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I slipped my DISCo in Orlando: Psychometric analysis that’s actually simple enough to be useful

A big part of the StarPower curriculum is the DISC system of psychometric analysis. I’ve talked quite a bit about Myers-Briggs and Cathleen is a big fan of the Enneagram. These are useful tools, especially for self-analysis. But INTJs will behave very differently from INTPs — and from each other, for that matter — so having a tight bead on someone in Myers-Briggs terms is not all that preternaturally useful.

The DISC system, on the other hand, is simultaneously very useful in real life and very simple to deploy. Once you understand the four DISC categories of behaviors, you can make reasonable on-the-fly analyses of the people you happen to be working with. High D? Don’t waste time on details, unless you are asked for them — and then don’t stammer. High C? If you don’t volunteer volumes of detail, you must be hiding something.

There is a good deal of academic theory behind the DISC system, and I don’t want to portray myself as an expert. Cathy and I took two short classes on the subject, both taught by serious amateurs. Even so, we learned a ton about what we’re doing right with people, what we’re doing wrong, and what we could be doing better.

There’s more: We set about to do a gut-feelings-based DISC assessment on everyone we know, this for practice. When we finally get around to deploying a CRM solution, we’re going to use DISC to classify our clients. This will be useful at every touch, but one thing we thought of doing was deploying DISC-oriented drip campaigns: Cut to the chase for the D’s, fun and games for the I’s, home and hearth for the S’s, charts and graphs for the C’s.

Brian and I were talking about this on Sunday, and we both thought it would be interesting to DISCify the cut-outs on a landing page. That’s not just fun for marketing geeks, it’s a testable procedure that should result in higher conversion rates.

There’s no end to the value in this system, since it enables you to tailor any presentation to the predictable psychometric style of the person you are presenting to. Instead of annoying D’s with redundant detail and offending S’s with off-putting formality, you can address your clients — and other agents — and their clients — in the style that will be most readily welcomed. This is not about hustling people, it’s about doing unto others as they would be done by.

We want to see if we can recruit someone to come and teach DISC at BloodhoundBlog Unchained in Orlando. In the mean time, if you want to slip your own DISCo in on us, try this quick and easy DISC test.

Here are my scores:

Dominance = 84; Influence = 4; Steadiness = 8; Compliance = 4

In the test I took at StarPower, I scored somewhat higher on I, but I was 100% D. This is the detailed assessment:

Dominance = 84
People who score in the high range:
~ enjoy competition and challenge.
~ are goal orientated and want to be recognised for their efforts.
~ aim high, want authority and are generally resourceful and adaptable.
~ are usually self-sufficient and individualistic.
~ may lose interest in projects once the challenge has gone and they tend to be impatient and dissatisfied with minor detail.

They are usually direct and positive with people, enjoying being the centre of attraction and may take it for granted that people will think highly of them. They may have a tendency to be rather critical of others. Consequently, other people may tend to see them as being rather domineering and overpowering.

Influence = 4
People who score in the low range:
~ are usually socially passive.
~ quite frequently have an affinity for things, machinery and equipment.
~ are generally comfortable working alone.
~ frequently have a tendency to be analytical and once they have sorted the facts out they communicate them in a straightforward direct way.
~ tend to take little at face value.  
 
They may well have learned and developed good social skills but they only bring these into play when logic dictates such tactics.

Steadiness = 8
People who score in the low range:
~ tend to enjoy change and variety in their work and non-work life.  
~ are expansive by nature and tend not to like routine and repetitive work/activities.  
 
They enjoy stretching themselves intellectually and physically.

Compliance = 4
People who score in the low range:
~ are independent and uninhibited.  
~ resent rules and restrictions.  
~ prefer to be measured by results and are always willing to try the untried. 
 
Free in thought, word and deed, they long for freedom and go to great lengths to achieve it.
They feel that repetitive detail and routine work is best ‘delegated’.

This is me to a tectonic fault. This is not just a concise analysis of who I am, it tells you exactly how to deal with me on a day to day basis. This is the benefit of the DISC system in real life.

Take the test, tell us who you are — and then share some ideas about how you can put the DISC system to work in your work.

