Personality assessments are very helpful in deciding who would be a right fit for a position in your company. These are not tests, as they cannot be passed or failed. A personality assessment is a snapshot of how an individual looks at the world and prefers to be communicated with.
Major changes in one’s life, such as death of a close one, getting married, or having a child, can change the results of a personality assessment. A person can also decide to work on changing one’s default way of interacting with the world. This takes work over time (and that’s an understatement!).
Over the years we were in business, our company used Myers-Briggs and the DiSC assessments in our work with our team and when hiring. Ultimately we worked exclusively with DiSC.
DiSC more or less assesses people regarding four different approaches to the world and interacting with others:
- D is for dominant, driver, decisive. Such an individual is faster-paced and results-oriented. He/she tends to make decisions with little information in hand and might not take the time needed to communicate effectively with others.
- I is for influencer, inspiring. Someone who is a high I is faster-paced and people-oriented. You notice that such a person likes to talk about him/herself, often in an entertaining way.
- S is for supportive, steady, sincere. These folks are slower-paced and people-oriented. They care about others, often to the extreme. S types tend to be quiet and will listen to the stories that I’s tell, but usually do not tell stories about themselves.
- C is for conscientious, controlling, conforming. C’s are slower-paced and results-oriented. They like to be given clear directions and then not be disturbed while working on a task. They prefer not to multi-task.
Which type/style is “best?” None!
Truth is, everybody has a bit of all four styles in the profile. Typically, one
or two are more present than the others.
What about a company? To a great degree, a company often unknowingly hires people whose personality profiles mesh well with that of the owner. So a company with a high-D owner might have a different feel than one with a high-C owner, for example.
Remember, there is no right or wrong here. It is all about finding a team whose different communication styles are clearly understood by all and respected.
To that end, would the ideal company have employees who had the same style as the owner? Or would it be better for there to be a mix of styles? I think a well-rounded company has a mix of styles. The diversity in perspective will make for better overall decisions and actions than if all in the company had more or less the same style.
As part of the on-site consulting I do with companies, I have all the people in the company do a paper version of the DiSC (there also is online version that provides a lot more insight).
On the cover of the pamphlet the four styles are laid out around a wheel, one in each “corner.” After all the attendees have completed their assessments I have them come up to a flip chart where I’ve drawn the same wheel. The attendees then put their initials where their respective style is in the wheel.
In one instance, the owner was D while two-thirds of the employees were I! In another instance, the owner was D and most of the employees were SC or CS.
While I mentioned previously that it would be good to have people all over the wheel so the company had diverse perspectives, I think in reality that rarely happens unless a company makes that a goal.
Also, the larger the company, the more likely there will be more diversity, as the employees are being led/managed by different people. At a smaller company there is usually an active owner who manages just about everyone to some degree.
Want more success? Focusing on learning how to communicate better with those you work with is something any leader/manager needs to embrace. Helping your team to understand each another’s communication preferences releases untapped potential in your people.
The result is more profit with less stress! You deserve it.