Figuring Out Your People Fast


Have you ever wondered why some people re-act opposite to others and why you find it necessary to approach different people in entirely different ways? 

The world’s most successful business managers use behavioural assessment tools to help them understand what makes their team members tick..

Understanding people is perhaps our most challenging management task simply because excellent communication is fundamental to success. Every one of us has a different behavioural style, and we have all made ourselves what we are. Already in our childhood, our parents, relatives and friends have “done their best” to help us form our personalities.

We have, however, psychologically made all the decisions concerning the formation of our personalities by ourselves. Most of these decisions have been made in our unconscious mind without us even realising it. For this reason, we are not always aware of the full potential our personality provides. 

Behavioural Assessment Tools

There are numerous behavioural assessment systems promoted in Australia. Many of these are based on the DISC theory, which was developed in the 1920s by Carl Jung. Jung described people based on four characteristics: Dominance (D), Intuition (I), Steadiness (S) and Compliance (C). 

The varying degree to which people exhibited these characteristics was plotted on two axes. A person who uses all five senses is plotted to the left of the axes. Such an individual could be classified as more thoughtful, reasoning, thorough and considered, requiring proof and needing to be persuaded. The more to the right the style was, the more this showed a person who wants to progress quickly, for whom variety and change are essential and to who risk-taking is more natural.

William Moulton-Marston further developed the work of Jung in the 1940s and 1950s. He defined a four-dimensional behavioural map, and as a result, the four-quadrant thinking of human behaviour was developed. DISC Theory is still popular and used in management, sales and leadership training techniques. A few variations of the theory are still promoted that use eight or sixteen categories of behavioural styles. The over-simplification of behaviour and its classifications have proven to be a weakness of these systems.

In the 1990s, a comprehensive “customer-driven” toolset was developed in Finland. The idea behind the tool was that it could be used in all human resource activities, not only on an individual but also at the team and organisational levels. This system, known as Extended DISC®, has been proven internationally and is used by many of the world’s most successful organisations. 

Extended DISC® is the world’s fastest-growing assessment system. The system is used in over 60 countries and is available in 75+ languages. This is an essential factor considering today’s diverse workforce and the number of people who do not have English as their first language. Gender-neutral language options are also available. 

Conducting Behavioural Assessments

So how does one go about conducting an Extended DISC Profile assessment?

There are two main types of assessment – assessments of individuals and groups.

We will confine ourselves to the assessment of individuals, although Extended DISC® has tools that are invaluable in organisational situations.

The best way of conducting a behavioural assessment is through the use of a tried and tested assessment tool such as Extended DISC®, which is the world’s foremost assessment tool. It does not assess a person’s intelligence, nor does it classify people as good or bad. Instead, it builds behavioural profiles, which provides information about an individual’s behaviour. Including their natural way of communicating, their motivators and their ideal working environment.

What we learn from the Extended DISC® Profile

There are no good or bad people – there are only different people!

The Extended DISC® report explains in a clear, concise, easily read format with graphics the natural behavioural style of the person completing the questionnaire. We can all make ourselves better human beings by understanding ourselves better and by identifying the strengths and weaknesses in our behavioural style. The Extended DISC® report does precisely that.

The report explains how to identify different behavioural traits in other individuals and how we should address and respond to them once we know their behavioural style.

The Extended DISC® Profile is based on the unconscious and allows the comparison of a person’s conscious behavioural style to a person’s unconscious behavioural style. 

The Extended DISC® profile does not report on what we already know about someone, or what someone knows about themself, (which is what virtually every other system is based on). We can also identify if a person is: comfortable in their work role, under pressure, feeling insecure, frustrated or feels the need to adjust to a role outside their comfort zone. 

The Value of the Information Provided

Extended DISC® reports help match people to their ideal role and help them understand their strengths and weaknesses. The profiles also help people understand why there are certain situations in which they are comfortable or uncomfortable. The report can help explain why some tasks take more energy for people to perform while other jobs seem so easy, taking much less energy.

Knowing these things has, of course, many advantages. As an employer, you can be confident that you appoint the best-suited people to any given role and that you can identify potential leaders for your business.

An Extended DISC® report can help individuals to focus on areas they need to develop and help them understand why they react to different people in different ways.

For a business owner, it provides valuable information on the unconscious behavioural style of a person who may be challenging to communicate with. Best of all, once you know what motivates them or what can be intimidating to them, you can help them perform at their best — providing them with the opportunity to work in a role which would be the most rewarding for them.