Science of Self ™ Knowledge Centre

Why 75 Percent of Fortune 500 Companies Use a Behavioural Model

Aug 14, 2012


When explaining what we do — psychometric assessments, that is — to people for the very first time, it’s pretty funny to watch their reaction. Quite often, an obvious shudder of discomfort ripples through their body. “Oh my goodness,” they say as they start to back away slowly. “I… um… need to go… somewhere else now…”

It’s understandable. Most people don’t want to be around someone whom they think is judging everything about their personality and intelligence, but people very often think that’s the case when we mention the word 'psych-assessment'.

There are places that you can go to test your IQ, or have someone in a white coat analyse you, but that’s not what we do. What we do is very simple. We provide models (or frameworks) for helping people to build better relationships with others, learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately use that information to become more productive and fulfilled.

We find that most CEOs, managers and team members that we encounter are sincerely interested in finding out more about themselves and how they can deal with others more effectively: with their boss, colleagues, friends, husband or wife. Just about everybody has experienced a painful personality conflict with another person that they found difficult to get along with at some point in their life, and want to avoid those sorts of situations from happening again in the future.

So let’s talk about one model in particular that is known throughout the world as one of the most effective means of becoming more awesome at work: the behavioural model known as 'DISC', which is estimated to be in use by 75% of Fortune 500 companies. We’ll talk nitty-gritties on the DISC profile (also called the DISC Assessment) later in this series, but let’s start with behaviour and why so many companies are interested in using a model to help explain it.


People Are (Very) Different, Yet (Very) Similar

What’s interesting about the human race is that even though people are infinitely diverse in terms of their experiences and beliefs, all people on earth (regardless of age, race, culture or gender) share similar behavioural characteristics. One person you meet might be talkative, sociable and loud, whilst the next might be quiet, shy and methodical. Some people like structure and some don’t. Some like to move at a fast pace, others prefer to take their time.

These sorts of behavioural quirks can make ‘clicking’ with someone similar to you feel like a breeze, but for those who are not it can make life tricky, challenging, and even exhausting at times — particularly if you have to spend a lot of time with them.

Organisations that rely on teams to accomplish business goals can't afford to have personal differences get in the way of performance, and need to ensure that team members are functioning in high-trust, low-friction environments. As part of creating high performance workplaces, managers need to know what team members are best suited to certain types of work; salespeople need to know how to create rapport with different types of prospects; recruiters need to understand a candidate’s potential strengths and weaknesses; customer service reps need to be able to communicate clearly. In virtually every profession and for every type of role on the planet, the ability to effectively deal with others strongly distinguishes star performers from average or poor ones.

The good news is that researchers have discovered that there are 4 basic (or core) patterns of behaviour that are both identifiable and predictable. This is often referred to as an individual’s behavioural style, which influences everything they do.


What is a Behavioural Style?

  • A person's natural way of doing things.
  • The manner in which a person prefers to interact with others.
  • How a person tends to act and communicate.

Having a behavioural model is the first step towards becoming a more effective communicator because it explains the basic communication tendencies that are present in each person throughout the world.

Effective communication stems from the right combination of tone, words, body language, pace of speech and actions — all of which are components of a person’s behavioural style. By understanding the common behavioural styles that exist in the workplace, you can learn how to treat people in a way that allows them to feel comfortable with you, so there’ll be less tension and better communication. This leads to increased trust, cooperation, respect, commitment and productivity.

Today, millions of people throughout the world use a behavioural model like the DISC profile in a variety of different business applications. The most common of these, which will be discussed in more detail further into this series, include:

  • Management Training / Leadership Development
  • Team Building / Team Effectiveness
  • Sales Training
  • Customer Service Training
  • Communication Training
  • Presentation Skills
  • Employee Engagement
  • Change Management
  • Cultural Alignment
  • Resolving and Preventing Conflict
  • Coaching / Mentoring
  • Induction
  • Recruitment / Selection / Shortlisting
  • Job Benchmarking

Curious to Learn More?

Check out the DISC profile page, and request a free sample (or one of our combination profiles like Talent Insights or TriMetrix). The DISC profile involves taking a 10-minute questionnaire online. Once complete, you will receive up to a 24-page, personalised report on your behavioural style with tips on how to be more effective when working with others. No hassle, no obligation, no pushy sales person — all done online.

Topics: DISC Profile

Theo Winter

Theo Winter

Client Services Manager, Writer & Researcher. Theo is one of the youngest professionals in the world to earn an accreditation in TTI Success Insight's suite of psychometric assessments. For more than a decade, he worked with hundreds of HR, L&D and OD professionals and consultants to improve engagement, performance and emotional intelligence of leaders and their teams. He authored the book "40 Must-Know Business Models for People Leaders."


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