DISC Assessments, an HR Tool

December 7, 2023

Hi. I'm Melinda here at ideal HR and we are going to continue a conversation with Liz Parker, who drove up in a truck today. I'm sitting here at the window looking out there thinking, “I wonder what kind of car” and then she jumps out of a truck and I said, well, of course you do Liz Parker. So, Liz Parker, tell me exactly why you are a partner, provider for Ideal HR.

Well, Melinda, it's good to see you again. And I am delighted to get to do these with you because I have worked with ideal HR for years and years. And the way we got started was through TTI assessments. TTI assessments are all about helping people understand themselves better, be able to perform better And learn how you can develop and coach your people better. They're almost like an owners’ manual for individual. You know, there's a million assessments out there. As long as you're assessing your people, that's an important thing. But we find the TTI assessments are research based. They're very thorough and they're easy to use.

And you're a facilitator with this, right?

I am a facilitator with it and that is my keyword. I am not the expert in everything, I am a facilitator. I use a companies information. I use a companies team and I come together to see what we can do to make things work. These assessments, as I've mentioned before, they help Teams identify what they do well together. They can resolve conflict. They can make sure that a team is more high performing, so these assessments have a lot of roles.

All right, so let's dig a little deeper in here on people that may not really get what we're talking about on assessments. Give me what type of features and things are we talking about?

OK, so many people may have understood or heard about DISC assessments. The DISC. Those are behavioral assessments and those assessments help identify how a person likes to do their job. People can adapt, we might say, hey, they're a very direct person and when they're a high D and they're very direct, they're very results oriented. But yet they can be a people person. So DISC assessments are all about how people like to do the job and they can adapt.

So D is for?

Direct and dominance.

And I is for?

Influence. So it's all about people influencing others.

And S is for?

Steadiness. It's the pace that somebody likes to work.

And C is for?

Compliance. Do these people follow the rules? Are they detail oriented? How do they come across so every person is made-up of each and every different style. It's just a combination of how your DIS&C show up.

So, are you saying like I'm seeing a bar graph and you're gonna say you're high on D or low on D or you're high on S but you have all four of them?

You have all four on your bar graph, and what happens is for each person there's a different level of height or lowness on each one of those graphs. That's a very good way to explain it.

Well, I think, just looking at it from my standpoint here at Ideal, this is a knowledge base to understand how to put the right person in the job, even for longevity?


Because you found something that suits their personality.


Is it fair to say personality?

We tend to say behavior rather than personality, but they used to be called personality assessments, so that is accurate. They used to be called that.

So, if you think about it this way, we know an accountant tends to be very detail oriented. They know they have to know numbers, they have to follow rules. That tends to be that high C, they're compliant, they know exactly what needs to happen, and they follow those rules. That tends to be the style of a accountant or a bookkeeper. If you think about a salesperson, they're outgoing. They're very bubbly, they love people, they're always trying to influence or persuade somebody. That tends to be more of a high I. Now anyone of these styles can actually be any one of these roles. It doesn't mean anything in particular, but it means that you might gravitate more towards people, if you're a salesperson. You might gravitate more towards numbers, if you're an accountant, so this C is the accountant. The I is the people.

So we take this test that kind of ask us questions. I remember when I've taken it, I thought you've already asked me this once, you know? But it’s measuring something how many times I give it back the same way. OK, so I've got that, and my boss has got that. And perhaps my team has got that right. And they're saying, you know, Melinda loves such and such. Susie Qis better at this or that, so I mean if I'm trying to find a person for a position, I'm also starting to learn what tendencies, what you call behaviors.

Behaviors, the tasks that they have to do. So are these people oriented tasks?

Because our bookkeeping financial people tend to stay in their offices a lot.

Yeah, reserved, to themselves, they don't want to be around a lot of people. That's right. So.

And so we rattle them, perhaps when we do say “Ohh, come on, come on. Come on. Yeah, we're having fun today.”

Yes, you and I are not high C people. We like to have fun, we like to be interactive, and those are some of the characteristics that go on with it. So you're exactly right. And the styles that you want to hire for have a tendency to do that. If people have to adapt a lot, that's where burnout comes in. So, if you have somebody who's very bubbly and they're put into a number of situation, they can do it over a length of time, yes.

Oh, I can. I could do it for a while but…

But too long, you'll burn out. And when you burn out, you're very unproductive. You're depressed. Your behavior starts to change dramatically. So, we do want to find those people that are aligned to those roles because their productivity stays higher.

And so when we're talking about any of these tools that we use internally at Ideal and externally with our clients, we're really trying to up their job retention, their success in their business and all the things that go along with taking the time to understand people.

People and the job, it's engagement. That's the keyword that we're hearing out there. The buzzword is always about engagement. How do you keep employee engagement? How do you keep them staying with your company? It's all about the culture you create. It's all about the job. Having the right fit for them. It's making sure they like what they want to do. That keeps an employee staying in the company to increase retention and it also makes sure that they stay engaged in the job. It allows the individual, once they understand themselves, they know how to correct their own behavior. Part of this is also, it's hard for a person to have to coach someone else in some of these behavioral characteristics. But when you do some kind of an a team assessment or you get the whole team together, we can put everybody on a wheel and we can have them look at this wheel and say “Hey Melinda, your one style, I'm a different style. It doesn't mean that we don't like each other. It means we process information different.” and it takes all the conflict down an organization when they know that people are not intentionally not getting along. Once they understand that we each tick a little bit differently, there's this whole greater understanding. And so then when I have a project that requires numbers, I might come to you and say “Hey, I need your numbers brain right now” and you get more collaboration. You get higher performance, you get more of a cohesive team and when people are enjoying their jobs, they stay longer. It's a great deal!

