“In the past ten years, the modern workplace has become more about collaboration than conformity. For this reason, it’s critical that we’re aware of the different communication styles in our organizations.” Andrew Fayad, CEO ELM.
The age-old mistrust between worker and employee was definitely not helped by corporate misuse of personality tests. The stigma around these tests still exists today in some organizations, which is why they don’t work as well without a preexisting culture of trust and transparency. Workers might skew their answers based on what they think management wants, or management could use the results as justification to not hire, demote or fire certain employees.
ELM uses our own Personality Assessment Tool (PAT) early in the hiring process so we can see which candidates have important characteristics, one of which is empathy, and values that align with our company culture of Servant Leadership.
We’ve recently rolled out the DISC across our entire organization as part of an ongoing growth and development tool to build a greater understanding in communicating more effectively across the whole company. Our leaders have been certified through the Take Flight Learning company to give the DISC Assessment and analyze the results.
Not surprisingly, our PAT assessment has resulted in an abundance of Supportive/Doves at ELM. But, not everybody is the same or has an identical mixture of attributes, so the DISC is a great teaching tool for developing awareness and an appreciation/understanding of unique communication styles.
Merrick Rosenberg, CEO of Take Flight Learning and author of The Chameleon: Life-Changing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has a Personality or Knows Someone Who Does has changed the way people learn about themselves and utilize the styles to impact their organizations. He said, “For far too long, personality assessments have created fleeting fascination, but generated no long-term impact. If done well, the styles will become embedded into a company’s culture and change the way people interact with their coworkers and customers.”
While the verbiage surrounding the DISC has changed, the test is based on the same structure and research that arose in the 1930s. Some of the earlier tests have fallen out of vogue, but the tests we still use, like the DISC, have adapted with the times. Personality tests, once a negative tool for hierarchical organizations to weed out undesirables, are now positive tools for finding out more about ourselves, the people we work with, and how we can communicate more effectively.
Author: Andrew Fayad, Co-Founder and CEO
Designer: Britney Sharp, Designer