There are several profiles available and it’s common for people to need a little help deciding which one might be best. I’ve taken all the Everything DiSC® profiles. I’ve learned something from all of them: a lot about myself and much about others in my life, too. I make different choices because of what I’ve learned from each. Below is my own advice about how to choose which is best for your needs.
Before you begin evaluating profiles you first need to know what you want to accomplish. What problem or issue are you trying to address?
For an introduction to DiSC and to increase your self-awareness, I recommend Everything DiSC Workplace. It will give you a clear overview of your style along with insights about your strengths and where you need to stretch. The assessment doesn’t take long and uses adaptive testing to get the best results. It’s a trusted instrument and popular with coaches and trainers because it’s easily understood, personalized, and memorable.
Want to improve emotional intelligence? Then I recommend Everything DiSC Agile EQ. Agile emotional intelligence is the ability to read the emotional and interpersonal needs of a situation and respond accordingly. This profile encourages respondents to take action on what they learn about themselves, their mindsets, and the mindsets of others. It’s a great choice for coaches and anyone who wants to improve their EQ.
If you’re looking for career guidance, I recommend an interest inventory or an assessment designed for this purpose (such as the MAPP™ career test or the Strong Interest Inventory). However, Everything DiSC Workplace will give you great answers for the “tell me about yourself” question sometimes posed by interviewers. It will give you insight into the type of environment where it’s easier for you to work, but it won’t tell you if you’ll enjoy or be successful in a particular job or industry.
Team retreats are popular in many organizations and a great time to introduce or return to discussions about how best to communicate and work with each other. For teams, I recommend Everything DiSC Workplace on the Catalyst platform. Teams will be able to review their profiles and gain insights into each other’s priorities, motivations, and ways of working. Team members can return to the platform whenever they choose.
There are also many other products available to team trainers and managers. If the team is struggling, I suggest using The Five Behaviors Team Development, which has a DiSC assessment built in. The assessment is based on the model introduced by Patrick Lencioni in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. It explores issues of trust, conflict, accountability, commitment, and achieving results.
Another option is Everything DiSC Productive Conflict. It’s a tool to help individuals learn to engage in conflict more productively. It’s very focused on one’s own responses to conflict and won’t directly address issues around trust or accountability like Five Behaviors does. It can shift how a team thinks about conflict and how they engage with each other, but it’s not a conflict management tool.
I’ve spoken with several organizational trainers or HR staff who have used Workplace during onboarding. All their staff take the assessment shortly after being hired so everyone knows their own styles, and perhaps have a Workplace Style Guide posted in their work spaces. Whenever someone new joins the organization or a new team, they are also given the assessment, and a meeting is scheduled for reviewing a team’s styles together.
During orientation and onboarding is a great time to provide the new person and their manager with one-to-one Comparison Reports. This report gives the new employee a quick way to learn more about their new manager and receive tips on how best to work with them.
Management or sales training
If you’re working with new or struggling managers, or training salespeople, there are profiles specific to these two roles. Consider using Everything DiSC Management to help with issues around delegation, motivation, and employee development.
Use Everything DiSC Sales to help with sales strategies and adapting one’s own style to best meet the priorities and preferences of the customer. This profile is also often used with customer service representatives to help them have more satisfying customer interactions.
So much goes into being a great leader, and choosing a leadership assessment is particularly challenging. Again, it’s important to know what you want to accomplish.
There are so many great leadership books out there, but for something that can help a leader identify areas on which they need practice, I recommend The 8 Dimensions of Leadership. This book discusses all the DiSC leadership styles with pros and cons of using each style. The book details the lessons all leaders can learn from each style, enabling them to craft a multidimensional approach to leadership. This might work best in a coaching relationship or if a leader has already completed a DiSC assessment.
I prefer Everything DiSC Work of Leaders for use with a leadership team, even though it is also used by individuals. Leaders receive tangible steps directed at leading a group or organization. But this assessment also provides a framework around which a leadership team can focus to make real progress in the organization. The profile provides tangible steps leaders can take. Unlike most profiles that value multiple behaviors, this profile proscribes the best behaviors for specific leadership tasks.
On a personal note, I think I learned more from this profile than from any other. I could better understand why some leaders I’ve worked with have failed, why some succeeded, and how I needed to grow my own leadership skills.
A few questions to think about:
- Which profile will provide the most value to recipient(s)?
- If you’re not sure about a profile, download a sample report and review it.
- How can you build upon, or augment, what’s delivered in the profile?
- Does the profile fit into other training or coaching programs you offer?
- Are you OK with learners getting the results of their assessment right away? (If not, you might not want to use the new Catalyst platform.)
- Do you want to use the Catalyst platform? See Profiles available on Catalyst.
If you really aren’t sure which profile to choose, begin with Workplace. You can always take (or deliver) an additional assessment later, and I encourage you to do so. Each profile will build your knowledge of DiSC and suggest different ways of applying it in your life.
If you want to talk over options, give DiSCProfile.com a call at (877) 344-8612 to discuss your specific needs. But I hope this article will help most readers.