The 12 Sins (EXCUSES) for Not Applying the DISC Model of Human Behaviour at Work

by | Feb 22, 2024 | DISC Training

What’s remarkable about the Four Temperament (DISC) Model of Human Behaviour is its incredible flexibility. Whether in our personal lives or at work, DISC helps us navigate diverse personalities with tailored approaches that resonate with each individual’s uniqueness.

But despite its undeniable benefits, many still harbour skepticism or remain unaware of its effectiveness and reliability. Let’s dive into the conversation and explore the untapped potential of DISC together!

Does DISC Matter at Work?

A common challenge in the workplace is learning how to connect with the people around you because every individual brings varied backgrounds, perspectives, and communication styles. This diversity, while enriching, can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunications, and interpersonal challenges.

Moreover, varying work cultures, generational gaps, and differing priorities contribute to this complexity. That’s why connecting with people in the workplace requires navigating through these differences, understanding various personalities, and adapting communication styles. And this is where a model in understanding human dynamics becomes helpful.

The Four Temperament (DISC) Model of Human Behaviour simplifies workplace differences by decoding individual potential (people) into four main styles: Direct, Inspiring, Supportive, and Cautious. For employees, it means understanding and appreciating each other’s styles, making communication smoother and collaboration more effective.

On the other hand, bosses can adapt their leadership and motivation approaches based on the team’s DISC profiles, creating a supportive work environment. This simple tool minimizes misunderstandings, helps resolve conflicts constructively, and fosters a more harmonious workplace where everyone’s strengths are valued.

So yes, DISC matters at work because it’s like a compass, guiding both employees and bosses through the diverse landscape of work dynamics.

If It Matters, Why Are People Not Using It?

As I mentioned earlier, the game-changing benefits of DISC in the workplace often go unnoticed, with many either cynical or unaware of its transformative potential. When it’s time to integrate DISC training and techniques, some individuals find themselves making excuses or hesitating to embrace the change. Here are a few things you might have heard your colleagues say:

1. Skepticism About Effectiveness – “It’s Just a Personality Test”

A photo of a woman looking at her laptop with a skeptical look

Some individuals may question whether personality assessments like DISC accurately apply to real-world scenarios or make a significant impact on team dynamics.

2. Resistance to Change – “We’ve Always Done It This Way”

Employees who are accustomed to a certain way of doing things might resist the change in approach that DISC training encourages, preferring to stick to their familiar routines.

3. Perceived Complexity – “It’s Too Complicated”

There might be a belief that understanding and applying DISC principles is too complicated or time-consuming for practical use in everyday work interactions.

4. Privacy Concerns – “People Won’t Be Honest on the Assessment”

Some may feel uncomfortable sharing personal insights gleaned from DISC assessments and may be resistant to answering truthfully to have their behavioural tendencies analyzed and discussed.

5. One-Size-Fits-All Mindset – “Our Workplace is Unique”

Individuals may feel that blanket strategies do not take into account the unique aspects of each situation or person, thus dismissing the utility of DISC in diverse circumstances.

6. Cost and Resource Constraints – “It’s Too Expensive”

Companies or individuals may cite budget limitations or a lack of resources as reasons for not implementing DISC training and ongoing support.

7. Lack of Management Support – “Our Leadership Doesn’t Support It”

A photo of a woman with her colleagues who are wearing masks

Without encouragement and participation from management, employees may be less likely to take DISC seriously or apply its principles to their work.

8. Time Constraints – “We Don’t Have Time”

Employees and managers often feel that they are too busy with their day-to-day responsibilities to allocate time to learn and apply new systems like DISC.

9. Limited Applicability – “Our Team is Too Small”

There might be a perception that DISC is only useful for team-building activities and not for practical, everyday communication and decision-making.

10. Inadequate Training – “It’s HR’s Responsibility”

If the initial training session is not comprehensive or engaging, employees might not feel equipped or motivated to apply what they learned. On the other hand, some may feel that it’s a responsibility that should only be shouldered by HR.

11. Overemphasis on Labels – “We Focus on Results, Not Personalities”

Some might resist being pigeonholed into a ‘type’ or feel that the labeling aspect of DISC oversimplifies complex human behaviour and hinders individuality.

12. Inconsistency in Application – “We Tried It Before and It Didn’t Work”

If the application of DISC techniques is inconsistent across the organization, it can lead to confusion and reluctance to use the system.

Being skeptical about a particular tool or strategy is normal. That’s why addressing these doubts and excuses requires clear communication about how it can practically improve daily work life and ensuring that training is accessible, engaging, and supported by management.

Strategies To Introduce or Integrate DISC in the Workplace

A photo of 2 people holding gears that they are trying to fit together

There are a number of ways to introduce or integrate DISC into the workplace, and it often involves making your team understand how it can benefit them and the organization. Here are some ways to do it:

Interactive Workshops

Conduct engaging workshops where employees participate in DISC activities and discussions facilitated by experts. This hands-on approach helps individuals understand their styles and appreciate the diversity within the team.

Team-Building Exercises

Infuse DISC into team-building activities, fostering collaboration based on each member’s communication style. These exercises create a natural environment for applying DISC principles in real-world scenarios.

Personalized Development Plans

Encourage employees to create personal development plans based on their DISC profiles. This self-awareness can be integrated into performance reviews, promoting continuous improvement and understanding of individual strengths.

Leadership Training

Incorporate DISC into leadership training programs to help managers adapt their leadership styles to the diverse needs of their team members. This ensures effective communication and motivation tailored to each employee.

Incorporate DISC in Onboarding

Introduce DISC to new hires during the onboarding process. This early integration sets a foundation for a common language around communication styles and fosters a positive workplace culture from the start.

Peer-to-Peer Mentorship

Encourage peer-to-peer mentorship where employees with different DISC profiles mentor each other. This practical approach allows individuals to experience and appreciate diverse perspectives, enhancing mutual understanding in day-to-day interactions.

Don’t Sleep on DISC!

Don’t underestimate the power of DISC – a game-changing tool for companies, organizations, and individuals like yourself. It may seem like a simple behavioural model, but its impact on your organization is anything but ordinary.

Think about it: a tool that helps your boss truly understand you (or you truly understand your team)? That’s a possibility made tangible by DISC, and the key to unlocking its benefits lies in your organization being open to trying and embracing this proven strategy.

So, if you’re striving to see yourself or your team thrive with the support of DISC, consider this your sign to keep pushing forward. Don’t sleep on this valuable resource; make it an integral part of your success story.

And remember…Keep Calm and DISC On!

JJ Brun, The Retired Spy

JJ Brun is a recognized global authority on human behaviour, communications, and relationship development who served for 20 years in the Canadian Forces in the field of Human Intelligence. JJ has dedicated his life and his business to training thousands of people in the principles of human behaviour and effective communication practices across cultures.


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