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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
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Discus and Axiom News

GDPR: New Data Protection Regulations

26 April 2018

From 25 May 2018, the EU will implement a new set of data protection rules known as a the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. Discus has always been designed to maximise personal data security, but we've made a few changes to ensure full compliance with the new regulations.

Keeping Data Secure

We take every possible step to ensure the security of client and candidate data alike. All Discus data is held on Google's cloud database servers, and is maintained with two layers of encryption: once by Discus itself, and once by Google's own data systems. Our server architecture is maintained daily to ensure that latest updates and security patches are always in place as soon as they are released. This all means that data held by Discus is held in an environment that's as safe and secure as possible.

Candidate Privacy in Discus

One of the cornerstones of the GDPR is the idea of informed consent. Candidates should have a clear idea of what their personal data will be used for, and they should give unambiguous consent for that use.

To comply with this requirement, the Discus questionnaire process always requests explicit consent. Before a candidate starts a profile questionnaire, they are given an explanation of its purpose, and asked to consent to its storage and use. Without this consent, Discus will not store or process any candidate details.

The GDPR also requires that individuals have a right to demand deletion of their personal details. To help users comply with this requirement when necessary, Discus includes full and permanent deletion facilities. A periodic deletion facility is also provided so that users can ensure that their candidate database is kept recent and up-to-date, and does not maintain unnecessary candidate data.

Client Responsibilities

Discus collects minimal information about canddates, but a certain amount of detail is required in order for clients to identify or contact the individuals concerned.

Discus account holders are custodians of the personal details they collect about a candidate, and this means that they have certain responsibilities of their own, clearly spelled out in the Discus terms and conditions.

Most importantly, users have a responsibility for maintaining the privacy of their candidates and the security of those candidates' personal data. That data should not be published or shared with third parties without a legitimate purpose or interest.

Under the GDPR, candidates have a right to rectification and a right to erasure. If a candidate submits updated personal details, therefore, users have a responsibility to ensure that their records are updated with those details. Similarly, if they request that their profile data should be erased, then the user has a responsibility to delete that data from their Discus account. (Discus provides all the features needed to carry this out quickly and easily.)

Candidates also have a right to know what information is held on them: not only their personal details, but also any supplementary data, which in principle also includes their DISC results. Discus includes a report designed specifically for this purpose, the Feedback Report, which provides DISC results in a clear and understandable style ideal for providing to the user on request.

Managing Historical Data

26 April 2018

One of the recommendations of the GDPR is that you should not maintain historical personal data longer than necessary. We've had a number of users ask for help in applying this rule, and to ensure that you are able to keep your candidate database up to date, we've added a new management feature: Delete Historical Data.

On your Discus Account tab, you'll now find a new Housekeeping option. This gives you access to the 'Delete Historical Data' feature that helps keep your account data current. Choose this option, and you can select any date at least a year in the past. Discus will then permanently delete all profile data created before that date.

Note that this management tool is entirely optional. If you need to maintain an active historical database, there's no need to remove older records using this new feature.

A Whole Range of New Languages on the Discus Website

19 March 2018

Discus languages supported

We've been working hard to add new language features to the Discus software over the last few months, but that's not all. This month we're proud to announce the release of a whole range of new languages and language variants on the main Discus Online Website at www.discusonline.com.

The Discus Website now supports English (in both UK and US forms), French, Spanish and Portuguese, with content adapted to any of more than a hundred countries or territories around the world.

To choose your preferred location for the site, look for the language button next to the 'Menu' button at the top left of each page. Just click that button and you'll see a huge selection of locations and languages to choose from (in a few cases there are multiple language options for a single country, as for example a choice of English or French for Canadian users). You can see the full list of options opposite, or for a closer look you can open the page directly from this message.

We have even more language options planned for the site, and we'll keep you posted as new translations appear.

Don't forget that, once you've signed in, the main Discus interface supports even more language options that this. The easy way to set up Discus to use a different language is just to pick that language as you sign in. You can also switch your Discus language from your Settings at any time.

