If you own a business, then you know how hard it can be to bring on the perfect candidate for every job. So exactly how do you position your company’s team for maximum productivity and inner-office compatibility? One theory is to hire based on not just an applicant’s skills but also their behavioral profiles. A DISC Assessment is simply a tool that can help you learn these profiles and build a compatible staff with complementing strengths.
Years ago, I came across a study done by Kenneth J. Sanginario, the founder and president of Corporate Value Metrics, LLC. In this study, he used the DISC assessment, a behavioral evaluation tool. The DISC centers around categorizing people, in this case, your staff, into four different behavioral traits: the Dominant individual who loves to sit in the driver’s seat; the Influencer who is an extroverted people-person; the Steady individual who is supportive to those around them; and finally the Compliant, numbers-oriented, non-assertive individual.
The DISC concept tries to explain that all individuals demonstrate certain traits. The whole essence of this principle is to focus on how you, as a business owner, can take the personalities of each individual on your team and strategically fit them together for maximum team functionality and harmony. You will be building not just on their skills, but how they mesh together with all the other members of your team. This concept will completely change the dynamics of your company. Let’s take a closer look at each of these traits and how you can use them to help you build a compatible staff.
First, the D, of course, stands for Dominant. The individuals whose DISC test says they are dominant are the ones you want to place in the leadership positions. They work well in the global, long-term planning area. They are decisive, focused, purpose-driven individuals. They’re your quick thinkers and most importantly, they demand results.
On the flip side, the D’s quick-reacting personality can get them in trouble if they don’t force themselves to study more options than their gut reaction. And they can be seen as overly assertive, at times aggressive, by personality traits on the other sides of the chart like the Steady or Compliant. Two Ds working together can, as you can imagine, lead to some heated exchanges.
If someone on your team shows up to meetings with donuts, it will probably be your Influencers. These individuals are interactive and optimistic. They are liked by everybody. The cheerleaders of the team, they keep everyone around them laughing. These social butterflies are a great fit for a sales position. Their optimist nature means they are less discouraged when receiving a “no” when making sales calls.
Keep in mind that the Influencer can often get caught up in the fun of being social and not be the most time-conscious. So, if you need a technical task done quickly, the I is not usually your person.
Steadiness is the next behavioral trait in the DISC chart. These individuals work best in supportive roles. Your Steadys are patient and systematic. They’re consistent. These are your operations people. They are typically well suited for roles in your Human Resources departments because they love working with others. They’re caring, understanding, and helpful individuals. However, they do have some weak areas. They are a bit more reserved and less assertive but are VERY team-oriented… often to a fault. They might not speak out to louder Ds or Is, even if their ideas are better. And they can be easily frustrated by others that appear to be self-serving.
Finally, the C stands for compliant. These individuals are logical, analytical, and accurate rule-followers. If you want someone who will pay attention to detail, then these individuals are the people. You’ll want to hire them for your legal and financial teams. They’re very task-oriented. These are often people who love analyzing data.
The qualities of the C that can be frustrating, especially for the D, is Cs often don’t like to make big decisions without researching EVERY possible option. Their work can appear to be over-analyzing (and it sometimes is). But on the flip side, the C will often worry about the D making decisions without getting “enough information”. And Cs have little patience for the “time-wasting” of the people on the other side of the DISC chart – the Influencer personalities.
When you’re putting your business team together and you have a plethora of employees, it is not uncommon to see a business mainly comprised of compliant and dominant individuals. Therefore, typically the company is really lacking in sales and marketing because they have no influencers. Or you’ve missed hiring those who exhibit steadiness as a behavioral trait, so your company is really lacking in operations.
When my clients who are business owners come to me, I tell them to look at each of these traits and hire someone with the skill sets AND behavioral traits to help drive the business in the right direction.
Making sure that you have the right people in the right place will add value to your business. According to Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, he said, “Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.” And the DISC is just one more tool to helping make that happen. Personally, we ask any potential employee to fill out this free DISC personality test: 123Test DISC assessment during our hiring process. Though the 123Disk doesn’t have all the “bells and whistles”, for determining general fit it works just fine.
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It is important to remember, most people fall between two different behavioral categories. And some traits are stronger than others. My two main behavioral traits are highly Dominant with some Compliant. I have no problem “charging hell with a water pistol” but also willing to do some research into the best way to do it. On the other hand, my operations manager falls right between Compliant and Steady. In this case, this personality trait is a good fit. She knows ways of implementation that best fit individual team members’ personalities. Because we are on opposite sides of the chart, our personality types work together complementing each’s strengths and weaknesses, rarely butting heads.
I’m not saying that if she was a Dominant we couldn’t work together. We very well could. If I had another dominant personality working with me trying to achieve something, we could definitely achieve a great deal. But we’re going to be at each other’s throats often. Knowing this in advance will certainly help me (and the rest of the staff) know what to expect.
So what exactly am I getting at? Knowing future staff members’ DISC personality strengths before bringing them into your business can save frustration and head-butting. Ideally, you can predict in advance using their DISC test, how they will fit within the organization compared to the results of your current teams’ results.
If you’re looking at your business, or you have a Business Growth Analyst like myself looking at your business to try to help find the weaknesses, we’re going to make sure your planning division and your leadership division are filled with Dominant individuals. They are results-driven and are pushing the team. You really do not want a supporter S dictating the revenue of your company. But you will need these supportive personalities getting the D’s work done and keeping the team happy, and the Cs analyzing how everything is progressing by watching the data. You want to make sure you have the right people in the right positions so that your business can run more productively. And the DISC assessment is one tool I personally use to offer me insights on how to build my compatible team.