DISC Test Applications in the Workplace!
Thanks for returning for part 2 of our DISC personality profiles! If you haven’t yet read part 1, definitely click back for that quick read so you know what I’m saying when I use the acronym DISC. In our office, we try to build a team with a healthy balance of all personalities, because not only do you need leaders, but leaders are doted on a bit too much in my opinion. Your workhorse and compliance people are typically not D personalities, but rather a combination of the remaining personalities that create a fully functioning team. Have you ever heard the saying “too many chiefs and not enough Indians”? Basically that saying refers to having too many leaders managing your team. You have plenty of people telling each other the work that needs to be completed, but no one actually putting in the time and effort to research and execute what needs to be done.
An imbalance of any of these personalities can cause disarray in an office, but remember, personalities can be shaped as well. By understanding what type of person you need in a given position, you can anticipate upon hiring what personality that person should be able to loosely fit. For example, if you hire someone meek for a sales position, you’ll likely be disappointed with their performance in the long run, because they’re probably a C personality that would be better suited in a paperwork type position. On the reverse, if you hire a D personality to take over a communications position like customer service, they will lack the patience required to effectively serve your clientele long term as Ds are far better at sales and management.
The benefits of introducing the DISC test even after hire with your long-term employees, is that you will likely be able to anticipate which employees are better suited for certain tasks, and how to show your appreciation for each individual since they all have their own ways of feeling cared for. Another benefit would be team structure, restructure, or additional training for those deemed insufficient for their current position. Should you find out that your General Manager is an S personality, for example, and ill suited for management in the first place, don’t feel like your whole world is shattered. Personalities can morph and grow, and it’s good to recognize the strengths and weaknesses within your team as a whole. Should the situation or a similar one occur in your office, understand that you can foster the desirable traits in your employees and empower them to be the people you know they are capable of being. As in the situation above, I personally would work with the employee on management skills, seeing as I am a D personality (typically you only want owners, managers, or independent contractors (salespeople) to be D personalities or again, you end up with the “chiefs” situation above). Another option is to send the employee to training seminars like Fred Pryors or other highly rated management workshops. This is a good idea in general, because even a D personality may not know exactly how to manage people, they may simply be more inclined to be comfortable managing and disciplining employees. Big difference there.
It’s a good idea to test each employee for their DISC personality upon hire, and again yearly. As I mentioned a few times, personalities will change, especially when exposed to others in your office, or even in the business you’re in. You could hire a quiet S personality and after a year of working in service, they’ve improved drastically in their communication skills and have become an I. They may now be even better at their position, or they could be ready to promote somewhere else in your office. No particular personality is “better” than another. Again, you need all parts of the DISC to have a fully functioning team.
So here we go, a complete list of positions and applications suitable for each personality, based on the traits listed in my last post.
D Personality Applications In The Workplace
The leader of the pack, Ds tend to stand out in a crowd as they establish dominance without even knowing it. It’s a good rule of thumb (if you are a D) to acknowledge the team you run, and though you may be responsible for organizing, you do need to give credit where credit is due.
Ds are quick to jump to the point, sometimes leading others to believe that Ds are not interested in their thoughts or contributions to the team effort. Ds must make a conscious effort to listen to others, though you can ask them (in a nice way) to cut to the core of the conversation. Ds tend to give direct but brief instructions and must have patience when others have questions, or the results will not be what is hoped for. Others’ contributions to the team should be considered and always weighed against the opinion of the D prior to a decision being made, to ensure that the correct plan of action will be executed.
Ds have a tendency to be uptight at work, but they do have a playful, humble side tucked away.
Sales or General Managers - Because D personalities are not afraid to issue praise or discipline among employees, they are a wonderful fit as a manager. They are also great at divvying out work, and coming up with quick fixes to outstanding issues that others may be too close to the fire to see.
CEOs - Again, with the ability to appropriately and effectively direct workflow, CEOs can see the big picture better than other personality types.
Lawyer - On top of the ability to manage, D personalities are very direct and results oriented. This trait can be very resourceful when playing defense or offense in a court of law.
