Everything I know about DISC for Selecting Au Pairs — guest post by Should Be Working

by Shouldbeworking on March 4, 2015

The always-helpful ShouldBeWorking has offered us her practical wisdom on so many occasions — and now she’s up to it again.

This time, she’s put together ALL her advice about how to use the DISC profile tool for understanding potential au pair candidates.

Not every Au Pair Agency uses the DISC profile, but for host families that have access to this tool, it’s one of the very few ‘nearly objective’ selection tools in our kit.

For more details on the DISC profile, see this article from a site that sells the tool.   6586274421_981b42df67_m

Dear Host Parents-—  We’re all looking for the silver bullet — the tool, question, or insight that helps us select an Au Pair who’ll have a great fit with our family’s personality. While I wish there were such a tool, the closest thing I’ve found is the DISC profile.  Below, I tell you everything I know.

Before you read on, however, I recommend taking the test yourself to help you understand it better. If you are going to take this test, which I recommend, take the test BEFORE you read all about it. Otherwise you will think too much and second-guess yourself!! Look for “Classic DISC” for about $35 dollars and do it online.

Disclaimer: I’m just a host mom with 3 kids, I have no qualifications in psychology or HR or management. What I can offer is my own research, interpretation and experience of the DISC test and how it relates to au pairs. YMMV. I might misunderstand many aspects of this. All responsibility for poor matches is hereby disclaimed!

How I got to be a Host Mom DISC aficionado

When CCAP started including these (or maybe I just noticed them) in the Au Pair applications about 4 yrs ago, I was intrigued. Finally a parameter that is ‘sort of’ objective, or at least does not depend on an agency employee’s evaluation (all of which praise all candidates highly) or a “reference” who might be fictional, a friend of the family, or who knows who–and let me add that with my knowledge of our Au Pairs’ native language I have seen that the translations of those references are sometimes, uh….creative.    

The DISC is not an Au Pair agency thing. It is used in regular companies to help understand peoples’ approach to working with others and problem solving. I gather it is relatively effective in helping companies to organize teams, for instance, so that there is a mix of approaches, leaders, followers, rule-followers, rule-breakers and so on. I work solo at home, so I have never had reason to know much about HR.

I normally scoff at classification systems for human beings, believing instead in the uniqueness of individuals and being suspicious of corporate-capitalist pseudo-science . . . . but I quickly threw that all out the window in the face of a tool that could help me predict how an Au Pair would fit with my family.

What an Au Pair agency provides based on the DISC test is a very short, general and largely positive report on the candidates’ profile type.

It’s fine and interesting, but I wanted to really understand what that report meant and how I could read between the lines a bit more. So I found a website that offers the test for $35, took it, and got the result immediately online. I also made DH take it, and our then-Au Pair, and since then over a few years also some friends and others.

Unlike the truncated Au Pair applicant reports, the $35 got me a 15-page report about the whole test with more detailed discussion of my own profile AND a pretty good summary of all 16 possible profiles.

What DISC tool test tells you

The DISC isn’t a tool for achieving deep psychological insight. It is not about who you truly are or about your inner life, it doesn’t care about your childhood, your upbringing, your inner conflicts or nature/nurture issues in the first place. It is a superficial tool, meaning it simply describes how you tend to interact with people and situations, not about why you interact that way.

The DISC creators essentially identified or invented different outlines or general packages of qualities and says which package-description fits a particular person in their outward behavior and ways of dealing with situations and people.

Also note that these profiles are human inventions for HR purposes. They are not metaphysical, astrological or even deep-psychological (this is my interpretation, I remind you).

The DISC profiles are a convenient way to define general “packages” of ways that people interact with others. Each profile is a made-up category, it doesn’t make anyone behave a certain way and does not reflect deep, unchanging psychological structures (my interpretation). It just offers a general description of how someone with a particular package of qualities and tendencies tends to behave (wherever those qualities and tendencies came from).

Taking the DISC test

The test consists of about 20 questions. Each question consists of 4 phrases or words to choose from, you pick which seems most like you and which least like you. They are NOT on a spectrum concerning the same quality (as in, “lives in a pigsty”; “sloppy”; “somewhat neat”; “extremely tidy”). They are apples-and-oranges qualities to choose from, which can make it hard to answer each question (as in, “makes people laugh”; “is on time”; “is open-minded” ; “likes accuracy”).

