April 18, 2014

When it comes to organizational effectiveness and the success of any business, the way in which people communicate, resolve issues and get along can have a big impact.

With that in mind, DPR recently led a DiSC training session for the AmeriCorps members who run the Maryland Multicultural Youth Center (MMYC), using DPR Foundation discretionary funds for supplies. The goal: to provide behind-the-scenes support to help train, develop and enhance the communication skills and insights of the volunteers who carry out the important mission of this DPR-supported center which serves local underprivileged youth.

Photo courtesy Jenn Bollenbacher

Liz Tershel, a DPR liaison to MMYC who led the March 22 session, notes that DPR is well acquainted with the value of the DiSC program. It is used companywide for new hire orientation, team building and developing jobsite teams. The program centers on the assessment of an individual’s personality type, as grouped into one of four basic categories: Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance. Related training can offer strategies for better communication with people of different personality types, greater insight and understanding of what makes oneself and others tick, and the best means to motivate people and to resolve and/or avoid conflict, among other things.

Nearly 20 AmeriCorps members turned out for the half-day class. The day began with a basic personality assessment test that generated an approximately 20-page report for each participant, outlining their general personality traits and communication characteristics. DPR field employees were on hand to share some of their own experiences working with different personalities, and a series of interactive activities and short movies along with discussion helped keep the class moving and the volunteers engaged.

The training was a hit with the AmeriCorps members according to Tershel, who noted they deal with a wide range of personalities and situations with the children in the MMYC program every day.

“They kept coming up to me and saying ‘this is amazing, insightful and helps me be reflective on myself,’’” she said. “The main objective for the class is to discover what your personality type is and how you communicate, then understanding how others communicate, and finally, how to build more effective relationships.”

MMYC is one of 15 youth organizations nationally awarded a total of $900,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in December 2013. Over the past six years, the Foundation has awarded more than $3.2 million to 22 different organizations focused on providing community support to grade school and high school-aged children. MMYC, which provides educational support/tutoring, cultural enrichment, nutrition, summer programs and physical activities to middle school youth, is a member of the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) family of organizations.