Marston’s DISC and Spranger Values

Human behavioural research indicates that the most successful people are those who know their strengths and weaknesses, so they can develop strategies that meet the demands of their environment.

I have been mastering the DISC method (for which I am certified) for 8 years now. Easy to apply, it is very much appreciated by my clients.

“How do we act?” it is to this fundamental question that the DISC brings solutions. This tool is based on emotions and provides a better understanding of how employees find their energy, self-motivation and responses to external pressures.

The DISC profile is a document produced by computer processing, based on a simple and quick questionnaire to complete. The results provide insight into a person’s behavioural preferences, typology and motivations. The DISC profile also highlights an individual’s “natural style”, regardless of his or her environment, as well as his or her “adapted style”, manifested in response to the environment and the place in which he or she lives. These two styles provide a better understanding of a person’s perceptions and dynamics in relation to his or her environment.

What is behaviour ? This is what is visible on the surface. One cannot immediately identify the identity that is the basis of behaviour. However, we can recognize an attitude that is simply the purpose of our mode of operation.

Values : Edward Spranger has developed through extensive research a set of common principles that facilitate the measurement and description of multiple value systems. We must strive to know the background of people. Personal values become a directional or motivational force. They guide the DISC style and can cause changes in life. Interpreting surface behaviour without fully understanding its source is like reading a map on which the North remains unknown! Values can be used, for example, to determine the compatibility between the individual and the position. Recognition of differences brings meaning to the management process and career development. It will also be useful in building a team. Understanding other people’s values makes teamwork easier, and then better interaction. Proper identification of sources of conflict.

The DISC proposes 4 basic behaviours :

Dominance : oriented on action, problems and results

  • High level : New challenges are met quickly, efficiently and actively. Get to the point quickly.
  • Low level : More in control and organization. Thinking before acting

Influence : oriented on people

  • High level : expansive, talkative, influential, emotional
  • Low level: Less expansive and emotional control

Stabiliy : oriented on harmony

  • High level : Prefer a safe and secure working environment over a well-secured framework.
  • Low level : Prefer a flexible environment, more diversity and freedom.

Conformity : oriented on procedures and rules

  • High level : follow the right path, guardian of rules, standards and deadlines
  • Low level : works without rules: they are made to fold or break.

What this method has brought to my coaching practice :

  • Knowing one’s profile and that of one’s interlocutors makes communication easier and saves time and energy. Typically: why do engineers and sales people often have difficulties understanding each other ? Certainly not by chance !
  • Famous “directional”,”participative”,”informative” and “delegated” managements are not in principle techniques applied consciously, voluntarily and appropriately. These are the results of behavioural traits that are most often expressed unconsciously.

A manager is often too directional because he has not become aware of his own behaviours, emotions and excesses. Another manager may be more “fuzzy” than “deleterious”,…

DISC profiles give managers the means to get to know each other better and explore other dimensions of their management.

The DISC profiles (coupled with Spranger’s motivations) are a coaching tool that allows the coachee to become aware of his basic behaviours, his deep motivations, and thus to perceive where are his margins of progression, the dimensions that he has not yet explored.

It is by creating my own DISC card for my coachees that I was able to measure the concrete effectiveness of this tool: a real source of change and efficiency, personal or team.