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  • 39 comments

    39 Comments so far

    1. Kelley Koehler July 29th, 2008 9:14 pm

      I’ve actually been looking at a lot of this sort of thing in the past few months – not DISC particularly, but 4 basic personality types – as we redesign my site. Our overriding goal is the right information to the right person at the right time, but different personalities will interact differently with the site. The idea of tailoring to a distinct type can be extrapolated to so many aspects of the site: the landing page and associated PPC campaign if any, the navigation, the placement of an item on the page, and so on. If one classifies their conversation partner in person, why shouldn’t their website do the same?

    2. Judy Orr July 29th, 2008 11:17 pm

      My scores were:
      D = 12 (I really thought that would be my high one)
      I = 52
      S = 12
      C = 24

      Kind of makes me feel like an old hippie, which I guess is what I am!

      I took a course many years ago about “reading” people and there were 3 types= analytical, visual and kinesthetic. I was almost tied between analytical and visual and the lady giving the course told me I needed to get in touch with my feelings – lol!

      There was more to it such as mirroring and just trying to make your client comfortable. There was also a section on reading people’s eye movements to be able to tell if they were lying. I never could get it right and kept using my kids as my test subjects (I didn’t have to test the middle kid as I don’t know if he ever told the truth).

      I don’t remember it all in detail anymore but to this day that was one of the best seminars I’ve attended.

    3. Missy Caulk July 30th, 2008 5:14 am

      I have potential buyer agents and assistants take the DISC test on line before final hiring. The one time I did not do it (because I thought I knew her) big mistake.
      I am a high D, go figure….

    4. Brian Brady July 30th, 2008 6:20 am

      D-48
      I-44
      S-8
      C-0

      That last one worries me a bit

    5. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 6:23 am

      > I have potential buyer agents and assistants take the DISC test on line before final hiring.

      Russell Shaw does this, too, although they might be using a paper test. This is good CYOA, in any case, in the age of employment lawsuits.

      > I am a high D, go figure….

      At StarPower, a whole lot of rainmakers are Di or Id — hard-charging salesmaniacs.

    6. Beth Incorvati July 30th, 2008 6:39 am

      I’m a Team Leader/CEO at a Keller Williams market center, and our company relies heavily on the DISC. It is a fantastic tool for understanding the needs of your agents and coaching them, what’s important to your seller or buyer clients, and for hiring. We know that people with certain DISC profiles perform better in some roles.
      As for me, I’m an “off the charts” D and I – very little S and C – I delegate that stuff to others!
      Great post, thanks for sharing!

    7. David Shafer July 30th, 2008 6:45 am

      D= 44
      I= 24
      S= 24
      C= 8

      About right for me!

    8. Don Reedy July 30th, 2008 6:45 am

      D = 40
      I = 36
      S = 8
      C = 16

      Interesting. Brian and I are working on a couple of things together, and Brian, I think “0″ is just perfect for your “C” category.

    9. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 6:46 am

      > Our overriding goal is the right information to the right person at the right time, but different personalities will interact differently with the site.

      These are very cool ideas. Do you have any pages running this way? I’d love to see this in action.

      How do you isolate them on the way in? We talked about using DISC as a way to respond to an offer. For the most part, you wouldn’t know the other party, but you could target fairly well with two questions to the other agent: “Does your client seem to make decisions very quickly or slowly and deliberately?” Direct or indirect? “Would you say your client is more focused on work or family life?” Controlling or Supporting? Those two questions will put the party in one quadrant or the other. If it’s a couple, you can do both of them, but you still have to determine who is the decision-maker. But if one or the other is an I or a C, giving a very short response time could be fatal to your deal.

      On a web site, I could picture using pairs of photos to tailor the experience. A lot of work to execute, but very cool, and very probably very productive.

