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People First, Professionals Second - DISC Index

Last week we published Part I of the “People First, Professionals Second” blog series, which discussed the important role that personality plays in the workplace, (if you haven’t read that yet, go check it out!). This week, and next, we will be discussing some of the best practices your business can utilize in order to properly assess the existence of different personality types within your organization.

There are many options for you and your business when it comes to personality assessments. One of the most instrumental tools when it comes to measuring personality types in the workplace is the DISC Index test. This test has grown highly popular with businesses as its results yield only positive consequences for its participants. The DISC test measures individuals on a quadrant graph representing four distinctively different behavior predictors that lie within a person’s personality. Where a person lies along these four quadrants reveals their most ideal communication style and how best to work with, and relate to, others in the workplace.

The four quadrants of measurement within the test are represented by the name “DISC”:

  • (D) Decisive
    • This quadrant focuses on problems.
    • How does one generally deal with problems and make decisions when solving said problems?
    • Generally, people with a High D exhibit the following characteristics:
      • Driven
      • Daring
      • Determined
  • (I) Interactive
    • This quadrant focuses on people.
    • How does one naturally interact with others and communicate?
    • Generally, people with a High I exhibit the following characteristics:
      • Persuasive
      • Inspiring
      • Enthusiastic
  •  (S) Stabilizing
    • This quadrant focuses on pace.
    • How does one prefer to pace things within their environment, if at all?
    • Generally, people with a High S exhibit the following characteristics:
      • Patient
      • Passive
      • Complacent
  • (C) Cautious
    • This quadrant focuses on procedures.
    • How does one wish to establish and/or follow protocol and procedures?
    • Generally, people with a High C exhibit the following characteristics:
      • Cautious
      • Perfectionist
      • Systematic

Based on the results of these four sections, an individual’s DISC profile is created. Once these results are calculated they can be used in and out of the workplace to ultimately better a person’s overall understanding of themselves, as well as those around them. This test educates you on how you most prefer, tend to, and enjoy to behave in any given situation, (now you see why this could be useful for assessing potential job candidates).

This test is unique for several reasons. One such aspect that differentiates this test from others is the fact that it allows you to rank all four possible answers rather than just choosing one. This unique part of the test taking experience results in a much more efficient and effective response process. Another aspect of the DISC Index that makes it stand out from the crowd is how it highlights contradictions. Many personality assessments result in assigning individuals with contradicting personality traits. Often, the individual being assessed assumes the contradictions as mistakes or misinterpreted information; however, the DISC test expresses these contradictions as key components of people’s personalities, as contradictions are in fact a part of our everchanging reality.

A person’s score in each of these areas measures their tendencies to think or behave a certain way, further predicting future behavioral patterns and cognitive processes. In other words, rather than measuring individual aspects of a person’s personality, the DISC test goes one step further to reveal what pattern of behavior a person will follow based on their psychological preferences. The entire purpose of this test is to reveal a person’s behavioral style, which will then allow them to understand what factors in their environment fuel their success versus which ones hinder them. Imagine being able to diagnose exactly what triggers a productive work week from a nonproductive work week in each of your individual team members? What if you could recognize what factor specifically resulted in a mistake or hinderance in your work process for any given personnel? This test allows you to be able to determine such factors affecting your business, and gives you the opportunity to personalize the work environment in order to cater to individual employee needs and biases. So many discomforts or distractions in the workplace can be eradicated by simply understanding personality and the role it plays in your office. 

The DISC test is a highly sought-after resource for any businesses looking to expand their cognitive understanding and internal self-awareness as an organization. In fact, every member of Team Wren has taken the DISC, and the results are posted on a wall in our office for everyone to see! We believe in total transparency as an organization, and we know that the best way to seek out long-term external relationships is by strengthening our internal relationships. Having the results of each team member’s personality test posted for everyone to see creates a gateway for healthier communication to take place. The DISC poster often becomes a conversation point in the office, as we are all committed to understanding each other and learning to work well together. Not to mention, having a visual of where everyone’s personality lies sparks curiosity in the office! I love getting to compare my personality type to my coworkers’ and seeing who shares my personality versus who doesn’t. Being public about your personality type can also assist you in forming stronger communication pathways with your customers, clients, referral sources, business partners, as well as other people your business may work with.

If you are interested in using the DISC Index Test for your business or personal use, here is the one that Team Wren uses:

This test comes with one individual code to use in order to take the assessment, and it also provides you with a follow up report breaking down what your results mean – SO useful! 

Be sure to check out next week's continuation post explaining another personality assessment option for your business' overall success.