Don’t think too hard about each question, just go with your gut. Do it quickly and don’t recheck your answers. Go with your first feeling of “yes! That’s me” and “No, that’s totally not me”.

I have wondered how the language barriers might affect an Au Pair taking this test–or maybe they do it in their own language, I’m not sure. But there are subtle differences in words and phrases, of course, that help native English speakers respond on a quick-gut level and maybe nonnatives might be more inhibited in their gut-response answer.

I took the Classic DISC, which shows results on a graph/grid, as a curvy line connecting 4 dots that represent my various levels of the four main factors that the test measures. Other versions of the DISC represent the profiles with a square composed of dots, and I think there are other versions beyond that. I prefer Classic even though it looks a little more complicated, because it shows the four spectra of qualities associated with each of the four factors.

Another Host Mom on AuPairMom (I think TexasHM?) found a free version that gives results in a pie chart with percentages of each quality. That’s useful too, but it doesn’t give you the sense of relationships among the qualities, i.e. how they interact as qualities to produce other general traits, which I find fascinating and helpful.

Your report of DISC results

If you pay the full fee, you’ll get the long report. It will have about 6 pp describing your profile.

I found my own DISC profile to be incredibly illuminating and accurate. It was even freeing to realize, for instance, that my inability to stay put at my desk all day is, despite its disadvantages to my productivity, part of my package of qualities that also makes me good at high-energy human interactions.

At the end of the report comes the more useful part for HPs. There is a short summary and graphic representation of each of the 16 profiles. It is really useful because it includes pithy elements like “What this type fears”; “How this type reacts under stress”; and so on. (The agency version of the report only hints at the details that the 15-page report provides.)

That last element, “How this type reacts under stress”, is to me the most accurate piece of the whole thing. In any case: To be able to anticipate how someone reacts under stress is very very useful!

The section “would increase effectiveness with more of the following” was, in my view, very accurate. How nice to have some action steps to help put these insights into action.

Reader, I know you didn’t take it yet! Now I’m serious: STOP HERE IF YOU HAVE NOT TAKEN THE TEST!!! This means you!

Spoiler Alert:  Don’t read any further until you’ve taken the test yourself. If you do read on without taking even the online mini-test, you’ll mess with your ability to take the DISC in a meaningful way, since you’ll second-guess yourself when you ultimately do take the test.

And here, to spoil your last chance at not-second-guessing, are the basics. You can read about these four DISC factors on lots of websites.

The DISC Profile Factors

D: Dominance. “High D” means more dominant, likes to control situations directly, be in charge, makes things happen, gets things done.

High D can also include as part of its package elements of egocentrism, ruthlessness, and inconsideration. “Low D” means the person prefers to follow others’ lead, is more modest and gentle, and can also include lack of initiative, timidity, and uncertainty. There are of course also “middles” in each of the four factors. Most high-D people, however, have at least one other “high” characteristic that can mix with high or low D to varying effect.

I: Influence. High I means, roughly, being extroverted, sociable, enthusiastic, and likes to use verbal persuasion to obtain cooperation, rather than directly controlling situations.

It can also include qualities of being needy for attention, impulsiveness, emotionality, and taking things personally. Low I means, roughly, being logical, not taking things personally, and calculative. It can include an element of reserve, aloofness and suspiciousness. And then of course there is lots between low and high and it mixes with other factors in different ways, more to come on that.

S: Steadiness, as in “slow and steady”.

I would call it “patience” but high S also means “calm” and devoted to helping others (special needs, anyone?), and being ok with routine, repetitive tasks. High S can include passivity a hint of sluggishness and stolidity. Low S, in contrast, prefers more action and change. Low S can also include fault-finding and restlessness. (I myself am lowest possible S!).

C: Compliance, as in “adheres to given structures”.

High C is accurate, detail-oriented, restrained and diplomatic, and it can include rigidity and lack of big-picture thinking. Low C is independent and innovative, and it also can mean defiance, tactlessness and rebelliousness.

It is important to note that “High” and “low” as I use them here might sound like evaluative terms, but they are not evaluative.

High anything is not “better” than low anything.

The test could easily have been produced upside-down so that, for instance, instead of D for dominance the factor could have been called M for modesty, and then what the actual test calls “high D” would have been considered “low M”. So to be clear, “low” anything is not a negative, it simply reflects the test-makers’ choice of how to organize the scale (although my inner ideology critic supposes that some corporate-capitalist values are in play here with the arrangement of the factors as they are).

