DiSC Assessments: What is DiSC and How Do I Choose?

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If your new to DiSC, you probably already discovered that there are different types of DiSC assessments. Perhaps now you’re having trouble deciding whether a DiSC assessment will fit your need, and if so, which one to use?  If these are your questions, then this post will help.  If, however, you’re looking for background information about the DiSC model, then I’d suggest a detour there first.

Getting Started with a DiSC Assessment

Let’s start with a brief and broad orientation to DiSC assessments and then move into the specifics. Organizations use DiSC assessments for a variety of purposes, including talent development, coaching, and training of salespeople, managers, and other professionals in areas of communication, team work, and leadership effectiveness. Each DiSC assessment can be used as a stand-alone instrument, integrated into existing training programs, or included as part of a specific organizational learning or development process.

“Everything DiSC” Assessments

More and more companies are relying on the newest generation of DiSC — the Everything DiSC, which offers a selection of specifically-targeted applications and solutions such as:

  • Everything DiSC Workplace — designed for all employees at every level of the organization to better understand their own work style and appreciate differences in the people they work with.
  • Everything DiSC Management — designed to help managers learn about their strengths and challenges as managers and how to adapt to the people they lead, including how to work more effectively in the areas of delegating, directing, motivating, and developing others.
  • Everything DiSC Sales — designed specifically for sales/service professionals to help them connect better with customers and develop more satisfying relationships
  • Everything DiSC Work of Leaders — designed for senior leaders to help them as they share their vision, build alignment, and execute on team and organizational goals.
  • Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders —  this is a new kind of 360 feedback that uses the DiSC model as an assessment of leadership style, combined with 360 feedback from peers, direct reports, and others.

“Tried and True” DiSC Classic Assessments

Beyond the Everything DiSC application-specific products, many people and organizations prefer to stay with the tried and true DiSC Classic assessment profiles.  These work especially well for individualized development activities, coaching, and customized training and learning programs.  Broadly speaking, the DiSC Classic and DiSC PPSS assessments are excellent choices in any situation where you want to focus on any one or more of the following areas:

  1. Interpersonal Communication — help people develop effective interpersonal communication skills and learn to better adapt their approach for more effective interactions with others.
  2. Self-Awareness / Self-Management — help people recognize the impact that their behavior has on others.  Personal effectiveness can be greatly enhanced when a person is able to evaluate his/her behavior and select self-management strategies that will maximize their strengths and minimize weaknesses.
  3. Professional Development Planning — help people pinpoint specific behaviors to increase or decrease as part their self-development planning. The information contained in one’s DiSC PPSS report can be excellent starting points for developing concise development plans.
  4. Career Exploration and Development — help people identify environments that would be most satisfying and motivating for them.  People are most effective in settings where there is a match between what is expected of them and their natural talents.  The “Preferred Environment” and “Motivating Factors” sections in the DiSC PPSS report provides great insight for exploring one’s ideal work setting.
  5. Talent Management, Succession Planning, and Selection — help prepare and/or select the right person by defining the behavioral expectations for the role/job and comparing a person’s DiSC style to those role expectations.
  6. Peer Relationships / Team Development — help team members understand and appreciate the unique strengths and challenges they bring to the team and how to adapt to each other’s similarities and differences.
  7. Leadership and Management Development — management relationships greatly benefit when those involved understand their behavioral tendencies and the tendencies of others.  The DiSC Classic Plus!, and DiSC PPSS’s supplemental reports provide additional information on specific leadership behaviors and the person’s general approach to managing others.
  8. Sales/Customer Service/Client Relationships — the more an individual understands his/her own tendencies and the preferences and priorities of others, the greater the potential for establishing productive and satisfying partnerships. The supplemental DiSC PPSS reports provide invaluable information and specific strategies to connect better with customers.

We welcome questions and comments.

Tom Sullivan is an executive leadership and organizational development consultant with ProGrowth Associates.

Follow on Twitter: @ProGrowth_News

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