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New Year, Old You!

You’re still the person that you were in 2020 ……. but is there anything wrong with trying to understand who that is, building your self-awareness?

I’m a real supporter of DiSC personality profiling and believe that I’ve seen it make a difference to many people, their self-awareness and how they can adapt their behaviours to work with others more effectively in everyday situations. The people I work with, the assessments and the coaching often seem to have such positive outcomes, so I was interested to see this TED talk questioning it, as well as other personality profiling tools?

I was alerted to the ‘DiSC doubters’ when I trained to become a DiSC practitioner – Heidi at the Fruitful Company, was thorough in helping us to see the science behind the profiles, and how robustly tested the profile outcomes are so I guess I was mildly surprised to see this clip on a TED Talk post.

I’m glad I watched it though – it’s always good to explore an alternative point of view – because it did highlight the thought that yes, profiling can be used badly. You can take a profile and use it in isolation with no other supporting ‘evidence’, you can focus on just certain points rather than as a whole and you could obviously enter bad data giving inaccurate results. This can mean that individuals justify their own behaviour (“it’s because I’m an x type – I can’t help it, it’s the way I am), or businesses might use it ineffectively in making decisions around recruitment, performance management or team make-up. Or, knowing someone’s type, you might make unfounded assumptions about who they are and how they will behave.

But what about if you use it in full knowledge that it can be done poorly? With that in mind you can design an experience for the person or the team, which is fully supported and transparent and enables a person to complete the questions with both eyes open and with as much objectivity as a person can muster. An experience which encourages a person to see themselves as a whole, to understand where characteristics can be dialled up or down to good effect and to use self-awareness, as well as awareness of characteristics of others, to build empathy and therefore show patience and kindness in the world.

I completely support the idea that some profiles are not as robust as others. However, I continue to support the ones that are robust, that gaining an understanding about a personality can be helpful, and even just asking yourself the questions can be a useful exercise. DiSC, for example, doesn’t purport to be a one-stop shop, a final answer to all the questions you have about who you are – it’s a tool, just one tool that can be used in the mix of all the things out there that bring us knowledge about ourselves and help us to make choices on how to live our lives in harmony with those around us.

At HR Star, we’ve seen people literally have that ‘penny drop’ moment even when we just talk through the idea of DiSC profiles, and it gets more profound when the profile results come in! It’s exciting to see how profiles can make a difference in so many ways if introduced, managed and coached carefully, supported by a team that know how to embed it usefully.

If you’d like to use DiSC to support personal development, team building, management development, recruitment, or anything else, drop us a line at HR Star.

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