Lack of Self-Confidence or Something Else?


One of the powerful features of Extended DISC® reporting is its ability to identify emotional issues.

Anyone who has attended Extended DISC® training will be aware of the range of key feelings and emotions we can identify from the interpretation of the two profiles in Extended DISC® and FinxS behavioural reports. However, now and again we are asked for further clarification on the more unusual profiles. This is one of those somewhat unusual situations.

Special cases use the size and position of the two profiles and compare the two profile shapes in identifying the individual’s behaviour. Including, how he/she is feeling and how the individual feels they need to change their behaviour to cope with their present environment.

While the behavioural reports do explain some of the expressed emotions in specific reports, there are often issues we can identify that aren’t, for obvious reasons, explained in the report. And this is one of those circumstances.

The consultant who approached us for further clarification of his interpretation of this specific report is a very experienced professional who has been working with Extended DISC® for many years; we respect her judgement and knowledge. She identified some unfamiliar signals in the report’s profiles shown opposite.

The consultant told us that the report accurately described the candidate’s natural behavioural style which is shown in Profile II (I=40%, S=35% and C=25%) but her concern was the position of Profile I, which was all below the middle line and mostly below the neutral zone.

Profile II was a reasonably strong profile, quite well balanced and for this reason should have correctly identified the individual’s natural behavioural style. However, Profile I was not only a different shape but certainly heavily suppressed.  This can mean the candidate may have problems relating to lack of self-confidence, with self-motivation or in the understanding of right and wrong.  The descending of profiles reflects problems relating to the individual.

Interestingly, the consultant told us she had known the candidate for some considerable time as she (the candidate…) was employed in a minor management role and had applied for a vacancy that had occurred in the organisation for a senior managerial position in the company.  She also mentioned that from her observation she felt the candidate lacked confidence in her abilities and had experienced some disciplinary issues in the past which had been dealt with.  Apparently the candidate’s performance had improved to the point where senior management had recognised the improvement.

We are always very careful when providing advice in such circumstances choosing to focus on the “lack of self-confidence” indicator rather than talk about “moral issues” which is also a possible indicator when Profile I is all below the centreline.  But in this case where there had already been “disciplinary issues”, and the profile is so clearly well below the centreline, it is possible that the candidate still had something to hide.

Our advice to the consultant was to be very careful in pre-judging the candidate based purely on this one report.  The important issue is however that there could be some issues that might impact on future performance and if nothing else, the consultant is now armed with that additional knowledge.

Extreme caution must be exercised in interpreting descending DISC profiles and we recommend further discovery through additional discussion before arriving at a conclusion on the suitability of any candidate with a heavily suppressed Profile I.