Stress Identifiers in a School Teacher’s DISC Profile


Over the last few years, the pace of life has increased significantly, contributing to a rise in workplace stress, anxiety and depression. The global pandemic magnified issues such as resilience, stress and the need for employee wellness initiatives. Employers need to be investing in strategies to support employee health and wellness. Let’s explore how Extended DISC® can help identify workplace stress or pressure and how employers or managers can use it to reduce work-related stress.

What is Workplace Stress?

Workplace stress is often a response employees have when there is a mismatch between the demands and pressures of work and their knowledge or abilities. Workplace stress can lead to extreme fatigue and a decrease in productivity. It can also affect the mental and physical health of your workers. 

Employers and managers need to be able to identify and manage workplace stress. An Extended DISC® assessment is one of the quickest and most effective ways to do this. 

How to Manage Workplace Stress

Managing workplace stress is challenging for managers as employees often hide their stress levels. One of the most effective ways to manage work-related stress is with a workplace stress assessment, such as Extended DISC®. 

One of the many advantages of the Extended DISC® Assessment is its ability to measure an individual’s conscious and unconscious style. Comparing these two profiles allows us to understand how a person feels they need to adjust their behaviour to cope with the current environment. From this comparison, we can identify emotional themes, such as pressure or stress, in a candidates assessment. Managers can use this powerful information to determine if employees may feel under stress or pressure, approach difficult conversations, manage stress, and support employee wellbeing. 

Employers can also use the Extended DISC® report to identify ways to help reduce stress in employees. The stress section provides further personalised information on signs of stress for each individual and offers tips to alleviate stress. 

Managing Stress for the DISC Styles

Let’s explore the signs of stress in the DISC Styles and how to relieve these. 

D Styles

D Styles want to be in charge of their future, make their own decisions, and be in control. They may experience stress when they do not feel in control and or feel a lack of independence.

If a D personality type is experiencing stress, a great way to alleviate this is to give them space to act independently and provide them with responsibility.

I Styles

I Styles want to be liked and accepted. If their daily work tasks are isolating or repetitive, this usually bubbly team member will quickly wilt.

If an I personality type is experiencing stress, an effective way to alleviate this is to encourage their naturally upbeat and positive attitude. 

S Styles

S Styles like structure and routines. Unexpected changes in an S Styles environment can put them under significant pressure.

To help ease the pressure, provide the S personality type with the support they need to cope with change. Include them in the planning and each step so they know what to expect. 

C Styles

C Styles crave control. When placed in a chaotic environment with unstructured situations and no clear instructions, they may be under a significant amount of pressure.

To help ease the pressure, provide the C personality type with information to help make decisions and cope with change. Ensure they have enough instruction and support to complete their daily tasks.

Let’s explore a case study from one of our consultants who helped identify and support a teacher experiencing significant workplace stress when working with schools and their staff. 

Workplace Stress Case Study

The consultant has been providing courses to school teachers to help them understand behavioural testing and, specifically, the interpretation of Extended DISC® Behavioural Assessments. The objective of these courses is to work together effectively and efficiently to reduce communication challenges. These courses have had a very noticeable and positive effect on the teaching staff.

One outcome of one of the courses she conducted is interesting. The principal of the school concerned was reviewing the reports of his staff when he noticed that one of the new first-year teacher’s reports indicated that she was experiencing significant stress. A copy of the Profiles taken from the report are shown opposite.

The first thing the principal identified was the suppression of the “S” trait (a stress indicator) and the focus on the teacher’s perception of the need to focus on her “I” characteristics. However, the elevation of Profile II drew his attention to the fact that the teacher was also experiencing “pressure”.

When the headmaster interviewed the teacher concerned, she broke down in tears and admitted that she went home each night in tears because of the stress of her new job.

The principal admitted that he would never have been aware of the situation without the Extended DISC® Behavioural Assessment. Identifying the stress and pressure emotional themes in the report allowed him to address the issue and provide counselling and help to the teacher. The outcome was that the teacher settled down with a much more positive attitude and is now serving her class (and their parents!) much more effectively.

Had the staff member’s stress gone unnoticed, the results could be quite far-reaching and unnecessarily damaging in terms of cost and loss of productivity. In this case, the loss of a teacher could put a school into damage control, as maybe 20-30 pupils (and their parents) are affected. How long could it take to replace a teacher, and how much longer could it take for a replacement teacher to adjust to a new school and pupils? Furthermore, how distressing could it be for the pupils to accept such a significant change partway through the year?

In many cases, managers are not aware of stress or pressure situations as staff members often work hard to suppress these emotions. This doesn’t apply to only stress and pressure but the same can be said for frustration, insecurity, uncertainty of role and other emotions. Extended DISC® Assessments can identify these issues.

*Please be aware that the emotional themes in an Extended DISC® assessment are not a clinical diagnosis of mental wellbeing issues. Always consult with a professional if you have concerns regarding the mental wellbeing of your colleagues or employees.