Extended DISC® Profiling
The Heart of Conscious Business
by Richard Boyd, Director, Corporate Energetics, Perth, Western Australia
All business owners face an ongoing challenge to optimise and understand how to best deploy their available human resources. Many business commentators now state that your people or human capital represents the single most determining factor as to whether your business will just survive or fully thrive in the longer term.
The key dilemma then becomes how do we understand the behavioural traits of our key people in our business teams. Business owners are not psychologists and generally most businesses tend to run to unconscious business principles centred around the core “flow” of the key people.
When we say “in flow” or “flow” we are referring to the key proven concept that humans have a partially hereditary, and partially learnt set of biases, competencies and natural ways of perceiving, being, acting and behaving. By extension, this combination of nature and nurture then shows up in each one of us at work.
Most of us are not self-aware of our “flow” and most businesses do not understand the concept of placing people in the parts of the business that allow them to be in their “flow”. As a result then we often see many businesses suffering from their key people operating somewhat disconnected from their truth in terms of them not being in their flow at work.
Business psychology has paid attention to the fact that excellence is best found by allowing employees and leaders to work from their strengths and from their flow. In this way the business owner is leveraging the best of each of their people. By being in flow a person works at optimal levels with a degree of effortless application and find they produce their best work
Imagine if we had a tool and a process by which to understand and quantitatively plot and describe what is the individuals “flow” versus how that person is currently positioning themself at work via their job role and their perceived need to adapt to be successful? Imagine if we could gain a helicopter view of the entire management or key divisional teams and identify blocks, as well as over-represented and under-represented competencies in these key areas.
Imagine if we could widen this view to look at the degree where two or more people would come together and “flow” as a unit before we set about putting those persons or teams together? Imagine if we could identify the holes in the key competency areas in our teams and then set about recruiting and evaluating potential candidates to ensure they actually have those competencies and are “at flow” in that key skill set?
THE EXTENDED DISC® PROFILING SYSTEM
The answer lies within a tool that gives you insight into a person’s flow. This tool is the powerful Extended DISC® profiling system. Extended DISC® is an internationally accredited and best practice system for conducting human resource assessment and development in the workplace.
The Extended DISC® tool suite has evolved from the primary work of Doctor William Moulton Marston whose research led him to document in his 1928 book “Emotions of Normal People”. As outlined in this book he found that characteristics of behaviour can be grouped into four major “personality styles” and individuals tended to exhibit specific characteristics common to theses styles.
Marston identified that each of us possess all four styles, known as the blend of behavioural traits (interplays between these styles), but what differs from one to another is the extent of each style’s dominance.
The four styles were then coined as DISC where each letter stood for one style, those being:
- D – Dominant
- I – Influencer
- S – Submission
- C – Compliance
In terms of DISC, the Dominant style is typified by the traits of being driven, needing control and power, is assertive, ambitious, hard working, and focussed on the vision, the big ideas, or next opportunity. They tend to talk, move and act fast and are very goal oriented. Others may find them forceful, demanding, aggressive, determined, and strong willed.
The Influencer style is typified by the traits of social and people interaction, getting things done through others, networking and socialising, persuasive, engaging, enthusiastic, energetic, warm, outgoing and fun or inspiring. Others may find them as talkative, convincing, politically savvy, creative, compassionate, friendly and interested in you.
The Submission/Stable/Security style is typified by the traits of being loyal, stable, stabilisers, change agents, purposeful, respectful, good listeners, relaxed, patient, and team focussed. Others may find them resistant to change, avoiders of conflict, competent, agreeable, consistent, deliberate, efficient, participative, inclusive and diplomatic.
The Compliance/Correct style is typified by an interest in detail, and the ability to research, analyse and interpret information. They are serious in their outlook, talented, respect technical people and information, can be perfectionistic or strive to be more correct, have high standards for themself and others, may procrastinate and avoid making mistakes.
Others may find them critical, not entertaining fools easily, knowledgeable, perfectionists, sensitive, introverted, loners, careful, analytical, reserved, self-discipline, neat, right, systematic and informed.
Since the time of Marston the DISC system has been evolved and refined and developed to incorporate new learning about human behaviour and consciousness. An example is the inclusion of Jungian psychology principles. In 1994, the Extended DISC® system was released and over its evolution has now become the pre-eminent human resource assessment tool, as used in over 50 countries and available in over 50 languages.
Extended DISC® assessments are based on concepts of human behaviour accepted widely around the world. They are also management tools designed to optimise and increase the efficiency of an organisation through conscious awareness and growth of individuals and teams.
Only an accredited Extended DISC® consultant can access and run the Extended DISC® tool suite on behalf of a client or the organisation. People Rich offer accredited Extended DISC® Consultants and certified coaches who are recognised as behavioural specialists.
