Personal Assessment Tools: Do They Work?

by Krysta Schilling

For those of you who have taken personality assessments in the past, you are aware that sometimes the results can show a completely different view of you and who you think you are.  For me, I had never taken any type of personality, work-style or behavioral assessment until I came to work at Gutwein Law.  I’ll admit, I was skeptical of what the test might say about me - did I know myself as well as I thought I did?

At our office we ask our full time employees to take a DiSC assessment– it is completely voluntary and all of our employees actually enjoy looking at their results.  This assessment provides the basic information on a person’s motivators, work habits, general behaviors and tendencies.  The information it provides helps improve work productivity, teamwork and communication among our team members.  Everyone who has taken one thus far has given us positive feedback on the overall results of the test.  We work with a consultant, Don Tyler, who gives us annual presentations based on our office assessments and changing work environment.

So what do the letters in DiSC mean?  Let’s take a look.

D – Dominance.  People in this quadrant place emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line & confidence.  Their behaviors include seeing the big picture, being blunt, accepting challenges and getting straight to the point.

I – Influence.  People in this quadrant place emphasis on influence or persuading others, openness & relationships.  These people are enthusiastic, optimistic, like to collaborate, and dislike being ignored.

S – Steadiness.  People that fall in this quadrant place emphasis on cooperation, sincerity & dependability.  They are a calmer bunch, practice more supportive actions and do not like to be rushed.

C – Conscientiousness.  People that fall in this quadrant place emphasis on quality and accuracy.   These people enjoy independence, want details and fear being wrong.

We have found that the DiSC assessment has helped us understand how to work with one another, and it has really helped us become a more efficient office all together.  It has increased our self-knowledge about our motivators, stressors, how we solve problems and how we respond to conflict.  We are able to work better as a team because we have the knowledge to know how to work with one another.  For those skeptical people out there who think that these types of assessments are bogus, don’t knock it until you try it – you just never know what you may find out about yourself and your co-workers!



Krysta Schilling is the office manager at Gutwein Law.  She has over 4 years of experience working in a legal setting – both as a paralegal and office manager.  She has her BA from Purdue University and her AAS in paralegal studies from Ivy Tech.