Myers Briggs Versus DISC as Workplace Assessment Tools

January 25, 2021 12:00 pm

Old-school thinking was that you could pretty much hire any competent person to do a job and expect them to adapt to the job’s requirements. While this may have been true to some extent, it really robbed organizations of the strengths of their human capital, by failing to utilize people’s natural strengths and weaknesses to an organization’s advantage. That is why companies began using personality assessments in the workplace. They not only help companies determine the best fit for the organization, but also decide how to tailor coaching, continuing education, and training to bring out the best in their employees.

Myers Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) quickly emerged as one of the most popular personality tests for a workplace environment and also as a way for people to self-identify. It has become so ubiquitous that you will see people use it in their social media accounts and MBTI charts for characters in fictional worlds. Based on Carl Jung’s personality types, there are 16 types in the MBTI. The problem is that, while these types are well-known and while people may reliably score in the same type on retests, there is little scientific evidence to back up the conclusions that are drawn from the types. Furthermore, because the MBTI simply looks at preferences, it fails to look at how a person can adapt natural preferences to a workplace environment.

DISC Personality Test

In contrast, DISC does not focus on motivation as much as it focuses on behaviors. It looks at Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C) in a variety of scenarios. The goal is not just to capture someone’s natural or preferred behaviors, which are what are reflected in an MBTI analysis, but also their ability to adapt those natural behaviors in a workplace environment. DISC does not break people down into types, but instead describes people on behavioral continuums, which is a less rigid approach to personality analysis. However, by also analyzing communication styles, it can provide invaluable insight into the best way to coach, train, manage, and communicate with various employees.

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