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In this episode of The Purple People Leader, JoDee Curtis and Jeremy York discuss the DiSC and CliftonStrengths assessments. They share their thoughts on the perspectives offered by both assessments, each assessment’s power, using the assessments on teams, and understanding the skills and personalities of your teammates.

Video Transcript:

This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.

Jeremy  00:00

Hey everyone, welcome back to another edition of The Purple People Leader, where I am here with JoDee Curtis, and I’m Jeremy York, to talk about some of your biggest HR topics that are out there, that are permeating the workplace. So, guess what we’re gonna talk about today? We’re gonna talk about some assessments. And a lot of questions that we get from people say, hey, I know that at Purple Ink you do both the CliftonStrengths Finder and you do the DiSC. But why do you do both? Aren’t you really only supposed to do one? So I thought that would be a great topic for us, discussing why we do that. So you want to start talking about why we use both?

JoDee  00:44

Yes. So I would say the real true answer is because I love CliftonStrengths and Jeremy loves DiSC.

Jeremy  00:54

That might be true.

JoDee  00:57

But I have really, really come to appreciate DiSC in the past eight months, and I think Jeremy… Jeremy has always appreciated CliftonStrengths assessment, too, and I really have learned and appreciated the value of having both of them here at Purple Ink.

Jeremy  01:19

Absolutely. I’ve always thought it was interesting with any assessment that you could explore to learn more about you and the way that you work, how you can be the best at what you do, and I think both assessments give you that same goal but they look at it from… I think they look at it from different perspectives, right? And I think the reason we like to use them both and we continue to do that is because there’s lots to learn from both of the assessments and how you apply it. Right? So, you know, one of the questions I think people give us or ask us, JoDee, a lot of times is, you know, how do these two assessments apply differently to the workplace from that point? And I know with all the work that I’ve done on the DiSC assessment end of this, I feel that it’s slightly different than the CliftonStrengths Finder, where the CliftonStrengths Finder really takes a deep dive into the individual and, you know, what you do what you do well, and helps you identify the kind of work that aligns with what you’re naturally geared toward doing – it’s called your natural mode of operation. And DiSC does similar – maybe not quite as deep of a dive – but it does allow us to be able to learn more about ourselves. But also it gives us a lot of information about working with other people who may different from us. So I like it from a real team perspective, because it allows us to have a, I don’t know, a common language. We start to understand each other and we can describe that, and… and DiSC might be a little bit simpler. It’s not quite as complex as CliftonStrengths Finder.

JoDee  03:00

Right. Part of the power of CliftonStrengths Finder is that it recognizes that each of us are unique individuals. So the chance that you would have the same strengths as someone else in the same order are 1 in 33 million.

Jeremy  03:20

Wow. Wow.

JoDee  03:21

But I think a lot of people like that, right? They don’t like to be thought of as just, you know, one out of four on a graph, although you can tell us more about that and how that’s much simpler, but that.. that you’re made up of very unique qualities and strengths. It also, the purpose… so the goal of CliftonStrengths is for each person to understand, what do I do best and how can I do more of it? Right? And it’s… so a lot of times when I say that people think like, oh, well, what I do best is recruiting, so I should do more recruiting. Well, it’s not that straightforward. It’s more about I’m good at communication, so how can I communicate more often? Or I really am a strategic person. How can I use that particular strength in everything I do?

Jeremy  04:24

That’s interesting. I agree with that. I think one of the wonderful things about the Strengths Finder is that it does allow us to have that full… full… full understanding. Right? We get our top five, but we also… then we can also dive into the top 34 and the report – right? – to find out what really is our full makeup. And I… not only that, but what I always take away from the Strengths Finder is that it’s really helped me to understand how I… how I have worked – right? – and what I should align myself with. But the DiSC I feel like, for me, gives me a little bit more in common… okay, these are your strengths and what I do well, and the DiSC helps me to understand, okay, now – because it gets a little bit simpler, because we do have just the four cornerstone principles, the D, i, S, and C, and then, you know, 12 priorities around this wheel, that allows us to understand where other people are at and what they do, and so that we can kind of adapt and understand and have that mutual trust and respect. So I think, you know, both tools are very, very good and both tools serve a purpose. And I think, you know, depending on what you want to use them for makes all the difference. And so I know we have people that ask us, well, how do the tools fare as a communication team, or as a community… communications tool – if I can get that out – how does it fare as a communication tool for a team? I think, really, they’re both excellent, both speak to a common language – right? – about being able to utilize that as a team, learning about yourself and learning about others. So I think, you know, when people ask us, which tool is better, what’s the answer?