So, we get these assessments done. One of our tools, we get these assessments done and then we feed it into our knowledge perhaps about a job.


And what this job needs.


Tell me about how we use that.

So, when we've talked before, if anybody has not heard our earlier podcast, we've talked about job benchmarking. And so in the job benchmarking, we use this behavioral tool. That's one of them we call these sciences. This one is all about behaviors. 400 BC the Greeks were doing this. This is stuff that has come along. You will see other companies who have done some kind of model around this. DISC is a very common standard for looking at behaviors and so it just depends on which one you actually select. We have found this one to be the best one for really solid research and we know it matches to the individual. So that's what we're all about, making sure that we match to what the client needs.

So we take this and we use it with our benchmarking tool.

Yes, for hiring. Yes we do. We use it for benchmarking, for hiring. We use it for just looking at how to develop an individual in some of other capabilities they might have, because they can adapt. We look at as team alignment, so we get a team together and we say, hey, what's the team actually doing, what do they need to do better? Who do we need to hire because we're missing this one in this particular style. It allows a lot of different levels of development and hiring, so I'm all about being able to use it more than once. Once you do one, they stick around and you can figure out how to use it in different ways each and every time.

And again, you are the facilitator. I know everybody when we start talking about tools, they think, alright, how much am I going to have todo? Right. But you're the person that comes in.

And I say, hey, here is a link, the link is something you get online. You take a 10 minute assessment for one of these. So a DISC is like a 10 minute in time period. You take it and immediately following is a 25 page customized report that comes out to you. And so it allows then the employer, if they're hiring for this, it allows the person who's taking it to actually see it. It allows me as a facilitator to say, hey, we can sit down and let's talk about how this looks in your job. So there are multiple ways to do this to really make sure your culture.

So just taking the test is not the end of it.

Not the end of it. You can stop there, but you don't get the full understanding of what the report does. It helps you understand yourself at work. And at home. So, if you have little difficulty in conflict at home, you might find that your spouse is one style and you're a different style. Your children are one style, and you're a different style.

Or maybe it's good that you and he are not the same style.

That’s right. What we know, opposites attract, right? So, but how do you make a tick? This will tell you. We even have tools that show you how to adapt to the other style so you can work together. You can see how it it actually will be more harmony at home even.

Have you found that companies that use this type of tool, do they seem to congeal better as a group? I mean, tell me about some of that.

So let me give you this example, there is a gentleman I work with out in California and he had been in charge of an aerospace company. He had been running the company and he just needed the team to kind of gel. So we came in and we did a DISC Assessment and we have another tool called a motivators assessment. We did those two together. We did a one-day workshop and at the end of that everyone understood themselves better, they understood each other better, and from then on, when they had that conversation in the company after I was gone, after that one day, he said that culture continued to thrive. People came up to him and told him how much they valued learning this information because it worked at home too. And so now we're looking five years down the road, he's become a president for another aerospace company. He just called me. And he said, hey. Come on back. It worked so well with my last team. I want to use it in this company too. The proof is in the results. I mean, here we are. It's a one-day investment. It's people taking online assessment. They walk out with this binder. That's all about an owners manual about themselves and they work together to see how the other team members work.

And I bet they laugh about em a lot.

They laugh about em a lot. It is a fun, fun day.

In case you didn't know what you were such and such.

Yes, exactly. And what happens is, that camaraderie sticks around even afterwards. So, I highly recommend organizations to try it. And we can even do complementary assessments if they're not sure if they like it. The proof is in the pudding. I always try and say you take it for yourself. You see, if it's true, you take it home and you ask somebody.

Well, I will tell you I've taken it twice over a spread of about 8 or 10 years. I can't exactly remember, and I came out at the exact same result. Which is pretty impressive.

It is. It is impressive. And what will happen is sometimes your natural style - There are two styles - sometimes your natural style will stay that way, but if you've had a big life event happen, if you've had a loss in the family, your style naturally might change because it's been a very impact, huge impact in your life. Your adapted style is the style we call kind of a mask graph. It's the style you think you need to have at work, and a lot of times that graph will change because your boss changes. Our work environment changes. If that changes, you have learned as an individual how to adapt to it to be successful. Sometimes it's your same style, sometimes it's a different style. And so that's why we tend to do these frequently because we want to say, hey, based on where you are right now, who are you? and are we in the right job role? and that's why those become so important even with the job benchmarks.

And so, we talked about benchmarking and we talked about assessment and then you slipped out a little word that we're going to talk about on the next podcast called motivators. You want to give us a hint?

Yes, motivators or why you come to work. Why you get out of bed in the morning, why you do what you do. They are inherent into your style. And so you can't coach to these, but you want to hire as an employer to these. If your values are this way you want to hire a person that matches your motivators because they'll stay longer at your company.


That's what we'll talk about next.

OK! We've been talking with Liz Parker. I'm Melinda here at IdealHR. These are the tools that we use as we service our clients because we're all about taking care of clients and giving them what they need. And Liz helps us doit.

Thank you, Melinda.

Thank you for joining us!