by Dallon Christensen

A Tool for Getting to Know Your People

Nov 04, 20112 mins
CareersIT Leadership

Familiarity with employees' personal wiring can lead to a more engaged and productive work force. Here's an intro to the "DISC" system.

In a post two weeks ago, I highlighted the importance of working environments on employee productivity. As finance leaders, we are charged with placing our employees in the right environment to thrive.

Another great tool I’ve found for identifying employees’ best work environment is the DISC profile. DISC stands for Dominant, Influential, Steady, and Compliant. We are all wired with different strengths under these four characteristics, and the 12-minute DISC questionnaire allows you to understand how your employees see themselves and react to certain situations. The profile shows how people react in public and how they view themselves internally.

The DISC profile is great because your team members can understand their own internal wiring and take more responsibility for their careers. When I learned my own two highest characteristics registered as Influential and Dominant, I immediately understood why I have thrived in non-traditional assignments. A Compliant personality type works best in detail-oriented situations, but an Influential person needs less structure and more opportunities to communicate and persuade with others. When I took the DISC profile, I learned my two highest traits were Influencing and Dominating. This revelation has helped me focus my career plan on roles that focus more on influencing and working with others instead of working on detail-oriented activities.

Today’s finance world has a place for many different personality types. While there is always a need for the traditional, detail-oriented roles that Steady and Compliant types fill so well, Dominant and Compliant types are also needed in our rapidly changing business environment. If you have a Dominant personality who excels at driving results, this person could serve best in a role with heavy change management responsibilities. Your Influencing types may thrive best in training or development roles where they can use their people skills to foster teamwork.