When we think of employee behavior in the workplace, we often label it as good or bad, but the truth is that employee behavior goes beyond placing someone on a morality scale.
A DISC assessment can provide valuable insight into your employees’ natural behavioral patterns by helping you understand the factors that drive what they do and how they communicate in the workplace.
As a result, you can create an engaged workforce, potentially increasing success in your organization. A Gallup study shows that engaged employees increase profitability by 23%.
As you read on, you’ll learn more about the benefits the DISC assessment can provide to your organization. First, we’ll begin by explaining the basics of the DISC personality test.
What is a DISC assessment?
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A DISC assessment is a behavioral tool that helps people uncover an individual’s behavioral patterns, motivations, stressors, strengths, and weaknesses. Think of a DISC assessment as a mirror that shows you your blind spots, tendencies, and how you act under any given circumstance.
In business environments, managers and employees can use DISC assessment to increase self-awareness, potentially improving working relationships and operations.
The DISC assessment is not a new behavioral test. The emergence of this assessment goes back as far as 1928 when psychologist William Moulton Marston outlined the DISC behavior model in his book Emotions of Normal People. He described four intrinsic factors that drive our behavioral patterns – Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance.
However, the model changed over the years, and now we have a modern version that categorizes individuals based on four primary personality traits:
As we move further, you'll learn more about the DISC assessment personality types.
DISC assessment types
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The DISC personality types have different characteristics, and each person can fall under any of them or a combination. Here's an overview of each of them.
DISC type-D (Dominance)
A person with DISC type-D is labeled as dominant. They are fast decision-makers, especially during a crisis, and can thrive when working independently without interference from anyone. D-types love a challenge and tend to be authoritarian and results-driven.
- Traits: D-types are generally forward thinkers, strong-willed, blunt, decisive, competitive, tough, and self-confident.
- Strengths: Their strengths come from their ability to adapt quickly to changes, engage in routines without tiring out, and accept challenges.
- Weaknesses: The D-type weaknesses are often related to their relationships with people. They can come off as insensitive, rude, overbearing, and impatient.
DISC type-I (Influence)
This personality type describes a social, fun, and optimistic person. I-types prefer working in environments that allow them to be creative and interact with different people. You can find the type-I personality profile in fields like telecommunications, product development, and public relations.
- Traits: I-types tend to be friendly, enthusiastic, spontaneous, energetic, inspiring, and positive.
- Strengths: People with the I-type personality are creative problem-solvers; they like to see the positive side in situations and thrive well in social conditions. Their social nature enables them to create fun and positive working relationships.
- Weaknesses: They sometimes struggle to deal with negative emotions and can be too sensitive when dealing with conflicts. I-types fear disapproval and want to be liked by people.
DISC type-S (Steadiness)
A person with DISC type-S is steady. They cooperate well with others and are often dependable. The type-S personality is suitable for roles like HR management, social work, and teaching.
- Traits: S-types tend to be supportive, calm, patient, consistent, stable, deliberate, and trustworthy.
- Strengths: People with this personality type are good listeners and team players. They are focused, not hasty to make decisions, and can perform tasks without distractions.
- Weaknesses: They don't adapt to change easily and usually avoid confronting people because they fear upsetting them.
DISC type-C (Conscientiousness)
This personality type describes someone who is a deep thinker with excellent analytical skills. The C-types value high-quality work, logical reasoning, and precision. You can find this DISC profile in fields like engineering, accountancy, and IT.
- Traits: C-types are generally process-driven, formal, analytical, cautious, independent, and tactful.
- Strengths: They can perform tasks without distraction and are methodical.
- Weaknesses: Their weaknesses include a fear of criticism, a need to always be correct, and the time it takes them to make decisions.
Why should you conduct a DISC assessment?
Conducting DISC assessments provides many benefits to your employees and company. Here are the most important ones:
1. Increased self-awareness and personal development
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The DISC test helps employees understand their strengths, weaknesses, and behavioral tendencies. As a result, they make positive adjustments when communicating with team members, dealing with conflicts, and performing tasks.
2. Higher productivity
Since DISC profile assessment helps employees understand their strengths and weaknesses, managers can assign tasks to employees based on their skills and preferences. As a result, employees become more productive, complete tasks, and are more likely to remain in your organization.
3. Conflict resolution
If a workplace conflict occurs, managers can use information from the DISC behavioral assessment to know the DISC profiles involved. The key is understanding each DISC personality type’s communication styles and applying emotional intelligence when resolving conflicts.
For instance, the best way to resolve conflicts with I-types is by communicating warmly and positively. On the other hand, D-types may prefer to be addressed straightforwardly and logically.
4. Better teamwork and communication
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Team members who use the DISC assessment learn about each other's personality traits, and as a result, they communicate better, avoid conflict, and are more productive. Also, a manager can use DISC assessment results to delegate tasks to the right individual for maximum success.
For instance, if a team were to conduct group projects under a short deadline, a team member with a high DISC type-D can direct the overall activities of the project, and a type-I team member can use their influential skills to make the work environment more positive.
5. Improved leadership
A self-understanding leader who can approach employees, understand their behavioral tendencies, and motivate them has an advantage over a leader who isn't aware of their personality or that of their staff.
When managers understand the DISC profiles of employees and themselves, they apply good conflict management practices, improve communication, fulfill employee needs, improve customer service, and delegate tasks efficiently.
No matter how specifically you outline business goals and tasks, failure to understand your team may lead to problems like poor communication, low employee productivity, poor leadership, and unresolved conflicts.
When managers and employees use the DISC model to understand their strengths and weaknesses, the workplace dynamics can improve positively, from increased productivity to better communication and leadership.
What is the 4 DISC personality types test?
The 4 DISC personality types test is a tool to understand people’s personality traits, behaviors, and motivations using the DISC 4 personality styles – Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C).
Is the DISC assessment legit?
DISC assessment is one of the most widely used personality assessments and has been around for almost a century. While it can provide valuable insights into one’s communication style and working preferences, it is important not to make high-stakes decisions or judgments about a person’s character based on it because people can behave differently based on context. It’s best to combine it with other assessment tools and be aware of its limitations.
Can I take the DISC for free?
You can take a free DISC assessmen, but these are usually short tests that provide limited data.
What is a good DISC score?
There is no good or bad score in an online DISC assessment. However, a DISC score above 50 indicates an individual high in that behavioral style, and a score below 50 indicates someone low in a particular DISC style.
What is the best DISC type for leaders?
There is no ideal DISC type for leaders. All four types have strengths that can be valuable for leadership roles. A leader's effectiveness depends on their ability to understand themselves, leverage their natural traits, and adapt to different situations and DISC profiles of their team members.