The Benefits Of Measuring More Than DISC

While the DISC tool, which provides insight on a person’s behavioural preferences and orientation, is powerful on its own, it’s impacts can and will be enhanced with other assessment tools. People are unique and measuring only one part in the hope to understand the whole will be challenging and near impossible. People with the same behaviors might different drivers that must be met in order for them to feel fulfilled. DISC may tell part of the story, but alone it does not paint a complete picture.

When you go deeper than DISC, you can have a much clearer understanding of yourself and others. Looking at an individual from more than one perspective is vital. At On Purpose Leadership Inc., we use the DISC assessment as well as a variety of others. We believe that a combination of these assessments will assist individuals and teams to reach new levels of excellence and success.

Let us give you one example. In a recent workshop with a team, we provided each team member with a Behaviours and Emotional Quotient assessment. When looking at the team and addressing a high conflict situation, we really could not find a sound rationale for the conflict by looking exclusively at the Behaviours (DISC) assessment comparisons. In fact, it wasn’t until we looked at the team members Emotional Quotient scores that we were able to identify the source of the conflict. One member of the team had a Self-Regulation score that was very low and well below the Self-Regulation scores of the other team members. This led us to understand that it was emotional outbursts from the one team member, and the way in which those were received and managed by the other team members, that was the real source of the conflict. Had we looked only at the Behaviours, we definitely would not have identified accurately the source or the real issue.

 

Below are ten reasons to go deeper than DISC:

  1. Increasing self-awareness

There’s an old saying that goes “you can’t help others until you help yourself.” Understanding yourself first and foremost will help you maximize your potential, which you can then leverage to help others achieve theirs. Self-awareness is an important skill that’s not measured by DISC but important to be successful in most walks of life. When a person is self-aware, especially during times of stress, they can identify a potential problem, remind themselves to take a step back and diffuse a potential problematic situation. Those with high self-awareness tend to find greater success compared with those who do not possess this skill.

  1. Understanding the how and the why behind a person’s behavior

How does someone identify that they are in a situation that isn’t meant for them? Identifying what drives or motivates a person is key. An example would be if an individual is motivated by creative endeavors, they could pursue avenues that utilizes creativity. This could give an individual a reason to get out of bed every morning and be excited to go to work.

  1. Better understanding others

Going deeper than DISC can also help a person as it relates to their peers, team and their boss or customers and suppliers. Once you figure out what your strengths are and truly know what motivates you, only then can you find your rightful part within an organization where you can use your skills and motivators – what drives you – to excel.

  1. Uncovering information without making assumptions

In the job marketplace, everyone starts out as a faceless resume on a piece of paper or electronic document. So many companies rely on the interview process to uncover information about potential employees, but what can you honestly learn about someone during a 30-60 conversation about their job history? Utilizing multiple assessment solutions can uncover more about a person without making assumptions or having to rely on “gut” instincts. In a nutshell, going deeper than DISC helps companies to avoid judging a book by its cover.

  1. Identify the needs for a group of people

Using assessments, especially team reports, can help identify the needs of a team and the individuals that make up a team. While the individual reports will dive deep to unveil important information about the individual, the team reports can shed light on the team as a whole, and how all the people within the team fit together. This makes it easy to identify if someone is in a position not necessarily suited for them. This helps to build stronger, more cohesive teams because each person on the team is doing a job they enjoy and are qualified to do.

  1. Identify learned skills

Learned skills, or competencies, are not measured by DISC but are key in determining if someone is cut out for a certain role and accountabilities. Each person has a unique hierarchy of competencies and these include: leadership, interpersonal skills, goal orientation, understanding others, diplomacy, teamwork, problem solving, resiliency, flexibility and negotiation, just to name a few. Having competencies in many of these areas are keystones to certain jobs. Knowing, in advance, if a potential candidate is strong or weak in these areas can help a company hire the right person. And for the individual, they can identify any vulnerabilities, so they can set goals on specific areas to improve.