[Note that the D.I.S.C. stand for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.  It took me about 4 years to notice this. ~cvh]

Combinations of Personality factors

The DISC gets REALLY interesting once you start combining these features into different profiles.

The makers of DISC have essentially come up with a way to analyze different combinations of the four factors to represent 16 different common combinations and their qualities. Each of these common combinations is called a “profile”. Please note that some of the names DISC gives to the profiles aren’t very helpful or descriptive, like “Agent” or “Promoter”. [Note: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) uses this same 16 profile strategy~ cvh]

So for instance:

  • If you put high D and high I together with low S and C, you get an “Inspirational” profile, which is someone who tries to control situations by inspiring and enthusing others (but if that doesn’t work, might resort to more direct means, e.g. intimidation).
  • If you put high I and high S together, you get a “Counselor” profile, who cares most about relationships with others and is a great talker/listener (but might not be so focused on accomplishing tasks).
  • If you put high D and high S together, you get someone who will doggedly (high S) perform the tasks required to meet their ambition (high D) but is not as used to including others on her/his team (hence low S and low I).

There are also profiles with one single “high” factor; like with high I and low everything else, you have a highly enthusiastic, social person who might not be good at following through on promises and might talk so much that work doesn’t get done.


Combinations of high and low in just two factors can also be examined as representing more specific traits that help make up the whole profile.

You can find online descriptions of these “subtraits” that reflect various combinations of factors, like high D+ high I = assertiveness; or high C + low I = accuracy/caution.

It is very rare, or the result of too much second-guessing during the test, that someone does not score high and low on different qualities, and only scores “middling” on all of them.

How to interpret the applicant reports for Au Pair selection

Now the tricky part: Using your long test report to evaluate APs:

The AP report will not give you the graph that shows you the applicant’s results nor list the name of the profile that is associated with your applicant’s results (like “Promoter”, “Inspirational”, “Practitioner”, “Agent”).

Instead it will only describe in a few words the applicant’s results for the separate D, I, S and C factors.

It will also offer a few words about the candidate’s strengths and what the candidate might keep in mind to improve her/his performance. It is truncated and just gives some general characteristics in the most positive terms.

To make full use of the longer, more complete DISC report in order to understand what the agency is showing you, you need to match up the bullet-point descriptions and hints on the agency DISC report to the descriptions on your long DISC report of the different profiles.

(Remember that the long DISC report includes a lot on your own profile but also pithy and helpful summaries of all 16 possible profiles.)

It’s not hard to do, there are always a few key phrases that will match. As in, “you are an enthusiast”, which is a phrase that is listed with “Promoter” in the long report for which I paid $35; or “you have a strong inner motivation to achieve your personal goals”, a phrase that goes with “Achiever” in the long DISC report.

Interpreting those agency reports therefore requires some familiarity with the kinds of results the test may yield and the phrases that show up in descriptions of the different profiles. When I have written about “high I” or “low D” or whatever on the blog here, that refers to the graphing that is shown in the 15-page report/explanation that you receive when you take the test yourself.

The agency report, in contrast, doesn’t talk about “high”, “low” at all. It instead gives you some characteristics on a bullet-point list.

Focus on the CONTENT rather than the number of bullet points.   Please note that understanding a particular applicant’s mix of factors is not achieved by counting the number of bullet points next to the factor being described. It’s a matter of what is being said in that bullet list. The description itself (however many bullet points are used) can be correlated, if you know the test well, to whether the factor in question is high, low or in-between.

Be Aware:  People with the same profile can still be very different.  It helps to see how these profiles play out in different ways in real life. If you know people who know their DISC, try guessing and see if you are correct.

What does all this mean for choosing your au pair?

I find DISC useful to exclude candidates.

I personally don’t want anyone with high D in almost any combination.

Exception: I would consider high D and high I together, because that I factor modulates the D to make the person more sociable, but as I have reported elsewhere, it can also mean that the applicant is defiant and stubborn. I’m giving up the likelihood of a strong natural sense of initiative with this exclusion of high D, however–although presumably some sense of initiative can be cultivated in someone who wants to please even if it’s not in their DISC.

High I is a mixed bag. We like lively talkers. But high I also means “needs attention” and can be a bit narcissistic. So I like high I if combined with S, which is patience and loyalty. Low I is less needy by far, but also less passionate. We’ve had low-I au pairs and it was smooth with them, but we did miss a little bit the high-energy laughter and chattiness of the high Is.

