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Deathmatch: MBTI® versus DiSC®

By 06/03/2014No Comments4 min read

Behavioral Test photo ShutterstockIn the Celebrity Deathmatch between Madonna and Michael Jackson, Michael turns into a hamster and Madonna is the easy winner. Likewise, in the world of assessments, there are clear winners and losers. What’s amazing to me is how few people ever write or speak about this subject. I believe that you can be more successful in your career if you understand who are the winners and who are the losers, so you utilize winning information and avoid endless confusion in making your career choices.

A few months back I wrote a post titled What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up? In it I outlined how to use two assessments in defining your occupational choices. In this post, I want to introduce you to a third online assessment I recommend — the DiSC®. It has been the most popular behavioral tool for decades and is available in a variety of versions from multiple online vendors. DiSC® measure your behavioral tendencies in the areas of Dominance, influencing, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. More information regarding DiSC® can be found at https://www.DiSCprofile.com/ and the specific version I use, the DiSC® Classic 2.0 Online Profile, can be ordered here.

If you have read my book, Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!), you know that I do not recommend personality tests. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI®, is the most widely used of these. Most universities use it as part of their career counseling services and, interestingly enough, so do many private career services hucksters. There are even career books that attempt to match your results (IFNP, ENTJ, etc.) to occupational choices. If you are one of the unlucky millions who are confused and wandering through life trying to figure out what the heck to do with their four digit code, my advice is to forget it and try some other assessments that are documented to produce more defendable results and useful information.

I use DiSC® because it is a valid assessment that provides self-knowledge for my clients and also helps me understand them better. The version I use reports “natural behavior style”, meaning your behavior choices when they are not being biased by external positive incentives (“Get this done by 5pm and I will take you out for a beer”) or negative incentives (“If this isn’t completed by 5pm, you will be in deep trouble”). Here are some implications of examining your natural behavior style using the report I use:

1. You can learn about yourself. Read 10-20 pages of information and it will help you understand your potential strengths and weaknesses as well as a description of the behavioral model that most closely matches your unique profile. Understanding yourself is fundamental to optimizing your career results!
2. You can learn about past behavioral mismatches. Consider your current job or past jobs (a) where you found yourself not acting in a natural way in order to conform or (b) acting in a natural way despite the conflicts it generated. Evaluate to what extent both of these categories of behaviors created stress or unhappiness for you. Whether conforming unnaturally or resisting despite incentives, you can identify what you didn’t like about the situations and thus avoid them in the future.
3. You can learn about past behavioral matches. Consider your current job or past jobs as outlined in the previous item. When were you most happy? What were you doing at those times and how do those activities align with your natural behavior style? Were you also getting what you want in the long run in your career? This last question is particularly critical because working in a job that fits your style but does not give you the income, personal development, and sense of accomplishment you desire is not an OVERALL good fit for you.

Life is short. I can’t encourage you enough to get out of step with the masses, gain more understanding so you can set constructive goals, and get focused on attaining those goals. Good luck and best wishes!

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