What is DISC?
DISC is a human behavior model that outlines predicted human behavior we act on in our everyday lives. Dr. William Moulton Marston originated the concept of DISC and broke it up into four distinct areas to better understand predictable, everyday human behavior.
- D for Dominance, measures problems and challenges.
- I for Interpersonal, relates to people and contacts.
- S for Steadiness, measures a person’s inclination towards pace and consistency.
- C for Compliance, measures procedures and compliance.
DISC does not describe a personality style, and a DISC Assessment is not a personality test. Rather, the assessment seeks to define your preferred behavioral style. Ultimately, most people have characteristics of all four styles, with one being more dominant than the other three. This is considered a person’s primary style. The distinctive qualities of each letter, or profile, influence the way we approach people, tasks and the entirety of our daily lives – including how we behave and approach our work.
Those who are identified as a high-D are self-starters who look forward to and embrace challenges. They are likely to place high importance on achieving goals. Conversely, someone who is a low-D tends to be more passive when faced with conflict or challenges. High-Is are normally the team players in your organization and have an eternally optimistic outlook. They are people-oriented. Low Is, on the other hand, much prefer to work behind the scenes and will want to work on things as an individual. A High-S is resistant to change and prefers to work on one task at a time. They demonstrate an even-temper and are considered good listeners who are friendly and sympathetic. On the other hand, someone whose profile is Low-S may behave impulsively and demonstrate impatience. They thrive with variety and will want to take on multiple tasks. Your High-Cs are your conscientious perfectionists. They have high standards and an attention to detail which ensures project effectiveness. High-Cs don’t go off of their gut, but rather are systematic and make calculated decisions based on facts and data. Low-Cs are strong-willed, stubborn and opinionated. It is important to note that someone’s style is created by external forces that they can’t always control.
This is all general information, but having an in-depth and thorough knowledge of your individual DISC profile and the profiles of the people with whom you work can be incredibly beneficial. No behavioral style is wrong, they are just different. Being able to recognize the unique DISC profiles of the employees in your organization and leveraging their individual behavioral preferences is critical to your people operation and the ability to get the most out of your teams and guide them towards top-notch performance. Each DISC style possesses its own strength and unique behaviors, all of which can uniquely benefit your business and contribute to the overall success of your organization. In order to successfully leverage DISC within your organization, you need to work with a Certified DISC consultant to administer the assessments and meet one-on-one with participants for a comprehensive and engaging debrief.
Red Clover and DISC
Red Clover is passionate about DISC. We thoroughly vetted our assessment provider and our certified DISC consultants engaged in a thorough learning and testing process to earn their certification. Because members of our team are DISC certified, we are uniquely positioned to help your people understand their behavioral profile and how it influences the work they do. All of our consultants complete a DISC assessment as part of their onboarding and have seen its effectiveness in how we work together, and we find incredible value in offering the same opportunities to our clients.
Diversity of thought allows for productivity among your teams, but can also lead to conflict. Conflict isn’t inherently bad, but can prove detrimental to company culture and productivity if not addressed properly. In recognizing that no style is wrong, but that everyone has a preferred communication and behavioral style while at work, is key to mitigating conflict and promoting communication and productivity among workers with different DISC profiles. Being able to identify our own DISC behaviors in ourselves, and then in others, is the starting point for effective communication.
However, you need the knowledge that a Certified DISC consultant can provide in debriefing your team. An Internet search or free product can’t provide the in-depth analysis and one-on-one explanation that comes with partnering with Red Clover as your DISC provider. We partner with TTI Success Insights as our DISC vendor, with access to a variety of DISC assessment tools to get the best from your team, from management to sales to your remote workforce.
DISC and Your Business
Partnering with Red Clover as your certified DISC provider gives you and your business affordable access to a variety of assessments and products. Along with your DISC profile, we can also assess for Driving Forces, EQ, and an individual’s Work from Home style. As with any tool, it’s only useful if you are informed how to use it, and that’s Red Clover’s competitive difference. We don’t send you the survey and let you decipher the results on your own. Any DISC assessment we run with you and your people comes with a dedicated debrief where we help you interpret the results and define how it will impact your behavior and relationships at work. We are also able to run reports and debriefs for entire teams, allowing your internal teams to improve cross-functional communication and maximize their productivity and results.
DISC assessments also have a wide-range of applicability to your Human Resources processes. Companies have worked with us to use DISC in their recruitment and hiring. By understanding candidates’ behavioral style and communication preferences, your company has a deeper understanding of the candidate, and can put their interview performance into a context. For example, if you have a candidate who completed a DISC assessment prior to their in-person interview, and they are a High-D, it makes sense if their interview answers are brief and direct. They may be more formal in their presentation than a High-I, who will come across as personable and focused on relationship-building. Without a DISC assessment, you may have written the candidate off as disinterested. However, if you are well-informed about their communication and behavioral style, the way they come across in the interview is congruent with what you know about their DISC profile. You are able to recognize the inherent differences in individuals and have a more robust conversation about how each candidate’s style can influence your business, rather than allowing baseless perceptions of candidates influence your hiring decisions. Having an understanding of DISC profiles provides business leaders the opportunity to make better employment decisions for your company. When it comes to further enhancing your recruitment and hiring process, Red Clover can also leverage our assessment vendor to create job benchmarking for critical positions in your company.
Red Clover has also consistently found a use case for DISC when managing conflict among team members, especially between managers and their direct reports. More often than not, conflict is a communication issue, rooted in the inability for two people to adjust to each other’s individual styles. We are able to leverage the DISC methodology to facilitate intentional conversations throughout your workforce and help proactively address any issues among employees. Understanding that our behavior and communication preferences dictate every aspect of our life is a step in better understanding each other, especially when it comes to navigating relationships at work.
As your company scales and you look to develop talent and promote within your organization, knowing the DISC profiles of your employees will allow you (and your strategic HR partner) to develop a strategic, data-driven management development program. It’s easy to fall into the trap of delivering a learning and development program in one style. Understanding that different DISC profiles learn and respond to learning differently will allow you to develop an inclusive curriculum that appeals to all and allows all your prospective managers to thrive.
To get the best out of your people and approach your HR processes strategically, partnering with a certified DISC consultant will give your company the edge it needs to thrive. Red Clover is prepared to help your business leverage DISC assessments for growth and success.