    10. Brian Miller July 30th, 2008 6:58 am

      My scores are: D= 16, I= 32, S = 28, C= 24.
      I need to go dig out my results from one of these DISC seminars a few years ago and see if I’ve changed. These personality tests are something that have always interested me, but I’ve been lax at actually putting them into practice on a regular basis. I like the idea of gearing blogging, marketing, etc. to various peronality types. I’ve honestly only thought of it in terms of direct face-to-face contact. This is a great concept, and I’m going to have some conversations with some others about how to best do this…

    11. Tom at the Real Estate Bloggers July 30th, 2008 7:09 am

      D = 40
      I = 44
      S = 08
      C = 08

      Greg, great idea on building landing pages that capture the different types of people. I would love to see if one could design advertising verbage that would appeal to certain types of folks that could then steer them to a landing page designed for the personality type.

      Or determine a buyer profile that you know would work well with a buyers agent. That would be very effective. Well, this is great, now my brain is working overtime. :)

    12. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 7:11 am

      > C-0

      > That last one worries me a bit

      I love perfection in any form. Even so, I’ve been thinking all along that I was the wrong person to be handling the money for Unchained… ;)

    13. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 7:19 am

      > My scores are: D= 16, I= 32, S = 28, C= 24.

      Wicked cool. A Chameleon. Cathleen tests out like this too. Empathy off the charts, which makes her very good at dealing with sellers when we haven’t sold in the first few weeks.

    14. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 7:41 am

      David Shafer, Don Reedy and Tom Royce are good-guy bosses: “Work hard, play hard, drinks are on me.” Sounds like fun.

      > Or determine a buyer profile that you know would work well with a buyers agent.

      Some team leaders are already doing this. They give a short DISC test to incoming buyers and sellers, then match them up with the team member who seems like the best fit.

      > I would love to see if one could design advertising verbage that would appeal to certain types of folks that could then steer them to a landing page designed for the personality type.

      Here’s a quick and dirty cut-out solution:

      Where to next? Tailor you experience by clicking on one of these links:

      • Cut to the chase, pronto!
      • What’s in it for me?
      • It this really fun for the whole family?
      • Give me the nitty-gritty details. I can take it.

      That’s a D way of doing things. Better would be to build the cut-outs as boxed items running alongside the long-copy text:

      For the Ds, you might say: “Are you sold? Then let’s stop messing around.” Cut-out to the order form, but allow for mis-matches with cut-outs back into other appeals.

      For the Is you might have a bullet list of personal benefits — all about you and how you will be improved and enhanced by the product. The landing page should be colorful and fun.

      For the S cut-out, you might work to take away the fear of loss and emphasize the value of intangibles. The picture of the kid with the dog on Teri’s weblog is the ultimate S cut-out.

      For the Cs, give ‘em a pie chart and promise ‘em charts, graphs, tables, off-site links — the world of information.

      With each of these landing pages, I think you should build cut-outs back to the others, just in case someone goes to the wrong place, in case they’re well-balanced like many of the people reporting results here, or in case the spouse or another decision-maker gets involved.

      And: This is a case where full session-tracking would be very informative: What did they look at, in what sequence and for how long on each page?

    15. Eileen Pettengill July 30th, 2008 8:36 am

      40-36-16-8. I don’t know about the stretching myself physically, but definitely stretching myself mentally just to keep up with reading you guys!!

    16. Tom at the Real Estate Bloggers July 30th, 2008 9:26 am

      This conversation is awesome. Greg, great details and analysis.

      Folks, this is the stuff money is made out of. If not real estate, almost any direct marketing can use these concepts.

    17. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 9:33 am

      > If not real estate, almost any direct marketing can use these concepts.

      That was my take, too. If the traditional direct marketing appeal is like a novel, then the kind of marketing we’re talking about is like an adventure game: You choose your own experience for your own reasons. I think this should convert amazingly better than a one-size-fits-all solution.

    18. Tom at the Real Estate Bloggers July 30th, 2008 9:47 am

      I agree, like writing your Google Ads for the personality types and then have a landing page that is tailored for them…

      Lots of work to do with this.

    19. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 10:14 am

      > I agree, like writing your Google Ads for the personality types and then have a landing page that is tailored for them…

      We just hit on the idea of tailoring Craigslist ads by DISC profile.

    20. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 10:22 am

      More: I’ve known for more than a year that I want ABetterListing.com to be focused strictly on selling us as listing agents. Right now it’s a placeholder, very C-oriented. Now I know how I want to build it. This is going to be interesting.

