DISC Assessment Patterns: The Undershift

by | DISC Assessment, DISC University

The instructions provided with a DISC assessment ask you to rank order 4 items without thinking too hard about your replies. This is how the most accurate results are achieved. If the person taking the assessment instead overthinks and tries to assign different situations to each question, their results could become muddled and this shows on the report in a variety of ways.

Today we’ll look at the Undershift. In the graph below, note that all of the scores are below 50.

disc assessment pattern undershift

disc assessment pattern undershift

DISC results are usually relative: when a score in 1 area goes up another score goes down. So when you see all scores on the low side, it’s time to ask some questions.

Ask how long it took them to take the assessment. When you see an undershift it’s more than likely they were overthinking their answers. If you hear anything over 15 minutes, ask if they’d like to take it again. And this time, tell them to aim to complete it in under 15 minutes.

It’s funny. The people who are so determined to provide ‘the right answer’ and take their time and think deep and long about the way they rank order the items, are not doing themselves any favors. The assessment is designed for the taker to go with their first instinct.

It is rare but quite possible that someone scores below 50. It’s still a good time to ask some questions because this pattern in the natural scores can be an indicator that they wish to be something other than what they truly are. They feel they have to be many things to many different people.

This undershift in the adaptive scores could point to a person who is experiencing significant discouragement either in their work life or their personal life. Tread lightly if this is the case. This individual might be under a great deal of stress.

The DISC report provides an opportunity for you to do some career or life coaching. Asking some probing questions to ensure you are seeing an accurate picture is the first step.