About a year and a half ago my company started putting some significant effort into my training as a manager. One of the focus points of that training (and the area I admittedly needed and still need the most work) is of course communication. Communication issues and management could be the focus of a twenty-page post and take up about three weeks of my time, so I’ll focus today on the fundamental concept which I find fascinating and most useful in my development (not only as a manager, but as a husband, father, son, brother, and friend) …DISC Personality Assessing.
The DISC Personality Assessment is a simple twenty-eight question survey which paints what I find to be an incredibly accurate assessment of how the individual surveyed interprets certain types of communication, how he/she communicates themselves, how they react, how their natural instances drive their decision making, what motivates and demotivates them, so on and so forth. How could a tool like that NOT be valuable to a manager right?! The neatest thing about DISC (beside its accuracy) is its ease of use for everyone involved…IT’S PAINT BY NUMBERS PSYCOLOGY! If you use an electronic DISC Assessment (like the one above or in this link here https://www.123test.com/disc-personality-test/) the actual questions take the subject no more than ten minutes to complete. Once done, you get your assessment in very clear and easy to interpret language. If you’re working from a hard copy or workbook platform then it might take the test taker and the assessor double the time to get the results, but the results are just as clear.
The test itself presents the subject with twenty-eight blocks. Each block contains four statements such as: I like to help others, New tasks intimidate me, I like meeting you people (you get the idea). The subject selects the one statement which they feel best describes them as well as the statement which they feel least describes them. Once completed, the results are tabulated, and the subject’s individual personality is defined on a four-quadrant graph with each of the four quadrants defining the four distinct personality types defined by DISC (and for you high C’s out there, yes you may have guessed that these quadrants are defined as D, S, I, or C). An individual may be at the extreme end of one of the quadrants, they may have a mix of multiple quadrants (I am an extreme D with C tendency for example), or any number of combinations. The assessment explains how personalities in each quadrant behave and communicate, as well as describe in greater detail (based on how the assessment results are tabulated) how the individual thinks and analyzes.
I was planning on going into some depth regarding the four main personality types upon which DISC is built, but I didn’t want to bias the reader of this blog should they (and I very much recommend they do) decide to do a DISC assessment on themselves. I will say that I found it very helpful to take an honest look at my own assessment and realize my strengths and weaknesses, not only internally but also how my personality effects the way I interpret input and interact with others. Now that I am aware that my personality type tends to dive headlong into a problem with cold efficiency, and now that I recognize that a coworker on a project with me who has a different personality type which avoids conflict and seeks approval from peers , I can better communicate with that person which leads to a better output. Once you get better at understanding your own DISC profile, you can start to understand the profile of your staff even without their taking a formal DISC Assessment (although I highly recommend having your staff take the assessment so that you get the full-Monty). I have learned that as a high-D with C tendencies, my biggest challenge is communicating with high-I’s…and of course both my wife and my boss are about as “I” as they come. It’s a process, and I am by NO means where I yet want to be in my growth as a communicator, but I can say that putting the principals of DISC to use as helped me a LOT.
OH AND BY THE WAY…DISC PROFILES MAY CHANGE WITH TIME SO BE SURE TO RE-ASSESS YOURSELF AND OTHERS.