Where a profile shows no factors above 65%, and none below 35%, it represents a special case, and is termed a 'Compressed' Profile. This indicates that none of the DISC factors are significantly higher or lower than the average, meaning that the profile is essentially uninterpretable.
Though we cannot draw direct conclusions about a person's behaviour from a Compressed Profile, we can draw certain inferences. The appearance of a profile like this is normally due to one of two possibilities: either the DISC questionnaire was completed incorrectly, or the Compressed Profile truly represents a person's behavioural style.
'Artefactual' Compressed Profiles
A Compressed Profile is termed 'artefactual' where it is an outcome of a mistake or misunderstanding on the part of the candidate. In this case, the profile is an 'artefact' of the DISC questionnaire, and does not represent an actual behavioural style.
Such artefacts are typically the result of a misunderstanding of the terms on the questionnaire, or of a deliberate attempt by the candidate to radically affect the results of the profile.
It is often possible to eliminate this kind of Compressed Profile by simply providing the candidate with a second questionnaire, and providing a very clear and detailed explanation of the terms under which it should be completed.
True Compressed Profiles
Compressed Profiles are often artefacts, but at least as often they do represent a real aspect of a person's behaviour. The interpretation of 'true' Compressed Profiles will depend on whether they appear in the Internal or External Profile.
Where the External Profile is Compressed, it usually reflects no more than confusion on the part of the candidate. The strong suggestion here is that they are uncertain of the type of behaviour that they should be exhibiting. This is especially common in recruitment situations, where the candidate by definition has little idea of the behavioural needs of a role.
A Compressed External Profile is also sometimes associated with short term pressures in the individual's life: such situations as moving house or job, or undergoing financial difficulties, can result in compression of the External Profile, while the Internal remains well-defined.
A Compressed Internal Profile is suggestive that the individual concerned is experiencing events or circumstances that are placing them under more considerable pressure, or stressful effects over a longer term. In these circumstances, the difficulties being experienced will likely have a more distinct effect on the person's behaviour.
This is a general interpretation discussing the overall trends in profiles of this kind. For a specific DISC analysis, create a DISC profile online using our Discus service, or through the Axiom site's own quick DISC profiler.