High S is important to us because of patience and loyalty. It correlates to low ambition, though. Our high-S AP could do melty beads all afternoon with the kids and it wouldn’t occur to her to organize an outing. High S is supposedly good with special needs, again that loyalty and patience. Initiative might be lacking though, and dullness is a possibility.

High C would be ok with me when combined with high I, again to make it more sociable and less task-oriented. I don’t want very low C, because it correlates to tactlessness and defiance. Middle-low C is ok though for me. CCAP uses the code phrase “prefer to try the untried” when referring to low C.

Oddly, CCAP does not make the most of this test, even though the Agency includes it in its applications.  The Agency offers some silly recommendations to the effect that if you are an active family, you should look for someone whose profile reflects lots of activity.

Dig deeper to make this tool help you.

When to consult DISC in the selection process

YMMV. I look at photos first always; then most of the time letter second, family and lifestyle third, and then at the DISC if most of the foregoing elements look good.

Often the DISC confirms an impression I have that someone might be a good fit. Rarely does the DISC suggest a profile that I like if I haven’t already liked the photos or the letter. (This is rare because if I didn’t like the photos or letter then I wouldn’t have gotten far enough to even read the DISC).

The harder cases are when the DISC contradicts my otherwise-excellent impression of an applicant.

This usually happens when the candidate is “Inspirational”. This type comes on strong with big smiles, a great application, lots of energy, and good excitement, all very desirable. But knowing the downsides of Inspirationals–very low S&C–I am cautious. They are go-getters and fun but can be defiant and stubborn.

There are some other high-D profiles among the AP candidates, and maybe some of them would be good too–Achievers are high D and high S, and are dogged in pursuing their goals–so what if their goal is to be your best au pair ever?

Hint: If you have a candidate whose video shows her black belt in karate, her prize-winning art, and her standing on top of a high mountain, I’ll bet she’s high D of one sort or another.

In my experience there are many AP candidates who are high I + high S (Counselor profile) and Inspirationals (high D and I). There are also fairly many high S + high C (Specialist profile), and we have had two of these, they were responsible and easy to get along with but we missed the enthusiasm that comes with high I (whose downside, however, is drama).

Sometimes I wonder if DISC is as accurate as I fantasize that it is in predicting what kind of AP would work for us.

My statistical sample for noting outcome is anyway only 4 APs! I like to think I use the DISC as part of an overall picture–e.g. I did recently interview a candidate who had a fabulous application except the DISC was not at all my usual type (high D, low everything else). In interviewing this candidate some of her overconfidence and narcissism came out, which the DISC predicted. But even without DISC I would have given up on her because of her interview style.

So I hope that I use DISC as a kind of check on my own impressions during matching: If the candidate shows a certain quality I don’t like and it correlates to DISC, then that helps me to not overlook that quality even when everything else seems good. If the person shows a certain good quality that I like and it correlates to DISC, then I feel confident that I am choosing well.

I know others here have a lot of DISC insights, so we can gather more on this thread if you have not all had enough of me and DISC!!


Image: Kim Love on Flickr


Returning HM March 4, 2015 at 9:54 am

I just want to say OH MY GOSH and WOW and THANKS and YAY all at once! I have been “using” the DISC in matching since we switched to CCAP a couple of years ago, but now I finally feel like I understand what to do with it. Thank you, SBW! :-)

TexasHM March 4, 2015 at 10:52 am

WOOHOO! LOVED this. Couple of things. 1. The site where I found the free test and took it and had everyone else take it was here: https://www.123test.com/disc-personality-test/

2. The report on this site was cheaper BUT it didn’t give me the descriptions/bullets for all 16 profiles. :( SBW – where did you get those? Or maybe I can google the profiles and cut and paste a list or I almost wonder if CCAP has something, I will ping them as well and see what (if anything) they offer host families for decoding the DiSC.

3. I am beginning to think (correct me if I am wrong) that there is no “ideal” AP profile and that it is much more about matching lids and pots as we like to say on this site. Meaning that I myself am an Inspirational which will likely come as no shock to the regulars on this site ;) and I had my last two rockstar APs take this and guess what? They are both Inspirationals too! AND our incoming AP that we are SUPER excited about? An inspirational as well (we did not know this until after we had already matched with her). Coincidence? I don’t think so. So what does it mean? I think it means that I personally, as an inspirational, tend to be attracted to APs with initiative that are friendly/sociable and while my husband is NOT an inspirational, I would venture a guess that he also enjoys that personality type because he is very good at tolerating me and he is likely very comfortable/experienced with this personality type.

