Yes, I’m an Assessment Junkie (DISC is a Scientific Shortcut)

I admit it. I’m an assessment junkie. I’ve taken them all. Some are fun, “Which animal are you?”. Others are valid and reliable tools to be used as part of additional information gathering. Some serve a single purpose. Others can serve multiple purposes, making them essential business tools. 

As a reformed assessment junkie, I focus my energy on assessment tools that offer the biggest bang for my buck. And that is why DISC is one of the tools I use most often with my clients. As a Physical Therapist, my evaluations and treatment plans were grounded in scientific research. Looking for reliability and validity in all the tools I use, I found TTI Success Insights. With brain science and tools normed at least every two years, I found a scientific shortcut to understanding myself and others.   

The behavioral tendencies evaluated in the DISC profile explain how people influence others and respond to problems and challenges, the pace of the environment, and the rules and procedures set by others. 

Here are 4 ways the DISC assessment acts as a shortcut to leadership success.

Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is a key leadership skill. It speaks to our ability to know who we are at our core, and what that means when interacting with the world around us. The DISC assessment helps us understand ourselves so much better. And that’s foundational when it comes to teams as well. When we understand how we behave naturally, we can be strategic about leveraging that behavior. DISC also provides a map for us to interpret how our behavior impacts our interactions with other people. This self-awareness can be even more thoroughly leveraged when we understand how others approach interactions as well. 

Emotional Intelligence: Social Awareness

Not only does the DISC assessment give us a map for understanding ourselves, but it also gives us insight into understanding others. If we want to be emotionally intelligent leaders, having more data for interpreting others’ behavior is truly a game changer. When we don’t understand our teams, it can be tempting to “blame” them for mistakes or be upset by certain interactions. Boiled down, DISC can help you as a leader to “blame less and help more.” What employee wouldn’t prefer that? With the information from a DISC assessment, Krumma Jónsdóttir, a Forbes Councils Member, explains that we can “become proactive and mindful, creating the conditions to evolve in [y]our comfort zone and managing situations outside [y]our comfort zone.” It’s this self-management that impacts emotional intelligence.


Outside of emotional intelligence, the DISC assessment also equips leaders to communicate more effectively. In short, the DISC assessment creates a language around observable behavior. It’s a communication cheat sheet! You could set aside six months for a team to figure out how they want to interact together, or you could take an assessment that gives you language and solutions within minutes. The bottom line is we all want people to understand who we are, and how we’re going to do things. DISC does exactly this, which enhances communication and identifies communication gaps so you can prevent misunderstandings and dips in productivity. 


The DISC assessment tells us explicitly what each person’s quantifiable value is and how they can make the most impact on a team. It’s true, identifying these superpowers and strengths can create tension. After all, it highlights our differences. That being said, DISC validates these differences while offering solutions for overcoming this natural friction. Understanding how and why people operate in the ways that they do will minimize unnecessary conflict while maximizing the team’s strengths. Lastly, Terry Segerberg, CEO of Mesa Industries explains that DISC can also reveal collaborative gaps where a team is missing a strength or quality that could be beneficial. This information is key when making hiring decisions.

We use science to improve our patient care and advance technology, but are we willing to use it as a shortcut for getting to know our teams? When we as leaders are able to influence self-awareness, emotional intelligence, communication, and collaboration with minimal time and effort, that sets our team up for long-term success. Consider making the DISC assessment your next investment in your business.


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About Amy Lafko

As a Physical Therapist, Amy spent years in school learning best practices for patient care and how to put the patient first. Like so many technically skilled clinicians, she advanced to a leadership role. Spending 20+ years in operational leadership, she had an epiphany: Putting the customer first isn’t the path to success or fulfillment. Rather, the most successful organizations and practices put their people first – and exceptional customer care, profitability, and effectiveness naturally followed.