Police Officer - Because D personalities are able to make quick, resourceful decisions, they are highly suited to be police officers. Ds are great at getting straight to the point and making determinations without wasting time.
I Personality Applications In The Workplace
Well aren’t you a charming lady or fellow?! Is are known as the chatty Cathys, the ‘people person’, and the gregarious, caring coworker in the office. I personalities enjoy being around others, and others typically enjoy being around Is. I personalities can help to keep a conversation running smoothly, eliminating any tension with a kind smile, friendly conversation, and the ability to positively encourage those around them.
I personalities are also the coworkers who build too much of a relationship with others, and invest a lot of time and effort into these relationships, even if it means neglecting other duties at times. Is have been known to gossip if it helps them remain close with someone they feel tension or awkwardness with, or if it means creating a new relationship that was not there before. Is will always talk a little too much, getting them into and out of trouble at times.
Of all personality types, Is will be the ones that nail the interview, always. It’s easy for an I to sway others into seeing their side, and they have a tendency to dote on themselves in a long-winded fashion, instead of letting their accomplishments speak on their own. Is are great with conflict resolution as they have a keen ability to empathize with others, but they can also over promise and under deliver if they’re not careful.
Ideal positions include anything in management including:
Public Relations / Marketing - Is always know just what to say to get out of trouble, and they use this to their advantage in a team setting to maintain team morale and optimism.
Salesperson - An I personality can be a wonderful salesperson if they’re mentored to be a bit more direct. Those long winded conversations can build rapport, but they can also cause a client to lose focus or be talked out of a deal if you’re not careful!
Entertainer / Reporter - Popular and likable, expressive and influential, Is can have a great bearing on entertainment or even reporting. Communication is key, and the I is a locksmith.
Coach - With the uncanny ability to encourage and redirect, an I can make a perfect coach for children and adults alike.
S Personality Applications In The Workplace
You little peacekeeper! If there’s one personality type that can keep things moving in a cohesive way, it’s the S type personality. The S of group may be considered the polite, patient one, but truth be told, S types just enjoy assisting others. S types provide a reliability that never waivers, and they do their best to be fair to all parties, though they’re usually the people pleasers, and can sometimes struggle with saying “no” to additional responsibilities. S personalities are the biggest team players and will do anything in their power to avoid conflict, or at least handle it efficiently. They understand that compromise is a huge part of the team effort, and they are usually the first to say that they will go with the flow of the group’s wants and needs first.
Unfortunately for S types, their passive but helpful demeanor can lead to the being taken advantage of quickly, even if the D or I of the group didn’t mean to do so maliciously. When an S is passionate about something, they may have a tough time being assertive like their more communicative counterparts, for fear of being disliked or causing conflict. Their calmness can be mistaken for lack of drive or individual passion, and that can lead to management not considering an S for a career advancement, because they seem complacent where they are right now, and everyone loves a reliable employee who doesn’t mind being passed over once in a while. One additional downfall of the S type is the amount of direction they may need to get a project started. S personalities are not known for their “out of the box” thinking, but rather their ability to follow direction once given. Ds will struggle here, giving minimum information to their S counterparts, and S types may feel inadequate when they’ve worked on a project to have it dismissed as incomplete from lack of communication or understanding.
Every team needs and S, this is absolutely certain. S types are the listeners of your group. They will follow direction to the absolute T, and they have no problem alleviating the workload on others for the benefit of the group as a whole. They have the same goals in mind as your D personalities, and will provide any support necessary to get the results required of them. Their attention to detail is a blessing and a curse, and their remarkable ability to form and maintain healthy, loyal relationships is beneficial to anyone in their company.
Ideal positions include anything in management including:
Financial Advisor - From bookkeeping to preparing taxes, S types have the attention to detail that never waivers. Their tight moral compass keeps them fair in all situations, and the ability to follow direct orders is easy in financial situations, because numbers do not lie or have any opinion whatsoever. The books are the books.
