You’ve likely heard of personality styles. They’re a popular tool used to assess individuals and groups, and they can be incredibly helpful when it comes to understanding how people think, feel, and behave.
The purpose of using personality styles is to gain a better understanding of how people work together. By understanding the different motivations of each personality type, you can create a more engaged workforce that is capable of performing at its best.
A lot of business owners just want to know what DISC profile to hire for a certain position as if it’s some magic bullet in getting productive people. But the reality is that this is just the start.
I’m not going to discuss the individual personality styles in the article. I’ll do that in the future, but you’ll learn a ton just by following this process here.
Here’s how to get started with DISC … Start at Home
Please do not skip this step! DISC will make you better in all areas of your life, so take your time.
1. Take the DISC assessment Yourself
The first person you need to understand is yourself. I thought I understood myself well, but when I read my DISC report, I found out that I had only scratched the surface. By taking the DISC assessment, you’ll get a more in-depth look at your personality and how it affects your work…the way you interact with the world both at work and at home.
Key #1 – Understanding yourself
One of the biggest challenges with working with personalities is that they thrive on change. If you try to force everyone into one specific personality style, they’ll rebel and productivity will decline. Allow people to be themselves and give them the freedom to express their unique talents in the workplace.
2. Have your spouse take the DISC assessment
Some people recommend you asses your team next. If you’re married, I’d recommend doing it a little differently. Have your spouse take the DISC. This will open up a whole new world of understanding for you. Since you already know this person well, you’ll begin to see things in a whole new light that I believe will help you appreciate your spouse even more.
I bet you’ll end up in fewer arguments after you and yor spouse both take the DISC assessment!
Read each other’s DISC reports. Read them separately. Read them when you are together. Compare them. Contrast them. Discuss them.
Key #2 – Understanding others
3. Have your children take the DISC assessment
One of the best things I have done as a parent is having my whole family take the DISC assessment. It’s helped me be a much better parent. It’s helped me understand each of the kids better; they are very unique individuals…as are yours. We discuss it over dinner, in social settings, and especially when one is considering dating someone.
I promise DISC will make you a better parent.
How to Get Started with DISC … at Work
After you have implemented DISC at home, you should have a decent grasp on personality profiles and how you can adapt your communication style to improve your relationships. Now you’re ready to do the same at work.
1. Have your managers or leaders take the DISC assessment
Now that you, your spouse, and your children have taken the DISC assessment, you should have a decent understanding of the basic personality profiles. Now, it’s time to assess your team, and I recommend starting with your managers and leaders if you have any yet. I recommend doing it this way because these are the ones you work closest with, and they too need to understand DISC so they can become better managers and leaders.
2. Have your whole team take the DISC assessment
The next step is to have your entire team take the DISC assessment. This is a great time to introduce DISC and personality styles. Let your team know that their differences are to be celebrated. It take a diverse team to really succeed.
Business owners often quote Jim Collin and say they want the right people in the right seats on their bus/company. DISC is essential to getting people in the right seat. It’s all too easy to have the right person who shares your company values and believes in your vision but have them in the wrong seat. When this happens, their performance will be subpar, they will be frustrated, their manager will be frustrated, and it will end up in failure.
DISC is key for placing people into the right seats.
This topic deserves a lot more attention than I can give it here, so we’ll save this for later.
3. Adopt the DISC Language at Work
If you want the benefits of DISC to stick long-term, begin using the DISC Language in your annual, quarterly, and even weekly meetings.
At my company, the managers read each team member’s DISC report before their quarterly conversations. It’s not enough if we as business owners understand DISC and our people… we need our managers to understand as well… and then ultimately the entire team.
When your employees start asking questions about how to interact with others or to view someone else’s report, you’ll know you’re well on your way.
4. Use DISC in your hiring process
Since DISC is a predictor of how people will act in various circumstances, understanding what profiles are best for a given position is vital. And by “best”, I mean someone who is more likely to succeed because their intrinsic/internal design and desires match the needs of the job.
