Every so often we run across online discussions about DISC and it’s easy to tell that the referenced assessment is not the one published by Wiley. (We have written before about the various flavors of DISC.) Many more publishers of personality tests can be easily found online. Does the publisher really matter? What makes DiSC® special?
Why is the assessment publisher important?
As long as the assessment is easy to administer and the participants seem to like it, nothing else really matters, right? Not if you are concerned with your own credibility and professionalism. Not if you want your participants to recall something from their profiles and know how to use it in relation to others.
Validation and reliability
These aren’t issues just for the psychometricians. End users and test facilitators need to care. You don’t want a participant to declare that they took the assessment a year ago and got entirely different results. You don’t want participants who have taken a different assessment to declare that that one captured their personality so much better than the one you gave them. You also want to be able to justify the cost of the assessment to your client or boss. Validation and reliability studies give you confidence in an assessment’s ability to do what it claims.
Wiley publishes their research reports. They are easy to find and complete. There’s an entire book detailing their research, titled The Everything DiSC® Manual. Can other DISC assessments match this level of research? Have other DISC assessments included so many people in their studies? Look for yourself.
Stability and longevity
Assessments can be a long-term investment. Many companies begin by offering them to a small group—like their leadership group—and then expand to the entire company. New hires learn and share their profile results. They become part of the company culture.
You don’t want to give an assessment that you can’t repeat with newcomers or with a new training focus four years down the road. Faculty teaching human resource development classes don’t want to introduce their students to a product that won’t be available when their students are in the workplace. With Everything DiSC, you can have confidence that the products will still be in use and may even be enhanced.
Inscape Publishing began creating assessments for the workplace over 30 years ago. In 2003 they created EPIC, their online assessment delivery system. They continue to come out with new products such as Everything DiSC Work of Leaders (2010) and Everything DiSC Productive Conflict (2017). MyEverythingDiSC, a mobile-friendly, interactive learning portal extends the learning experience with access to on-demand insights about DiSC and strategies for applying DiSC to real work situations.
An active network of independent distributors (of which we are a part) provides Everything DiSC solutions around the world. Wiley has proven their commitment to the Everything DiSC product.
Never willing to rest on their laurels, Inscape introduced computerized adaptive testing (CAT) to the DiSC assessments. While your employees or clients might not even notice, this responsive testing technique means greater accuracy and an even more personalized profile. For example, if your answers regarding a preference for accuracy aren’t as consistent, you might be asked to answer more questions to discover nuances for that aspect of your personality.
A new version of Everything DiSC Workplace was released in Spanish. This was not a simple translation. When an Everything DiSC product is translated into another language, a rigorous process is conducted including beta testing, norming, and validation. This ensures the most accurate feedback to participants in their native language, and that anything that doesn’t literally translate well is modified appropriately.
Understanding their audiences
Wiley seeks to understand their end users. You may have noticed that occasionally someone taking an Everything DiSC assessment online will be asked if they are willing to answer a few additional questions. These answers are used for continued research. In fact, these additional responses were used in the development of Everything DiSC Work of Leaders.
They learned that DiSC is often used by pairs of individuals and so Comparison Reports were developed. We’re able to offer those free of charge and they are available to any two people who have completed any of the Everything DiSC profiles.
They listened to problems people had administering standard 360 surveys and getting less than helpful comments from reviewers. In response, they created Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders with a selectable comments feature, CommentSmart, where raters can easily give focused, balanced, constructive feedback.
The EPIC administrative platform for delivering and managing assessments online was in response to the needs of companies and consultants who wanted to be able to add their logos, manage the tests, get group reports, etc.
If you read any Everything DiSC profile you can see the care they give to language. Participants get more than a set of numbers and graphs. They get personalized narratives they can relate to and images that are memorable. The assessment itself is written at a 5th-grade level so you can give it to almost anyone in your workplace without any special adaption or modification.
Look for these logos.
The DISC model is freely available and easily adapted into an overly-simplistic test. Don’t settle for something that hasn’t been tested or short-changes your customers and employees. Everything DiSC is simple without being simplistic. If you see these logos, you can buy with confidence.
Editor’s note: Inscape Publishing was acquired by John Wiley & Sons in 2012. Wiley publishes such best-selling business-related authors as James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner, Patrick Lencioni, Jon Gordon, Phillip Van Hooser, Ruth Clark, and Elaine Biech. This post has been updated to reflect advancements made since the Wiley purchase.
by Kristeen Bullwinkle and the DiSCProfile.com team
Updated August 2019