John, (as in John Small Mountain Hill), and I have been together for over 16 years. Nobody knows me better than this guy. Not my mom, not my friends, nobody. Since John and I have been together since we were 21 and 22, we’ve basically grown up together. From young, stupid, slightly irresponsible adults to not so young, smarter, and fairly responsible adults. He’s seen the best of me and the worst of me, and he has miraculously stuck around for all of it.
So when I took the DISC personality assessment, John was pretty sure he would know exactly what it said. So did I. I’d taken freebie tests before, and he’s practically a DISC expert. He talks about it all the time. I’ve heard him discuss it so much with others that I could probably teach a whole college course on it. Not that I would want to. So we both figured it was more for confirmation and fun than anything else. We were both surprised by the results.
So, what am I?
Well, John assumed I was a pretty high S with some C thrown in. (Yes, you are definitely more than one style. Like Shrek said, we’re like onions with many layers.)
Turns out, I’m basically 50/50 S and C, but S is still more dominant. Ha, I was right. I told him that I was more C than he thought. What did surprise us both was how high my D is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not high compared to, say, Clint. Matter of fact, it’s not high at all. But it’s higher than I would have expected, which is to say that it wasn’t 0. I do, however, have absolutely no I-style in me at all. No surprise there.
The results are consistent in reminding the testee that NO style is better than another.
I think that’s really important to remember, so I’ll say it again. No style is better, stronger, braver, or more successful than another. As somebody who has dealt with extremely low confidence her whole life, that’s become my personal mantra.
Well, those are my styles. That’s the easy part. The rest of it gets very detailed. Almost to the point of being overwhelming, but it’s organized with lots of charts and nice bullet points and lists to make it easier to digest.
First, it lists the things that I have a naturally easier time doing and the things that require more energy. Strengths versus… not strengths.
And a lot of that I pretty much knew. Like how I “cannot give [my] best in a big group of people.” Yeah, super aware of that. Or how “presenting in front of total strangers requires more energy.” Energy, deep breathing, and a barf bag.
And my listed strengths were dead on, too. I like consistency, detailed instructions, low risk with plenty of support when I need it, and being able to work on my own.
The cool thing about DISC is that it isn’t black and white. It tells you what you’re MOST COMFORTABLE doing, where your natural strengths lie, and what is going to be more difficult for you. “All styles have strengths and developing areas.” Basically, it’s saying that you are capable of having the strengths of any style, but the others won’t be as natural to you.
The other great thing about getting an extended DISC assessment is that, unlike the freebies, you get more than just results. (And if you go through Sales Throwdown, you can get your very own human expert to help you understand it more thoroughly and show how you can implement it.) You get a 35 page report that outlines communication style, decision making, selling behavior, and how to use all of this to determine where others are so that you can adapt accordingly. This is the real meat of the whole thing.
For me, learning more about my communication style was the most interesting. I never really put much thought into how I communicate, just that I tend to suck at it. Now I have a clearer understanding that I’m fine communicating with others as long as it’s fact-based, logical, and detailed and direct. So yeah, I’m super fun at parties. BUT, I am a good listener, so there is that.
I also appreciated the reminders and suggestions for improving my sales success. My favorite: “Learn to look excited.” Thanks DISC, another person telling me to control my RBF. In actuality, it’s not ‘resting bitch face,’ it’s just ‘I would rather be at home’ face. Again, socializing requires massive amounts of energy for me. But I’ve gotten better about enjoying myself without the help of dangerous levels of alcohol. Yay adulthood!
So, since DISC is geared towards sales people, the last half explains how to identify others and how best to communicate with people across the spectrum. And the Throwdown team talk about this a lot; improving communication is vital to being more successful. They give tons of great tips about how they figure out people’s DISC style, and they all learned it from these assessments and lots of practice.
The assessment goes into great detail about this. How to recognize other styles, how they think, and how you should adapt when talking to them. I’m not going to get into it all here because a) there is SO MUCH information, and b) you need to read your own assessment. That’s kind of how it works.
Since I’m not in sales yet, I haven’t started practicing this part too much yet. But John loves to quiz me about the people in or around my life. “What do you think your mom is?” Of course, it’s a lot easier to determine what style people you’re close to are. “What do you think this old friend that I just introduced you to and you’ve known for 5 whole minutes is?” That’s harder. But the more practice you get, the easier it is. And sometimes, I get it right. John, of course, is a personality style guessing genius. I’ll get there.
Even though I’m not using the sales aspect of it at the moment, I’m really glad I took it now:
● before I go into business for myself,
● before I start selling my services,
● before I throw myself to the wolves.
John, Al, Clint, and Nannette have been in sales for a long time, and they would all say that they wished they’d learned about DISC sooner. But they know it now, and they’re all awesome at it and at sales. I think my DISC assessment is going to be extremely helpful throughout all of my new challenges and adventures, in my professional life and my personal life.
Tl;dr – Learned a lot about myself and how to improve, would definitely recommend, 10/10.