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Understanding the Reasons for Changes in DISC Assessments

Many consultants will obtain a Behavioural Report at the commencement of a training programme then arrange for the candidate to complete a second report at the completion of the course/process.

The main objective is to observe changes in Profile I (the person’s perceived need to adjust) especially where there is a significant difference between Profile I and Profile II in the original report.

When used in the recruitment process, it is useful to compare a report obtained initially with a subsequent report generated after a period, normally twelve months. This is useful especially when the individual may seem to be struggling in their role or perhaps not performing to expectations. The second report will identify any emotional issues or challenges and is useful in such circumstances to provide vital information that can be used in addressing such challenges. Let’s take a look at the example below.

We were not provided with the above report until some eighteen months later when a second report was obtained from the same individual and the Profiles taken from the second report are shown beneath the first profiles.

Needless to say the consultant required some help in determining the possible reason/s for the change.

Our comments taken from an email we sent in answer to the question were as follows:

  1. Was the initial report obtained during a recruitment process? To us the report showed all the hallmarks of a report obtained during such a process. Profile I in the first report indicated a lack of self-confidence, there was an indication of “uncertainty of his/her role” (not unusual or surprising in a recruitment situation) and she may well be “trying to hide” something while answering the questionnaire. There were signs however that she may have perceived that there was a need to be more of an outgoing person in her role.
  2. In addition to the messages obtained from Profile I, Profile II in the first report indicated that the candidate was a careful, systematic and compliant individual and was also more than likely a withdrawn and maybe even timid person.
  3. Perhaps the most important indicator in reviewing the two Profiles from the first report is the suppression of “C” in Profile I when compared to Profile II. This is generally an indication that the candidate felt the need for more instructions and perhaps she felt that she was under tight control, - maybe even unfair control giving her the impression that it was better to do nothing than to fail. This indicator was not as extreme as some cases but it was still an indication of how the candidate probably felt at the time.
  4. The second report still produced a tight Profile I, meaning that the individual was still lacking self-confidence and probably needed a more precise job description. There was still a feeling of uncertainty of role and although the Profile was a tight Profile, there did seem to be a feeling that she needed to be more outgoing and more of a social, friendly person.
  5. Although there was a big shift in Profile II in the second report when compared to the first report, there was also an indication of significant pressure almost to the point where the report could be suspect. Just one small movement in “D” would produce an invalid report.
  6. Profile II in the second report indicated that she felt more predictable than she was eighteen months earlier, she felt restrained and was trying to be more friendly and patient.

The main challenge was to look for a reason why there was such a movement in the S behavioural style; - from becoming an opposite trait in the first report to the main trait in the second report.

It is important to realise that Profile II is Extended DISC’s most accurate and lasting illustration of a person’s natural behaviour. Any changes in it usually mean significant events and changes in the immediate environment of the individual that are forcing him/her to seek new ways to succeed.

Below is a summary of the situation as relayed to us by the employer:

  • The first report was obtained just after the recruitment process
  • The candidate was employed because she exhibited DI traits in her interview and the new employer was looking for an outgoing competitive sales person
  • She had explained to the new employer that she felt restrained in her previous employment and this was the main reason she wanted to change to a new role
  • After a few weeks she was found to be struggling in the sales role and this was the reason the first report was obtained
  • She attended a series of sales training courses as she realised that the role didn’t suit her style. The employer had encouraged her and paid for the courses 
  • She knew she had to become more of an outgoing person and had tried to make this adjustment over the last eighteen months resulting in the pressure shown in Profile II of the second report and the change from a C style to an S style.

This all made sense to us as the two reports still placed her in the “introverted” side of the diamond and the tight Profile I in the second report demonstrated to us the need for the employer to revisit her job description, maybe considering a change from sales to customer service.

Had the first report been obtained in the recruitment process, the candidate and employer would both have realised the sales role did not suit her and this would have avoided the pressure suffered by the candidate and the expense and challenges faced by the employer. Behavioural Reports are a necessary step in the recruitment process.