One question I often get when I'm discussing use of the DISC assessment and profile report is this:
“Can you fool (or beat) the DISC assessment?”
The short answer to that question is: Yes, you can “beat” the DISC assessment.
The question I would ask in response is: While you can do that, why would you?
The best use of the DISC model is to develop better self-awareness personally and better understanding of others so that you can communicate, build teams, lead, and resolve conflicts more easily and more quickly. The DISC assessment is just the tool you use to build better understanding of how you “fit” within the DISC model.
If you know the model well and/or have taken the DISC assessment (or other similar assessments) before, you can manipulate your answers to get any result you want to see. You can do that, and doing so only fools you.
If an employer asks you to take the DISC assessment as part of a hiring process or team building exercise, it might seem that they hope to see a particular result before hiring you or giving you other job related opportunities. In most cases, they are using the DISC assessment as one piece of the hiring process rather than as the deciding factor. In this situation, you might feel tempted to guess the results they want to see and then adjust your answers to give them the results they want to see. My advice is: DON'T DO IT!
The complete answer as to why I think trying to fool the assessment for a job application or opportunity is a bad idea is more involved than what I'm about to say here. With that qualifier, here are the two key reasons I think you should avoid the temptation to try to “beat” the DISC assessment:
- It's dishonest. If your employer or potential employer is using the DISC assessment as a hiring aid, you have nothing to fear from answering honestly. If they are using it as a hiring criteria (as opposed to one factor among many), they are using the assessment improperly, and you still have nothing to fear from answering honestly. Your DISC style might indicate what work environments you prefer. It might offer some perspective on your motivatations. It might reveal how you could fit into a team. And, the assessment is not useful for predicting your ability to do a particular job or task. Your DISC style can be one factor among many to evaluate fit between you and a job or task assignment. It cannot predict success or failure, and it should never be used as a “go/no-go” decision criteria for hiring or advancement decisions.
- It only hurts you.If you manipulate the assessment to create a specific result, you are lying both to yourself and to the person who asked you to take the assessment. Your style will eventually reveal itself to people who understand the DISC model. You cannot (at least for very long) “hide” your style. If your natural DISC style makes a situation or environment uncomfortable for you over time, it's best to either avoid the situation entirely or to enter it openly and honestly so that you can work with other people on the team to find a way to thrive in the environment. Besides, do you really want to enter a new role by lying about your true nature? When you try to “fool” or “beat” the DISC assessment, you hurt no one but yourself.
I recommend that you simply take the assessment, get the results, and use them to learn how to better connect and communicate with other people.