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Introduction to DISC

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Have you ever tried to understand another person’s behavior and perform in a manner that you would never do? It can be difficult for one to comprehend, but also difficult to talk to and manage. To be more understanding of each other the people of all times have created theories of personality as well as models and assessments that help explain how and why people do what they do.

In school, at the workplace, or even through social media sites, you’ve have seen personality profiles. The most popular ones include the Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DISC assessment, Enneagram and the Big Five.

These tests are great tools to help you learn more about your behavioral styles and personal preferences, how you behave under pressure, and how you interact with others. More and more, companies are using tests to assess their employees’ personalities. Dori Meinert from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) discovered that around 60% of employees are now being asked to complete workplace assessments, with companies employing the tests to hire and career development.

In this article, we will explain the meaning of personality assessments and, more specifically what they are and how DISC profiles work. Additionally, we will provide suggestions on how to integrate the DISC profiles in group building.

You will learn:

What personality tests are
What the DISC personality assessment is?
What can we do with the 4 DISC personality styles as a team building exercise
Tips for organizing team building exercises using the DISC profiles

The Introduction to Tests for Personality

According to the Institute of Psychometric Coaching, personality tests aim to measure your personality and behavioral style using a self-reported test. The questions are usually obscure (i.e. it is not evident from reading the question what the answer is) Then the answers are your personality profile. There aren’t any right or wrong solutions to personality tests. Instead, your responses provide the potential for how you’ll react in various situations.

There are over 30 different personality tests available on Wikipedia. Each test is different and gives different results. For instance, The Holland Codes (RIASEC) test will help you determine your personality type and job positions, whereas The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) concentrates on assessing 16 personality traits in five dimensions. It is a report of a person’s temperament.

Why should you take a test on your personality? From a person’s point of view, a personality assessment will make you think about your own… what you are likely to behave, what your preferences are, as well as how you relate to others and the world around you. It’s an opportunity to find out more about your personality and what drives you.

When using a valid and reliable, the results of a personality profile usually instantly resonate with people and make them say, “Yes, that’s me!” But no matter how the person’s responses to the findings the report of a personality profile can be useful because it gives an overview of the person’s motivations or fears, strengths, weaknesses and weaknesses, leading to self-reflection, and even growth.

From an organizational perspective from an organizational standpoint, personality tests can provide a company with additional details on prospective employees and new hires. In cases where collaboration and teamwork are necessary for success, understand the natural traits of each employee to assist in defining roles, project assignments,team formation and hiring. The personality styles can also be used to create an engaging work environment.

For more information on DISC coaching for teams UK visit this website.

There are a variety of reasons personality profiles are a hit within the work place. They can be used to:

Uncover the potential strengths and strengths and
Use it to capitalize on the individual’s strengths and to minimize blind spots within the context of a group.
Help assess a candidate’s suitability for the job
Help determine if a candidate is a good fit for the company’s culture
Be used by leaders and managers as a way to coach their team members

The DISC Personality Assessment

Most popular personality tests used by the business world are that of the DISC assessment. The underlying concept of the test can be traced back to American psychology expert William Moulton Marston.

It was in 1920 that Marston came up with a hypothesis regarding our emotional reactions to different stimuli. From this theory emerged an equilateral model that was anchored by four emotions: Dominance Influence, Submission and Compliant. Marston’s model was further refined by Dr. John Geier in the 1970s when he wrote the DISC Personal Profile System. Over time, the words used to describe the letters D-I-S -C have been replaced with other terms such as Dominant interactive or influencing, supportive or Steady and Conscientious or Compliant.

Typically, a DISC profile is built around a questionnaire consisting of between 24 and 28 questions. In each one, the person is provided with four words and has to choose one word that best describes them and another that is the most.

Once the questionnaire is completed After the questionnaire is completed, a graph is created which shows the person’s DISC pattern. The idea behind DISC personality styles is that we’re not a single type, but a mix of the four dimensions. However, the majority of people have a style they prefer – a dimension that is their own. The natural style is simple to display. Styles with lower scores on the graph use more effort to display.