Now, does that mean your profile and your APs need to match? Not in my opinion. Why not? Well because I think it is more about the interaction as SBW said. I am in sales (shocker – inspirational is a no brainer match for this career) and therefore I have a lot of experience with negotiation, setting expectations, reading between the lines, being challenged and I am very candid. I LOVE a good debate and it doesn’t phase me at all to discuss taboo topics. I do not have a lot of patience/tolerance for meek and mild. In fact I find it maddening and if anything, I tend to be an over communicator so I need an AP that isn’t afraid to speak up (initiative) or suggest alternate ways of doing things (initiative) and that I don’t have to second guess or try to read all the time. With that having been said, I have a HM friend that is meek and mild herself so she needs and wants a more passive AP and that makes perfect sense to me. The only stubbornness I have seen in our two inspirational APs were personal things that didn’t impact me much as a HM so it didn’t phase me. I have never been challenged on discipline or anything related to childcare but I am also very clear in matching what the expectations are so it hasn’t been questioned and hasn’t been an issue. I could see how perhaps this profile could be more challenging if they were in a household that was more laid back or disorganized because the inspirationals desire to fix/inspire/succeed would likely surface in ways like taking the initiative to organize the house or start creating her own set of guidelines/rules since there are none but like I said, no issue for us. Where I saw it was things like trying new things sometimes (refusing to try deep fried peaches at the state fair even though her favorite fruit was peaches) although generally if I badgered them they tried it (I’m an inspirational too after all so they will not win a stubbornness matchup with me) but it worked to my advantage on things like going against the AP group. For example, our APs never work on vacation but are always invited. If they decide to go it does count as their vacation and they pay for some of their major expenses (plane ticket, Disney pass, etc). Other APs HATE this and often tell my APs that we are sticking it to them and why in the world would they spend their vacation time with the family?! My rockstar APs have been unphased by this and come back bragging about the trip with lots of photos the others drool over. So as SBW said, there is no bad profile. Inspirationals have strengths and weaknesses just like every profile does and its about figuring out what traits are most attractive to you and that work best in your family dynamic.

One thing I thought was super helpful/revealing was in the report it revealed what my anti-thesis profile was. This was VERY illuminating. In my case it is the “perfectionist” which is high SC. Guess what the traits of the perfectionist are? “Conservative, very modest, logical, always systematic, factual, non-demonstrative, deliberate, careful, precise, accurate, predictable, controlled”. I would be willing to wager a very large bet that our recent burnout AP was this profile. I showed it to my husband without prompting and he said “oh my did you have (burnout AP) take the test too?” He thought I was showing him her results! LOL Unfortunately, in part due to my interview exhaustion after not finding a candidate for over a month (we were with a smaller agency) and in part I believe due to the candidate’s excitement about the program (made her seem more warm, sociable, agreeable) and exaggeration of some abilities we continued in the process and went ahead and matched. The person that showed up at our house was almost unrecognizable to the person we interviewed and I truly believe now that had we had the DiSC I would have caught this for exactly the reason SBW mentioned – her DiSC would have shown the opposite of who we thought she was (an inspirational essentially).
Sorry for the super long comment but I am now a big time DiSC believer and wanted to add my 17 cents. ;) So as SBW said, take the test yourself, see what you think and I would highly recommend at minimum that you find out what profile is most unlike you so you are aware of the profile that is most likely to give you conflict and maybe even consider eliminating candidates with that profile.

Mimi March 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

I’ve never seen my opposite profile. Do you have a list?

TexasHM March 4, 2015 at 4:20 pm

I don’t and that’s what I was asking SBW for as well, I paid something like $20 after that free test and got a 12 page summary but it was focused on my profile information and interactions and opposite and didn’t have the other 14 profiles which I would love to have as well. Although honestly once you know what profile you are you just have to google it and you will get more info than you can possibly digest anyway. I just need the longer version so I can do as SBW mentioned and match the summary statements that CCAP puts on the profiles to the traits. I wish they would just post the results at the bottom of that document it would make it a lot easier!

