part of it, tried to calm it down.
So I can this is Ray and I can add to that is the fact that I use this to put our leaders in various situations. And for Alan sake, because he was a de he's very results driven, loves new challenges. And so when we were launching the performance management system, I relied on Alan to help lead that process. And he came up with a new plan of how to approach our work objectives, and our overall outcomes for the project. So I use that for the betterment of the team and for the betterment of the organization.
Well, yeah, that's a great example of leveraging the inherent, you know, attributes of a personality for specific job tasks. And I would just, I would just add onto that array, perhaps in any sort of delegation that has to be done in city government. You know, if there if there's a public element to it, of course, the PIO department is sort of the de facto for that. But you may have other people on the team that are that are eyes that are very sociable and very good with people very convincing, and maybe they can be part of some of these social townhall meetings or whatever. So I really like what you're saying, right? Let's, you know, really leverage their the inherent good parts of their personality for the betterment of the team. And I liked the way you did that with Alan in terms of allowing him to sort of drive the results of that performance management project. That's, that's great. Any other stories or thoughts? Maybe in just the four of you how you interact? I know. And you You are a C, is that right? And Ray is an s do you all are even Scott, the police chief? He's he's an AI and Have you have you been able to sort of moderate some of your SI tendencies around Scott or re to get things done in a better way?
Well, it's interesting that you would that I'm sitting in between both of these gentlemen, this is an. And as I see, I am very organized, I would say, and I'm very project oriented. And my my skill set is very results driven, and very sociable and all of those things and move quickly between projects and working with different team members and can effectively communicate to get things done. And, and so in those roles, I'm able to facilitate and get things done for the police chief at the police department for the state certification, and over here at City Hall for the various different projects that I work with the city manager and all of his initiatives. So the See, role has really exemplified itself and helped me to move the city in the right direction. And I enjoy working with all the different, you know, roles that sees that the S eyes, and I found within myself that, like Alan was saying that you really don't want to fixate yourself in one, you know, one role, you want to get to the center of the disc, and you want to meet people where they are, you don't want to just fixate yourself and say people have to meet me where I am. The goal, I think of the disc is to recognize where everyone else is, and how they communicate, and how their role handles conflict in trust and all these integrated elements of their, their, you know, disc identifiers. And I think that for me, understanding the breakdown of their, their disc identifier has helped me tremendously in communicating with them and moving all the different projects along.
Yeah, have there been cases and where no, Scott is an ah, you're a C and those are actually opposites. They're kind of opposites on the circle. But have there been cases where Scott has been? Maybe, you know, not maybe he's moved too fast. Maybe he skipped over some details that a C is going to find important? And if it has that caused your frustration? And how have y'all dealt with that? How have you appreciated? Well, this is probably where Scott's coming from, right? At least you have that understanding that you may not like it, but you understand where he's coming from. Or maybe Scott gets frustrated with you because you're in the weeds and the details as a see doing your job. So I want to I want to hear a story of how you to collaborate or maybe have had challenges collaborating because of your personality.
This is Scott, I'll let you know. You're exactly right. But what I found the easiest way to deal with that with her is that tell her it's okay, everything's gonna be all right, it's gonna be tough. If we don't meet it by a certain deadline, then we'll be fine. There's always alternatives. Now, that was not always the case. In the beginning, it frustrated me because I am in public safety, I can jump to that V pretty quickly and want some results in a timely manner. But I do understand that after you know, of course, seeing her desk and also working with her, because before I came in and she was very frustrated, you can tell when she was one of the first persons that I talked to in the organization because you could see her frustration that I needed to test her and find out you know, where are we at, in how she's going to conduct her business. So you know, overall for me, I've been very happy and she's very honest, when it comes to the accreditation part and juggling two different roles. So you know, before that might have frustrated me in the years past but it doesn't strike me I'm more of a It's okay. We'll get it it's all right.
Well, I really like you're really making a good point here. It's kind of a small point but it's really powerful because you know and you know the way and likes to do her business. Okay she's a see she likes things to have a process she likes things to be, you know have have have a method to the madness she she wants to do a good job. She's having quality. And, and so if you need things to move up faster and go faster, the way you addressed her, though your reference just a moment ago, and I know, this is probably frustrating for you, but it's okay. If it's three days late, it's all going to be okay. You're at least acknowledging the fact that you know that she values that, that she values that being on time and being right and, and you're connecting with who she is. So that's really a powerful idea of, you know, you could say even to the other way around. And you could say to Scott, you know, Scott, I know that you have, you have this idea that we can maybe move this project out a few weeks, or the dates can, can slip, but in this case, Scott, I need you to move a little bit more to a C because we need to get this thing buttoned up, we've got some steps when so at least you're you're acknowledging his style and what his natural tendency is. And in that sense, you're understanding, oh,
say against, and I saw him what, after I read what she puts in front of me and tells me, we've got to do it this way. I sign and trust your judgment, tells me I'm not right. Yes, sir. That's how we work. But she comes in, and it's very urgent, and I see it in her body language. And you know, because she'll explain it. And she's very thorough as the explaining. And I just look at her and say, do we need to do this now? And she says, yes. Okay. And let's move on. That's where the trust comes in.
What I was gonna add is, is that and because she's so structured, like Scott just mentioned, because you have to be a really, really good listener, and let her get all the information out there. She's very knowledgeable. And she has very good approaches. And I'm a visionary guy. So she kind of keeps me in line sometimes about the policies that have to be followed to get a job done.
