How DISC Assessments Helped Solve a Communication Challenge


Bill is a manager of a large retail outlet and reports direct to the organisation’s general manager.

He is responsible for the overall administration of the store which employs some fifty employees ranging from department managers through to administration staff and he has struggled to become effective as a popular manager.

Initially he had difficulty in dealing with relationships within the store as he was naturally a competitive, decisive and goal-oriented individual. He soon realised the importance of softening his behaviour to become more tolerant and by paying attention to other people. Bill’s profiles are shown opposite.

The difficulty for Bill was that he did not feel he was getting enough motivation from the challenges his position has to contend with, nor did he feel he had the independence to take the initiative.

He felt that his current role was not providing him with the opportunity to be more versatile and he also felt that his opportunities had been restrained. This was likely to have been caused by stress.

The company’s general manager, George, couldn’t put his finger on the reason that Bill, despite outwardly showing a friendly and extroverted behavioural style, indicated he was not happy with his role. He had employed him because of his experience as an administrator, but he hadn’t realised that in his former role, Bill did not need to communicate with a range of people beyond management, – the people he had reported to.

This wasn’t the only challenge facing George. In another store owned by the group, another manager, John, who had been chosen because of his sporting success had also openly reported to George that he was feeling his role wasn’t providing the challenges he was seeking. John’s profiles are shown opposite. 

In John’s case, he felt that he could not act as freely as he would like to and that he had to be even more careful and deliberate in his actions than he was prior to being appointed to his current role.

George began to question his own management style and wondered if his effectiveness was in question. He consulted an HR professional who uses Extended DISC® profile reports and the first step the consultant took was to obtain behavioural style reports from all the branch managers to look for a trend. In addition, he obtained George’s behavioural report to look for an answer.

Most of the other ten store managers produced reports that indicated they were comfortable in their roles and George’s own report also indicated he was working within his comfort zone.

The organisation had not used behavioural style analysis reports in the past so the reports produced for Bill and John were a revelation to George. He was able to focus on what motivates the two managers, what they would naturally try to avoid and just as importantly, their clear natural strengths and their development issues.

George was able to provide both managers with greater flexibility and focus on the information provided in their reports. Until he received their Extended DISC® Reports showing their natural unconscious behavioural styles, George had only been exposed to their adjusted behavioural styles and in both cases Profile I (their perceived need to adjust) was very different from who they really were. He has subsequently changed his communication style in working with both Bill and John, and has a much better understanding of their true behavioural styles.

The company now keeps the behavioural reports of all their managerial staff on file and if George identifies any change in any one of his managers, he is able to revisit the reports and act accordingly. He is now an advocate of DISC Assessments!