What is DISC

DISC Style MatrixThere are many ways of assessing an individual. Beginning with something as simple as an exam, which is designed to evaluate a candidate’s intellectual capabilities, through to a personal style analysis, which is designed to provide a better understanding of an individual’s behaviour.

DISC provides insight into a selected candidates behavioural style, therefore providing a clearer understanding of how and why an individual acts in a particular way, when confronted with different environmental conditions.

What can DISC tell us?

At its most basic level, DISC measures four factors of an individual’s behaviour – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance, however each factor is fairly complex and cannot easily be expressed in single words. No factor is better or worse than the other – a DISC Profile simple presents the style of behaviour an individual may tend to adopt more so.

The real power of DISC, is derived from its ability to interpret the relationship between these factors. For example, a highly Dominant person with as equally high level of Influence, will behave entirely differently to another highly Dominant person, with a lower level of the Influence factor.

DISC can then be utilised in describing a person’s general behaviour, such as their motivations, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. It can also go so far as to predict just how a person will react to certain circumstances, along with the basic assumptions this individual may make about specific situations and others around them. This can therefore, both assist and improve our techniques in recruitment, team building and salesmanship.

What can’t DISC tell us?

DISC does not assess a candidate’s specific skills, nor their level of intelligence, but does however, indicate whether or not a person’s temperament is suited to a specific role. DISC does not however, evaluate if a person possesses the necessary skills or knowledge to actually perform successfully within that role.

Creating a DISC profile?

The analysis process involves taking each of the 96 answers from the DISC Questionnaire and associating these answers with a particular DISC factor. This task is much more complex than it may seem, because some answers to the same question, will relate to different factors, depending on whether the respondent chose them as “1,2,3 or 4”.

The results of this calculation are then scaled adjusted according to population averages and subsequently, plotted on a graph known as a “DISC Profile”.

Understanding a DISC Profile

All 4 points plotted on DISC Profile, indicate the level of each factor present within the selected candidate’s behaviour. For example, the graph located on the covering page of this profile, indicates a very low level of the Dominance factor, a relatively low level of both the Influence and Compliance factor, however a very high level of the Steadiness factor. You will notice that the order in which these 4 factors are shown on the profile, provide DISC with its name.

Advantages of DISC

There are 4 main areas in which a DISC Profile can benefit you most – these areas being:

  • Recruitment
  • Team Building
  • Salesmanship
  • Leadership

How can DISC assist in these areas?

Recruitment

Generally, it is an applicant’s technical training or experience, which determines their suitability for a role, however, seldom do Business Owners consider which behavioural style, will in actual fact generate the greatest success from that role. As DISC specifically identifies and describes a candidate’s behaviour, each prospective applicant can then be matched to a desired role and subsequently, coached further for clarity of their tasks and accountabilities.

Team Building

The performance of any team member within a business, can very well make or break a Business Owner’s profits, however with DISC, you can form a stronger foundation for improved team interaction. DISC results in team members becoming more conscious of their behaviour, through an understanding of their individual reports and subsequently, they gain more awareness for operating within a team environment, therefore building a more positive team culture.

By defining and understanding an individuals behaviour, we are then better equipped to build a stronger team culture. Team members gain a greater level of confidence within themselves and also a greater understanding and tolerance of those around them. They feel more comfortable with behavioural differences and similarities, of which are brought to the business environment by each team member. Such understanding will generate more consistent, positive results, amongst your team.

Salesmanship

Some of the most stressful situations in life are derived from encounters with others, coming to terms with new environments and adapting to another person’s culture.

Through DISC, it is possible to improve your negotiation skills and therefore your conversion rate, not only by gaining a more thorough understanding of your own personal style, but also the style of others and subsequently, just how each style interacts. This then makes it possible for you to understand just how your approach may either abet or hinder a certain situation.

Gain a more thorough understanding of cultural integration and how you can adapt your technique, in order to gain the most desirable outcome from a variety of environments.

How The Technique Works

D – Dominance

DISC DominanceDominance is the factor of control and power. A DISC graph that shows a high level of Dominance relates to a style of behaviour that is direct, demanding and competitive. Highly Dominant individuals need to feel in control of a situation and will seek to take command and dictate solutions whenever they can.
High D’s (that is, individuals with high levels of Dominance) tend to be quite ambitious in style.

People of this type value results and efficiency. They look to achieve their ends as quickly as possible, but tend to place less importance on others’ feelings.

Dominance is the factor of motivation and drive. People with this as a high factor are interested in success and achievement and will seek personal advantage in any appropriate situation.

I – Influence

DISC InfuenceInfluence is the DISC factor describing outgoing sociable behaviour. People with a high Influence score on their profile are open, friendly and gregarious. They enjoy the company of others and feel relaxed and confident in almost any social situation. Highly “Influential” people are particularly motivated by the attention and appreciation of other people and often go out of their way to make themselves the centre of attention.

High I’s (people with high Influence factors) tend to live by their feelings and respond emotionally to situations. While this can lead to impulsive and sometimes even erratic behaviour, it also means that they have a real interest in the feelings of other people. Talkative and open, they trust others easily but can be deeply hurt if they feel rejected.

S – Steadiness

DISC SteadinessSteadiness is the third of the four DISC factors. It relates to qualities of patience, persistence and sympathy. Steady individuals are warm and personable, however lack the social confidence of the “I” (Influence) factor. They enjoy the company of others, but are listeners rather than talkers.

The most important element of high Steadiness behaviour is the need for time, to patiently and thoughtfully plan their words and actions. When high Steadiness appears in a DISC graph, it suggests that the individual being analysed dislikes change and prefers to maintain a predictable status quo than be subjected to interruptions or distractions.

Calm and level headed, high S’s are loyal and trustworthy by nature. They are also very persistent and will tend to continue doggedly with a task until it is successfully completed.

C – Compliance

DISC ComplianceCompliance is the fourth and final DISC factor. It relates to a rational, dispassionate approach to life. Highly Compliant individuals are interested in fact and detail and tend to look at things in a practical, long term way. They rarely act emotionally or impulsively and instead prefer to plan their actions and take account of all known possibilities.

Those with a high Compliance score, because of their like of procedure and structure, will normally follow rules and obey instructions. They value accuracy and precision and have little time for broad generalisation.

High C’s greatly dislike taking risks and under pressure will tend to evade the issue or prevaricate. They are solid problem solvers however and possess a natural ability to structure and interpret information.