Clients ask us all the time, “Should I get a facilitation kit, certification or both? How do I know what will be useful for me?” The answer is, it really depends on your needs. It is a common assumption that if you are going to run a workshop, you have to be certified in DiSC in order to facilitate it, and really that isn’t the case at all. The first step is to break down exactly how you plan to run DiSC in your organization, or with your clients. There are several levels of use, you might say, starting with the very basic level of simply running profiles and doing a very high-level discussion of them.
Often clients really just want to be able to learn about their DiSC style and discuss the results within a small group of people, between two people who work closely together, or perhaps an HR manager with a new hire. It’s a great way to get to know people and understand their motivations and stressors. This type of use really doesn’t require any facilitation kit or certification. The profiles themselves, and the supplemental reports, if you choose to use them, will give you more than enough insight and information to learn better communication techniques and strategies for team-building.
So what kinds of situations would we recommend a facilitation kit for? If you are running a workshop perhaps a full day, or multiple days, with a large group of people within an organization where you regularly conduct these kinds of team-building sessions or you are a consultant who runs workshops for various organizations to help them improve communication, productivity, sales, et cetera within their team(s), then a facilitation kit is a great tool to have. The facilitation kits come with a fully customizable PowerPoint and script, as well as videos, templates, images, a sample profile, resources, and much more. This is ideal for anyone who is new to facilitation as it will walk you through the process with step-by-step instructions. For anyone who is an experienced facilitator, the ease with which you can customize it to your own style is an excellent feature. The great thing about the facilitation kits is that once you have it, it doesn’t expire. You can use it again and again, and you do not need certification to do facilitations on an ongoing basis.
The question of when to get DiSC certification most often applies in two cases: 1) you find you are really wanting a deeper knowledge of the product including the research behind DiSC, and perhaps want to become familiar with the full suite of tools, not just, say Workplace (note there are 2 kinds of certification and only one gives you information on the other tools), or 2) you require certification in order to facilitate with a specific organization.
Certification comes in two forms: online and in-person. However, the online format is focused on Workplace, whereas the in-person DiSC certification while focused on workplace introduces the other tool to give you an overview of what they offer. So, the question is what do you need this for? As mentioned above, certification really isn’t necessary for you to run workshops. You could facilitate for years using the kits and never become certified, however, for many who run DiSC as their ‘bread and butter’, they find that being certified gives them a deeper understanding, particularly when it comes to how DiSC was created, the rigorous testing that goes into making sure the tool is valid and reliable, and what the science and research behind DiSC is so that when participants in your seminars ask the tough questions about dot movement, major life stressors, or adaptive-testing, you have a great deal of knowledge on all the background of the product to answer their questions with confidence. Further, if you are consulting for a company that requests certification specifically, being able to put this on your resume is certainly worth your time. While very few organizations require it, for those that do, having the opportunity to facilitate for those specific clients may make the cost of certification something you are willing to take on.
At the end of the day, what avenue you choose to take in your application of DiSC really depends on the kind of session you plan to do, how often you feel you will be running workshops to make purchasing a facilitation kit worthwhile, and whether or not you feel that being certified would be beneficial for your business, resume, and future clients.