Old Dogs & New Tricks

Medical Information service

There is an old saying that “you cannot teach an old dog new tricks”. I’d like however to challenge that and say it depends on how willing and open the old dog is to learn.

I’m probably now in the “old dog” status and have been round the block a couple of times but continue to have an open mind to learn and observe the ways of the world and from the people within it. This was very much brought to focus when I took part in an organised team meeting where we openly discussed our DISC profiles and how these led to our preferred communication styles and the way we like information presented to us.

Increasing your self-awareness and understanding those around you opens many doors and goes a long way to explain people’s behaviour patterns. How people like to communicate, camera on/off in meetings, checklists and process orientated or just “winging-it” approaches that drive others mad. These subtle but key patterns help support a high functioning team. Knowing these insights, or having an awareness, has now helped me to see through into a hidden window to then enable me to gauge and consider how I interact and can change approaches accordingly.

Coming out of that session I was pleased to have uncovered and learned these nuances so that going forward I can operate in the bandwidth that makes these team members comfortable and, in this way, the “old dog” has learned a new trick or two.

I’d therefore advocate to everyone to increase your own self-awareness and understand how you and your behaviours are read by others and take the time to read and understand theirs. DISC is not the answer to everything, but it is when used in the right way it is a powerful and insightful tool.

Every day is a learning day.

James Hall
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