Multitasking Host Mom March 4, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Great point about knowing your/family’s personality would help you know the type of AP personality that would make a good fit. While I haven’t taken the DISC, I have taken other personality tests at work and showed high leadership and organizational traits. It made me see why I was not interested in those APs who were high D since I am fine with planning the kids days. I do need an AP who is caring and patient with my children….high S. So in a way I look for someone who is different from me!

AlwaysHopeful HM March 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Okay, now that I’ve taken the longer test, I can read through the comments (and finish reading SBW’s post)! I just have to say, TexasHM, you are my twin! I’m an inspirational too, and I’m starting to think that I have little patience for those who are not!! It’s one thing in the workplace, completely different in my home. I’m soooo glad to have this report.

One thing… although I’m an inspirational, the report showed me as equally high D and I, a little lower S and lower still C, but none of the categories was at the tippy top or way at the bottom. I don’t know if that means anything… I was just surprised that there weren’t any extremes in my profile.

Should be working March 5, 2015 at 2:48 pm

My understanding is that no category has to be absolute high or low. It’s the overall shape of the curve (in Classic) that determines your profile. But if your own profile diverges some from the pattern/profile they ascribe to you it might be worth noting where you don’t fully match the description. (That can happen anyway–DISC is not a foolproof predictor of personality, just a general description of a package of traits.)

TexasHM March 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm

That’s super interesting because I was super super high D and I and very low S and C so maybe I have less patience and restraint than you alwayshopeful! ;). I am definitely still trying to figure it all out but there’s no denying that for my family and previous APs it’s been dead on and I’m hoping that somehow will help me be more aware and practical during interviewing and keep my happy ears under wraps!

Returning HM March 5, 2015 at 8:42 pm

AlwaysHopeful, I always thought you and I had a lot of in common – and it turns out we do!

I’m also high I and low C, but then I’m medium and exact same D and S. The funny thing? Out of 16 possible profiles, the AP we just matched with and I have the same one – the “counselor.” It’s my guess that our two favorite APs also had the same one….I consciously looked for this particular set of descriptors. Only when I was looking, I didn’t know at the time I WAS one as well.

Interestingly, when I first read the description, I thought, “nope, that really doesn’t feel right,” but the more I dug into it, the more I realized it was. It actually helped me understand why I am flexible on deadlines to a fault (my students all know I prefer “good work to on time work,”) and to make sense of why I once failed to kick a coauthor off a book ONLY because I felt like I hadn’t appropriately mentored him so couldn’t then judge him for not doing great work — both of those traits are downsides to “counselors.” While I actually think I’m very good at getting things done under pressure (something the descriptor says isn’t the case), the profile description actually helped me understand a lot of where I could improve. I’m really glad I took it!

Anyway – just wanted to send a smile about this and to say that while we have had a lot of parallel things going on in au pair world, we also apparently interact in the world in similar ways. :-)

Returning HM March 5, 2015 at 8:43 pm

And PS I had no extremes at all either.

AlwaysHopeful HM March 5, 2015 at 9:24 pm

It really is sooo interesting! After blurting out earlier that I didnt think I could stand someone in my home that was not an inspirational, I pored through the descriptions and like you, Returning HM, I really think my favorite au pair was a counselor. The description really fit him, although maybe with a little extra D thrown in for good measure. Current AP took the DISC and, if I’m reading the results right, I think he’s a practitioner, with the lowest possible D. I’ll need to remember that this profile is not a good fit for our family.

For myself, the results don’t entirely fit, but they’re close. For example, I don’t seek status or recognition (actually hate that!), but I often end up taking a leadership role in things because I become impatient if it seems like no one else is going to step up. Also, it seems like inspirationals are geared towards results, where for me, the relationship is more important that the result (counselor)– or maybe it’s that the result flows from the relationship, which leads me back to being inspirational…Haha! Even as I type this, I hear a familiar voice in my head saying “what is the goal here– let’s stay focused on that.” So, I think counselor is who I aspire be and think I am, but inspirational/ needing control is who I really am!!

It’s just all so fascinating!

Host mom in Cali March 4, 2015 at 10:58 am

I am interviewing an au pair from Columbia. We have exchanged emails and on paper she seems fabulous. The issue is I cannot understand her on skype or the phone so it’s making it truly difficult to come up with a decision. After reading the disc factor it seems we would not be a great match. D is 23 I 18 S 11 C 4. Our children are 2, 11 months and a new baby in July. I would love to host an au pair that is kind, affectionate, playful yet focused, detail oriented and can make decisions. What should I be looking for?

