Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The IB Learner Profile - Reflective - The DISC Index

At the end of last month I took an online "quiz" that gave my my DISC index.  This index deals with 4 aspects of a person's behaviour - how decisive you are, how interactive, how stable and how cautious.  Having taken on a new position at school I thought it might be interesting to see what the results were as well as suggestions for how to improve areas of weakness.  To get the results you had to rank a series of words as to how closely you thought they fit you - each screen had 4 words on it and you had to decide which was the most and least like you.  You could move the words around until you got them into the order you felt most happy with.  The words were characteristics such as generous, forceful, friendly, diplomatic and so on.  I thought this would be a useful exercise for me to do since I have to work closely with almost all the teachers in our primary school - plus I wanted to see if the results were in any way similar to the way I see myself.  These are the results that emerged when I did the test:

Decisiveness:  I think of myself as being very decisive - once a decision is made (usually quickly) I am quite happy to follow it through and fight my corner.  This is what the results showed:
  • I can be very commanding and take charge more than follow.
  • Sometimes I become argumentative even when I don't mean to be (sometimes I don't even notice)
  • My approach is forceful and direct.
  • I am a strong self-starter with a high sense of urgency.
  • I am practical and want to get results quickly without fluff or delay
  • I like a good challenge, seek freedom and look for a lot of variety.
So far I would have to say this is spot on!

Interactiveness:  I thought I would score high on this one as I have to interact with lots of people and think I'm talkative and outgoing.  This is what the results showed:
  • I appreciate an open door policy with both peers and supervisors
  • I like a flexible environment that allows for creativity
  • People may find me charming to meet and to converse with on a variety of topics (not sure I agree with that one!)
  • I work best when I am able to interact with others.
  • I can be an effective coach or counselor for others (I was pleased to see this).
  • I prefer an environment with ample people contact.
Once again I think this is a fairly accurate description.

Stabilizing:  I thought I would score low on this as I'm not someone who likes to stay too long in one place.  This is what the results showed:
  • I can multitask fairly well
  • I have a sense of urgency to get things done now,  but not without planning or thought.
  • I prefer a fast paced environment but one that is not frantic or chaotic.
  • I prefer a moderately structured environment.
  • I appreciate the need of others to have more freedom and less structure.
  • I like being mobile and on the go, but like a home base to return to from time to time.
Once again I think these are very accurate descriptions of me.

Cautious:  I thought I would score low on this one as I don't really like to stick to rules and standards and prefer to work more independently.  This is what the results showed:
  • To me rules are guidelines, not concrete.  (Couldn't agree more!)
  • I am practical and realistic.
  • I may be perceived as being non-committal by some.
  • For me the end justifies the means.
  • I'm fine with change when it improves efficiency.
  • I am persistent in trying to get the message across, even in the midst of resistance.
Once again I would say these are very accurate.

The report goes on to recommend ways of being more effective based on my scores/behavioural style.  Here are some things I definitely need to take account of.  Overall I can be more effective by:
  • Having support staff to handle the detail work (Oh yes, I would love this!)
  • Being around others who share my high level of urgency.
  • Being aware that my level of aggressiveness and tenacity may be offputting to others.
  • Remembering to negotiate difficult matters in a real-time, face-to-face manner rather than through electronic means.  (I definitely need to take this one on board!)
  • Softening my approach with more introverted people
  • Becoming more sensitive to the climate or situation and adjusting my intensity. (Yep!)
  • Trying not to over-react.  (Yep again!)
  • Becoming more aware of my approach to others and its imapct on others.  (Yep again!!)
So far I am only about half way through the report which goes on to look at things like how I can stay more motivated, my ideal job, how I can continue to improve, my preferred training and learning style and how to communicate more effectively.  More about some of these later - I'm still taking time to reflect on all the above first and to see how I can get the most out of the report in a tangible way.

I got this report as a result of a free online test. I'm adding a link to this site because I thought the report was interesting and maybe others might like to take the test too.  There are a number of sites that actually sell the DISC test, but this one provides you with a pdf report and it is free.

Photo Credit:  Paris Tour Eiffel Reflection by Luc Viatour


  1. Thank you for including the link Maggie, I'll be interested to see what I come up with. These tests aren't always accurate, but it is interesting to see what you can find out about a person as a result of their answers and reaction to the results. I fit your profile very closely as I read it, I wonder how many in our PLN would? I wonder if we connect online the way we do because we have similar personalities and approaches to life.

  2. I think you are right Kelly, I'm sure a lot of the educators I feel connected to share the same characteristics. I feel blessed that over the past year through Twitter and the Blog Alliance I have come to know many more who share my passion for education and have been able to build a very positive and supportive PLN.