Is it ethical to provide employee DISC Reports to their Manager? an ethical question . . .

This week I was asked by a client about the ethics of providing all of the DISC Reports that were used in an in-house training session to the Partners who own the business. It is a good question, and one I am pleased DISC facilitators/consultants/trainers ask themselves. It is not the first time I have been asked about this type of issue. So I decided to share my reply as a post.

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My answer is a long one, but it is such an important issue I feel it is worth my spending a bit of time on it for you.  It stems from one of my standard answers, # 2, actually.  ”Always, and in all things, know your purpose“. Followed by, “what am I trying to achieve, and what/how, is the best way for me to achieve that?”
Talent Tools stance is – to get the highly accurate report content that ED is capable of providing, for the client, requires the respondent to provide honest responses. Responses  that, to the best of their ability, most closely represent their perception of themselves.
 There are two stakeholders involved. Possibly, with non-compatible expectations, “the client” and “the respondent”. Let’s look at the respondent first.
My experience has shown that when respondents are fully informed aboutthree things,they are more likely to provide the quality responses we require from them.  Those three things are:
  • why they have been asked to complete the questionnaire
  • what the report is going to be used for
  • who will see the report
This removes “militant compliance” from uninterested, dis-engaged or participants who did not choose to participate, and sets the preferred environment for the participant, right from the start. Not just for completing the questionnaire but for any debrief, training or other activity which may follow.
Whatever the respondent is told at the outset, is what is to happen. Any broadening of what has been stated at the outset, Talent Tools maintains, requires the respondent’s permission.
Now, the client. Talent Tool’s stance is, whoever pays our invoice, is our client..  We strive to exceed their expectations in product, service delivery and ongoing support. They are our primary focus, we also want to achieve the best experience and outcome for the respondents, that we can,  within the constraints set by our client.
To achieve this, we discuss the issue of getting quality analysis, explaining the three factors that affect the outcomes. We use this as an opening, also, to get to the nitty-gritty of  what they want to achieve from the initiative – clarifying the “purpose”; which can be quite different to what you expected from info you were given at the proposal/discussion stage.
With the deliverables now clarified, we can determine how the reports are going to be used achieve those deliverables. This leads into who will need to see the report to achieve that end.

DISC and Extended DISC at Talent Tools & Training

So we are now “back where we first started, and,” and, to quote Carl Yung, “to know that place for the very first time.”
  So, we can now confidently inform the respondents at the outset: 
  • why they have been asked to complete the questionnaire
  • what the report is going to be used for
  • who will see the report
And, that any broadening of that requires their permission. Obviously with whom the respondents choose to share the report, is up to them.
Well, that is the gospel, according to Sharon.
Now, for the short answer, “Its up to you, what sits comfortably for you and your business branding.”
But common business sense says, encourage  for the report to be shared widely in the organisation and outside, so you can get more exposure with you brilliant DISC product and generate more work for you and your business. Hence, the ethical question.
Happy Profiling!
Sharon

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