Doctor / Nurse - With a caring outlook towards all they come in contact with, S personalities are a perfect fit to care for sick patients. They have patience for patients, if you will. The nearly neurotic ability to pick up on queues can assist them in diagnostics, and their bedside manner is comforting and sympathetic.
Administrative Assistant / Secretary - Your typical AA or secretary is more than likely an S type personality. Blessed with the reliability to start and complete a project, this position allows an S type to work steadily on the same types of projects over and over. They don’t mind what kind of work they are doing for their D or I managers, only that the work is appreciated and needed.
Customer Service Representative - Who better to listen to customer complaints than a people pleasing, patient, sympathetic S? I can assure you, it isn’t your D or C types. S personalities are the only team members who possess enough empathy to project it through the phone to your customers. Use them wisely.
C Personality Applications In The Workplace
Last, but certainly not least, Cs are your quiet gold mines. C personalities may be hard to communicate with at times, but they are your true idea generating, outside the box workers. That being said, don’t let them talk to your clients or customers. They just weren't cut from that communicative cloth. Instead, sit your C behind a desk with plenty of rules and guidelines, and they will follow you to the ends of the earth enforcing them… to EVERYONE. This is a wonderful fit to your team, because even the D of the team needs to be held responsible, and due to intimidation, Is and S types will be less likely to speak up. Cs are not afraid to hurt your feelings. If you are doing something incorrectly, they will be the first to tell you… sometimes not showing you the correct way, or breezing past details. Ds and Cs get along like peas and carrots, and though every D will prefer to work with an S, Cs carry a huge benefit in their loyalty to proven information rather than to authority.
Cs are factual beings. They need all the information in a situation to really make a decision they stand behind, and for this reason, they are sometimes not the best people to ask for quick advice, but the best people to analyze information and give you proper feedback over time. Their ability to communicate, or lack thereof, can make them come off as robotic, uninterested, or unclear since they don’t really enjoy talking to people. They lack empathy, and don’t mind if they hurt your feelings. If they fail to communicate, they can get frustrated with Is and S types asking too many questions. If a project goes awry, Cs are first to admit fault, as they deem themselves the conscientious team member who “should’ve known better”, even if it’s not truly their fault.
When in doubt, ask a C (but don’t expect an answer on the spot, or a long-winded answer with detail, well, ever). What Cs lack in communication experience, they one hundred perfect make up for in precision. Cs will correct team members, their own boss included, if they’re not all on the correct path.They’ll add an accountability to the team that otherwise would get jumbled and lost between the Decision maker, Interactive communicator, and Steady workhorse. Cs are a great addition to any team.
Ideal positions include anything in management including:
Designer / Artist - Don’t have them tell you, Cs can better show you what they mean. They have an internal eye that not all others possess, and they can’t always portray a new idea out loud, but give them some time and they can give you something wonderful that you’ve never even dreamt of. From new marketing to the full design of architecture or even an engineering position, Cs are cut out for following guidelines and creating new content.
Data Analysis Representative - If left alone, Cs can be a resourceful informational analytic. Cs can interpret and rearrange data in a way many minds cannot, anticipating future events or the outcome of projects, helping you save time and effort within your team.
Quality Assurance / Resource Manager - Give them rules and they’ll give you results. Cs can abide by a large range of guidance, and they can implement it without care for who else will or will not enjoy the rules.
IT / Computer Programmer - You don’t have to chat with a computer to tell it what to do. Again, the guidelines of fixing a problem are fairly clear to a C on what will or won’t help a situation with technology. Cs have the ability to recognize problems quickly and fix them meticulously, to the standards they were told to do so. Not having human interaction is just a plus here.
And there you have it. The four personality types that we recognize within our company, and how we use those to structure our team, divvy up job requirements, and hold each other accountable and productive simultaneously. Again, if you haven’t yet taken the DISC test, in our office, we utilize the Tony Robbins version, because we feels it gives us the most information back on our personalities. Is and Cs will be happy, Ds and S types will skim for the ‘important’ stuff, but I encourage you to take the test and have your team do the same. The more you know, the better you can manage, the better you manage, the better you manage, the more functional your team, and the more functional your team, the more money you can make.