When I hear people talk about the DISC Assessment, I often hear them say things like: “Hey, how'd you come out on that test?” I really don't like that type of reference to the DISC model. While I understand the question, it makes me cringe a little bit because it's not really an accurate way to talk about the DISC assessment.
Here's why it bothers me…
We use tests to find out what you know or don't know. We also use them to figure out what is good or bad about something. We use assessments to learn about a perspective or way of thinking.
Tests have right and wrong answers. Assessments just have answers that are neither right nor wrong.
The DISC Assessment is an assessment. It is not a test.
It might sound like I'm making a point based solely on semantics, and that it doesn't really matter that much. I think the difference is critically important.
When people see the DISC assessment as a test, they tend to get nervous or over-think it because they don't want to get it “wrong.”
It's really an assessment. It has no right or wrong answers. You cannot pass or fail the assessment. Answering the questions only indicates a person's view or perspective. There is no way to get it wrong.
Talking about the DISC profile as a test gravitates towards stereotyping, labeling, and other negative applications. I can't stop people from labeling, stereotyping and judging others based on the results of a DISC assessment report, and I do not want to promote that approach for applying the information.
I would rather use the DISC model as a way to better understand people so that we can build healthier and more productive relationships. With that idea in mind, I prefer to call it a DISC assessment rather than a DISC test.
All of this discussion begs a question: “Why do you call your site DISC Personality Testing when you would prefer to call it an assessment?”
The answer is really pretty practical. It's based on how the world actually works than on how I would prefer that it work.
When people talk about the DISC model, they usually call it the “DISC test.” I live in a world where that is the common language even though I don't personally prefer it.
I have also learned that I have to first connect with a person the way they speak rather than insist on them speaking the way that I do. Then, after we have built a trusting relationship, I might get the opportunity to share my perspective with them. I work on connecting with people the way that they are likely to best hear me and then hope that we can have a conversation that leads to both of us understanding each other's perspective in a better way.
So, as a nod to practicality, I call my site DISC Personality Testing so that we can make that first connection with people rather than call it DISC Personality Assessments and miss the chance to talk at all.