There are several types of behavioral assessment tools. Some can be really complex and require a significant investment of resources, while others are fairly straightforward and simple, although no less reliable or valid. One of the most simple to take, understand, and put to practical use is the DiSC® personality test.
What is a DiSC® Personality Test?
This is an assessment tool that’s intended to help a person figure out what kind of behaviors they typically demonstrate in a given setting – usually the workplace. The test is offered as a questionnaire, and the format can vary slightly from test to test.
The person taking the test is typically asked to look at several sets of statements and in each set, pick out which one is most like them, and which one is least like them. Some examples of these statements include: “I pay a lot of attention to what other people say,” or “I like routine.” Some test questions ask test takers to rate how well a given statement describes them on a scale.
Test results are delivered in a report format. Test takers learn about their own patterns of behavior as they relate to one of four broad profiles: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness.
A test like this is intended to provide insight into the test taker’s behavior in terms of interpersonal skills, and behavioral strengths and weaknesses. Reviewing the testing report can offer clues as to a person’s leadership style, as well as what kinds of situations are challenging to them, and what kinds of things are motivators for success.
For example, let’s say John’s results profile indicates his behavior type is dominance. The report suggests John has a lot of confidence and is action-oriented. Then John is probably a natural leader who enjoys a challenge. If John looks at his past work experience, he may see that yes, he really likes projects where there are measurable results.
Something John might need to work on is remembering to communicate well with others when working as part of a team; his natural inclination to be straightforward could be interpreted by others as being too aggressive.
Where Can I Get One?
It’s possible for folks to arrange for their own DiSC® personality test, although in many cases, the tests are administered through a more formal setting, like a workplace. The test results can be used to assess leadership potential for career advancement or even to improve conflict resolution skills through team building activities. There are some self-directed DiSC® tools available; however, many times companies opt to sign on with a professional firm and work with a trained facilitator in order to ensure the most consistent testing conditions and reliable results.