5 February 2017

What is the value of the DISC Personality Test?

Today’s blog article deals with the value of the DISC Personality Test. Have you already ask yourself what the benefit of this test is or what exactly is behind it? We will give you a short introduction what one can understand of the DISC Personality Test and how the results are used to find the best matching personalities for a team or specific task within employment relationships.

DISC Model, Source: DISC Assessment Youtube.com

The DISC model is based on the knowledge of Psychologist William Moulton Marsten and was subsequently developed by John G. Geier. The letters DISC are taken from the following four behaviour patterns:

  • dominant (self-centered, direct)
  • influential (communicative, inviting)
  • steady (team-based, wait-and-see)
  • compliant (diplomatic, precise)

Based on these four criteria’s the respondent has to give his estimation to certain adjectives in a scale from 1 until 4. As a result of the answers one can make a differentiation of 12-20 mixed types of these four behaviour patterns. The scale is divided as following:

1= strongly disagree
2= disagree
3= agree
4= strongly agree
Please note: In the English speaking culture there are a couple of different providers who also work with different scales. Our scale is used from the German version. So if you see anything that isn’t clear to you then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The DISC Personality Test is executed the following way: Adjectives like friendly, aggressive, logical and relaxed are listed together in a question block. The respondent has to give his estimation based on these different blocks and choose which adjectives he or she strongly disagrees (= 1) or strongly agrees (= 4). Most importantly is the fact that the respondent has to build a sequence, which means he or she can use every digit only once per block. Depending on what you are indicating your personality profile will be determined in the end. To understand what the meaning of the first four adjectives is, following overview is helpful and is taken from block 7 of the German speaking DISC Personality Test:

  • friendly = influential
  • aggressive = dominant
  • logical = compliant
  • relaxed = steady

For a more English speaking oriented approach, one can find further information on the website of DISC Profile. Which gives you a better understanding how it is used in non-German speaking locations. Should you have to take the test then the person who is testing you, e.g. your potential new employer will most likely tell you that you have to answer the questions based on your gut feeling. In addition you shouldn’t have more than 10 minutes for answering the 10 blocks. Everything else would make the testing person sceptical and would high likely lead to the result that he or she thinks you want to answer the questions to please the potential new employer. Therefore the best advice is that you answer the questions based on your personal intuition. In many cases your potential employer is looking for a certain profile, e.g. for a more dominant personality, because the rest of the team might have the traits of the other behaviour patterns.

Are there HR Software Providers that offer an integrated DISC model?

This is a good question, because this topic has it’s origin in the field of the personnel diagnostics and is therefore mainly offered by Assessment Consultations. However in the recent times we have noticed that in certain companies and organisations there is the wish for HR Software solutions that also offer integrated DISC Personality Tests. But until now we have not seen any major Player, who is successful on the market. Therefore it is still a niche market, but the tendency goes in this direction. Especially in times where time in general is precious and in times of increasing job reductions, which also effects HR departments. It sooner or later will be possible that computer based programmes will takeover these personality tests. It probably would look like that the applicants have to fill out these tests online and the potential employer can obtain a better picture of the applicant and his or her fit to the company, products and team. With the increasing digitization of all aspects of life we will face a lot of changes in the future and we from HR Software Consulting will constantly keep you updated about these future developments.


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