Usually, a DISC assessment will yield three graphs for an person. One graph represents “the self-mask,” which is the public self that other people see. The second graph is “the inner core” which shows how the individual responds naturally to pressure and stress. The third is “the mirror,” that shows the way individuals perceive their own behavior. The graphs could be identical or completely different dependent on the individual.

What exactly do the four dimensions really mean? In order to make the styles easier to understand and remember, Merrick Rosenberg, CEO of Take Flight Learning, came up with an innovative way to explain the DISC models in his book The Chameleon: Life-Changing Wisdom for anyone who has an inclination or knows someone who has. In this book, he has introduced an engaging and memorable method to explain these DISC style to the four bird species:

“D” refers to Dominant and is represented by an Eagle. They are courageous, decisive in their actions, clear, and driven.
“I” refers to Interactive and is represented by a parrot. Parrots are creative, powerful in their thinking, intuitive and inspiring.
“S” is for Supportive and is represented by Doves. Dove. Doves are honest, loyal and tolerant. They are also happy.
“C” is a reference to Conscientious and is depicted by an Owl. They are cautious Critical, concise, and consistent.

Rosenberg redefined the DISC styles using the four birds as an easier to remember, more visual approach to getting people interested in using the DISC system. The way each dimension is matched with a specific bird aligns with our perceptions of how those birds typically behave, which makes it easier to retain the information through associative learning.

At work, the DISC styles are useful in many different ways. They are used in areas like recruiting, staff deployment as well as career development and team building.

Using DISC Personality Profiles for Team Building

Collaboration and teamwork is about how members interact with one another and how they adapt to various personalities and how they function as a unit. How can the DISC system assist teams to perform better?

A team that is highly productive includes a group that’s varied in their capabilities and aligned in their desire to reach the same goals. Effectively working as a team requires navigating the relationship between members of the team in a manner which pushes the team forward. The DISC styles provide a framework with which to better understand the desires and motivations of each person in the team.

Jede DISC dimension has its own role to play in the context of a team structure. It’s also about the balance. Imagine a team populated with dominating Eagles. This could lead to the need for leadership in which every Eagle seeks to assert their supremacy over others! However, a team full of Conscientious Owls could be too at risk, too rigid and may have trouble transitioning from planning to taking action.

Each team has a different mission or goal that they must meet, and DISC can assist your team to become more efficient. If you’re creating an entirely new team the DISC methods can ensure that you have the best combination of Eagles or Parrots Doves and Owls so that the team can be successful.

For teams already established, knowing the individual’s DISC preference will make everyone aware of the other’s styles. This allows people to adjust to one another. If your team appears to be stuck in the “storming” phase you can employ the DISC styles to communicate with your team members more effectively. Once you’ve identified their preferences for DISC style (or the bird they belong to) it will be easier to connect with them, recognize their strengths, and appreciate what they can bring on the table, and also be more prepared to assist them in helping professional development.

Tips for delivering team building activities using DISC

First step of course the first step is to ask all members on your team to take a DISC assessment. There are many online resources offering the test (some even offer it for free! ) If you have a team building budget and you want to make use of an unbiased and reliable test, you might be interested in an assessment like the Taking Flight with DISC assessment and training program. It will assist the team to gain insight into themselves, their fellow team members and how to cooperate to achieve team goals. The program employs the four Birds that you may remember — Eagle, Parrot, Dove and Owl? — to ensure that the program isn’t just fun, but also memorable.

A key element of a team building exercise which utilizes DISC can be the facilitator method. The DISC system provides a foundation to allow for an open DISCussion about the personalities and dynamics in a team. It requires a skilled facilitator who is able to ensure that everyone participates in the discussion, asks provoking questions to help deepen the discussion and more.

When delivering a DISC-related team building activity, keep a watchful eye on how participants react to the activity. The activities for building teams, in general, can be quite difficult for certain personality types and often people will stay in silence instead of discussing their concerns. These are generally the Conscientious Owls as well as the supportive Doves.

If you find someone who is hesitant or uneasy with the participants, you can take the possibility of asking them to be “observers” instead. The role of observers is to observe the activities and then share their thoughts with the group at the end of the activity. This is an excellent way to engage people in team-building without being active during the activity. It also gives participants a sense of ownership.