Yeah. Nice. Nice. How if we just zoom out 30,000 foot, we just got a few more minutes left, if we zoom out 30,000 feet, right, you talked about strategy, performance management. You talked about the fact that you're in the forming stage of the team? How How has better knowing each other's personalities and getting to know each other and understand each other? How has it helped you all just function at a higher level?
Yes, yes. Right.
Well, I think Bill, it's it's led us down the path of creating our teamwork performance management system. And I think knowing each other's personalities just to get this process, launched over the last year, has been a task in itself, but a very rewarding, rewarding task for the team. It's just, I think communication is the key that this has helped us with. That's the number one thing and I think also for each individual team member, it has enhanced their self awareness, knowing once again, how certain people want to be treated, knowing what triggers fear, and individuals. Once you know all that information, and you better study their behaviors, you can get more accomplished and I believe we are on the road. And we add new team members to the team as well that fit our culture. We're being we're becoming more successful in what we deliver to the community, and to our residents here in Fayetteville.
Nice any other from the four of you, but anything that you would if you could share just a thought with other cities and counties around the country in terms of maybe suggestion or something that you would say to them about this whole idea of teamwork, and understanding other people's personalities? Is there any any sort of parting ideas that you might want to share with cities and counties, leaders that are listening?
This is Scott, the open mind and be open minded and look out. You know what you think a person is not necessarily how they really truly think. You can have some employees that will act a certain way within you know, the structure of the job, but this really digs down and let you understand that especially if you're leading men and women to understand your people and know your people and to get the most out of them and their way is critical to a successful organization.
This is Anne. I want to say to be flexible you know with yourself and be willing into to change. Individual, this is a journey, you know, life is about willingness to continue to grow as a human. And so this process is about self awareness and awakening something in yourself that you didn't know, initially. And so the disc allows you to learn something new about yourself. But in that awareness to move toward that, and to allow people to make mistakes sometimes and move and grow. And so that this allows that openness and dialog, and I think that that's the growth as people in an organization and with yourself. So I think that's the takeaway for me. Yeah, nice, thank
you. And it was really I would you say, make it intentional, make it a part of your leadership, development. It's not just the main leadership team, we've shared this, we're starting to share the disk with our entire organization. And then we actually did it with our city council as well. So I think the big key is Be intentional, be committed. And I think success will be down the road for each team that each organization that utilizes this DISC assessment, as well as as a having a strong strategic plan or a strong strategy, that the distance supplement to help you accomplish the goals you need to accomplish for the for the citizens.
This is Alan, I would just say, you know, it's a valuable tool to help your team get started. And it's probably something that you should do from time to time, because I have done it a couple of times, and my mind has changed a little bit shifted. So depending on what your assignment is. And I'll tell you before, going into any kind of big project, or you know, establishing a team to accomplish something probably wouldn't be a bad thing for that to be one of the first discussions your team has at the beginning of your first meeting. So that you can, if you got to make assignments, you can assign the right tasks to the right individual and make sure you got a team that's got one of each of those characteristics on it to get it done.
Yeah, that's a great, that's a great point, Alan, we heard a story recently of a a team that was needing to negotiate a contract with a vendor who was a city. And they purposefully had a d i s and a C in the meeting. Because they knew that they needed to be personable and have friendly relations and talk socially and collaborate. They knew they needed someone to support the effort, they needed someone that had their fingers on all the dotting the I's and crossing the t's, that was the C and they needed a driver to be sure the meeting ended with a signed contract. So they needed really all four elements of the disk. And it's it's exactly what you're saying, let's let's leverage the sort of inherent wonderful ash aspects of our personalities, particularly for bigger projects. But I just didn't want to want to end with a comment about Fayetteville that I really have enjoyed getting to know you all. And and Alan, I really liked what your your your point earlier, which is, you know, I want to accommodate as best I can to your style. Now, there's some times as a D, if our A D, we need a result today. And we just got to have it today. And I've got a demand and it's done today. So there are times when we have to be forceful. And we don't have time to go to an AI and integrate all of their collaboration, expertise into the into the decision. But to the degree that we can, me becoming more collaborative as a de mi becoming more supportive, as the me becoming more interested in the details, and quality and process as a D that does make me a better leader. And it's going to ultimately result in better relationships, because I'll be taking into consideration the personalities of others along the way. And so I really liked that point you made earlier. Any other final thoughts? Otherwise we'll wrap up here.
Well, Bill, I just want to add one quote from Patrick Lencioni. That's very relevant to teamwork development. He says not finance, not strategy, not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage with because it is so powerful and so rare. I think that's a great quote.
Yeah, it really is and getting functioning at a high level as a team we know it involves trust, accountability, healthy conflict, commitment, focus on results, but doing all of that in the context of knowing each other's styles and being able to effectively communicate and deal with each other because we know each other's personality styles is a powerful combination and his work with five behaviors has has borne that out. It's been very successful. And but again, thank you all for participating today. Thank you for your your wisdom and your insights. I know a lot of other cities and counties around the country have not taken the step like you all have, they may have taken individual disks, but you know, this opportunity to consolidate all the disks into one platform. And really see the city as a whole is a very powerful concept. And so we're excited about taking those ideas to cities and counties around the country and appreciate your guys's leadership because you've really, you know, sort of taken this kind of to the next level, and you're really beginning to implement it in a very meaningful way in the city. And I want to want you to know, we appreciate it, and I've enjoyed working with you, and thank you for being with us today and sharing your insights with cities and counties across the country. Thank you, Bill. Thank you. Thank you. All right.