I’ve been in the people and culture space for nigh on 25 years and have come across almost every profiling tool known to humanity including LSi, love languages (I love these, get it, get it!), Clifton Gallop Strengths. There’s one tool out of all of them that I rate higher than all others and that’s DiSC.
DiSC for the win!
Before I tell you what DiSC is, allow me to tell you what it isn’t.
- It’s not a tool for punishment. ‘Oh, you’re a D, everyone hates you.’
- It’s not a tool to excuse behaviour. ‘Yeah, well I’m a D, it’s just who I am and if I made you cry with my ‘why are you so slow’ comment, that’s on you.’
- No DiSC profile is inherently ‘better’ than the others.
- No DiSC profile is inherently ‘less than’ or worse than the others.
The reason I started this post with that little what it’s not is because I know a lot of people (myself included) have seen profiling tools introduced into a workplace for the wrong reason, or waved around like a blunt instrument. When used properly, as intended, by a HR professional with the skills, expertise and experience to make the very best out of a tool like DiSC, they can be transformational.
In fact, as part of my onboarding process in my work with clients I include a DiSC profile of my main colleague in that business so I am able to build a strong working partnership with them through a greater understanding of them and vice versa. And I find that DiSC brings to life my business values of helping my clients in the most effective way possible.
So, what is DiSC? Yes, it’s a profiling tool, but from my perspective it’s important for me to work with a tool that doesn’t put people in boxes. Officially, DiSC measures preferences and tendencies against a specific model of four basic communication styles: D, i, S and C which means people completing the profiling tool receive insights against their understanding of self and others which can make the workplace more engaging, collegiate and effective. It’s a blend of adaptive testing and algorithms based on 40+ years of neuroscience and positive psychology research. The report that ‘falls out’ of the process is personalised and has strategies to help how people interact with themselves and others with a goal of improved performance. It’s easy to understand and implement and not overly complex, although it does take a while to work through the initial questionnaire, so make yourself a cup of something delish!