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Sunday, July 14, 2024

The DiSC Profile: Why Personality Assessments Matter to Executive Teams

Ancient philosophers encouraged their pupils to “know thyself,” believing that self-understanding was the beginning of true wisdom. Executive leaders can learn from this ancient advice by using personality assessments such as the DiSC personality profile. Using the DiSC assessment with your board can increase each member’s self-awareness and promote more harmonious decision-making in the future.

But what exactly is the DiSC profile? Why would a personality assessment improve the function of your executive team? How might you use the DiSC assessment to develop new leaders? To answer these questions, start by learning more about the test and what it means.

What Is a DiSC Profile?

Originally, the DiSC profile was created in 1926 by a psychologist named William Moulton Marston. His book Emotions of Normal People outlines four distinct personality types.

In the century following the book’s publication, these types have evolved somewhat, and the current DiSC personality types are:

  • Dominance (D)
  • influence (i)
  • Steadiness (S)
  • Conscientiousness (C)

DiSC assessments use a series of questions to determine how much the user fits these categories, and which is their dominant personality type. This means that your DiSC results will spell out your truest strengths — as well as areas that you may need to work on.

How Can the DiSC Profile Improve Your Board?

The primary benefit of a DiSC profile is that it can help each board member understand their own strengths and weaknesses. However, using a DiSC assessment can have a positive impact on your board as a whole. Here are some reasons to consider using the DiSC profile with your board.

Raise Self-Awareness

The primary benefit of any personality test is to help board members better understand themselves. This is the “know thyself” component from ancient philosophy, and it helps board members reflect on their strong suits as well as highlight areas for improvement. 

Improve Teamwork

DiSC assessments may also identify areas where executive teams could work more fluidly. For example, some personality types may be better suited for certain analytical tasks. The DiSC profile will identify these individuals and ensure that tasks are delegated to the team members with the skill sets and temperaments to thrive.

Build Employee Engagement

Some executive teams may choose to use the DiSC assessment company-wide — or at least among their most prominent middle-level managers. Alternatively, the DiSC profile may help leaders recognize similar traits in others. This helps you match your employees with tasks and roles that best suit their personality type, which may foster stronger, long-term engagement. 

For that matter, some employees may see the opportunity for a DiSC assessment as part of a larger package of professional development resources, which may foster company loyalty.

Foster Rapport With Stakeholders

In a perfect world, leadership boards would have a smooth relationship with every stakeholder. In real life, that’s rarely the case. Your DiSC profile can help you better understand different personality types and perspectives — including the perspectives of others. In other words, “knowing thyself” may naturally lead to understanding others more clearly, fostering empathy for a more fruitful relationship in the future.

Tips for Implementing the DiSC Profile

There’s no right or wrong way to use the DiSC profile in your workplace. However, executive boards can leverage these personality assessments in several key ways to maximize their effectiveness.

Preliminary Assessments

If your team has never used a DiSC analysis in the past, now’s always a good time to start. There are several free versions available online, though you may get better results by investing in a professional assessment tool.

A DiSC assessment can be a vital part of integrating new members into your board.

That way, the individual and team will better understand the person’s personality and leadership style, which can provide insight into how well they will function as part of the team moving forward.

DiSC & Your CEO Pipeline

Every organization should work to develop a pipeline of leaders. That way, you’ll be able to promote an existing employee who already aligns with your company’s mission and values.

The DiSC assessment can improve your CEO pipeline. Having potential candidates take the DiSC assessment may highlight particular areas of strength and weakness. If candidates wish to be more successful in a leadership role, they may use their DiSC results to work on key areas that would make them stronger candidates for future positions.

Stakeholder Communication

In an era of stakeholder activism and skepticism toward CEOs, executive boards are seeking new ways to practice transparency among their stakeholders. The DiSC assessment may provide fuel for doing just that, helping teams communicate the skills and strengths of critical team members.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean making your DiSC results public. After all, the results may not be meaningful to those unfamiliar with the assessment tool. However, the results may give leadership boards vocabulary to showcase the best features of corporate leaders, which may give stakeholders a better view of the function of your team.

The Limits of the DiSC Assessment

Despite the benefits of the DiSC profile, boards should always remember that it’s simply a tool to surface key leadership and personality qualities. Your DiSC results may not be a reliable predictor of how you or your board members will function in the future.

For instance, there may be a danger in oversimplifying the results and “pigeonholing” board members into one type of role based on their test results alone. Similarly, DiSC results should never be used as a primary means of screening job candidates or board members. 

The Power of Self-Awareness

Executive boards understand the power of numbers and analytics. The DiSC profile can help you analyze the unseen territory of your own personality, which in turn helps you understand how your board members’ personalities mesh — or even clash. 

The DiSC assessment can, therefore, be a strategic tool in managing your board. The insights you gain from DiSC assessments can improve team communication and collaboration and provide insight into areas for future personal development.

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