    21. Kelley Koehler July 30th, 2008 10:30 am

      Greg – that’s the idea, exactly. DISC isn’t intuitive to me, so I’m working with fast/slow decision makers and logical/emotional.

      Nothing up yet, we’re still in design. But a first crack at it should be coming soon, hopefully in a few weeks.

      Determining who they are: I hadn’t thought of presenting them a list, but I can guess fairly well depending on how they navigate (or how they came in if it is from a PPC). If you’re clicking on some small link at the bottom of a page, or embedded in text at the end, I’m pretty sure you don’t make decisions quickly! I can also guess that the fast/emotionals aren’t going to be looking at long stats page, so any Adwords I do to those pages can probably ignore their interest-piquing words.

      It also means I need conversion or persuasion opportunities on different parts of a page, in different presentations. Those fast/logicals won’t fill out a 20 field form. The slow/logicals will.

      Of course, being a slow/logical, I need to make sure that if I manage to attract a fast/emotional, I know how to identify and help that person in the manner best suited. Which is a whole different hurdle.

    22. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 11:13 am

      > But a first crack at it should be coming soon, hopefully in a few weeks.

      Almost painfully cool. Be sure to let us know when you’ve got something we can play with. I’ll be doing something similar with ABetterListing, but you’re a lot smarter than me, so I’m dying to see what you come up with.

    23. Teri Lussier July 30th, 2008 11:46 am

      >I need to make sure that if I manage to attract a fast/emotional, I know how to identify and help that person in the manner best suited. Which is a whole different hurdle.

      Your humor, Housechick. Use your smart, wicked sense of humor. ;-)

    24. Teri Lussier July 30th, 2008 11:55 am

      D=52
      I=36
      S= 4
      C= 8

      A bit different from others I’ve taken, but basically I’m always in the mid-range for D & I and low in the S & C.

    25. genuine chirs johnson July 30th, 2008 1:25 pm

      D 64
      I 24
      S 8
      C 4

      And I know where the ’4′ was and it wasn’t the best choice. Anyway, the problem wth D’s like me is that we undervalue S/Cs.

    26. Michelle DeRepentigny July 30th, 2008 1:39 pm

      D = 40
      I = 44
      S = 4
      C = 12

      My “D” used to be higher, I had non existent “C” and my “I” was a lot lower. Does that mean I may actually be developing some people skills and tolerance for some routine?

    27. Jeff Brown July 30th, 2008 5:55 pm

      I’ve practiced Neuro-Linguistic-Programming (NLP) at the wannabe level for quite awhile. Combining the two disciplines, NLP/DISC in marketing might indeed be incredibly powerful.

      What DISC doesn’t address, NLP certainly does, and in wicked detail. A very simple example would be if you found ascertained the DISC ‘type’ with whom you were dealing, AND you also knew that they were auditory. Your text and/or conversation would then lean heavily to those descriptive words.

      Not, “I see what you mean.” But instead, “I hear what you’re saying.” “That sounds really good.” Etc.

      What I’ve liked most about NLP is it’s nearly fail safe nature. Once you’ve correctly categorized the person, choreographing your writing and speech for them is easy. It’s also predictably successful, in a Rod Serling kinda way.

      I’m sure both SuperWoman and LatinMan have run into NLP long ago. I’d love to hear their thoughts.

      Ah, that would be Kelley and Greg. Sorry.

    28. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 6:39 pm

      I’ve always associated NLP with manipulation. The scenario you describe seems underhanded to me. Am I mistaken?

    29. Jeff Brown July 30th, 2008 6:50 pm

      It’s as manipulative as DISC. I suppose bad intent could use both badly.

      Psychiatry and psychology have made wonderful use of NLP in therapy. They can literally solve years long problems without knowing what the problem was. This is accomplished through the advanced use of NLP. I’ve seen it in person, I’ve used it for years, and it’s science.

      I’d begin by researching Bandler and Grinder.

      One of the simple things NLP does is give the feeling of being understood to the listener/reader. Again, the science of NLP is universally accepted. Its results have been reproduced all over the world.

      Certainly there’s an NLP advanced user reading this. Speak up, would ya?

