The World of Work Project

DISC Personality Tests (Discovery Insights)

DISC assessments are a business focused, question based personality test with four primary “color energies”: Cool Blue, Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow and Earth Green. The model divides further into eight core personality types, with many sub tyes. This is a Jungian based test, but aligned to colors.

Summary by The World of Work Project

DISC Personality Tests

The Discovery Insights framework is another personality model that builds on the underlying Jungian dichotomies. The model categorizes personalities based on what it calls “color energies”, each of which aligns to the traits of specific dichotomies.

The Discovery Insights model is popular in the UK, particularly for teams looking to improve emotional intelligence and the way individuals work work together.

The DISC assessment questionnaire is fairly comprehensive, as is the report provided by the organization for each assessment.

DISC Color Energies

The DISC assessment uses four primary “color energies” as a basis for categorization of personality types. Individuals who complete the assessment receive a score in relation each of these categories. Most individuals will have a single dominant color.

Look – colors!

The model is fairly explicit in noting that the scores allocated for each of the energies are just a reflection of an individual’s preferences and their preferred ways of working. Everyone has the ability to draw on each of the color energies and use them as required. Of course, we all find some color energies harder to use than others. To learn more about the energies, consider the summaries below…

Cool Blue

Blue energy is classed as “cool”.

“If your leadership style is predominantly influenced by “Cool Blue” color energy, you are seen as something of an intellectual and are a good planner and organizer. With a calm and detailed approach, you ensure the delivery of a complete solution to any challenge.

You may tend towards perfectionism and drive for excellence long after everyone else has given up. You may be careful to consider the thoughts of your colleagues in your planning, but slower to implement them.

Under pressure, you probably rely on the finer detail in your planning, finding it hard to reach decisions, which can result in delays.

To develop your leadership skills, you need to let go of the minutiae and make sure you don’t automatically reject others’ ideas that may appear at first to be unworkable.”

Fiery Red

Red energy is classed as “fiery”.

“If you prefer a “Fiery Red” color energy approach, you’re most likely direct and focused on achieving results. A natural organizer, you love planning and setting milestones, and you revel in the sense of achievement at the end.

Your ideal world is likely to be that of possibilities attained. You could well seek high quality and may have a robust and outgoing personality.

However, when the going gets tough you may get impatient with colleagues who you feel are spending too much time worrying about their colleagues and are slowing things down.

If you wish to do some personal development, you might want to do some serious listening, both to your colleagues and your own internal voice.”

Sunshine Yellow

Yellow energy is classed as “sunshine”.

“If your leadership approach is primarily influenced by “Sunshine Yellow” you are out-going and persuasive, and love to gather people round a common cause – and to have fun while you do it.

You may have an inner tough streak that helps you focus those around you on the task in hand, or you may prefer to encourage your colleagues towards the common goal.

You love colorful visual communications, but may struggle to focus if you have to deal with a lot of detail and facts, with the risk of missing important information.

To extend your skills, you might want to re-visit one of your projects and ask yourself, “is this really as good as it could be?” Look dispassionately at the detail and whether it really meets its objectives or just looks that way.”

Earth Green

Green energy is considered to be “earthy”.

“If your preferred style of leadership is oriented around “Earth Green”, your priority is looking after and nurturing the people you lead, helping them to be the best they can be.

You have and protect a high value-based self worth. You are an excellent team-builder because you like to get to know people in depth. Your personal style may be quietly outgoing or perhaps even reserved.

In times of change, you may feel angry and powerless that you are being forced to choose between people and business goals.

To extend your gifts as a leader, you may want to spend more time implementing your vision for your team after working out practical steps for achieving the goal.”

The World of Work Project View

Personality tests are a huge industry. They are at the same time excellent, and totally flawed and detrimental to the world. They are excellent in that they help people to develop self awareness and to learn about about others. They are flawed in that it’s pretty much impossible to measure personality / behavior at the moment and, regardless, these factors are generally less important at predicting performance (and even team fit) than most other indicators.

The main problem with them is that people place too much importance in them. If they’re used in the right way, they’re useful tools. If they’re used in the wrong way, then they can lead to poor decisions.

Despite all of our reservations, we’ve enjoyed the process of undertaking the DISC process in the past and found it a useful team discovery activity, so perhaps our reservations are not worth worrying about.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

This post has been informed primarily by our experiences of completing the DISC assessment in the past, and from information produced by Discoveries Insights. To learn more, or to find a DISC assessor, please visit the Discovery Insights website.

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