“DiSC” is an often-cited tool which explores and identifies personality traits and behavioral differences. It is used to build more constructive and productive relationships at work. Like any tool, if DiSC is not properly applied or interpreted it can do just as much harm as good. Here are four important considerations for leaders thinking about how to leverage DiSC to strengthen productivity, teamwork, and communication in their organizations.

1. Consider all the ways a DiSC assessment can help you and your organization

More than ever, effective leadership and team performance are driven by emotional intelligence, communication, and interpersonal skills. Use DiSC to its fullest capacity.

  • Enhance your own self-awareness about how you express yourself, make decisions, get motivated, the characteristics you value most, and how you go about solving problems.
  • Strengthen your awareness about how those you work with express themselves, make decisions, get motivated, the characteristics they value most, and how they go about solving problems.
  • Increase the effectiveness and productivity of your working relationships by recognizing and acting upon these differences and the varied communication needs of others.
  • Extend this learning and insight in developing team performance, building sales teams, creating a culture of productive conflict, and in your own leadership practice.

2. Use the best DiSC tool available

There are numerous assessment tools that use the phrase “DISC.” All are based on the early pioneering work of William Marston and his research regarding the characteristics of emotion and behavior typically found in people. But not all are created equal. Make sure you know which DISC tool you are using. Make sure you look for the lower case “i” in the acronym DiSC.

Maren Perry, president of Arden Coaching, believes that Wiley’s Everything DiSC® tool is best. “Everything DiSC is a very thoroughly researched and developed tool,” said Perry. “It’s highly validated and we find that it provides results that are accurate and consistent. With our DiSC results, we are able to move forward confidently with our executive coaching and team performance clients.” Perry’s confidence in the tool has resulted in Arden Coaching becoming an Authorized Partner for Everything DiSC. 

In addition, different DiSC assessments have been developed based on how the assessments will be used. For example, DiSC tools exist for leaders and managers, sales teams, workplace  environments, and addressing conflict. Clarity about why you wish to have a DiSC assessment completed will help to determine the best DiSC tool to use.

3. DiSC offers a series of leading indicators — it’s not a rigid behavioral formula

In order to work productively together in the workplace we need to understand our own style of thinking, prioritizing, and behaving, and the needs and priorities of the people around us.

That said, DiSC is not a “secret formula” or a hard and fast recipe for how someone thinks and behaves. We need to manage our expectations. It’s not a cure-all, but when applied appropriately it is an effective road map, offering a series of guideposts that help us understand ourselves and others, and how we can best work together.

4. Interpretation and application are as important as the tool itself

The skill and expertise of the person interpreting and applying the results of DiSC is as critical as the tool itself. Repairing a car often requires sophisticated diagnostic equipment. But having the tool is not enough. An expert mechanic is needed to translate the information, create meaning, and take action that results in a positive outcome. The same is true of a DiSC assessment.

“We place a premium on experience and expertise,” said Perry. “It is vitally important that our executive coaches are certified by the International Coach Federation, and have the proven ability to use DiSC as a basis for developing plans of action — individually or in a team setting — that help you integrate the results into your organization in a meaningful and lasting way. It’s all about results.”

To learn more about DiSC assessments, executive coaching, and team performance training contact us at admin@ardencoaching.com or 646.844.2233.