If you're new to profiling as an idea, you might find our article Introduction to Personality Profiling more helpful.
If you're used to using a personality profiling tool, you'll find Discus DISC to follow a fairly familiar approach: a questionnaire is used to assess a person's individual style, and that's then analysed and described through a series of graphical and textual reports. If you're not familiar with DISC, you'll find lots of introductory material on this site to help make you familiar with the ideas behind it - see the index of options on the right.
There are a range of different DISC standards available, all ultimately dating back to the work of William Moulton Marston in the 1920's. Because of this common heritage, if you're familiar with another form of DISC, you'll find much that you recognise in Discus' standard, but also quite a few innovations and expansions.
There are a wide variety of profiling tools, each suited to its own particular application. Some, for example, use extensive questionnaires to provide detailed analysis covering numerous variables. Other, simpler, solutions just break down individuals into one of a fixed set of types. DISC lies somewhere between these two extremes, providing an impressive depth of analysis based on a relatively simple questionnaire.
So, DISC profiles are quick to create, and easy to interpret, but contain more profound levels of interpretation if needed. In comparison with the more technically elaborate profiling techniques, DISC represents a cost-effective complement or alternative.
Marston's original DISC questionnaire was based around selections of simple adjectives, such as 'eager' or 'intrepid'. Discus still supports an updated 'adjective-based' questionnaire like this if you're more familiar with this format. However, the preferred standard Discus questionnaire is its own 'phrase-based' version, which uses more expressive questions to provide more meaning and context, and thus helps to ensure that a candidate understands all their options more clearly.
Discus also provides a 'Direct Entry' feature that allows you to enter DISC values directly, and see them interpreted as if they came from a normal questionnaire. That means that Discus is compatible with other DISC systems: you can enter results from a non-Discus questionnaire, for example, and use them to create a Discus report.
DISC Graphs and Reports
Most DISC systems break down the basic questionnaire results in terms of three graphs, reflecting different aspects of the candidate's approach. Discus does the same, but it also provides a fourth graph, the 'Shift Pattern' that emphasises the changes occurring within the candidate's style. As well as the standard DISC graphs, Discus provides a range of extra graphical displays:
Discus incorporates an intelligent textual engine that can report on up to twenty-one different aspects of a person's style, ranging from a general Overview to detailed issues like Guidelines in Sales or Management. Of course many DISC systems provide textual interpretations of this kind, but we believe Discus has the most powerful reporting features available today.
To illustrate the depth of detail in a typical report, take a look at any of these example DISC reports actually generated by Discus:
What's more, Discus provides a 'Relationship Analysis' that can integrate the results of two sets of DISC results and describe important features of the resulting relationship. Note that this doesn't involve any completing any additional questionnaires: the assessment is available for any pair of standard DISC profiles.
Discus also provides an interactive 'Job Match' report, that can examine a candidate's suitability for different roles, based on defined 'Job Profiles' describing those roles. A Discus Job Match can look in detail at any role, suggesting likely strengths and training requirements for a particular candidate.
In order to create a 'Job Match' report, it's first necessary to create a description of the behavioural ideal for a role. Discus comes complete with a library of some fifty role definitions, but in practical use you'll want to create specific roles of your own. The Discus system gives you no less than five different ways to do this:
This final idea of merging together Job Profiles arose from observing DISC consultancy in action. Generally, there will be several different perspectives on the ideal behavioural approach for a role, and using this 'Merge' feature, it's possible to combine all those perspectives into a single Job Profile for comparison.
All Discus Job Profiles can be 'tuned' after creation to make them match your needs exactly, and Discus will also provide an automatic textual report discussing the key features of any Job Profile, including those you create yourself.
Contact Profiling is a technique based on the underlying principles of DISC, but simplified to the extent that it's possible to create an approximate profile of a person indirectly. In other words, they can be profiled through a description of their behaviour, rather than needing to complete a questionnaire themselves.
Naturally, this approach doesn't rival full DISC profiling in terms of accuracy, but the results are useful enough to use as a basis for building a communication strategy. So, Contact Profiles can be extremely useful in situations where effective relationships are important, such as negotiation.
DISC Team Profiling
Team profiling using DISC is integral to the Discus DISC model. Any individual with a DISC profile can be incorporated and analysed as part of a team, and Discus provides an extensive and detailed report covering all aspects of the team's workings.
Discus' DISC team assessment is based on a proprietory team profiling system that converts DISC factors into corresponding 'team factors' on a profile for the team that's analogous to an individual DISC profile.
Discus also provides an additional level of DISC assessment based on the team context. An individual's DISC results can be reinterpreted through Discus' 'PPF' (Pace-Perspective-Focus) model to examine their attitudes to a team, and the type of team role they are likely to fulfil.
Because Discus' team model works much like a normal DISC profile, it's possible to create the team equivalent of a 'Job Profile' - that is, an ideal behavioural description of a team. Using this, the Discus 'Team Profiler' can search through combinations of potential team members, and find those that match the needs of the team as closely as possible.
The Discus Pricing Scale
One of the things that makes Discus different is the way we charge for results. First, there's no charge at all for questionnaires. In fact, you can use Discus to print as many questionnaires as you need at any time. (Actually, you don't need to use paper questionnaires at all, because candidates can enter their answers directly on the screen, but the option is included for those who prefer printed question sets).
Instead, there's a charge according to the level of report you want to see. For experienced DISC users, a simple DISC graph is often sufficient, and that's available for a minimal cost. More detailed analyses are available on a sliding scale, right up to the premium 'Enhanced' DISC report. What's more, Discus will allow you to upgrade a report at any time, so you can gradually extend the contents as you wish.