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DISC: A Layman's Guide
What is DISC?
Video: Introduction to DISC
DISC Profile Interpretations
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Team Building with DISC
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DISC profiling since 1994
22
years
(214) 613-3983
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Features
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DISC: A Layman's Guide
What is DISC?
Video: Introduction to DISC
DISC Profile Interpretations
DISC Factors
Team Building with DISC
History and Development of DISC
Personality Types
Applications: Putting DISC to Work
Validity and Reliability of DISC
Knowledge Base
(214) 613-3983
E-mail us
Skype us
Contact Details

What exactly constitutes a 'team'? There are many definitions of this term, some broad, some narrow. In fact, DISC can be used to provide useful information an almost any group of people, regardless of their situation. Nonetheless, it will be useful at this point to describe exactly what we mean by the term.

Probably the easiest way to approach a definition of the term 'team' is to describe some of the factors that all working teams have in common:


  • A team works to a remit.
    This may be self-imposed, or (more commonly) defined from outside the team; nonetheless, a team must have a clear purpose or purposes.
  • Team members interact with one another.
    Sometimes the term 'team' is used to describe a group whose members perform similar tasks individually (as is sometimes found in direct sales), but this is not strictly a 'team' in the sense that we are considering here.
  • A team must produce some result.
    This may be tangible (for example, a report or a design for a new wing nut) or less easily defined, but a team that produces nothing has no real purpose.

These three elements help not only to define a 'team', but also to measure how effective it is. Does the team work towards its remit? Do the members interact well? Is the team capable of producing the required results? It is questions of this kind that DISC can help to answer.

Before we move on to look in more detail at the workings of teams in DISC terms, it will be useful to consider the team in the wider context of the organisation.

No team works in isolation. The team will also need to deal with outside forces, some positive, some negative, if it is to function with any purpose. Even in an isolated team (for example a very small business), there is a need to interact with customers, clients, suppliers, accountants, tax professionals and many others.

Most commonly, though, the team is not isolated - it works within the umbrella of an organisation, and that organisation defines its role and its expected results. This means that a team will normally have to work within the structure of that organisation, and limits somewhat the activities it can pursue. However, it does grant the advantage of structuring and formalising the points of interaction between the team and its external contacts within the greater organisation.

This concept of the 'team within the organisation' is useful in considering the workings of an individual and specific team. In reality, an organisation rarely functions as a cohesive whole - it can in fact be considered simply as a collection of interacting teams (some formally defined, others less so). As we apply DISC to teams, it will often be necessary to refer to factors outside or external to the team, or inherent in the organisation as a whole. Such references can be read as referring to other teams within the organisation, and it is often possible to formally define and analyse these teams themselves, to gain a greater understanding of their dynamics.

We have already commented on the number and variety of team-building and team assessment tools and theories available today. The DISC behavioural profiling tool provides an approach that (so far as we can determine) has not been used, or at least formalised, before. What are its advantages?


  • DISC defines behaviour on an individual basis. Rather than speaking of generalised roles within the team, DISC allows us to consider the specific behaviour of a specific individual within the team (although it is also possible to work with more general roles when needed).
  • Because of its specificity, DISC can provide analyses not only of team functions in general, but also of specific individual relationships within the team.
  • DISC will report on motivations and needs even down to the individual level.

Most of the team theories at work today look at teams in a general way, providing models and ideals - a task they perform admirably. With DISC, however, we can interpret and analyse interactions within a specific team composed of specific individual members.

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