Jeremy  04:25

Depends on the situation.

Jeremy  04:55

Right. Neither one is better than the other per se, it all depends on what it is you’re trying to do and what you’re trying to work toward, and it also depends a little bit about your team and where they’re at in their journey of learning about themselves and understanding. So I think, you know, either one of those tools can be very useful. So what would you say is one of the biggest key takeaways that you’ve learned over the years utilizing tools like DiSC and CliftonStrengths Finder?

JoDee  06:53

Well, I think they’re both excellent, as are… most assessment tools are excellent at self awareness, right? You understand yourself and how you respond or why you respond in a different way or what you need from other people with regards to communication or interaction. But the… it’s the next step two that really has so much value, is when we talk about understanding the skills of the people around you and what do they need and what will… will make them most productive. How can we treat them in a way that highlights either their strengths and/or their style, as well?

Jeremy  07:48

You know, the thing that sticks out to me about that – and I totally agree with all of those things that you just said – I think what these tools do is that they help people normalize some of that internal struggle that they have. You know, when we’re in a work environment and we focus so much of the time, I feel like, talking about what people are doing wrong instead of what we’re doing right. And we really need to focus on what their strengths are, right? Because that way, we’ve aligned the work with their strengths. And both of these tools happens to be able to do that. But it allows people to say, oh, so that’s why I do this, or oh, that’s why I think like this, or oh, that’s why people perceive me as this or that way. It kind of brings a justification and normalization and helps them feel more comfortable about those things. I know for me, I have, on the DiSC I have a high level of C and conscientiousness, and I always wondered, why do I have to, like, research things so much before I could come to an answer? And it really drives me insane. But I’m naturally driven to do that. And I get frustrated with myself. I’m like, why can I just make a decision like that? Well, because I have to have that information. And due to the DiSC and also understanding, you know, what my strengths are, you know, having the strategic as part of my strengths helped me understand that, oh, okay. This is why I do that, and it’s okay. Like, it’s okay. It’s okay that I do this and other people don’t, because it’s how I’m wired. You know, it helps me understand it.

JoDee  08:12

Right.

Jeremy  08:13

And I think that’s great from an employee perspective.

JoDee  09:25

Yeah, one of my favorite examples that I talk about frequently is about myself and one of my very first employees, Emily, who’s always on the other side of our camera, and Emily has intellection as one of her top 5 strengths, which means she likes to process things. She likes to think about it. She likes to be prepared. So I took me a bit, but I finally have learned that when I want to have a meeting with Emily or I want to talk to her about something that I not just surprise her with it or bring it up in the moment, that we’re much more effective together if I give her a heads up, if I give her information and say I want to talk about this on Thursday, so think about what some of your questions might be. She also, like you, is a high C profile, so she likes the details. As you well know, I do not like the details. So I really value that in her and knowing that she will keep me on track or keep me on my toes, because she’ll want and need that information.

Jeremy  10:44

And that’s a good example, JoDee, of how DiSC and strengths work together. Right? So where they were two separate tools, but they’re kind of talking about the same types of behaviors, right? And this is where that sometimes, you know, those tools are very well connected with each other depending on how you use it. Well, I think that’s all the time we have here today. And anything you want to say out there to our listeners?

JoDee  11:11

Well, just a reminder that we do train and have the assessments available if anyone listening is interested in learning more about either one.

Jeremy  11:24

Absolutely. And we’re happy to talk to you and partner with your team to be the most effective that we possibly can. So on that we say to you, have a JoyPowered day.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily is Purple Ink’s Director of Marketing. She enjoys being able to exercise both her creative side and her analytical side, and as a Learner, loves helping to create new services and tactics and discovering the best ways to share them with the community.

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