Leaders, managers, teams including sales professionals and individuals.
Highly effective in team training programs or one to one coaching. Matters including team conflict, on boarding, communication issues, change management, identifying traits in preparation for a career move and so much more. Helpful for individuals who are trying to find their place in this world and especially useful for discovering their own preferences when applying for a new job or change of career.
We’re all different. In a world where billions of people of various sizes, shapes, religions, faiths, colours and creed are all trying to make the most of their life, everyone of us has something unique to offer. We’re not going to get along with everyone else, and that’s ok. We don’t have to. We have to get through our life the best we can. If we can do that without harming anyone else, then even better. We’re born, we grow, we learn, we meet the love of our life and we marry. Maybe we try again when we realise they weren’t the love of our life after all. We start a family and endeavour to nurture children of our own. We build our own little place we call home, on a spinning rock hurtling through an infinite universe. We do it differently to everyone else. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
School is full of lessons, but so too is life. We learn new things every day. As adults, there’s an immense sense of wonder in learning new skills and even more so when we learn something about ourselves. We are a mystery to each other and to ourselves at times. We strive to be better, wiser and more knowledgeable to make the journey we’re all on worthwhile.
Whilst the universe may be infinite, life is not. When you’re squashed like a sardine on your daily commute, it might seem like forever, but it won’t last that long. On average, we spend around 90,000 hours of our lives at work over our lifetime. That’s 3,750 days. It’s a lot of time to spend in a place with colleagues. It would make things so much better if we got along with them right?
Any workplace will be a melting pot of personalities. They will all share the same goal, but all be doing it for different reasons. Some will just be doing it for money, others will be doing it out of necessity. There’s no better illustration of the human spirit than a thriving workplace. Disparate people thrown together for the common good. When it works, it feels great. When it doesn’t, it’s time to reevaluate how to make it better. When that happens, you need DiSC® or more specifically, Everything DiSC®.
DiSC® stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.
Put simply, DiSC® a non-judgemental workplace assessment tool used to identify the differences in people’s behaviour. It can look at one person, a team of people, sales teams or even help to resolve conflicts. It is designed to improve productivity, teamwork, leadership skills and how we communicate with each other.
It was first created by Dr. William Marston, a physiological psychologist in his book ‘Emotions of Normal People' in 1928. Over the years, his findings were built upon and gradually evolved until today, when they now form a four-stage process called ‘DiSC.
Here we are going to be looking at what is known as ‘Everything DiSC®’, rather than ‘DiSC® Classic’. I did say it has evolved! Everything DiSC® allows for finer differentiation amongst personality styles. It means you are assessed on 8 scales, rather than just 4. How? Good question........
Within DiSC®, people are profiled based on questionnaires. Unlike most of these kind of things, the questions asked aren’t just word association games or ‘Psychology 101’, instead people respond to a phrase. This means it’s easier to understand, quicker to complete and more precise as it gives context to the question.
By measuring an individuals' preferences, DiSC® offers an insight into how people interact by looking at their individual behavioural styles, each represented by one of the four fundamental factors that make up DiSC®. Picture a circle, segmented into 4 equal parts, like a pizza cut top to bottom and left to right. Each of those segments represents one of the four letters of DiSC®. Hang on, it even looks like a disc! Coincidence? ;-)
Some describe the process as beingpersonality learning. To help you understand it, let’s take a look at the four sections in a little more detail.
As mentioned earlier, the ‘D’ stands for dominance and looks at what drives us. By assessing whether you’re high or low in this section, DiSC® helps identify those with determination, ambition and the motivation to succeed. Those with high levels in ‘D’ work well under pressure and thrive on responsibility. It’s not necessarily all good. It also shows those people rarely look for help or support, are very competitive and often have little patience.
Secondly, the ‘i’ stands for Influence. It’s a factor that looks at openness, positive communication and social confidence. Those tracking high in this area tend to have a positive attitude to others, confident and demonstrate it regularly. Conversely, those tracking low are more practical, are more concerned with achieving results rather than building relationships and will avoid confrontations and won’t be assertive, even when they might need to be.
The penultimate factor of DiSC® is steadiness. This looks at how work is approached and the reactions to change. Those people with high ’S' tendencies are comfortable following set procedures and are generally more reliable. The flip-side to this is that those who score lower here often don’t respond well to change and take time to adapt to new or different situations in the workplace.
Finally, the last segment of DiSC® to look at is conscientiousness. This area looks at how people work, whether they are accurate, stable and challenge assumptions. They may well be careful, systematic and diplomatic, but also be negatively affected by criticism, over-analyse their work and can isolate themselves.
These are obviously simplistic explanations, where as in reality, DiSC® is a much more sophisticated and in-depth process than we can go into here. The profiles that they create can help businesses to not only assess their teams, but also look at a wide-range of other uses. Everything from cultural integration, redeployment, team building, recruitment strategies and career development can be extrapolated from the data that DiSC® highlights.
Whether you’re high or low in any of these sections, it’s not the end of the matter. Remember it’s not about creating a team of emotionless, 100% perfect, high-performance automatons, it’s about creating a workplace that works well as a unit, building on it’s strengths and compensating for weaknesses. We’re all still people, but by understanding the workforce, both individually and collectively, businesses can begin to build a picture of the team and use it as a springboard to greater things.
The assessments themselves can be done individually at each level of the organisation, i.e. a manager, executive or team leader may want to examine their own traits to help them get the most from their teams. Subsequently, all the team members may undergo assessment with the results collated to look for improvements in how the team can work better individually.
It’s important to be aware that there are also different versions of DiSC® assessments out there, carried out by different organisations, some more reliable and reputable than others!. As such you might find that the acronym used is the same, but what they stand for differs. When it comes to Everything DiSC®, what you see here is correct. Incidentally the lower case ‘i’ is purely for branding purposes.
Once the assessments are complete, that is far from the end of the process. What good would the data be if it can’t be brought to life by a trained and authorised practitioner like me! Respondents may find they are ‘high’ in some sections and ‘low’ in others. There’s no right or wrong result. As a whole, the results build a picture of the team and will show how best to move forward.
Remember, like I said at the beginning, it’s a non-judgemental process. It’s not about trying to pigeon-hole anyone, but rather to support people in helping us them work more harmoniously as we begin to understand what motivates us as people, but also what stresses us, limiting our effectiveness.
Unlike most other models like this, the report that is produced can be viewed by those who completed the assessment. That still isn’t the full story. Remember this is all about personal and professional development. Once the reports are in and have been looked at, I would then facilitate a workshop that brings people together. It allows us to look at how our different personalities and behaviours can be harnessed in a way that makes us all work better, be better and do better.
DiSC® isn’t a panacea. It doesn’t take into account things like vocational experience or knowledge, but instead focuses on those key traits that we all have, which provide employers and employees incredibly valuable insight into their performance and behaviours. If we’re going to spend 90,000 hours of our working lives in the company of others, why wouldn’t you want to make the most of the time we have. Life’s too short not too.
Everything DiSC is available for self assessment.
Assessment tool and follow up consultation (virtual).
Assessment and follow up mentoring specifically for leaders and new leaders (virtual) .