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Read Kristin’s experience of DiSC Certification

Feb 2022 class picture

It was my first week at my new remote work position as a facilitator at The TEAM Approach/Center for Internal Change. I had my shiny new computer running, my desk prepared, pencils neatly lined up, highlighters at the ready for color-coding my copious pile of notes from the past few days (if you know DiSC, you may already be guessing which style I am…). There was no putting it off: it was time to take the first real step toward facilitating Everything DiSC and complete the Everything DiSC Certification course.

A newbie to the Learning and Development world, I brought a lot of experience teaching (as a university adjunct professor) but little experience with DiSC. I would need to go through the certification process just like many other facilitators at companies all over the country (and even around the globe). You don’t have to be certified to facilitate Everything DiSC, but my new colleagues highly recommend it. I was told it was the best way to immerse myself in DiSC methodology, build confidence in my understanding of the program, and learn to adapt the training materials to my future needs.

Kristin Emerson DiSC Style
Kristin Emerson's DiSC Style

Once I was registered for my online DiSC certification class, I received a welcome email with a link to take the DiSC Workplace assessment. I was so excited to find out where I fell on the DiSC map, even though I was not yet sure exactly what that meant.

Fortunately, the assessment itself was quick. It’s a simple questionnaire where you rank yourself 1-5 on how much you agree with a series of statements about your preferences. In about 15 minutes, I was finished.

Overall, I cannot recommend DiSC certification highly enough, even if - and perhaps, especially if - you are already familiar with the basic facilitation materials.

Not long after, I received another email inviting me to see my results. Not only did I learn that I’m a strong inclined C & S Personality type; I was also able to read the assessment’s description of my preferences and strengths. Boy, was it right-on in almost every case! 

The Workplace report was much lengthier than I expected and was completely tailored to my results. The second half focused on maximizing my ability to work with each of the four major styles. I could already see how understanding the characteristics and preferences of each type would make teamwork easier. 

Not long after, I received a package from Center for Internal Change – a large brown box on my doorstep. Packages are always fun. Inside was a small collection of books and my Facilitation Kit. I’m a big reader, so I immediately skimmed through the books. However, the Facilitation Kit looked intimidating, so I told myself I’d figure it out later.

The next step in the process was “Enrollment Day,” where I would normally be added to the course and would receive access to the Training Center. Then, I could begin the self-directed modules that would prepare me for the first live session.

disc certificaation resources
The box of books and other DiSC resources learners receive during certification.

There is a fair amount of self-directed work, both prior to the live sessions and in between them. The initial set of modules is about 4 hours of self-paced work, called Core (which sounds like a workout, and it really sorta was!). 

The material is split into mini-modules with points awarded onscreen each time a module is completed. Watching the points tally is very satisfying. You can stop anywhere in the training and come back to the Training Center later and your progress will be saved.

disc certification online learning center
DiSC Certification online training center

The modules include readings, quizzes, videos, and even a few game-style activities. I was surprised by how in-depth the content was. It covered so much about the history, theory, and research behind DiSC, as well as exactly how the assessment works. I wondered what could possibly be left to learn when live classes began.

Of course, I soon realized there was plenty more to learn and experience.

Center for Internal Change offers the three live session classes that are designed by the publisher of Everything DiSC, John Wiley & Sons. However, they also add an optional Orientation and a Bonus Session at the end, making the course a full 5 weeks long.

The Orientation was very helpful, especially for someone with C Personality Type tendencies. I was able to understand the scope of the work, plan my time, and become familiar with the previously-intimidating Facilitation Kit. Plus, I met most of my classmates! 

The session was very interactive; we were able to connect in breakout rooms and make introductions to the whole group. We had class members from both coasts of the U.S., several states in between, Canada, and South Africa. By the end of the Orientation, I felt much more prepared and had several assignments to complete before “Live Session One.”

The live sessions are based on a “flipped classroom” model. As an educator, I was familiar with this concept, which asks students to learn material outside the classroom and then focus on practice and application while in class. This creates a more interesting and active classroom experience. 

Throughout the live sessions, we had opportunities to practice facilitation, develop out-of-the-box activities to meet learning goals, work with supplementary DiSC reports and case studies, and more. I quickly felt much more comfortable with the material. Even just talking about the concepts in discussion groups helped me build a DiSC vocabulary. 

The final exam is a multiple choice and true/false-based test within the Online Training Center. It takes less than an hour and it is open book and open note – but still challenging enough that I didn’t earn 100%! But I passed (you need an 80% or higher) and I have the digital DiSC Certification badge posted on LinkedIn to prove it. 

While the three live sessions, the Training Center work, and the final exam are the only firm requirements for certification, my favorite was the optional Bonus Session. Center for Internal Change opens this Bonus Session to all of their EPIC account holders and it is worth the time! 

It’s two solid hours of enhancements and extras, along with a wealth of information gathered from the company’s 35+ years in the business. They even provide a download folder full of extra facilitation materials and another digital kit tailored to meet with your clients or team leaders for a “briefing” before leading their team in a DiSC training session

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Overall, I cannot recommend DiSC certification highly enough, even if – and perhaps, especially if – you are already familiar with the basic facilitation materials. The sessions start with groundwork in DiSC theory that you may not know you are missing and they finish with everything you need to go above and beyond as you bring DiSC to your clients and colleagues. A DiSC newcomer like me will leave with greater confidence and an experienced old hand will leave with new tricks and fresh energy.