disc assessments for personality

Have you ever wondered why some people thrive under pressure while others prefer a steady pace? Or why certain folks light up a room with their charisma while others quietly make sure everything runs smoothly? These differences boil down to personality traits, which psychometric tests aim to understand. Among these tests, DISC assessments are becoming increasingly popular in workplaces and even in Fortune 500 companies.

Today, we'll explore DISC assessments, what they are, their components, and how they can be applied to help us understand people better.

What are DISC Assessments?

DISC assessments are tools used to measure personality traits based on four main characteristics: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. The idea is to provide insights into a person’s behavior, communication style, and interaction with others.

DISC assessments were developed from the research of psychologist William Marston in the 1920s. Marston identified four primary emotions and linked them to behavioral traits, which laid the foundation for DISC.

Understanding these traits is crucial for personal growth and professional development. It helps individuals and organizations to leverage strengths, address weaknesses, and improve interpersonal dynamics.

To make it easier to grasp, let's break down each DISC trait with examples of famous personalities who embody them.

D (Dominance): Dominant personalities are assertive, goal-oriented, and confident. They thrive on challenges and are often seen as natural leaders. Some people find this personality a bit challenging to deal with, but it’s also known to yield good results.

  • Example: Jacinda Ardern. Demonstrated decisive and assertive leadership, particularly in times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Christchurch mosque shootings. Her ability to make firm decisions and lead the country through challenging times reflects a high Dominance trait.

I (Influence): Influential personalities are charismatic, persuasive, and sociable. They excel in motivating others and fostering positive relationships.

  • Example: Steve Jobs. Renowned for his visionary ideas and ability to inspire, Jobs influenced the tech world profoundly. His charisma and curious spirit led Apple to become a technology giant.

S (Steadiness): Steady personalities are calm, reliable, and patient. They prefer stable environments and are supportive team players.

  • Example: Rosa Parks. Known for her quiet strength and unwavering commitment to justice, Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat became a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement, exemplifying her steadfast nature.

C (Conscientiousness): Conscientious personalities are analytical, detail-oriented, and systematic. They strive for accuracy and excellence in their work.

  • Example: Albert Einstein. Celebrated for his meticulous approach to science, Einstein’s conscientious nature led to groundbreaking discoveries in physics, including the theory of relativity.

DISC in Action: Use Cases in Hiring, Teams, and Leadership

DISC assessments aren't just interesting; they are incredibly practical, especially in the workplace.

Hiring:

  • Improved Decisions: By understanding candidates’ DISC profiles, employers can make better hiring decisions. Matching personality traits with job requirements reduces turnover and ensures a better fit.
  • Better Team Fit: Knowing a candidate’s traits through DISC and other psychometric tests helps in placing them in roles where they can thrive and contribute effectively.

Team Collaboration:

  • Improved Communication: DISC assessments enhance communication within teams. By understanding each other’s traits, team members can interact more effectively, reducing misunderstandings.
  • Conflict Resolution: Identifying potential friction points based on personality traits can help in proactively managing conflicts.
  • Increased Productivity: Teams that understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses work more efficiently and harmoniously.

Leadership Development:

  • Strengths and Weaknesses: Leaders can use DISC to understand their own strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Effective Management: By recognizing the DISC profiles of their team members, leaders can adapt their management style to better motivate and support their employees.

Scenario Analysis – How Each Type Reacts

Now here’s the fun part! Let’s imagine a workplace scenario where the team is handling a major project deadline. Here’s how different DISC types might react:

DI (Dominance and Influence):

  • Reaction: Takes charge, sets clear goals, and motivates the team to meet the deadline. They may push hard and expect quick results.

IS (Influence and Steadiness):

  • Reaction: Focuses on team morale and collaboration, ensuring everyone is on board and working together. They might check in frequently to offer support.

SC (Steadiness and Conscientiousness):

  • Reaction: Methodically plans out the steps needed to meet the deadline, ensuring accuracy and thoroughness. They might be cautious about rushing and emphasize the importance of details.

Other Types:

  • DC (Dominance and Conscientiousness): Takes a structured approach, balancing quick decision-making with attention to detail.
  • IC (Influence and Conscientiousness): Tries to keep the team motivated while ensuring quality work.

Addressing Criticisms of DISC Assessments

DISC assessments have their critics. For one, most people, especially the younger generations, often don’t like being “reduced to a color”, referring to the color-coded DISC results. This highlights a common concern: people don’t want to be pigeonholed.

It’s important to address these concerns. Remember, DISC assessments are tools for understanding behavior, not for labeling or limiting individuals. They provide insights that can help improve interactions and performance, but they shouldn’t be used to define someone completely.

In the book "Surrounded by Idiots" by Thomas Erikson, where the author discusses personality types based on DISC, he emphasizes that understanding these personality types can improve communication and relationships, and that it is more about awareness and adaptation, not reduction.

“By adjusting yourself to how other people want to be treated, you become more effective in your communication. Flexibility and the ability to interpret other people’s needs is what characterizes a good communicator.”
- Thomas Erikson, Surrounded by Idiots

DISC Assessments on Equip

Integration of DISC Assessments (SOON!): Equip is continually evolving to meet the needs of modern workplaces. Soon, we will launch DISC assessments as part of psychometric tests to help you gain deeper insights into candidates' personality traits, and make well-informed hiring decisions.

Conclusion

DISC assessments offer valuable insights into personality traits that can significantly enhance personal and professional growth. By understanding the components of DISC and applying them effectively, we can make better hiring decisions, improve team dynamics, and foster stronger leadership.

As we look to the future, the role of DISC assessments will likely expand, offering even more detailed and actionable insights. Equip’s integration of DISC assessments is a step in this direction, providing a powerful tool for businesses to understand and leverage personality traits effectively. In the meantime, you can explore Equip’s current features.

FAQs

Can your DISC profile change over time?

Yes, personality traits can evolve due to various factors such as life experiences, personal growth, changes in work environments, or significant events. While core traits may remain stable, the way you adapt and respond to different situations can shift, reflecting in your DISC profile.

How are the results interpreted? For instance, how is DC different from CD?

The order of letters (e.g., DC vs. CD) indicates which traits are more dominant. In a DC profile, Dominance is stronger than Conscientiousness, suggesting a more assertive and goal-oriented approach. Conversely, a CD profile indicates a more detail-oriented and systematic approach with a strong focus on accuracy and precision.

What does natural vs adapted profile graph mean in DISC assessment results?

The natural profile graph represents how you behave when you are most comfortable and relaxed, reflecting your true personality traits. The adapted profile graph shows how you adjust your behavior in response to your work environment or specific situations. Comparing these two graphs helps understand how much you are adapting your natural style to meet external demands, which can be crucial for identifying stressors and ensuring a good fit between your personality and your work role.