Have you ever attempted to comprehend the behavior of someone else when they behave in ways that you would never do? It can be difficult to comprehend and difficult to deal with and communicate with. To be more understanding of each other the people of all times have created theories of personality models, assessments and models to provide a rationale for why and how people behave the way they do.
In school, at the workplace, or using social networks, you’ve probably seen profiles of celebrities. The most popular ones include The Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DISC assessment, Enneagram and the Big Five.
These tests are great tools to learn more about your personality styles and preferences, as well as how you behave under pressure, and how you interact with others. More and more, companies are using tests of personality in the workplace. Dori Meinert from SHRM. Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) discovered that around 60% of employees are required to take tests in the workplace, with businesses employing the tests to hire and career advancement.
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In this article we will discuss the purpose of personality tests and, more specifically the way DISC profiles function. We will also give suggestions on how to integrate the DISC profiles in the team building process.
You will be taught:
What personality tests are there?
What is the DISC personality test is?
How can you use the four DISC personality types as an exercise for team building
Tips to deliver group building activities using DISC profiles
The Introduction to Tests for Personality
According to the Institute of Psychometric Coaching, personality tests are designed to gauge your personality and behavior by allowing you to self-report your answers. The questions are usually obscure (i.e. it’s not clear by reading the question what the answer is) Then the answers are your personality profile. There aren’t any right or incorrect answers test of personality. Your answers will provide an idea of how you’ll react in various situations.
There are more than 30 personality tests that are listed on Wikipedia. Each test measures different aspects and gives different results. For example, The Holland Codes (RIASEC) test is designed to determine the type of personality and job positions, whereas it is the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) is focused on measuring 16 personality traits in five dimensions. It also provides a picture of a person’s personality.
What is the purpose of taking a personality test? From a person’s point of the vantage point, a personality test will make you think about your own… what you behave and what your personal preferences are, as well as how you relate to others and the world who surround you. It’s a method of learning more about the things that make you tick.
If you use a legitimate and reliable profile, the results of a personality profile usually instantly resonate with people and prompt them to say, “Yes, that’s me!” But no matter what the individual’s response to the findings the report on personality profiles is valuable because it gives a an overview of the person’s motivations as well as their fears, strengths, and weaknesses, leading to self-reflection and development.
From an organizational standpoint Personality assessments can provide companies with more information about potential employees and new hires. When collaboration and teamwork are essential to succeed, understanding the natural traits of each employee to aid in the definition of roles team formation, project assignments, and the hiring process. Personality styles can be utilized to create an environment that is enjoyable for employees.
There are a variety of reasons personality profiles are so popular at work. They can be used to:
Define an individual’s strengths and potential weaknesses
Use it to capitalize on the individual’s strengths and reduce blind spots in the context of a group.
Assess a candidate’s fit for the job
Determine if the candidate is a good fit for the culture of the company.
Use by leaders and managers to coach their team members.
It is the DISC Personality Assessment
The most frequently used personality tests used in the workplace can be found in that of the DISC assessment. The basis of the test can be traced back all the way to American psychology expert William Moulton Marston.
The 1920s were when Marston came up with a hypothesis regarding our emotional reactions to various stimuli. From this theory emerged an equilateral model that was anchored by the four emotion categories: dominance, Influence, Submission, and Compliance. Marston’s model was further refined by Dr. John Geier in the 1970s when he wrote his DISC Personal Profile System. In the course of time, the words that are behind the letters D-I S-C have been replaced with other terms like Dominant, Interacting or Influencing, Supportive or steady, and Conscientious or Compliant.
Typically the DISC profile is built around an assessment that consists of 24 and 28 questions. Each person is provided with four words and is required to pick one word that best describes them and another that is the most.
After the questionnaire has been completed After the questionnaire is completed, a graph is created which shows the person’s DISC pattern. The concept behind DISC personality types is that we’re not a single type and are a mixture of the four dimensions. However, the majority of people have a style they prefer which is the one that feels the most natural for them. The natural style is simple to show. Styles that are lower on the graph require longer to display.
