Extended DISC February 2011 Newsletter

Extended DISC February 2011 Newsletter


One of our most popular reports is the Team Analysis Report. There are a significant number of uses for the Team Analysis Report and it is easy to use, and easy to generate. It is produced without participants having to complete an additional questionnaire as all the information required is contained in the Personal Analysis Report. Providing team members’ reports are in the online database, it is simply a matter of selecting the team members and printing the report.

This month we look how the Extended DISC® Team Analysis Report helped identify the reasons for poor performance and unhappy team members. This particular team (an actual case study) faced some real challenges caused fundamentally by the downturn in demand for its products. As is often the case, while sales are buoyant, it is easy to overlook weaknesses but when sales become difficult to achieve, then gaps in the system will widen.

There still seems to be confusion over invalid or unreliable reports. Extended DISC® has a built-in validity check and will not mail out reports that are unreliable. In addition to this feature, the consistency of answering is measured and it is possible to identify reports that might be suspect. Many of our clients/users already know of these features but from time to time we receive enquiries about invalid reports so we have included some information on this feature in this edition of FactSheet.

From time to time we include data taken from the annual Validation Study completed in Finland. We are currently awaiting the study for the year ended 31 December 2010 but the information contained in the study for the year ended 31 December 2009 is compelling as it is based on a sample of 77,811 Personal Analysis Reports produced in several languages. We hope you will find the data included in this month’s newsletter interesting.


How an Extended DISC® Team Analysis Report revealed some challenges for management

Virtually every industry sector has faced challenges over recent years because of the tighter trading conditions. However, it is well known that motor vehicle dealers have been especially affected by the recent recessionary period and this case study demonstrates how the consultant involved was able to identify some fundamental issues that required the attention of management.

The company involved had a very good track record over some forty plus years and had weathered many ups and downs over that time. Although this case study relates to a sales team, and many of the team members had been employees for many years, they had never used behavioural style assessment in recruitment.

Interestingly, and as we have seen in many other cases, the sales team were of a similar behavioural style to that of the CEO. Not surprisingly therefore they had been selected by the CEO, who was himself a very good salesman mainly because of his experience going back over many years. In some cases some of the sales team had been promoted from other roles in the organisation by the CEO.

This meant that the selection of the sales team was based on compatibility with the CEO with no consideration as to the suitability of their behavioural style for the role they occupied in the business. Again, this is not uncommon but when times are tough this puts extreme pressure on the individuals to perform and in some cases can lead to stress.
We all know that stress affects performance and in this particular case the matter had become a serious issue.

The CEO recognised that the team had become dysfuntional, but he couldn’t understand the reasons for this. The team was comprised of people he knew well and had worked with in some cases for over thirty years. Weekly sales meetings were often ineffective with a lot of “finger pointing” and the reasons for poor performance difficult to identify.

In desperation he decided to consult an HR professional and the first step the consultant took was to obtain Extended DISC Personal Analysis Reports from each member of the sales team.

The similarity in the behavioural styles became obvious and the consultant knew that he had identified a major cause for the difficulties facing the CEO.

He produced a Team Analysis Report and the Arrow Map (shown opposite) in the report provided him with a graphical explanation for the major problem. The Arrow Map from the report is shown opposite.

  • The questions the consultant focused on were:
  • Do the team members have similar behavioural styles?
  • Are the arrows all moving in the same direction?
  • What are the respective roles of each member of the team?
  • Does their behavioural style suit the role?

The Arrow Map supported his conclusions.

  • The team members had similar behavioural styles and were mostly in the S and C segment. Only one featured in the DI segment. The CEO’s style was SIC and he was responsible for hiring. Consequently, as already mentioned, he favoured those who were similar to his style although he was not conversant with behavioural style analysis, - he simply identified traits from his experience in working with people over many years.
  • The CEO did not realise the importance of matching behavioural styles with specific roles. All the arrows were moving in the same direction which is not surprising as all the team recognised the importance of selling vehicles to survive. The problem was however that this meant a huge change in their Profile I, - (their perceived need to adjust), - and this meant they felt they had to work outside their natutral comfort zone. This lead to stress and pressure, and sometimes frustration.
  • It is difficult for an S or C style to “get out and sell” and this was the fundamental reason for the lack of performance. It was different when buyers were walking on to the yard and there was no pressure to “sell”, but times had changed.

