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Personality Profiling - DISC

Article for HSJ by Steve Preston, Zenon Associate

A personality profile delivers a remarkable insight into you, your characteristics and your communication style.  A personality profile gives the opportunity to know who you are, what you can offer and, most importantly, how your managers and your team perceive you.

Personality profiles often show that people are using behaviours they are not comfortable with. This causes people to be unfulfilled and stressed as they are most likely in the wrong job or the wrong career.

The DISC Personality System, developed by William Moulton Marston (the inventor of the polygraph) is the universal language of behaviour. Research has shown that behavioural characteristics can be grouped together in four major divisions called personality styles.
People with similar personality profiles styles tend to exhibit specific behavioural characteristics common to that profile. All people share these four styles in varying degrees of intensity. The acronym DISC stands for the four personality styles represented by the letters:

D (Driver, Dominant)
I (Influencing, Inspiring)
S (Steady, Stable)
C (Correct, Compliant)

The DISC profiling also produces 3 graphs that highlight the following key information:

  • How you appear to other people
  • How you cope under pressure
  • How you see yourself

The results of the disc profile report are designed to provide targeted insights and strategies for interpersonal success through more effective communication, understanding and tolerance. 
What are the main uses for DISC?
There are numerous profiling tools available on the market these days. However, the DISC Profile is the longest established validated learning tool and is highly beneficial to aid career development, team development, management, leadership and recruitment.
Understanding personality types is helpful for appreciating that while people are different, everyone has a value, special strengths and qualities. Also, that everyone should be treated with care and respect. People very rarely set out to cause upset - they just behave differently because they are different.
Example characteristics of the 4 profile types

D (Driver)

General Characteristics:
Direct. Decisive. High Ego Strength. Problem Solver. Risk Taker. Self Starter

Motivated By:
New challenges. Power and authority to take risks and make decisions. Freedom from routine and mundane tasks. Changing environments in which to work and play.

Value to Team:
Bottom-line organiser, Places value on time, Challenges the status quo, Innovative

Possible Weaknesses:
Oversteps authority. Argumentative attitude. Dislikes routine. Attempts too much at once.

Greatest Fear:
Being taken advantage of.

I (Influencers)

General Characteristics:
Enthusiastic. Trusting; Optimistic. Persuasive; Talkative. Impulsive; Emotional

Motivated By:
Flattery, praise, popularity, and acceptance. A friendly environment. Freedom from many rules and regulations. Other people available to handle details.

Value to Team:
Creative problem solver. Great encourager. Motivates others to achieve. Positive sense of humour. Negotiates conflicts; peace maker.

Possible Weaknesses:
More concerned with popularity than tangible results. Inattentive to detail. Overuses gestures and facial expressions. Tends to listen only when it's convenient.

Greatest Fear:
Rejection.

S (Steady)

General Characteristics:
Good listener; Team player. Possessive. Steady; Predictable. Understanding; Friendly.

Motivated By:
Recognition for loyalty and dependability. Safety and security. No sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. Activities that can be started and finished.

Value to Team:
Reliable and dependable. Loyal team worker. Compliant towards authority. Good listener, patient and empathetic. Good at reconciling conflicts.

Possible Weaknesses:
Resists change. Takes a long time to adjust to change. Holds a grudge; sensitive to criticism. Difficulty establishing priorities.

Greatest Fear:
Loss of security.

C (Compliant)

General Characteristics:
Accurate; analytical. Conscientious; careful. Fact-finder; precise. High standards; systematic.

Motivated By:
Standards of high quality. Limited social interaction. Detailed tasks. Logical organization of information.

Value to Team:
Perspective: "the anchor of reality." Conscientious and even-tempered. Thorough to all activities. Defines situation; gathers, criticises and tests information.

Possible Weaknesses:
Needs clear-cut boundaries for actions/relationships. Bound by procedures and methods. Gets bogged down in details. Prefers not to verbalise feelings. Will give in rather than argue.

Greatest Fear:
Criticism.
Understanding behavioural styles benefits personal and professional relationships by improving communication skills and reducing conflict. Imagine being able to better understand what motivates people and being able to recognise how to effectively deal with others?


 

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