DiSC is a personal assessment tool based on the work of Dr William Marston, an American psychologist and author who, in other news, created the character Wonder Woman, and the first polygraph machine.
Marston’s book “Emotions of Normal People” was published in 1928. In it Marston presented research into how a person’s will and sense of power impact their behaviour, their personality and how they manage relationships.
This research has been used since to develop a series of personal assessment tools, designed to help people understand themselves and adapt to the people they interact with at work.
What is the DiSC process?
The DiSC process asks participants to respond to a series of statements along a spectrum of whether they ‘strongly disagree’, or ‘strongly agree’. The answers are collated to suggest where the person sits in terms of four defined personality types.
The results and their implications for relationships and personal management are presented and reviewed with a facilitator or trainer whose job is to help interpret the profiles and demonstrate how to leverage your personal strengths to your advantage, and how to better manage your relationships with people who have different personality styles, for mutually successful relationships.
What are the four DiSC personality types?
Dominance Person places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, confidence
Influence Person places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships
Steadiness Person places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability
Conscientiousness Person places emphasis on working conscientiously within existing circumstances, quality, accuracy
How does DiSC personality profiling work in practice?
Last month, IML Corporate Members, AEMO, ran two separate DiSC programs: the New Supervisor Program and the Graduate Program. We asked the participants how they found the tool, and what they learned from the results.
Was the DiSC tool helpful?
All the participants of the two programs who responded to Insight Edge found the tool straightforward, relevant and easy to apply.
“Interesting and insightful.”
“It has allowed me to identify the preferred style of my colleagues and adapt my behaviour accordingly.”
“It was interesting to see how the culmination of questions translated into a tool which seemed detailed and logical.”
“The breakdown of traits was quite accurate for myself and easy to read.”
What did you learn from the process?
“I gained insight into my own personality and that of my peers.”
“It helped me understand, among other things, my weaknesses and strengths. Importantly how i can leverage my strengths to improve on my weaknesses.”
“It highlighted default behaviour and how to leverage your personality as well as areas for future development.”
“I learned about how I approached challenges with respect to my stressors and motivators.”
“The insights on how to leverage my profile style was insightful.”
“I am generally described as an extrovert, however I identified as a high C (Conscientiousness). With this insight I now have a greater appreciation of why people respond and react to me the way they do.”
“I learned how to engage and communicate with other styles.”
“I learned that not many engineers are also ‘influencers’ making me a unique combination which I can use to my advantage.”
“The value comes from not placing individuals into a direct category, but on a scale, allowing more depth than other development tools.”
Is there something you would change about the program to make it more relevant?
“I would introduce a follow-up DiSC profile six months down the track to see if your profile has changed.”
“I would stress that the tool is useful and powerful, and to answer the questions when you aren’t tired or under pressure.”
“Perhaps create time for a case study during the training to test how we apply management techniques with a different profile type.”