When I am going through the process of hiring a new rock star to our team, the first thing I do is ask that person to complete a DISC Profile.
(If you’re not familiar with this, I whole-heartedly encourage you to click on over and take advantage of this fantastic tool.)
If you’re not sold, though, don’t worry. That doesn’t surprise me at all. I can frequently tell that people are thrown off when I ask for this during the hiring process. In fact, I was pretty reticent myself.
“You can’t possibly think that you can get to know me and evaluate me as a person based on some 15-minute, online personality test.”
You’re right. I can’t possibly think that. But it is a powerful tool, whether someone is a part of my team or not.
Here are 3 ways that taking and understanding theDISC Profile Test revolutionized the way I think about myself and others.
This is a bit of a sales pitch to get you to do something that I think will benefit you tremendously. But that thing is free and I make a commission consisting of warm fuzzies and a freeze-frame high five.
The Sounding Board
Taking the DISC Profile served one important purpose immediately. Before I even saw the results or dug in and understood what it all meant, I entered a headspace of evaluating what I knew, or thought I knew, about myself. Furthermore, I began to ask an incredibly important question: “Why is it important for me to know this stuff any way? What do I then do with this information?”
Playing to My Strengths
The first and most obvious answer to the question above, was to become aware of my own strengths, embrace them, and for the first time in my life, deliberately go out of my way to put myself in a position to succeed, by catering to those strengths. I’m an okay basketball player, but I would have very little value to offer in the NBA. Where could I put myself, so that I would have immense value to provide to those around me? After all, it’s all about adding value, right?
Knowing My Weaknesses
This is where the DISC Profile totally blew my world up. Along with your strengths come their corresponding weaknesses. Awareness of these weaknesses can be incredibly powerful. We can focus on strengthening that area and purposefully avoid those pitfalls.
I learned that as a highly interactive “people person” (in the DISC, a high ‘I’), I have a corresponding weakness: I care very much about what people think about me. That can make it difficult to make tough decisions or hold people accountable, because I need them to like me! That can also make it terrifying to put something out there for the world to see. What if you guys don’t like this blog post?! Seriously. That thought makes me completely uncomfortable.
Tailoring My Interaction
Understanding the DISC profiles of other people can be an immensely powerful tool. If I am at least vaguely familiar the 4 personality profiles—and can identify them in others—I can, for the benefit of those people, tailor my communication style to their personality. And frankly, that can certainly serve to benefit me, too.
At first blush, this appears inauthentic. But consider this: if you are sharing valuable information, and truly attempting to serve someone, isn’t it in their best interest for you to bury your ego and do what it takes to get that valuable information to them? It’s not about you. It’s about the people you’re trying to serve.
As I mentioned, I am what is considered a high ‘I’ score, meaning it’s hard to get me to shut up. Because this is my default setting, it’s what I consider normal. I am talkative, gregarious, possibly a bit annoying at times. I share very freely and you know fairly immediately if I like you.
So what if someone else isn’t acting that way? Since my default setting is to immediately attach myself and over-share, I assume that when people don’t act that way, it’s because they don’t like me. I think, “Man, if I was being that quiet, it would be because I didn’t like the person.” But that simply isn’t the case for everyone.
Having a knowledge of the DISC profiles, and recognizing the various personality styles, can allow me to take a step back and consider the possibility that this person doesn’t hate me. Maybe they’re just a bit more reserved. Maybe they just take time to open up.
Go check out the DISC Profile Test (here’s the link again) and see what valuable information you can learn about yourself and others. I came face to face with how I’d been neglecting my strengths, and had been completely unaware of a couple crucial areas of weakness.
I have no doubt that this self-knowledge will edge you even closer to the fulfilling achievement of your goals.
In the comments below, take a moment to post what your two highest scores are, and what you learned about yourself.