For instance, you would not want a person who doesn’t like to talk to people to be your brand ambassador or sales representative. You’d want someone who thrives on talking to people. This may be an oversimplification, but you get the idea.
5. Use DISC in your management process
When leading and managing, you can adapt your communication style to have better interactions and more positive outcomes when cheering your employees on, coaching them, and when correcting them. Adapting your communication style is the third key to DISC. This means adjusting your approach, your tone, your pace, etc.
Key #3 – Adapting your communcation style
6. Use DISC in your promotion process
Just as in the hiring process, evaluating one’s personality style against the needs of the new position is vital when considering a top performer for a new position. I see business owners and leaders get this wrong far too much, and it can ruin a great employee…at least for this particular company.
Managers take a top performer and assume they can be the manager, but fail to understand that leading the way, managing the process, and holding people accountable almost always requires a different skillset and personality style than the one it takes to be a top performer in a particular position.
On the contrary, a mediocre-performing employee in a certain position can often be a rockstar manager of people performing that job.
Don’t rium a top performer by promoting them to a position they are not a fit for.
7. Use DISC in your rewarding process
When you see someone excelling at their job… you want to reward them, praise them, recognize them in front of their peers, and maybe even publicly. But guess what… the way YOU would want to be rewarded and recognized may not be the way THEY want to be rewarded and recognized.
Getting this wrong could be detrimental. The worst part is that you could get wrong and not even know it, because the employee is afraid to speak up.
At the end of the day, when you express appreciation, you want it to have the most impact, right? Can you see how speaking their language will make a huge difference?
DISC helps you speak THEIR language
8. Use DISC in your firing process
Unfortunately, not all employees work out. Regardless of the reason…us or them, this is a good opportunity to consider sharing with them what type of position they may look for in the future. We do this at my company because we really do care about people and want to add value to them.
9. Use DISC in your sales process
While I often hear corporate salespeople talk about using DISC in their selling, I don’t hear many home-service or small business salespeople talk about it.
This too is a topic that merits more than I can give to it here in this article. Once you implement DISC at home and within your team at work, then you’re ready to extend it to your interactions with your prospects.
A person’s personality profile impacts the way they should be approached, the pace at which they make decisions, how they process information, how quickly they make decisions, whether they make decisions on their own or collaboratively, etc.
Once you have a basic to intermediate understanding of personality profiles, you’ll begin to see these things at work in your sales interactions.
10. Use DISC in your customer service process
When you are serving your clients, or even trying to make things right for a dissatisfied customer, understanding personality profiles can help you enormously. Sometimes a client just needs to vent. They need someone to listen to them share their experience with your company. If you’re a results-oriented person, you may be inclined to jump right on the problem and fix it immediately, leaving feeling like their voice was not heard…like they are more of a transaction and less of a person.
When you speak the language of DISC, you will see they are slower paced, and match your style to theirs, slowing down and listening. You may even find that the solution they are seeking is different than the one you originally thought of.
DISC helps you match THEIR pace.
Why DISC over alternative assessments?
Before I implemented DISC, I wanted to assess the assessments. I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Enneagram, 16 Personality Types, Colby A Index, etc., but I chose DISC because it was easy to understand, and I felt I could quickly help my team understand and use it. And it worked! I’m so glad it did, and that’s what I recommend you do.
Where to Take a DISC Assessment
You may be asking, “Jason… where can I take the DISC assessment?”
There are so many DISC assessment options out there, that a quick Google search will return overwhelming results. Many will allow you to take the assessment for free and charge you for full reports. You’re welcome to do that. You can also find the ones I use in my company here: Purchase a DISC Assessment.
DISC will help you:
1. Understand yourself
2. Understand those around you
3. Adapt your communication style
DISC is powerful. It is life-changing. It will help you be better in all areas of life. It will not happen overnight. It takes time. Just get started. You’ll gain new insights immediately that you can put into practice right away.
Feel free to reach out of you have any questions.