Unlocking Employee Potential with DISC Assessments

CoachHub · 21 July 2021 · 5 min read

Every employee thinks, communicates, and works differently. The DiSC behavioral model sheds light on those differences and helps your workers figure out how to apply their unique strengths to their roles within your organization.

Have you ever wished you knew more about how your employees prefer to work and communicate?

The DISC model of behavior was invented in 1928 by William Moulton Marston. A DISC assessment is a useful tool that can pinpoint a person’s behavioral style under this model. Implementing this test as part of your corporate training or onboarding initiatives builds your employer brand and allows your employees to better understand the patterns of their own thoughts and actions, and how those things impact the way they do their jobs.

DISC Test Meaning

Your DISC profile or style can tell you a lot about how you see and react to the world around you. The key differentiator in DISC vs MBTI comparisons is that DISC describes a person’s expressed behavior while MBTI describes their internal psychology.

The test uses the names of four key characteristics to classify the resulting behavioral styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.

You can get a free DISC assessment from many websites online, but these evaluations are cursory at best. A professional DISC assessment will provide you with much more detailed information on what your individual DISC makeup means, how you can apply this knowledge in your daily life, and what impact it might have on your career mobility.

DISC Profile Explained

Curious about what each DISC trait means? Review our overview below.

  • Dominance: People with high Dominance are extremely driven and results-oriented. They can be immensely productive, creative, and innovative. They thrive on challenge, but they may become irritated by those they perceive as being less motivated than they are.
  • Influence: People with high Influence are socially motivated and care deeply about what others think of them. They value freedom of expression and enjoy leading teams and motivating colleagues. However, they become intimidated by technical details during tasks and may simply avoid them altogether.
  • Steadiness: People with high Steadiness value loyalty and cooperation. They also worry a lot about what might happen if they do or say the wrong thing. They enjoy teamwork, reassurance, and individual feedback that helps them grow.
  • Conscientiousness: People with high Conscientiousness are highly analytical and process-driven. They enjoy parsing data and uncovering new information, especially if it challenges existing norms. However, they may overanalyze in certain situations and do not usually respond well to criticism.

Most people’s behavior falls under a mixture of two or more of these categories. However, one is usually dominant and therefore more visible in day-to-day life. This dominant trait is called the DISC profile or DISC style.

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Your Two DISC Styles

Every person has two DISC styles: the internal style and the external style.

In a business context, the external style is the most pertinent of the two. This style describes how you behave when you are acting in ‘professional mode.’ This is usually not your true personality, but rather a mask you adopt to accomplish what you need to at work.

The internal style, on the other hand, is usually expressed at home or in the company of friends – wherever the person is most comfortable.

Some evaluators will also combine these two styles into a third style known as the summary style.

Using a DISC Test at Work

DISC tests are fun and personally revealing, but they can also be used to unlock the strengths of your workers, especially high potential employees.

For instance, a person who scores high on Conscientiousness would probably make an excellent analyst or auditor. However, working as a team leader or in a managerial role might frustrate them due to the need to engage emotionally with their team. The opposite would be true of someone with high Influence.

This does not mean that people with specific styles cannot fill roles that run counter to their typical strengths. It simply means that they may need to approach the work differently than a candidate with a matching style would. For instance, a C-style manager might rely more on performance reports to guide their decision-making. An I-style analyst might focus more on the implications and applicability of data than on the numbers themselves.

In other words, knowledge of DISC personality types allows employees to orient themselves within their role in a way that makes sense to them. This is key information to have when developing talent. It boosts productivity and employee retention and contributes to your firm’s employer branding strategy. It also helps star employees make the most of their high potential.

DISC Insights from Others’ Styles

Collaboration is a big part of professional work, and DISC knowledge can be helpful in this area as well. Knowing a colleague’s DISC style helps you to interact with them in ways they prefer, making them more receptive to your ideas and building your emotional IQ.

Part of employees’ professional development training in a corporate university program may include strategies to overcome the communication weaknesses of their DISC style. They may also learn how to accommodate the preferences of others. This is a key step toward becoming a better manager and leader.

For instance, giving someone with a C-style the chance to prepare for a discussion with you will put them more at ease and increase the likelihood that your conversation will be productive. Likewise, approaching a person with an S-style in a room full of people will not be as effective as sitting them down for a one-on-one chat.

Professional DISC Assessments for Your Workforce

Interested in exploring the potential of DISC styles among your employees?

CoachHub has partnered with Assessments 24×7 to offer intensive corporate coaching based on the DISC model. Together, we offer innovative training to help employees determine their behavioral style and how it impacts their performance at work. Our guidance will help shape your talent acquisition process and give your workers the self-knowledge they need to find their niche in your team. Contact us today to learn more about our DISC assessment program and how you can bring it to your office today.

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