As a tight election season comes to a close, one thing we all want from our candidates is a little more insight into what makes them tick — and perhaps what might tick them off. We are in essence hiring this person to carry out a four-year contract. In this spirit, we are taking a stab at the DiSC profiles of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.* Our predictions are…

Barack Obama: High D and I

Mitt Romney: High D and C

Borrowed directly from the DiSC Workplace and Classic 2.0 Profile Reports, if our guesses are right on the candidates, these assessments represent the following classical profile patterns:

Barack Obama: Inspirational Pattern

  • Emotions: accepts aggression; downplays need for affection
  • Goal: control of their environment or audience
  • Judges others by: projection of personal strength, character, and social power
  • Influences others by: charm, direction, intimidation; use of rewards
  • Value to the organization: acts as a “people mover”; initiates, demands, compliments, disciplines
  • Overuses: attitude that “the ends justify the means”
  • Under Pressure: becomes manipulative, quarrelsome, or belligerent
  • Would increase effectiveness with more: genuine sensitivity; willingness to help others succeed in their own personal development

Mitt Romney: Creative Pattern

  • Emotions: accepts aggression; restrains expression
  • Goal: dominance; unique accomplishments
  • Judges other by: personal standards; progressive ideas for accomplishing tasks
  • Influences others by: ability to pace development of systems and innovative approaches
  • Value to the organization: initiates or designs changes
  • Overuses: bluntness; critical or condescending attitude
  • Under Pressure: becomes bored with routine work; sulks when restrained; acts independently
  • Fears: lack of influence; failure to achieve their standards
  • Would increase effectiveness with more: warmth; tactful communication; effective team cooperation; recognition of existing sanctions

While it is fun to guess what our leaders might be, at Servant HR, we use DiSC for more practical reasons. DiSC is a leading personal assessment tool and one we turn to on a regular basis to help clients assess potential job candidates, new hires and current employees. Before 2011, there was very little nuance from quadrant to quadrant in the D, I, S and C pieces of the pie that make up the heart of DiSC, but there have been major improvements. And DiSC can be very reasonably priced.

The DiSC tool is a highly enhanced personality test set up for the workplace. The DiSC assessment is just one of many tools available to evaluate people. DiSC results should be viewed as pieces of a puzzle. They should not be used as comprehensive appraisals. The first step for an employer when they want to perform an assessment is to define exactly what information they want to glean.  If they want to hire someone with a specific skill set or proclivity, DiSC might not be the right assessment.

In that case, a skill-type assessment would probably be more appropriate. You can find tests for sales ability, learning ability, or even determining how likely someone will be tardy or steal from your company!  If you are hiring for a particular position, there is an assessment out there for you. You just need to know where to look.

The reasons to use DiSC as part of your process, however, are many.  If you can understand where your team members fall on the DiSC quadrant, you can communicate with them and work with them more effectively. For example, a D and an S work completely differently. If you need them to work together well, you must understand their communication needs and what motivates them. DiSC can help you get those two divergent personality types working together so they can bring value to your team.

The cost to hire and train a new person is expensive. Employers want to make sure they made the right decision before they commit to a particular person. They want to know in which direction this person will tend to veer and where they want to go. This helps the employer evaluate if and how the person will grow with the company or organization. A DiSC analysis can also be a beneficial tool for narrowing a pool of prospective employees.

If you are interested in focusing on a current employee to support them or move them to another position in your company, a personality type assessment such as DiSC might be useful to see how they would perform in a management position or to see how you can help push them where they would be better fulfilled.

3 DiSC Dos and Don’ts

  1. Don’t let an untrained person evaluate results. You need to work with someone who has been trained on and has experience with the many nuances of DiSC analyses.
  2. Do accept each test-taker’s individuality. We are not waffling on the value of DiSC, but you must understand that not everyone tests well. This is important in analyzing results.
  3. Do take advantage of DiSC reporting options related to facilitators, culture, leaders and more. In addition to the initial report, a facilitator report can go to a person’s direct manager to help that person better put together teams that work well. The different profiles DiSC offers can shed light on a person’s leadership style, critical thinking tendencies and style of interacting with others. These types of attributes might be useful for assessing management potential, while a sales profile would illustrate how someone might fit in that job situation.

If you would like to learn more about DiSC or other assessment tools and how they can bring value to your staff, please contact Servant HR at 317-585-1688.

(*As you probably guessed, we did not speak to anyone associated with the Obama or Romney camps for this blog post. Though we based our predictions on decades of DiSC assessment usage as HR professionals, this blog post is strictly hypothetical.)