The first thing I like to know when I start to work with a client is their personality tendency, so I always start with a DISC test. The DISC report gives me an indication of who my client is but also how I can help.
So, what’s a DISC?
A DISC assessment is a test to determine your behavioral style. First conceptualized by psychologist William Marston (also the creator of Wonder Woman—so we love him even more) in the 1920s and later validated by a variety of training organizations, the DISC is the most widely used personality tool in corporate America with over 40 million employees tested.
The DISC reveals your behavioral style in 4 areas: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C).
Ds are your get ‘er done people who move fast and with authority.
Is are your social butterflies who are fun and optimistic.
Ss are your steady-as-she-goes people, who care for others and keep the peace.
Cs are your quality control experts who are precise, deep, and sensitive.
These are the four different types of “normal.”
We tend to believe that the way we think, feel or act is normal because that is how we see the world. But as it turns out, there are 4 different types of normal and a variety of ways to see the world.
I’m a D. When my daughter, Casey, was little I used to wonder what in the world was wrong with that child, because she was not a D. (I’m sorry Casey. I’m much better now.) She was a crazy mess but she smiled through it all. She was insanely curious and immensely adventurous. We now know what you can do with 500 Q-tips during an afternoon nap. She had a completely preventable yet permanent bruise on her forehead because she was so easily distracted by others that she kept running into doorways. I never did any of that stuff.
Casey is an I, and I didn’t understand her type of normal, so I tried to raise her in my image rather than the one God had given her. I’m so grateful that through tools like the DISC I now see and value all the uniquely beautiful types of normal in my home and in our world.
Back to the DISC…
So how does a DISC help me to coach my clients?
- First the report tells us which of the 4 types of normal (dominance, influence, compliance or steadiness) make up her authentic self, so we can make sure she is tapping into her true potential.
- Next it tells us what she thinks about herself internally. Does she feel she needs to be all things to all people? Is she in a burnout pattern in which her self-esteem comes through her achievements?
- It also tells us the pressure she might be facing. Do other people around her, whether at work or home, expect her to be someone different than who she feels that she is? Is she likely to become exhausted by her current environment because she can’t be herself?
- Finally the DISC report tells us whether she’s conflicted internally by opposing personality types. While DISC allows for opposing blends, I do not believe that God creates us to be in opposition. You may have the skills of many different types, but your baseline personality is not fast AND slow, light AND deep, silly AND serious, decisive AND indecisive—all at the same time. This called masking and it happens to a lot of women keeping them from living out who they really are.
Have you taken a DISC test? What did it reveal about you?
If you want to take a DISC test and receive the 15 page report about your behavioral style, you can do that here.
In the next post, I’ll go into more detail on the 4 different types of normal, and what they mean for you.