  1. Measuring emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence measures how someone operates under pressure and how well they deal with stress. An element again not measured by DISC, but an important one, especially for people that work in high-stress, fast-paced, competitive or otherwise demanding environments. When someone has a lower emotional intelligence, they are a candidate for the occasional emotional hijack (also known as an amygdala hijack). In this scenario, a person responds negatively to stress when put in stressful situations. While everyone has a bad day here and there, it’s good to identify if a person may be regularly susceptible to this sort of issue if their job is going to be continuously high-stress.

  1. Identifying stress levels

Stress assessments can measure how stressed a person is in a snapshot of time. While some people use stress as fuel or energy, others allow stress to eat them alive and obliterate their ability to be productive. Finding a person’s typical stress level will help to figure out what jobs or fields may be best suited for this person to consider for employment.

  1. Understanding a person’s acumen

Above we talked about identifying learned skills but understanding how these skills manifest for an individual are key to figuring out what is really inside someone. Research has shown that the most effective people are those who understand both their strengths and vulnerabilities, so they can develop strategies to meet the demands of their environment. Assessments that uncover insights about acumen can help predict the likelihood of a person succeeding or failing in certain situations.

  1. Solve for a problem through people

Every business exists because there is a perceived need. Whether it’s a basic need such as food or water, or a perceived need such as a new Porsche, if there is a need, there will be a product or person to fill that need. Filling certain roles within a company qualifies as a need, or “pain point.” So, if a company is looking to hire a person that needs to have very specific skills, how can an employer identify those characteristics within the framework of an interview? By assessing a person’s drivers, acumen, behaviors, stressors and emotional intelligence, a thorough, complete picture can be created that gives true insight into an individual and whether they are the person they are searching for to fill that very important position.

 

Conclusion

Understanding a person’s behavioural preferences and orientation through tools such as DISC is a great start to learning about an individual and how they might fit in with a team or an organization. But there is so much more information that can be learned and it’s important to go as deep as possible to uncover everything you can on the front end. DISC is just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing what’s underneath the iceberg is crucial in ensuring that you have all the information that’s needed to make the right decision in an important situation. Many of the points listed above have a coinciding assessment. For further information on the variety of the assessments we do at On Purpose Leadership Inc., click here

 

On Purpose Leadership Note: The above is adapted from an Article by, and we give our thanks to, Dave Clark. On Purpose Leadership is an Approved Provider partner of TTI Success Insights.

4 Ways to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is defined as an individual’s ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity. Emotional intelligence is often referred to as emotional quotient (EQ) as the terms are interchangeable.

Regardless of where a person is today on the EQ scale, emotional intelligence can be improved. It takes a concentrated effort, a desire to become more aware and an active attempt at restraint when facing conflict. But with a combination of awareness and self-discipline, EQ can change relatively quickly. While there are many different factors that can influence EQ, today we observe 4 ways to improve emotional intelligence.

Research shows that successful leaders and superior performers have well developed emotional intelligence skills. This makes it possible for them to work well with a wide variety of people and to respond effectively to the rapidly changing conditions in the business world. In fact, a person’s emotional intelligence may potentially be a better predictor of performance success than intelligence alone.

Emotional Intelligence is accurately measured through assessments. A person answers a series of questions, and in doing so, earns a specific score for each of the five individual sub-categories that make up EQ. Additionally, they receive an overall EQ score. Just as a person can increase their IQ through learning, a person can improve their EQ scores by focusing on specific areas of EQ.

  1. Becoming more self-aware

The more you become aware of your emotions and drives, the more you can control those things. Part of being self-aware is understanding the effect you have on others. Self-awareness boils down to being able to recognize when you are in a proper frame of mind.

Self-awareness starts within each person and it starts with a series of questions. To hone in on your self-awareness, ask yourself:

  • How am I feeling?
  • At this very moment, do things feel easy or difficult?
  • Do I have a smile or a frown on my face, and why?