The final outcome was that three of the team, after understanding what their reports were telling them, resigned while in a couple of cases the CEO was forced to dismiss a couple of the team for poor performance - something that he did not enjoy!

The company now uses Extended DISC® in all recruitment situations and the five people who have moved on have been replaced by sales people with the ID or DI mix. Sales are improving dramatically and the CEO is now a firm advocate of behavioural style analysis and especially Extended DISC methodology.


Invalid Reports

We do not know of any other assessment tool that identifies unreliable or invalid reports.

This is a feature that is important to maintain the integrity of the system but it is often mis-understood. In one particular instance, a consultant who had just begun using Extended DISC® decided against continuing using the system because he did not believe that it was the system’s “right” to identify unreliable reports! His logic was that this is something that a consultant should realise and advise the client accordingly!!

Fortunately this is the only instance that we know of where a consultant has not recognised the importance of ensuring unreliable reports are not issued. Most understand that reports are not always used by Extended DISC® trained consultants and it is important that the high standard of the reports is maintained.

There are a number of reasons why Extended DISC® Personal Analysis Reports are sometimes invalid.

Fortunately Extended DISC® has probably the strictest internal rules for identifying and not processing further results that do not carry the reliability required. The amount of Invalid Profiles in a society is dependent on the skills of the inventory administrator, the environmental climate of the organisation and the stability of the society.

Extended DISC® International has just completed a study of Invalid Profiles for 2009 (we are expecting the figures for the year ended 31 December 2010 shortly) and compared this with 2008 for some 20 countries. The size of the population for the overall validation study was an impressive 77,811 so we can be certain of the reliability of the results.

The percentage of Invalid Profiles measured against the total reports generated worldwide for 2008 was 5.65% and the figure for Australasia was 5.4%. The figure for the year ended 31 December 2008 was 3.0% for Australasia and 4.4% worldwide. The amount of invalid profiles increased by 22% in 2009 compared to 2008. Invalid Profiles are part of the Extended DISC® Trust Indicator™, and the increase in them can be explained by the global recession affecting especially the United States (with a 40% increase in invalid profiles).
So why do we find that some five reports in every 100 are classified as invalid? The point is that if there was no process for identifying invalid results (like most instruments do not have) the overall validity of the instrument would not be as reliable as it is now.

The Extended DISC® server does not generate a report when the validity of the results is low. In these cases, the reasons will be one of the following:
Tight Profile II
Overshift in Profile II
Mirror Profiles I and II

An invalid Profile does not necessarily indicate a problem. It is very likely that the user was not able to concentrate when completing the questionnaire or perhaps simply misunderstood the instructions.

On the other hand he/she may have tried to “beat the system” by producing answers that presented a different behavioural style simply because he/she thought that the resulting report would impress. Again the candidate could have been interrupted while completing the questionnaire, may not have answered it in his/her “native” language, or may have simply taken too long to answer the questions looking for some deep and meaningful answer! The system recognises inconsistent answers and classifies them as “invalid”.

However, sometimes invalid reports give us a hint of a problem and when the questionnaire is completed a second time, there may be signs of frustration (both Profiles tight), or insecurity (tight Profile II) or pressure (overshift in Profile II), and quite apart from the fact that we want to produce an accurate and meaningful report, it is also a good reason for recommending that the candidate complete the questionnaire a second time.

Global Distribution – DISC vs Gender













The finding supports the outcome of previous studies. D (clearly) and C (slightly) are more common in the male population, whereas I is more common in the female population.

The results support the claim that Extended DISC Personal Analysis was in 2009 as good of an instrument as it has previously been, and that the environment has not changed in any direction that would require adjustment in the basic construct of the instrument.

March Webinar

Hosted by: Kelly Fairhurst

The subject of the next webinar is “Don’t change me, motivate me”. This will be based on a webinar presented last year by our US associates. It proved very popular and we hope you can join us for this presentation.

The webinar is open to anyone interested and is scheduled for 1300 hours on Tuesday 22 March 2011 - Auckland New Zealand time. Spaces are limited so please email us to register.


For more information about Extended DISC and how you can use the tools to enhance your bottom line, or the bottom line of your client's, please email us or call Team Talent Tools on 61 7 3103 0177

Author:Extended DISC Australasia