Extending People Newsletter - April 2010

Written on the 27 April 2010 by Extended DISC Australasia

Personal Analysis Reports - Interpretation of Special Cases

Case Study No 1 - How Personal Analysis Reports helped solve a difficult situation
One of our consultants was engaged by a four partner legal firm to provide Extended DISC Personal Analysis Reports for the partners and senior members because of “communication” problems.
The firm had been experiencing some challenging times with the loss of a couple of major finance company clients and this had lead to some acramonious meetings between the partners, flowing on to the senior members of the firm. As is often the case in such situations, when stress levels rise or pressure to make hard decisions is necessary, people revert to their natural behavioural style, - especially when those decisions must be made spontaneously.
One of the partners had a client who was an advocate of Extended DISC and had told him how he had used the system to improve communication between two senior staff members. He had in fact used a Work Pair Analysis Report to solve a communication issue between two employees, but he was obviously impressed enough to suggest to his friend, the lawyer, that Extended DISC might help.
The Extended DISC consultant was not surprised by the reports he received, - each one of them had an elevated Profile II, indicating pressure, but two of them (let’s call them Partner A and Partner B) indicated other emotions that weren’t apparent to him when he first reviewed them.
The first report he asked us to interpret for him (for Partner A) contained the Profiles shown opposite.

Partner A was clearly feeling the need to become more extroverted and perhaps the need to “get out and sell”. This could lead to stress but this perceived need to adjust from his natural 80% “C” style to 60% “I” in itself would be causing him some pressure which is apparent from Profile II.
However, there is another important feature showing in these profiles. The movement of the “D” style.
Although opposite behaviour in both Profiles, this change tells us that Partner A, at the time of answering the questionnaire, was feeling inadequate and expressing the feeling of having to force himself. This is probably caused through a lack of self-confidence, and when the consultant debriefed the partner he told the consultant that he was feeling that he wasn’t pulling his weight in the firm and was losing self-confidence.
When the consultant explained that these feelings were reflected in his report, Partner A was most impressed and in fact opened up to his partners. This lead to a better understanding of his “issues” and allowed the other partners to help him through the difficult period.
Partner B’s Profiles are opposite.

Again we can identify pressure in Profile II, and although there is little indication of a feeling of the need to adjust his behavioural style to cope with the current environment, we noted the movement in the “C” style.
This is an indication of the feeling that “it is better to do nothing than to fail”, or a feeling of “tight control” maybe even a feeling of “unfair control”......perhaps “lost freedom”.
This was an interesting conclusion because we subsequently learnt that Partner B was the youngest partner and the newest partner to join the firm. He had left a large legal firm early in his career (and was still only in his early thirties) to start his own practice, but could not resist an offer to join the then three partner firm a couple of years later. He had only been with the firm for some six months before the report was generated so was still not totally comfortable nor settled as a partner.
So what did we all learn from this, and what was the outcome? It is important to understand that Extended DISC reports can drill down into the emotions but we have to be careful not to “over-analyse”. It is a coincidence that we found two reports in the one firm that both reflected situations arising from movement of styles below the line, but then both men were under pressure and this can lead to a change in behaviour that might be difficult to identify without resorting to behavioural style analysis.
The outcome was that the four partners began to better understand the effect of the pressures they had to confront on each other and their communication improved significantly.
Case Study No 2 – New H R Manager
One of our major challenges is to explain to prospective clients that Extended DISC is not just “another traditional simple DISC system”.
Recently we met with the Human Resources Manager of a large prospective new client. The meeting wasn’t easy as the HR Manager was clearly suspicious of our system and had simply made up his mind that Extended DISC was “just another DISC system”. He spent the first few minutes of the meeting explaining how he had had an experience with a DISC based system that had caused him a great deal of pain and for this reason he really didn’t want to know about Extended DISC.
One of his main arguments was that DISC is just too simple and that there were more than four different types of people on the planet!
It wasn’t so much thay he didn’t believe in the four quadrant model as he was aware of Jungian theory and the associated research, but it was simply that he had not found a DISC based system that could give him the depth of reporting that he needed.
We finally convinced him that he should “test drive” Extended DISC when we explained that the program recognised and reported on 160 different behavioural styles, and he completed the online questionnaire about a week later.
The report we received is shown below.

While we could identify his behavioural traits shown in Profile II from our meeting we were very surprised to note that Profile I was very tight. Our prospective client was clearly uncertain of his role and this created a problem for us as we had undertaken to meet him and take him through his report in a debriefing session. It was something we were not looking forward to!
We need not have worried. When we asked whether he had been in his current role for very long, his response was “What made us ask?”. We explained that there was uncertainty of role which is not unusual for someone new in a job and this took him by complete surprise. He went on to explain that he had only been appointed for less than a week when we first met and he had answered the questionnaire within two weeks of his appointment. The other interesting thing was that the position he was appointed to was newly created and his job description was still be finalised by the organisations CEO!!
This was not the only thing that impressed him as he told us the repoprt was extremely accurate but clearly the identification of “uncertainty of role” was a major factor in his decision to use the system going forward.
Tailored Reports and the Research Module

One of the Extended DISC System’s advantages is its reporting flexibility.
Reports can be tailored to fit specific industry needs thereby ensuring that the report addresses relevant issues that are directly related to the actual industry sector. It ensures that there is a sharper focus on the behavioural styles that are important to management and to the individual.
When ordering reports, it is possible through EDOS to select specific style reports as part of the standard Personal Analysis Report, but it is also possible to change the Reading Instructions section to focus on questions that relate to a specific job requirement.

We are, for example, currently developing a specific industry related Personal Analysis Report for Coaches together with a specific Personal Analysis Report for the coach’s clients/students.

But let’s take for example the Real Estate industry that has been experiencing some difficult challenges over the last couple of years.
Too often we have seen people employed in that industry that are clearly not suited for the role of selling real estate. The example oppposite is a glimpse of how a report can be tailored to address some of the issues that might well be overlooked in recruiting a suitable real estate agent.
Reports can also be branded with the logo and colours of an individual organisation to provide their own unique look. This is also possible for the answering interface. A very simple example of the Profiles Page of a report which has been branded using the client’s colours is opposite, but obviously the cover page would show the client’s logo, name and any other details required by the client.
It is also easy to not only create tailored reading guides, but page headings, instructions, and work books for Personal Analysis Reports.
The Research Module is another innovative product developed by Extended DISC International as an “add on” to the Personal Analysis Reports. It too is available through the EDOS system.

It allows the client to create additional questions for respondents to answer while they are completing the Personal Analysis Questionnaire. It is useful to gain additional information from the respondent.
For example, a recruitment consultant may use the Research Module to ask some pre-interview questions from the respondent or an organisation may ask some industry specific questions.
The Research Module ansers are sent back as an additional page of the Personal Analysis Report and an abbreviated example is shown opposite.
For further information on these innovative products, please call our office on 0800 333 668 (New Zealand) or 1800 254 094 (Australia).

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Author:Extended DISC Australasia