Discus Now Accepts PayPal

13 February 2018

PayPal logo

If you prefer to use PayPal to manage your secure online payments, you'll be happy to hear that Discus now supports PayPal for all its payment handling. Whether you're creating a profile, buying credits or setting up a subscription service, the PayPal option is now available throughout Discus.

If you'd prefer to switch your account over to use this new option, that's easy to do. Just click your 'Account' tab at the top of the screen, and Discus will show you all your account details and settings. Find the 'Payment Details' section. Just click the selector next to the PayPal logo, then click the 'Apply Changes' button. It's as easy as that: now all your Discus payments will be handled through your PayPal account.

Discus now available in German and Italian

19 December 2017

As part of our ongoing project to provide Discus in a wide range of languages, we're pleased to announce the release of Discus in both German and Italian.

That means that the entire Discus system is now available in a total of ten different languages or language variants: as well as the new German and Italian versions, we also provide UK and US English, Chinese, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. This is an ongoing project, so look out for new language options over the coming months.

Choosing your Discus language is easy: as you sign in, you'll see a new option that lets you pick your preferred interface language. You can change your language at any time, too. From within Discus, click your Settings tab and choose the 'User interface' option.

Note that many of these new translations represent experimental options, offered as a convenient solution free of charge, and that the interpretation may not be as precise as for a formally translated report. At this point we recommend reading the text in conjunction with the English report where practical, and of course we welcome your feedback on the translated content.

Discus now fully available in five new languages

29 November 2017

We're pleased to bring you more news from our ongoing translation project this month, with five new language options now available. One of these is an adaptation of the system to use US English, and the entire Discus interface is now also available in Spanish, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, and in Swedish.

That means that the entire Discus system is now available in a total of eight different languages or language variants: as well as these five new options, we also provide UK English, French and Simplified Chinese. This is an ongoing project, so look out for new language options over the coming months.

As you sign in to Discus, you'll see a new option that lets you pick your preferred interface language. Once you're using Discus, you can change your language at any time by clicking your Settings tab and choosing the 'User interface' option.

Note that many of these new translations represent experimental options, offered as a convenient solution free of charge, and that the interpretation may not be as precise as for a formally translated report. At this point we recommend reading the text in conjunction with the English report where practical, and of course we welcome your feedback on the translated content.

Discus now fully available in French and Chinese

30 October 2017

Discus has always provided its questionnaires and reports in different languages, but this month we're pleased to announce the launch of a new translation project: the entire Discus software. That's a massive project covering every aspect of the Discus system, involving the translation of over a million words. These new translations include all the interface content, e-mails and our full suite of reports.

At this early stage, the interface is available in three different languages: the original English, French and Simplified Chinese. We're planning to add plenty more language options over the coming months.

As you sign in to Discus, you'll see a new option that lets you pick your preferred interface language. Once you're using Discus, you can change your language at any time by click your Settings tab and choosing the 'User interface' option.

The French translation is currently an experimental version. This is offered as a convenient solution free of charge, but the interpretation may not be as precise as for a formally translated report. At this point we recommend reading the text in conjunction with the English report where practical, and of course we welcome your feedback on the translated content.

Please Send Us Your Feedback

20 January 2017

We've made it even easier for you to send us your suggestions to help improve Discus.

We're always interested to hear about your experiences with the Discus Online, and especially your ideas for potential enhancements. If there's something that would improve your experience using Discus, or some feature you think would be generally useful, why not let us know?

It's even easier to pass on your comments and suggestions with the new 'Send Feedback' button, which you'll see it up at the top of your Discus screen next to the 'Help' button. Click that button, and you'll find it's quick and easy to make any comments you like and send them along to us.

The Send Feedback button

We're interested in anything you have to tell us, from minor adjustments to major new features. Of course we can't promise to implement every suggestion we receive - at least not right away - but your feedback will help us make sure Discus provides all the features and services you need.

So, click 'Send Feedback' today and let us know how we can make Discus even better. We look forward to hearing from you!

Guest Access Mode for Invitations and Testing

20 January 2017

Now you can set up guest access to your account restricted to Discus' administrative features.

