Interpretation of DiSC Results – James (S Style)

At its core, the DiSC® model is designed to be simple to understand and easy to remember. The respondent needs to be able to leave a DiSC experience with clear, simple principles that can be understood and applied in the real world. However, every model and assessment tool is only a simplification of real life. Real life and real people are always much more colorful and diverse, therefore, interpreting anyone’s DiSC results is always a process best done together with the learner.

That is why we now present the last of our 4 hypothetical case studies designed to:

  • illustrate the relationship between profile results and real-life behavior
  • model the appropriate interpretation of profile results

Note that these cases include specific characteristics that should not necessarily be generalized to every person sharing a particular style. These are simply one possible manifestation of that DiSC style.

The case study presented here includes the individual’s Everything DiSC map, but also an umbrella graph that shows the person’s scores on the eight DiSC scales and can give a practitioner additional insight into the respondent’s DiSC style. These umbrella graphs are not included in the respondent’s Everything DiSC profile but are available in the Everything DiSC Supplement for Facilitators.

James: S Style

James is a 31-year-old manager in a customer service department. For the past 3 years, he has overseen a team of eight employees, before which he was a customer service representative for 12 years. He is highly regarded among his direct reports for his support and flexibility. Further, they respect his wealth of knowledge about the organization’s products and processes. Several of his direct reports, however, have expressed frustration at his unwillingness to confront team members that are not pulling their weight. Two employees in particular have stopped answering calls when they are busy and this increases the workload on everyone else. The brunt of the extra work, however, has been picked up by James himself. The director of the department is pleased with the consistency of James’ team but notes that he has done little to innovate or advance the group’s productivity, even when given a company mandate to do so.

The assessment indicates that James has a fairly typical S style, with a strong inclination (see Figure 8.10). The umbrella graph shows moderate scores on the C and CD scales and low scores on the D, Di, and i scales (see Figure 8.11). James’ discomfort with interpersonal tension is reflected in his low CD and D scores, and his discomfort with assertiveness is reflected in his low D and Di scores.

James’ willingness to put his own needs aside for the sake of others or for the sake of preserving harmony is typical of the S style. He prefers a calm, peaceful environment where everyone gets along. Consistent with this preference, he has little drive to initiate large-scale change in his department or take chances on untested processes. Likewise, he is very reluctant to push his direct reports to work harder or move outside their comfort zones. As a result, the culture in his team is pleasant and low-key, but not particularly results-oriented.

What else do you read out from his DiSC result? What would you like to ask James if you would be his coach/trainer/manager?


Reference: Everything DiSC Manual (Scullard, Baum 2015)

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