Day in my inbox

Variation of the day in the life activity

Objectives: Engage learners more deeply in the Everything DiSC styles. Improve communication among colleagues by focusing on a common form of communication.

Prerequisites: Introduction to general DiSC concepts and knowledge of their own style

Materials: Something to record responses: whiteboard, easel pad, paper

Time required: 40-45 minutes
15 minutes for group discussion, 20 minutes to share with larger group, 5 minutes for group discussion/reflection

Note: While this activity is based around email, if your organization uses Slack or another communication tool, you can alter the questions to address communication through that tool.

Instructions:

  1. Separate your group into the four DiSC styles.
  2. Ask the question: What’s your experience with your email inbox? One person should record the group’s answers, either in words or by drawing them, so they can share them with the entire group.

    Use these prompts. You can post them or share them aloud, asking just a few at a time.
    • How often do you check your email? How often would you like to check it?
    • What’s in your signature?
    • What type of emails do you respond to immediately?
      Who are they from? What’s in the subject line? How are they constructed?
    • What’s an example of a great subject line?
    • What type of emails do you usually ignore or delay responding to?
    • What types of emails cause you stress?
    • How do you usually respond to emails?
    • How often do you proofread your emails?
    • How do you feel about emoticons in work emails?
    • How often do you have an empty inbox?
    • Consider an email that muddled communication. How did you contribute to (or help resolve) that confusion?
    • When would you rather have a phone call, a video chat, or personal visit than an email?
    • How is your inbox organized? Do you use labels or rules for new messages?
  1. Ask each group to share their results with the group.
  2. Ask the following: How does one’s DiSC style affect how they use email? Do you think you could tell a person’s DiSC style after receiving a handful of emails from them? What have you learned about how to work better with each other? How can you improve your email communication? Could you write differently for someone whose style you know?

Training follow-ups

Ask learners to reflect on how they have used their knowledge of DiSC to improve their email or chat communication.

Review this Customer Service by DiSC Style slide deck with learners.

These readings can also be offered as follow-ups:

People-reading with Everything DiSC®, discprofiles.com blog

Reflections on writing thank-you notes in the workplace, discprofiles.com blog

Best Practices for Instant Messaging at Work, Harvard Business Review

What a Compassionate Email Culture Looks Like, Harvard Business Review