As its starting point for team analysis, Discus defines a 'Team Profile'. This measures four primary factors within the team's make-up: Direction, Communication, Stability and Productivity. Each of these four factors also has an inverse, so for example a team showing low Direction is said to be Participatory. In this part of the Team-building section, we consider each of these four factors in detail, together with their inverted cousins.
If you are familiar with DISC, you will immediately notice a correspondence between these four factors and the four behavioural elements that DISC interprets for an individual - Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. Indeed, Discus uses these individual factors as the ultimate basis for the Team Profile. There are, however, some distinct differences between a Team Profile and an ordinary DISC Profile.
It is important to remember that low factors on a Team Profile are quite as important as high factors. On a DISC profile, a low Dominance score would be interpreted simply as a lack of direct, dominating behaviour (that is, a non-assertive style). On a Team Profile, a comparable low Direction score has a positive meaning of its own - it does not merely indicate a lack of direction, but also a heightened level of participation within the team.
A difference between DISC and Team Profiles is also seen where all four points lie close to the central line of the graph. On an individual DISC profile, this condition is referred to as a 'compressed profile', and typically considered somewhat negative, usually suggesting that the individual concerned is undergoing stressful conditions. As the foregoing indicates, however, a Team Profile with a similar shape (referred to as 'Balanced') has no such negative connotations - it merely indicates that the team balances the approaches indicated. Indeed, such profiles are not uncommon. Especially with larger teams, 'Balanced' Team Profiles regularly appear, even where members show quite distinct individual DISC profiles.
Team 'Subfactors' provide a more detailed analysis tool for teams derived from the main Team Factors. If you're familiar with DISC, you may have come across the principle of the sub-trait - Subfactors work in just the same way. By comparing each of the main factors with each of the others, we can define a total of twelve elements of team behaviour. Each team will show some of these more strongly than others.
As an example, consider the two team factors Direction and Communication. In any given Team, these may be at the same level, or one may be higher than another. A team with high Direction and low Communication will naturally present a quite different working environment to one with high Communication and low Direction.
In this section, we name and define each of the twelve possible Team Subfactors, and give a description of the kind of team environment relating to each. Click on the names of the subfactors shown below for more information on each:
Subfactors of Directed Teams
Subfactors of Communicative Teams
Subfactors of Stable Teams
Subfactors of Productive Teams
Team building with DISC
Explore the theory behind modelling teams using the DISC technique.