    30. Sue July 30th, 2008 7:20 pm

      Never saw this test before, hard to answer some of the questions, but I did my best not to cheat and this is how I look: 40-24-16-20. It would be interesting to have someone you know fill it out for you and see the differences.

    31. Mike Farmer July 30th, 2008 7:47 pm

      My scores

      Dominance — 48
      Influence — 36
      Steadiness — 8
      compliance — 8

    32. Tom at the Real Estate Bloggers July 30th, 2008 8:29 pm

      Mike

      Are we related? Your score and mine are way too close. :)

      Greg, using your knowledge of this stuff would someone with the same or close to same score be able to work together?

    33. Sue July 30th, 2008 8:42 pm

      Greg, using your knowledge of this stuff would someone with the same or close to same score be able to work together?

      Thats an interesting question. I would guess that opposites attract..?

    34. Greg Swann July 30th, 2008 10:37 pm

      > Greg, using your knowledge of this stuff would someone with the same or close to same score be able to work together?

      It depends on what you’re doing. You and Mike are very similar, good boss scores, good salesman scores, good sales manager scores. Could you work together? Probably, if your separate territories were well-defined. If you were “co-bosses,” you might be at each other’s throats fairly quickly.

      Putting the right person in the right job is a big part of what DISC is for. A high C would make a great book-keeper but a lousy boss. A Di might be a good boss, especially with an Sc as Admin Assist — someone to remember the birthdays and smooth off the rough edges. Russell Shaw swears that a good driver has to be a C. As you no doubt know, Ds break the speed limit and cut-off Ss in traffic.

      There is a whole literature for using DISC in hiring decisions. Wendy Shaw cautioned us that DISC doesn’t trump intelligence, attitude and experience, though. IOW, an I will be a lousy transaction processor, where a C will do much better, but neither is worth a damn if they’re stupid or dour.

    35. Brad Coy July 31st, 2008 12:30 am

      It took me 3 hrs of being interrupted and then coming back to complete the test to get it right, whatever that means. ;)

      D-24
      I-24
      S-20
      C-32

      Let Cathleen know I’m a pretty healthy 8 on the Enneagram (at least I take myself to be)

      I once took a weekend long Ennegram workshop and thought I might be losing my mind by the end of all the navel gazing outing.

    36. Kevin Warmath - Alpharetta Real Estate July 31st, 2008 3:58 am

      D=80
      I=4
      S=0
      C=16

      Great to see so many low S’s here: this group “enjoys stretching itself intellectually” obviously.

      Yeah, for the low C’s: the rules be damned.

      My High D says stop writing now! I don’t have the patience!!

      The ideas around designing your website around a user’s profile are ingenious. Tedious to implement, perhaps, but ingenious…oh, i said that already.

    37. Jay Thompson July 31st, 2008 4:33 pm

      Dominance — 48
      Influence — 44
      Steadiness — 4
      compliance — 4

      Pretty spot on (though the only thing I’m physically stretching is my pants)

    38. Eric Blackwell August 1st, 2008 5:20 pm

      Guys. This is interesting. As a technologist to REALTORS, here’s mine:

      D- 12
      I- 32
      S-48
      C-8

      So yeah…I am not your normal techie (grin). I guess that helps me handle all those Di’s with some tact?

      @Jeff Brown’s assertion that NLP can be quite helpful. I agree. I have seen people overcome phobias in a weekend and deal with lifelong debilitating issues much quicker than they would otherwise using it.

      I think like all forms of brain science, since they do, in fact work, they can be used to manipulate. It is all in your intent IMO.

      I will write a post sometime about NLP. While I don’t intentionally “use it”, I have studied it quite a bit and find it fascinating.

    39. Cheryl Johnson August 3rd, 2008 4:55 am

      I found the DISC test almost impossible to take. In most cases I simply could not choose between two equally accurate statements.

      Take the first question: I think of myself as a gentle person … check … and I also have lots of original ideas (at least I like to think so) …. check again. Oh dear, this is going to be difficult.

      But I soldiered on. D=8 I=24 S=40 C=16

      See, Keith, High Ss are good for something. :-)