Comparing Natural and Adapted DISC Graphs

February 4, 2021 12:00 pm

When a person takes a DISC assessment, they should get two different graphs. Labeled Natural and Adapted, they both display results but in two different contexts. Sometimes you may see results as a single, averaged graph. The problem with an averaged graph is that it flattens out the differences between Natural and Adapted behaviors, which can result in two very different people having the same average graph. To understand what your results actually mean, it is important to look at the similarities and differences in the Natural and Adapted graphs.

The Natural Graph shows how people prefer to behave. It is called Natural because it should represent default behavior that would occur if not for outside influences. In contrast, the Adapted Graph shows behavior that has been tailored to be situationally specific. You might think it is more authentic if a person’s Natural and Adapted Graphs are very similar, even identical, but the reality is that good candidates need to be able to tailor their behavior to specific scenarios.

When taking a DISC assessment, a candidate is given 24 blocks and asked to choose on a ranked scale from most like me to least like me for the following characteristics: dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S), and compliance (C). Because of a belief that saying what a person is not like is a truer indicator of the person’s behavior than saying what they are like, the Natural Graph looks at the choices ranked least like the candidate and the Adapted Graph looks at the choices ranked most like the candidate.

Viewed together, the two graphs should reveal how a job candidate is likely to behave in specific situations, including situations where they may be asked to perform new tasks or acquire new skills. This can lead to better hiring decisions, but can also be used to help create individualized development plans for existing employees.

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