We’ve all been there in the business world — your company has been growing for the past three to five years and bam! It hits a plateau. You scratch your head in puzzlement, beginning the search for how to continue growth in your industry. It’s common to push more sales and marketing, even hire more staff, but what if those elements aren’t truly the answer.
This is where Martin Mussey comes in. As a certified ActionCOACHⓣ and business coach, Mussey is called upon to rescue businesses in delicate situations. “I help a business owner get unstuck,” states Mussey.
The three to five year mark is exactly when smaller companies need Mussey the most. At that point in their businesses, they’ve had a modicum of success but have hit the wall and need to reshape their goals to reach the next level.
Mussey has many tools in his arsenal, but the biggest one he weaves in is DISC. DISC, stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. What is it exactly? Well, it’s not a personality test as many people mistake it for, but actually a behavioural assessment that businesses can utilize to analyze their current and future growth potential.
DISC breaks down reactions into four types of behavior that we all exhibit, with some traits more prominent than others. Mussey thinks companies at the stuck point should review all the factors towards success — including if staff and management work well together.
“DISC is a behavioral profiling system… a personality test would try to distinguish some of the psychological reasons that you might do what you do, whereas your behavioural profile shows how you respond to certain situations and what the environment does to you — so it’s a give and take. DISC measures behavior in a natural style, sort of how you are at a resting state and also an adaptive style, like a work situation or pressure situation,” Mussey explains.
When companies use an assessment tool like DISC, it can have influence in several ways:
- Sales – The test can help a sales team know their own tendencies and quickly identify their customers.
- Performance evaluations – It can be useful for yearly evaluations, but only if it’s present in the ongoing culture. With continuous coaching, DISC is a powerful agent.
- Hiring and selection tool – Want to understand if that person is right for the job? DISC can lend some insight, but again, it’s most effective when already embedded in the culture (goes back to performance evaluations).
- Leadership/development – A vital way to learn how to communicate with your employees.
- Customer service training – If your customer service is lagging, DISC can be integrated to understand how your customers tick, as well as train your customer service staff to handle situations and be responsive.
- Overall, DISC can elevate the emotional intelligence of your team through better communication, teamwork, and team building.
And even though other behavioral tools exist in the market like Myers-Briggs or neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Mussey feels DISC is a balanced assessment for both professional and personal gain. “What’s interesting is it’s a 25 question online assessment that really looks a lot like word association. As you’re taking it you very often think to yourself, ‘Really, what is this going to tell me?’ And if you go with it, take the first, most meaningful thing that pops in your head … It’s incredible what it tells you about yourself,” he says.