Interpreting the results of a DISC profile is pretty straightforward. However, there are a couple of instances that require a deeper look and some additional questions of the test-taker. Some patterns created by the score should have you putting on your Sherlock Holmes hat or your Columbo coat.
Today we’ll look at the Tight pattern. In the graph below, note that all of the scores are very close to 50.
This is an example of someone who feels the need to be everything to everyone. You see, most times when one of the columns is high, another column is low. It’s unusual to see all 4 columns with scores so close to each other.
A pattern like this surfaces for 3 different reasons:
- The test-taker is trying to ‘beat’ the assessment or manipulate their results
- The subject is under extreme stress
- They are part of the 10-15% of the population that are truly ‘balanced’
A good question to ask if you see this tight pattern is, ‘Is this a fair picture of you every day?’ Or, ‘If I asked your partner or coworkers if this looks like you, what would they say?’ That one usually gets a smile and an ‘Aw, shucks. Maybe not.’ In those cases offer them an opportunity to retake the assessment with an open mind.
If they say it does paint an accurate picture of their everyday behavior, a little more digging should uncover if they are feeling positive about this behavior or ‘balanced’, or if this behavior actually stresses them out. You may see that naturally balanced style from a good Operations Manager, business owner, or another type of position that requires a healthy mix of each DISC style.