Common Mistakes When Using the DiSC Profile

DiSC is an incredible tool. However, if used incorrectly, it can negatively impact teams rather than encourage self-discovery and enhance communication as it was intended.

We call these misuses “DiSC misfires.” When John Geier developed the original DiSC Profile back in the early seventies, his intention was to develop an assessment that would help individuals understand where they fall on the Marston Model. He found that once a person understood their DiSC style, they could capitalize on this information by identifying opportunities to adapt their behavior in order to be more effective and successful.

Geier did not intend for the DiSC personality assessment to be used as an excuse for behavior or to pigeonhole others. 

Whenever someone says...

  • He can’t be direct. He’s an “S” after all. 
  • Don’t expect me to listen. I’m a “D.” 
  • She’ll never enjoy the party. She’s a “C.”
  • I am an “i.” I just can’t sit and look at a computer all day.
These statements are DiSC misfires! They are missing the opportunity to utilize DiSC appropriately in order to be more effective.

As DiSC practitioners, we need to be vigilant for such statements in our sessions and in the workplace. We need to call out these misfires as soon as we hear them. Allowing such remarks to go unchecked sends a message that it’s okay to use DiSC in this way when it’s not.

Eventually, these misfires can impact culture and become embedded in the way DiSC is applied in an organization. People may even begin to resent DiSC instead of using it constructively. Worse yet, all of the benefits that could have been, are lost.

Don’t make the mistake of incorporating DiSC misfires into your organization. Instead, develop a DiSC culture that uses DiSC to increase understanding, collaboration, and adaptability.

Is your organization guilty of DiSC misfires?

Take our quiz to test your knowledge of the appropriate uses of DiSC versus DiSC misfires. Share this quiz to get someone new to DiSC started off on the right foot. You can also use this quiz as a post classroom activity to ensure learners recognize inappropriate uses of DiSC.