The profile is undertaken using an online questionnaire that uses weighted questions based on in-depth research that has resulted in a minimum number of questions. The questions provide adequate data to identify the individual’s traits and produce a personalised report. There are a myriad of applications that one can utilise the Extended DISC® tool suite for, including:
- Job identification, recruiting and selection;
- Leadership development;
- Organisational development;
- Sales and management training;
- Customer service training;
- Team development and issue resolution;
- Recognising wealth creation personality and generation;
- Coaching and modelling excellence;
- Cross-cultural communications;
- Communication and inter-personal skills training;
- Talent management; and/or
- Candidate selection for job role.
Your Extended DISC® consultant will assist you with selecting the right options for your assessment and report.
THE EXTENDED DISC® MODEL FURTHER EXPLAINED
The Extended DISC® model is best seen and explained from these diagrams. The Extended DISC® diamond diagram is a model of some of the key concepts that underpin and explain how the computer algorithms take the user questionnaire data and extrapolate that data into the subsequent graphs and descriptive report pages that make up an overall assessment outcome.
When one views the diamond diagram you firstly notice that the graphical model is depicted as having four quadrants. The 4 quadrants are arranged as the top right hand corner is D – Dominant, the bottom right hand corner is I – Influencer, the bottom left hand corner is S – Stable, and the top left hand corner is C – Compliance. These styles were explained previously.
The top half of the quadrant comprises the Compliance and Dominant personalities that Jungian theory terms to as the thinking realm of senses. These are task oriented persons. The bottom half of the quadrant comprises the Stable and the Influencer personalities that Jungian theory terms to as the feeling realm of senses, as well as being people oriented styles.
If one approaches the quadrants from left to right as columns then the left hand side column of the quadrants comprises what Jungian psychology terms both Sensing and Introverted personalities. These are the Compliance and Stable quadrants. These two are process and data oriented styles.
In the right hand side column we find that the Dominant and the Influencer styles are represented in Jungian psychology terms both Intuiting and Extroverted styles, as well as being product oriented in terms of their operative work identities.
The model is informative as the system is a continuum of each style that graphically shows the degree that a person is represented in any one style as well as across all the styles as the sum of the individual component styles. The graphically plotted outcomes derived from assessments provide great clarity about how any person’s traits align to the quadrants and their corresponding psychological types and themes.
The mix of component styles allows for a very granular breakdown and differentiation of one person’s style to another and means that the overall model does not just “cookie cut” someone into fitting the model. In fact, the model is flexible enough to accurately represent each one of us without compromising our unique talents and styles, and the final plot on the graph yields unique interpretive and explanatory information all throughout the final report.
The graphical output will reveal the degree that a person is living “in flow” to their core or natural behavioural style in their work setting. A person may have perceived the need to adjust their behaviours and adapt to what either is the true way of being at work, or their perception of what they need to be at work.
For instance they may be not in their true vocation, be undergoing transition, have high degrees of stress or depression, or the assessment may have incongruent data. All this is detected and reported when the participant’s data indicates this is potentially true.
Workplace performance optimisation becomes possible when all key team members are “in flow” or working from their natural profile talents and skills. Extended DISC® uncovers to the degree that this is true whilst also showing a person what is their “flow” in terms of their natural core style, talents and skills.
It is found that the quadrants also reveal complementary, natural and oppositional blends of styles. This is both true of where one is within themself from their perceived need to adjust to adapt at work, but also between different persons, perhaps within a management or project team. For instance the Compliance and the Stable styles are natural blends, as are the Dominant and the Influencer styles.
Likewise the Compliance and the Dominant styles are considered complementary blends, as are the Safety and the Influencer styles. However the Compliance trait is opposite to the Influencer and so will naturally struggle to “get” each other or their work ethic and approach. Likewise the Dominant and the Stable styles each are opposite to each other and so suffer the same potential challenge.
Once an overall picture of a business is obtained by assessing each of the key team members then the overall picture and the roles that each member occupy then reveal where these oppositional and natural blends are working for or against the business.
The power of the Extended DISC® assessment is that the insight that can be gained from being briefed by an accredited Extended DISC® consultant. The consultant will assist both the individual as well as the wider organisation in analysing the hidden dynamics that are unconsciously at work within your organisation, and the degree your human capital is incongruent to their work assignments.
The interventions that are then possible are powerful and will make an immediate and lasting impact to both the individual’s performance and satisfaction levels. This will naturally flow through to the organisation bottom-line results. These may show up as higher rates of productivity, increased sales, better staff interpersonal work dynamics, reduced risk and effort in projects, and correct leadership for the organisation.