DISC-overing Yourself Using the DISC Assessment
The DISC assessment has been around since the 1970s. What is it? What are the differences among assessments? How do you apply your results to better improve your leadership and relationships with others?
The History of the DISC Assessment
Our differences don’t have to define us, but they do exist. At least, that is the theory put forth in 1928 by psychologist William Moulton Marston when he published the book Emotions of Normal People. Marston was operating from a very basic premise: humans do not naturally behave in similar ways . In this book, he introduced a theory to explain the different tendencies he saw in how humans typically behaved – the DISC theory. This theory concludes that humans behave in four distinct ways, and that you are able to identify a person’s behavioral style based on observable traits.
In 1972, Marston’s theory was converted into a behavioral assessment tool by inventor Walter Vernon Clarke. Since then, over 50 million people have used the DISC assessment to uncover their behavioral styles. So, why take the DISC assessment? How do people benefit from it?
A Tool for Self-awareness
At The Nebo Company, we guide our clients to focus first on self-awareness; to learn about themselves and their own ways of being, and then use that self-reflection to learn how to work, communicate, and lead more effectively with others. The DISC assessment is useful because it allows you to understand your observable behaviors, i.e. how others perceive you. Since it is a self-assessment, you are the one providing the answers. Once you better understand your own behavioral style, you can begin to adapt to others’ styles, often called flexing.
In the version of the DISC that The Nebo Company uses, the behavioral styles vary from Marston’s original theory and DISC now stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. But the general idea remains the same: it describes an individual’s natural behavioral preference in a given situation.
Nebo’s clients primarily utilize two different versions of the DISC assessment: the Everything DiSC and the DISC/PIAV. Each assessment is valuable and distinct, so which assessment is right for you?
Comparing Assessments: Everything DiSC vs. DISC/ PIAV
The Everything DiSC is a highly useful tool for those who want to better understand their own behavioral style, and gain insight and tips on how to use their style to be a better colleague or to become a more effective manager and leader.
The Everything DiSC will cover:
- The priorities that shape your behavior, such as: challenge, support, collaboration, or action
- The behaviors that motivate you as a worker or manager
- The stressors that drain your energy in the workplace
- Your directing and delegating style
- Strategies to direct and delegate to styles other than your own
- The tactics you use to motivate others and the work environment you create for them
- Your approach to the development of others
- How your own manager sees you
- Strategies to work with managers of all behavioral styles
The Everything DiSC uses clear explanations, beautiful graphics and concise comparisons to help you understand your own behavioral style, and others.
We also offer the DISC/PIAV assessment. This assessment is similar to the Everything DiSC in many ways: it will also give you a general overview of your DISC style and give you tips and tricks for communicating and motivating others. Additionally, this assessment incorporates the PIAV values tool, which measures Personal Interests, Attitudes, and Values.
The PIAV portion of the assessment identifies six values from which a person is likely to operate:
- Aesthetic – valuing harmony and balance
- Theoretical – valuing the discovery of knowledge and appetite for learning
- Social – valuing other people
- Individualistic – valuing power
- Utilitarian – valuing money and its use
- Traditional – valuing order and tradition
Values are an important, but often overlooked, piece of the self-awareness puzzle. In the same way that each person has a different behavioral style, each person also operates from a different set of values. Our values shape who we are, and they provide guidance for our actions. To understand yourself well, you might want to begin by taking a look at what you value.
When you bring the DISC assessment and the PIAV assessment together, you begin to build a complete picture of why a person operates the way they do. You can also begin to see how some of these values interact to drive behavior, both yours and others’.
When colleagues run into issues and can’t figure out why, perhaps it’s not the work itself, but has to do with fundamental differences from one another. These differences don’t have to define us, as long as we can be aware of our tendencies, and be flexible enough in our working style to adapt to others.
There are many different ways to utilize both the Everything DiSC and the DISC/PIAV assessment. You can use it to not only better understand yourself, but to better understand your peers, your employees, and even your family.
If you would like to talk to someone about utilizing these assessments for your team or for yourself, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.