DiSC Behavior Profiling: How Dwyer Group Improved Team Performance

In February I attended the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) annual convention. There I had the pleasure of attending a session moderated by Mark Liston currently serving as the President of Glass Doctor and formerly the chairman of the ICFE Board of Governors and the Educational Foundation’s Board of Trustees at the IFA. In this session Mike Hawkins, VP of Franchise Sales at the Dwyer Group shared how they use DiSC, behavioral profiling during the franchise sales process and managerial hiring to help ensure they select candidates with the most potential for success.

DiSC is a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication.

DiSC is non-judgmental and helps people discuss their behavioral differences. If you participate in a DiSC program, you’ll be asked to complete a series of questions that produce a detailed report about your personality and behavior.

The DiSC model provides a common language that people can use to better understand themselves and to adapt their behaviors with others.

This can be within a work team, a sales relationship, a leadership position, or other relationships.

DiSC profiles help managers and their teams:

  • Increase self-knowledge: how you respond to conflict, what motivates you, what causes you stress and how you solve problems
  • Facilitate better teamwork and minimize team conflict
  • Develop stronger sales skills by identifying and responding to customer styles
  • Manage more effectively by understanding the dispositions and priorities of employees and team members
  • Become more self-knowledgeable, well-rounded and effective leaders

What does DiSC stand for? What do the letters mean?



Person places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, confidence

– Sees the big picture
– Can be blunt
– Accepts challenges
– Gets straight to the pointLearn more



Person places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships

– Shows enthusiasm
– Is optimistic
– Likes to collaborate
– Dislikes being ignored
Learn more



Person places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability

– Doesn’t like to be rushed
– Calm manner
– Calm approach
– Supportive actions
– Humility
Learn more



Person places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency

– Enjoys independence
– Objective reasoning
– Wants the details
– Fears being wrong
Learn more

These Four Social Types of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness can be matched to the characteristics needed to be successful as a franchise owner or manager of a franchise location. Hawkins shared that at the Dywer Group use DiSC profiling with a singular goal in mind.

The Goal for the Dwyer Group

To improve relationships in sales, management, and training effectiveness with people by communicating to their profile.

Characteristics of Indirect Behavior

  •  Approaches risk, decisions or change slowly and cautiously
  •  Infrequent contributor to group conversations
  •  Infrequently uses gestures and voice intonation to emphasize points
  •  Often make qualified statements: “According to my source…” “I think so”
  •  Emphasizes points through explanation of the content of the message
  •  Questions tend to be for clarification, support or information
  •  Reserves expression of opinions
  •  More patient and cooperative
  •  Diplomatic; collaborative
  •  When not in agreement (it’s no big deal), most likely to go along
  •  Understated; reserved
  •  Initial eye contact is intermittent
  •  At social gatherings, more likely to wait for others to introduce themselves
  •  Gentle handshake
  •  Tends to follow established rules and policies

Characteristics of Direct Behavior

  •  Approaches risk, decisions or change quickly and spontaneously
  •  Frequent contributor to group conversations
  •  Frequently uses gestures and voice intonation to emphasize points
  •  Often make emphatic statements: “This is so!” “I’m positive!”
  •  Emphasizes points through confident vocal intonation and assertive body language
  •  Questions tend to be rhetorical, to emphasize points or to challenge information
  •  Expresses opinions readily
  •  Less patient; competitive
  •  Confronting; controlling
  •  More likely to maintain his or her position when not in agreement (argues)
  •  Intense; assertive
  •  Initial eye contact is sustained
  •  More likely to introduce self to others at social gathering
  •  Firm handshake
  •  Tends to ben or break established rules and policies

Characteristics of Open Behavior

  •  Self disclosing
  •  Shows and shared feelings freely
  •  Makes most decisions based on feelings (subjective)
  •  Conversation includes digression; strays from subject
  •  More relaxed and warm
  •  Goes with the flow
  •  Opinion – oriented
  •  Easy to get to know in business or unfamiliar social situations
  •  Flexible about how their time is used by others
  •  Feels cramped by schedules
  •  Flexible expectations about people and situations
  •  Prefers to work with others
  •  Initiates or accepts physical contact
  •  Shares or enjoys listening to personal feelings, especially if positive
  •  Animated facial expressions during speaking and listening
  •  Show more enthusiasm than the average person
  •  Friendly handshake
  •  More likely to give nonverbal feedback
  •  Responsive to dreams, visions and concepts

Characteristics of Self Contained Behavior

  •  Guarded
  •  Keeps feelings private; shares only on a “need-to-know basis”
  •  Makes most decisions based on evidence (objective)
  •  Focuses conversation on issues and tasks; strays from subject
  •  More formal and proper
  •  Goes with agenda
  •  Fact- oriented
  •  Takes time to get to know in business or unfamiliar social situations
  •  Approaches risk, decisions, or change slowly and cautiously
  •  Disciplined about how their time is used by others
  •  Prefers following an established schedule
  •  Fixed expectations about people and situations
  •  Prefers to work independently
  •  Avoids or minimizes physical contact
  •  More likely to be expressionless during speaking and listening
  •  Shows less enthusiasm than the average person
  •  Uses limited range of facial expressions during speaking and listening
  •  Formal handshake
  •  Less likely to give nonverbal feedback if given at all
  •  Responsive to realities/actual experiences/facts

Making the Perfect Match

The first step to creating a behavioral based hiring process is determining what behaviors are best suited for owning or managing your specific type of business or for the position you need to fil. Often when beginning the process franchisors start by profiling their best and brightest franchisees. If you own one location or multiple stores, you can start by taking this simple test.

Use this Free disc Personality Profile Assessment to get a fast instant estimate of your disc profile based on answers to 12 short questions.

It’s fast and it’s free.  You can probably finish it in less than 10 minutes.

Use the results of DiSC to gain insights and better understand why you communicate the way you do and how you can communicate with others more effectively.

With your results, you can:

  • Immediately improve interpersonal communications
  • Connect with your leaders or co-workers more effectively
  • Understand what you need to be most successful

Special thanks to the Dwyer Group for sharing their success story with StartupNation and to the International Franchise Association’s for inviting StartupNation to their annual convention .

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