HC chats to Keith Ayers, Founder & CEO, Intégro Learning Company Australia, about the critical role that DiSC® assessments can play in L&D.
How should Everything DiSC® assessments be incorporated into workplace L&D?
The purpose of these assessments is to improve relationships and communication. As far as L&D is concerned, those in the L&D area use them to help people understand themselves and what their behavioural style is, what motivates them, what stresses them, how they tend to communicate, and what their priorities are. When people better understand that, they understand why they do what they do. They can also then recognise that, in some situations, being yourself is going to work really well. They also understand when they need to adapt and use different behaviours. Secondly, people also learn to recognise the behavioural styles of their co-workers – understanding why they do what they do and how to adapt to the way they communicate to get their attention.
What are the underlying principles behind these DiSC assessments?
The simplest way of explaining the underlying principles is to draw from the interpersonal circumplex. There are two dimensions to that. One is a liation – the need to be with people – and the second is the need for control. With those two continuums at right angles to each other, you have the four basic styles: high need for control with low need for a liation (Dominance or D style); high need for control with high need for a liation (Influence or I style); high need for a liation and low need for control (Steadiness or S style); and low need for a liation with a low need for control (Conscientious or C style). All people have a primary style, the one they are most inclined to use. Some people are strong in two styles – and that is not better than having one strong style. All people have a little of all four styles – and there is nowhere on the DiSC Map that is better than any other.
What can HR do with the data gained from these tests with regard to L&D?
One benefit of Everything DiSC® is that when teams have done an assessment we can run a Group Culture Report. If there’s a really strong leaning towards one of the four styles in the team, then that could dominate the culture. For example, if you’ve got a D culture, then you’ve got a team that rewards direct, outspoken, results oriented behaviour. It also criticises people who don’t make quick decisions, who are (in their minds) indecisive, or who are concerned about other people’s feelings. So if you were an S style working in a D culture, your needs may get completely overlooked and your behaviour may be criticised just for being yourself. The purpose of the Group Culture Report is to help teams understand what their team’s DiSC culture is and ensure that they’re using a balance of all four styles to be more e ective, particularly when the team is a little bit overbalanced in one direction.
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