DISC assessments, explained

Improving workplace communication is a cornerstone of building an efficient team. “Even if they don’t realize it, nearly every company has communication issues,” says Therese Van Es, President and Chief People Leader at Ladder HR. This is pretty natural. When you gather a group of people who have all come from different backgrounds, you’re bound to get some friction. “The DiSC assessment is one mechanism in our toolkit to help mitigate that.”


Besides, let’s face it: personality tests are fun.


What is the DiSC personality assessment?


Though the DiSC® model has been continually studied and evolved over 40 years, it can be boiled down to one simple definition: it’s a personality assessment that workplaces use to better understand their teams. This model is fit to be used in any type of business— Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, and everything in between.


DiSC is an acronym that represents the four main personality types in this model. Check out the visual below to learn more about each.



Though this looks pretty cut-and-dry, this test doesn’t just plop you into one of these quadrants and call it a day. “It is probably more useful to think of the DiSC circle in continuous terms,” explains the DiSC website. “Consider that each of the four styles blend into their neighboring styles much the same way that colors blend into one another on the color wheel.”


Why use DiSC assessments?


“Most people don’t realize that DiSC isn’t just a personality test,” says Van Es. “It’s a communication-style assessment. It focuses on communication and how it impacts the workplace.”


Using DiSC assessment in the workplace can help:

  • Improve teamwork

  • Reduce conflict

  • Increase productivity

  • Raise self-awareness




How to take a DiSC assessment


The DiSC assessment is administered online, and takes 15-20 minutes to finish. It includes approximately 80 items to complete.


There are two main ways to take the DiSC assessment:


In the workplace with a facilitator

“Although DiSC looks simple at first glance, a certified facilitator is able to provide a deeper analysis of your team’s results, and therefore provide more actionable insights to improve your team’s communication,” says Van Es. “The psychology behind the assessment is quite sophisticated.”


It also helps to have an impartial and unbiased third party. We don’t play favourites.


On your own

Though DiSC is intended to be a workplace tool, anyone can purchase the assessment (for about $85) if they’d like to learn more about their own personality style. But this isn’t a simple Buzzfeed quiz you complete on a whim, it’s an investment in your career, and is most useful in a team context.


How to interpret DiSC assessment results


If you’ve taken the assessment on your own, you can expect your results to include detailed information about your unique behavioural style, tendencies, needs, preferred environment, and strategies for effective workplace behaviour.


If you’ve taken the DiSC assessment as part of a program at work, your facilitator will walk you through the results. This is helpful because a facilitator can:

  • Give you extra context

  • Provide a clear understanding of how results can improve your workplace experience

  • Work directly with your team to understand how each member’s personality types can be an asset

  • Answer any additional question you have

“If individual team members can understand their communication styles and the styles of their teammates, they can learn to adjust their approach based on the person they’re talking to,” concludes Van Es.


Want your team to take the DiSC assessment? We can help.

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