DISC profiling; what it means for you, your team and your business

DISC profiling may be something you are entirely familiar with if you work in human resources and recruitment. However, many business owners are not fully aware of the benefits of using this psychometric assessment to ascertain the working characteristics of the employees around them to maximise efficiencies and develop team dynamics. Completing the assessment enables the owner to develop their qualities, and when recruiting senior management, they can look for particular personality traits to complement themselves.


'I use DISC profiling to understand the personalities of the business owners I am working with at a very early stage in our relationship.'

Disc analysis benefits recruitment and the creation of a balanced team in an organisation. Unfortunately, it is not often utilised retrospectively when it comes to developing existing management and staff. Analysing the individuals in a company can highlight their potential, and how each member of a team integrates into a dynamic system and can develop through investment and training. Ideally, a system that provides a healthy degree of cohesion, improved decision making, increased work ethics – all contributes towards positive outcomes for the business.

What is a DISC profile?

A DISC profile is non-judgemental. It asks a series of questions, each demonstrating an outcome that visually shows where the individual's overall personality lies from a work perspective. It focuses on four areas, Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. DISC outlines the behavioural traits of the individual and categorises their behaviours accordingly. Following the assessment, a comprehensive report identifies the personality of the individual. A DISC profile highlights the individuals' attributes; it can help them improve their performance through guidance and support, generating informative recommendations in a common language which every individual can understand and integrate into their working life.

What are the benefits to the individual?

The assessment integrates into personal development plans and increases the individuals' self-knowledge and awareness, improving their management of and reactions to situations, typically:

  • How you respond to conflict, what motivates you, what causes you stress, and how you solve problems.
  • Promotes working relationships by recognising the communication needs and support requirements of team members.
  • Facilitates improved teamwork and teaches productive conflict resolution.
  • In sales orientated individuals, it can improve how they build relationships with customers and can illustrate how they should adapt to individual customers' personalities.
  • Helps to manage a team more effectively by creating a greater understanding of temperaments, priorities and the disposition of the team members.

One step further with psychometric and emotional intelligence testing

As business owners, we continually want to learn more about the potential in our teams. We look to identify the future managers, the detailed analysts and the steady and meticulous administrators.

Additional assessment tools that can help us to decipher people are:

Psychometric testing provides an insight into either a candidate or an existing member of staff. It evaluates performance and potential. It identifies skills, abilities, personality traits, attitudes and academic potential. It can also determine the person's career potential and how they can progress to become an even more valued member of a team. As businesses grow, the requirement to introduce a middle tier of management becomes essential. Identifying the right individuals to take up those positions is crucial to the future success of the business.

Emotional Intelligence testing is a way of assessing and coaching a business leader or a member of staff on how they formulate decisions, its rationalisation and the softer skills behind their understandings. Emotional intelligence is fundamental to enhanced management skills. It can sometimes be confused with IQ, and although it analyses the expertise of an individual, it is more focused on how they use their intelligence to make decisions through empathy and understanding emotions. The definition of emotional intelligence is "The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically." The assessment is less about personality and more about understanding the individual. The attributes of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation and social skills. I'm sure we all remember the school nerd, incredibly intelligent but the personality of a doormat who would never get anybody to follow them or their decisions and was a social outcast — high IQ low EQ.

Getting serious about performance

It is quite common for businesses to overlook these forms of personality analysis, relegating them to a position of 'the unnecessary' and a waste of time.  However, when you want to increase performance and gain that elusive competitive edge, you need to look at marginal gains in all areas of your business. The most crucial factors in most companies are loyalty, performance and the engagement of their staff. If you can employ, develop and empower staff, you will have created an essential ingredient towards business growth and success.

Finally, remember that life isn't all about work; if you can understand yourself, develop your personality and improve your empathy and social skills, it will be transformational in your home life as well. Generally, you are born with your IQ through your genetics; EQ can develop throughout your life.

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