As we discussed last time, I decided to take the DiSC (and you can too!) to learn exactly what’s involved in the profile and report. I learned that I am primarily a Steady (or “S”) personality type, which I guessed, but also that I have a strong Conscientious streak that can impact how I view my work. Depending on the situation, I can be more relationship focused or more task oriented, and I have high expectations for the accuracy and quality of the product that I create.
The DiSC report that comes with each assessment is 30 pages long, so there’s much more to learn and analyze than just a report on your personality type and what it’s like. As I read through the report, I was also intrigued by several other insights it presented. The second section presented lists of specific ways in which my personality type might manifest in a workplace environment: my strengths and challenges, my needs, my communication style, my motivators and work preferences. For each list, I was asked to highlight two items that best described me and enter them in a worksheet at the end of the section. On the summary sheet, my personality type was basically laid bare and ready to share with others with whom I work.
Being able to articulate my needs and preferences (and even my weaknesses) seemed like a really great first step in helping others communicate better with me. For example, I learned that I like to be asked for my input regarding important decisions, and that I’m motivated by sincere reassurance from my supervisors and clients.
The next section of the report is the longest, likely because it’s the most practical and pragmatic. This is the bread and butter of the DiSC: how to adapt your personal communication style to mesh with the personality profiles of others. The report explains the four DiSC profiles in detail and gives you some criteria to determine the personality types of others. It explains where tensions might arise among profile types based on pace and priority. Then it explains the concept of behavioral adaptability, “your willingness and ability to adjust your approach or strategy based on the particular needs of the situation or relationship at a particular time,” and gives tangible, everyday solutions and suggestions to help you adapt.
This is the piece of the DiSC that I think will be most helpful in the workplace: learning how to pay attention to yourself and the people around you in order to adapt. You can’t really adapt your behavior if you don’t pay attention to the needs of the person you’re interacting with. Being more conscious and more attuned to differences in pace or priority is key to getting the DiSC to work. Thankfully the report provides many resources for being able to do this and understanding why it’s so important.
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