An Introduction to DISC Personality Assessments
12th November 2012
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Personality assessments are very useful tools whether you are looking for a new role or you are looking for somebody for a new role.  They can give some interesting insights into motivation, management, communications, relationships, etc. that are not immediately evident.

Whilst people are different, everyone has a value with special strengths and qualities. Everyone should be treated with care and respect.  People very rarely set out to cause upset - they just behave differently.  That’s because they are different.

The personality theories that underpin personality assessments are surprisingly easy to understand at a basic level.  There are many different personality and motivational models and theories, and each one offers a different perspective.

One of the most widely used, well respected and highly developed models is based on the theories of Dr William Moulton Marston, from his book Emotions Of Normal People (1928).  This model has been further developed into a robust, validated assessment tool known as DISC by researchers at the University of Minnesota.

The DISC model presents a series of four main descriptions (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance).  DISC testing instruments assess people's strongest or preferred type and their supporting types from the four available.  The results are represented by a series of graphs and personality descriptions based upon the mixture of the types.

Most people have a dominant or preferred main type, plus one or two supporting types in different degrees depending on the individual and the situation.  They show the main characteristics of their dominant or preferred type allowing for recognition of a broad range of generalised behaviours. 

These are

Dominance = Results driven - strategic planning and action towards identified aims - tends to be outspoken.

Influence = Influence, persuasion, affability - communication and people skills - tends extraverted.

Steadiness = Steadiness and process - routine, dependability, reliability, credibility, trustworthy - tends to be team-orientated.

Compliance = Compliant with rules, proven principles, detail, accuracy - tends to be introverted.

Once identified and recognised, each type can be seen to react differently in a given situation, to work with the tasks involved in their own way and to view the impact on people in different ways.  There is no right or wrong type, the important point is that each type has differing strengths and liabilities.  

About the Author

Robin H

Member since: 11th May 2011

Robin Hills is Director of Ei4Change – a company based in Bolton specialising in leadership development, tem workingand people development through the practical application of emotional intelligence.


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