In general, a DISC test will produce three graphs of an person. The first graph is “the disguise,” which is the public self that others perceive. The second graph is “the the core,” which demonstrates how an person naturally reacts to stress and pressure. The third graph is “the mirror,” that shows the way the person perceives their self-image and behavior. The graphs could be very alike or quite different, dependent on the individual.
What exactly do the four dimensions actually mean? To make the styles simpler to comprehend and remember, Merrick Rosenberg, the CEO of Take Flight Learning, came up with an innovative way for explaining the DISC types in the book, The Chameleon: Life-Changing Wisdom for anyone who has an inclination or knows someone who Does. In the book, he outlined an entertaining and memorable method to connect to the DISC style to the four bird species:
“D” is a reference to Dominant, and is represented by an Eagle. They are bold, decisive and direct. They are also driven.
“I” is a reference to Interactive and is represented by a parrot. Parrots are creative, powerful, intuitive and inspiring.
“S” is a reference to the word “supportive” and is symbolized by the shape of a Dove. Doves are loyal, faithful and tolerant. They are also happy.
“C” is a reference to Conscientious and is symbolized in the form of an Owl. They are thoughtful and critical, but also concise and constant.
Rosenberg redefined the DISC styles by using the four birds in order to offer an easier to remember, more visual method to keep people involved with this DISC system. The way each dimension is matched to the bird’s specific species is in line with our perceptions of how these birds usually behave, allowing us to remember the information using associative learning.
At work, the DISC styles are used in a variety of ways. They are used in fields such as recruiting, staff deployment as well as career development and team building.
Utilizing DISC Personality Profiles for Team Building
Collaboration and teamwork essentially are based on how members interact with one another and how they adapt to various personality types and their way of working as a team. How can the DISC system assist teams to perform at a higher standard?
A team that is highly productive can be described as one with varied in their abilities and united in their desire to reach the same objectives. Being a good team member involves navigating the interactions between members of the team in a manner that helps the team move ahead. The DISC styles offer a framework that helps to understand the motives and preferences of every member of the team.
Every DISC dimension has its own function to perform in a team structure. It’s also about the balance. Imagine a team of dominant Eagles. This could lead to an internal struggle for leadership because every Eagle attempts to establish his dominance over the others! However the team of Conscientious Owls is too cautious, too orthodox and would have difficulty transitioning from planning to taking action.
Every team has its own purpose or objective each team has a different role or goal, and DISC can assist your team to become more efficient. If you’re forming an entirely new team, the DISC styles will help you ensure that you have the best mixture of Eagles and Parrots Doves and Owls to ensure that your team is successful.
For teams that are already in place, knowing the individual’s DISC preference will make everyone aware of the other’s preference for style. This allows people to adjust to one another. If your team appears trapped in the “storming” phase it is possible to use DISC styles to connect with team members more efficiently. Once you have a good understanding of the preference for their DISC style (or the bird they belong to) it will be easier to connect with them, recognize their strengths and the value they can bring for the group, as well as also be more prepared to assist them in helping grow professionally.
Tips for delivering team building activities using DISC
First step naturally the first step is to ask the members of your group to take an DISC assessment. There are numerous online resources that provide the test (some even offer it for free! ) However, if you are working on a team building budget and would like to utilize an accurate and statistically reliable test, you might be interested in using the Taking Flight with DISC assessment and training program. This program can assist your team members learn about their own personalities, one another and the best way to collaborate to achieve team goals. The program employs the four Birds Remember the Eagle, Parrot, Dove and Owl? -to ensure that the program isn’t only fun, but also memorable.
A key element of a team-building session which makes use of DISC involves the facilitation method. The DISC system offers a structure to allow for an honest DISCussion about the dynamics and personalities of the group. It requires a skilled facilitator who can make sure that everyone participates in the discussion, asks provoking questions to help deepen the discussion and so on.
If you are delivering a DISC-related team building activity, be on the eye on how the participants react to the activity. Activities for team building generally can be very stressful for certain personalities and typically, people stay still and not express their worries. They are usually the Conscientious Owls and the Supportive Doves.
If you have a person who is hesitant or uneasy with the participants, you can take the possibility of asking them to serve as “observers” rather than participants. Their job is to observe the activities and then share their thoughts with the group at the conclusion of the event. This is a great method to involve people in team building, without taking part in the event. This also gives participants more control.