It's often the case that your administrative staff will be handling the setting up and delivery of Discus profile tests, but you won't always want administrators to have full access to all of Discus' features. We've added a feature to address just this situation: the new Guest Access feature lets you set up a limited level of access to your Discus account.

Setting up Guest Access

In the Settings tab of your Discus account, you'll now find a new 'Access Control' option. In that section you'll see an automatically-generated password that can be used to sign in to your account in place of your normal Discus password. Signing in with this Guest Password opens up Discus with its features limited to just those needed to set up a Discus invitation or to run a test directly. Guest users do not have access to other Discus features like candidate results or credit purchasing.

Guest Access to your Discus account

This new feature does not affect your normal Discus account in any way. It's an optional extra level of access control giving you a finer level of control over the use of your Discus account.

About Compressed Profiles

9 September 2016

Your Guide to an Unusual Pattern

A typical compressed DISC profile: all four factors fall within the central zone of the graph.

The great majority of DISC profiles show a distinctive pattern of high or low factors that we can use to assess and describe a personality style in detail. Very occasionally, though, an unusual DISC pattern appears: a flat, or nearly flat line across the centre of the profile, with no distinct high or low factors.

A flat profile like this is termed 'compressed', and in this article we'll look at exactly what a compressed profile means, what it might imply about a candidate, and how you can manage a profile like this with Discus.

What Does a Compressed Profile Mean?

A compressed profile is technically defined as one whose factors all lie between 35% and 65% on a profile (these important points are marked with dashed lines on most DISC profiles). When this happens, none of the four DISC factors in a profile are sufficiently far from the average to draw many useful conclusions.

Patterns like this tend to be quite unusual, because they take a particular combination of answers on a DISC questionnaire. They imply that a candidate has provided self-contradictory responses, such that they combine to cancel each other out and result in an undefined profile shape.

One obvious possibility in a situation like this is that the candidate didn't clearly understand the questionnaire process. It may even indicate that the candidate intentionally tried to 'sway' the results in a certain direction. In these kinds of situations, we commonly expect to see compressed profiles across the entire series, with Internal, External and Summary profiles all showing a compressed pattern.

Compressed Internal and External Profiles

As often as we see fully compressed sets of profiles, we can also see situations where just one profile is compressed and the others are more conventional. In other words, the candidate might show a compressed Internal profile but a normal DISC shape on their External profile, or vice versa.

Cases like this can also arise from confusion, but can also imply actual features of the personality style. The suggestion is that a candidate is actually encountering some kind of conflict or uncertainty in a particular area of their life. Delving into the details of these effects is beyond a behavioural system like DISC, but we can take some general impressions, depending on the particular profile involved.

  • Where the Internal profile is compressed, but the External is more defined, this implies that the candidate is finding it difficult to adapt their personal style to the needs of a role. For example, a person in this situation might find that they need to act in ways that don't match their natural behaviour, and that they are not finding it easy to make this adaptation. Alternatively, a pattern of this kind might potentially reflect some kind of tension at work in the candidate's personal life.
  • Where the External profile is compressed, but the Internal is more defined, this implies that the candidate feels some uncertainty about the ways they should behave in a role. This might be because they feel that contradictory demands are being placed on them, or may simply be due to the their having limited information about the requirements of their situation.

Handling Compressed Profiles

Compressed profiles don't carry as much information about a candidate's personality as a normal DISC profile. In situations like this, then, Discus isn't able to produce as fully detailed a report as usual.

For that reason, where a profile series is fully compressed, Discus won't create the usual automatic profile report for you. Instead, it will display the candidate with a 'Compressed' icon next to their name, and when you select that candidate, you'll be given the option to either create a limited DISC report, or just remove the compressed results at no charge.

Your choice will depend on your particular circumstances, but when a fully compressed set of results appears, the best course of action is generally to organise a retest. If this is a practical option, it's worthwhile discussing the questionnaire with the candidate beforehand, and ensuring that they completely understand how to complete it.

In Summary

Compressed profiles are rare, but when they do arise you'll need to exercise judgement in dealing with them. There's very little useful information to be derived from a fully compressed DISC profile series, but where only one profile is compressed (Internal or External) we can at least derive some suggestions about the possible cause.

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