You cannot address any social aspect of EQ without first being aware of what’s going on inside yourself. If your mindset is altered to the negative, chances are your interactions will be, as well. Once you are consciously aware of what’s going on inside of you, you can move on to the next stage of emotional intelligence, self-regulation.

  1.   Increasing self-regulation

Self-regulation speaks to the ability to suspend judgement in a moment of stress and thinking before acting. Defined, it is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. Self-regulation is a person’s ability to modify their own mood when they become self-aware of a disruptive mindset.

I don’t have to go far to find an example of someone who has benefitted from learning a little self-regulation. For years, I was the poster child of how not act when put in stressful situations. As someone who is honest to a fault and doesn’t like to bottle emotions, I had a propensity to voice my opinions regardless of whether or not they were solicited. And, if I felt I was in any way under attack, those opinions would turn into defences. Rational conversation could quickly turn into verbal sparring as a defence mechanism.

So many times I realized, much too late, that if I just let a little time go by, what seemed like a crisis then would later become an afterthought. This realization is an example of increasing one’s self-regulation. The process is two-fold: the act of first recognizing the need and then acting upon it for the greater good.

A few questions to ask yourself include:

  • Does this issue need to be addressed right this minute?
  • In the grand scheme of things, how important is this really?
  • Am I able to walk away from the situation to gain time and perspective?
  1.   Becoming more socially aware

A person with social awareness has the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and how their words and actions affect others. It’s the ability to assess how they are communicating or may communicate with others.

We may have the best intentions. We wake in the morning and we want to treat everyone with respect. We want to be thought of in a positive way and plan to experience nothing but friendly interactions. And that all goes out the window when stress arrives. Whether the people we are communicating with are the cause of the stress or not, communicating when you’re not in the proper frame of mind can come with consequences and negative outcomes.

It can be as slight as facial expressions, mannerisms, body language or tone of voice. An observant person can gauge our mood and attitude before we even say our first word! Just like a math equation that has a definite starting and end point, EQ works in a similar fashion. Once a person becomes self-aware first and self-regulated next, they need to take those skills and use them outwardly in social interactions. These skills come in handy especially during stressful situations.

In trying to become more socially aware, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does my outward expression say to someone?
  • How would someone interpret my body language?
  • Am I projecting my emotions through my tone of voice?
  1.   Improving social regulation

Social regulation involves the ability to influence the emotional clarity of others through a proficiency in managing relationships and building networks.

It’s very easy to be the life of the party when everyone is having a good time. A person with strong social regulation can be just as well-liked and respected during times of stress because they are able to control their reactions to the stress stimuli.

Think back over your career and picture a boss or bosses for which you had a great detail of respect. What were some of their characteristics? It’s likely they were fair, respectful, even-keeled and thoughtful. Chances are, what you’ll recall most about them is their consistent nature by which they communicated to you and your coworkers. Their consistency had a calming effect on you.

The more a person can regulate their social situations, the more successful they will likely be. It’s pretty simple really. Do you buy from a salesperson who is pushy or one who makes a personal connection with you? Do you go to a doctor that treats you like a number, or one that takes time to get to the heart of the matter? The better our interactions with others, the more successful we will be at whatever we want to accomplish, regardless if that’s closing a big sale or making a new friend.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Am I being respectful at this moment?
  • Am I hearing the entire story before passing judgement?
  • Is it possible that things aren’t really as they might appear to be on the surface?

Evolution of EQ

Just as we strive to increase our knowledge, wealth and interesting life stories, we can increase our EQ with a conscious effort. Bad habits are not formed overnight nor are they fixed that quickly. It doesn’t matter what our upbringing was, for whom we worked or what life was like on the playground when we were kids. It’s up to each of us to make a conscious decision to improve our EQ. If we take the lead and put in the effort, our EQ will rise, and very likely, also will our success in all walks of life.

On Purpose Leadership Note: Thanks to Dave Clark TTI Success Insights Staff writer for this article. On Purpose Leadership is an Approved Provider partner of TTI Success Insights.