I am going to use the "pay better attention" podcast to talk to my directs about how to recognize different styles and communicate more effectively (I'll never forget when one of my arm movements startled a new nurse so badly she almost fell off her chair - when I heard this cast I remembered that episode in vivid detail).

Should my directs know each other's DISC profile? Is it enough to use the intuitive steps in this podcast to make an educated guess, or should they know more specifically? Is that an invasion of their privacy in some way? Any thoughts about your own experiences?

If you do this, how to you keep up with new employees?

Thank you.


wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge

Why wouldn't you want your directs to have a tool which helps them communicate better with each other?

Their communication style isn't private - it's obvious (if you know what you're looking for) every second they're at work.

For my part, it helps me enormously to know that the High S member of our team is not deliberately winding me up!

There's some other's experience with introducing it to their team here:


stephenbooth_uk's picture

 DISC is about behaviour and communication styles, it's less private than hair colour.  It's easier to consistently change your hair colour (i.e. dye it) than your behaviour/communication styles (takes a lot of feedback, introspection and hard work).  As Wendii said, it's obvious to anyone who knows what to look for.  It's not a psych test to see who stays, who gets promoted and who gets fired, it's not pass/fail and it's not going to unlock the secrets of your inner child to be mocked by all and sundry.

You have 3 options (one of which has two parts):

1) Don't tell your directs about DISC

2) Do tell your directs about DISC but either:

2.a) Don't do the tests

2.b) Do the tests but don't reveal the results

so they have to work it out for themselves

3) Do tell your directs about DISC, do the tests and share the results

 Of these I think that 3 is probably the most effective, for most environments, and 2.b the least.  In 3 everyone knows what DISC is, how it can help them and how they and their coworkers fit in.  In 1 they're none the wiser.  2.a means they know what DISC is and how it can help them but have to work out their own profile and that of their colleagues, better than 1 but not as good as 3.  I thing 2.b is the least effective because it gives the DISC results a frisson of confidentiality which might cause people to ascribe them characteristics they don't have and worry.

I think the best way forward, if you can do this, is to introduce DISC in a team meeting.  Later, in another team meeting or a separate session with everyone together, get everyone to do the tests and share what it identifies as their high archetype(s), possibly their numeric profile as well, and say if they think it's a good fit or not.  I wouldn't share the detailed profiles, if the tests you use provide them, but that's more because they tend to be very long.  In the next O3 it would probably be worth asking if the direct has anything they want to talk about relating to DISC and their DISC profile.



Skype: stephenbooth_uk

DISC: 6137

Experience is how you avoid failure, failure is what gives you experience.

bug_girl's picture

Make sure that whoever is the one with the far out on the fringe DISC score, that they aren't teased about being weird or deviant. I've seen a variety of profile workshops go south very fast when one person is very different* from the majority of the group.  (DISC, MBTI, etc)

It can be really helpful, otherwise!


*What? I might not be talking about me!

tlhausmann's picture
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Our team went through a facilitated DISC exercise two years ago. I was surprised by the enthusiasm! We discussed our profiles with one another openly.

I strongly recommend having an outside facilitator and setting aside time to do it right.  (A half day to full day)

We continue to benefit from our DISC exercise to this day.  For the development of my directs, the DISC exercise added a whole new dimension for effective feedback and coaching.

RichRuh's picture
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Here's what I do to a newbie:

1. Explain the DISC profile, give them a copy of my profile and ask them to read it.

2. Ask them if they have any questions.  Have them take the test.

3. Discuss the results with them.

4. I ask them that if they are willing to share their results with the group, in exchange for seeing the results of all of their teammates.

I'm not sure what I would do if someone ever said no at step 4.  In practice, nobody ever has.



430jan's picture

I appreciate knowing the experience of others on this topic. I know what I would love to do, but it is very helpful to gather insights on the good, bad and ugly of such a venture.

Bug_Girl, I appreciate the caveat. I'm all about setting up the expectations ahead of time. They are nurses, so I think that if "preadvised" they would all honor and respect each other.

Wendii, I read the linked thread and it was helpful too. I do want that tool used, but I need to present it in a way that is framed for effectiveness. They are nurses, and for the most part very high "c" high "s". It would be important that I frame it right, and prepare them. I just wasn't sure if others have faced the privacy issue. A few years back someone came in and did the "colors" analysis and that was presented as something private that they didn't have to share, so I guess that is where I am coming from with that bit of history added in.

Stephen, thank you for reminding me to emphasize that this is not a tool we will use for evil in their career! I do not want to throw this out as a parlor trick and that is going to take a great deal of work on my part to organize the before, during and after (oh great, more work)

Thanks to TL and Rick for helping me know how it worked in your organization. I am so far removed from anything I ever thought I would do in my nursing career. Just trying to do justice to the job.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

If you bring your group together, and you deliver it, it's hard work.  DiSC is one of the hardest presentations I do.  You have to know the stuff REALLY WELL to deliver it in a team-wide session.  Rich's way makes the most sense if you're not going to have a facilitator.

And...don't assume ANY other facilitator will have our approach on adaptability and changing one's style.  Many teach it like MBTI, which is to say, "this is you" as opposed to "this is how you behave when you're not thinking about behaving...but you can behave any way you want to if you think about it first.

I used to post my profile outside my office.  Some people figured out how to get stuff from me because they paid attention...others never did.  One told me, "I am who I am..." And he went away.

430jan's picture

I really don't feel qualified to deliver it myself. Neither do I have a budget for a facilitator. Although as I high I-D-S and super low C I suppose that I would just try to charm my way through and then be amazed when everyone didn't love me (and I would forget the cups for the Coke because I didn't make a list)

I think that I will start with the "pay better attention" podcast. I do believe they would glean some valuable communication skills (for their peers and their clients) that way and I can add in the DISC when I get the 2 supervisor spots filled, oriented and have some help. I have to remember the progress in relationships I have gained through the O3s too and build on that for a while.


tlhausmann's picture
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Our DISC facilitator specializes in church and non-profit consulting. As such, his fees are incredibly modest AND he is in Wisconsin (only about 75 minutes from Janesville.)

PM me and I will pass along his contact information.

430jan's picture

TL, thanks to you and all for helping me make this happen in what ever form or fashion it is going to end up! If you are due for a tetanus shot let me know and I'll set you up. I have to use the only influence I have :-)