HostMomCA March 4, 2015 at 3:33 pm

She is both high D and high I — both of those scores are much higher than her S and C. High D corresponds to low C — someone who is a driver and enjoys being in charge will be less compliant and could possibly chafe in an environment where she is micro-managed.

Our very best au-pair (we’ve had 5) was high D and high I. In that person you’re going to get someone who takes charge of the situation, is very social, responsible, aware of her interpersonal relationships. You will probably not have to deal with any homesickness because she is a “take charge” kind of person and will make friends easily.

It’s more about what kind of family you are and what you’re looking for. An earlier poster did an excellent summary of the types of families that look for an au-pair and the importance of knowing what kind of family you are. Are you looking for someone who takes charge and runs the household while you’re away? Are you looking for a “mother’s helper” who works alongside you all day? This candidate could be an excellent fit for you or a terrible fit, but that’s more about what you’re looking for and what you need from your au-pair.

NJ Mama March 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

First, a shoutout to SBW for writing this post. I am just starting to look for our next AP now, and after all the talk about DiSC I was thinking of asking CV to do something like this. So perfect timing!

I will also tell you that I am usually very skeptical about these things. But after I took the test, and asked one of my former AP’s and my current AP to take it, I found it to be extremely interesting. My current AP and former AP had very different profiles — not surprising, but as I read this post, I realized that what made them so great for us is that each had the kind of temperament that my kids needed at the time.

The former AP — our very first rockstar AP — is high D and high I. She came to us in rematch (our very first AP was a partier), and she arrived six weeks before my mom died of cancer. My kids were 4 and 6 at the time. You can imagine the craziness — I’m either working in NYC or at my parent’s in Pennsylvania, so I’m not around much for the kids. I’m completely overwhelmed. The kids are confused and want their mom. Our very first AP flames out after two months — so, another layer of chaos. And somehow, this fun-loving and mature 19 year old walked into our lives. She was just what we needed then — someone who could take charge when I wasn’t around, but at the same time be just so much fun for my kids. (I should note that her D was 36%, I was 33%, S was 25%, and C was 5%). She is also the one who came to us last summer and provided some much-needed stability after the previous au pair dumped us to get married.

Four years after this AP, we again landed an AP that has the kind of personality that we really need at this point in our lives. This AP is high S and I, followed by C and very low D (She took the test and said, “Gosh it makes me seem like such a pushover.”) But that high S and I combo has been perfect in dealing with my high-anxiety kid. She is so calm, and that helps to keep my kids calm too. (I also don’t see her as a pushover. She doesn’t pick fights and she chooses her battles, but she does not let my kids run the show.)

In any event, I’m not sure a high D would work well with a strong-willed 11 year old (although perhaps a high D/high I would?). But steadiness was what we needed and steadiness is what we got.

cv harquail March 4, 2015 at 8:57 pm

I know, isn’t this great? I have had this kind of a post on my list for a long time, but never had the enthusiasm to dig into it. Thus, I was delighted when SBW offered to write it. Yay SBW!

Workingmom3 March 4, 2015 at 11:26 am

Thank you for the insight. Never had problems with APs till this year. Our 8 th year! I looked at their scores and it makes total sense! Interesting! Thanks!

Multitasking Host Mom March 4, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Great explanation on how to use this! Thanks! I have used both Go Aupair’s and Cultural Care’s personality test as probably the third or fourth thing I look at when deciding which APs to interview. It does help. And it is scarily accurate how these personality profiles have predicted the way all of my APs have responded to issues and events. Also, knowing the info helped me understand where the APs are coming from. I am going on line this evening to find the DISC and take it myself.

kiesa March 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm

This is all very fascinating, thanks! For those of you who have used the DISC profile extensively, have you found that cultural differences can change or shade the answers of au pairs from certain countries?

WarmStateMomma March 5, 2015 at 12:25 am

I only look at APs who speak Chinese. One of the agencies provides a primary and secondary “color” profile that is somehow linked to a personality analysis (not sure if it is DISC or something different). Every application I’ve seen for the Chinese candidates has some combination of blue, yellow and white. I don’t know if these results are the result of local agency coaching, a social expectation that certain answers are better than others, or maybe the test has a cultural bias.

Anna March 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm

I am with this agency too. I don’t look at Chinese au pairs. Most au pairs I see, have dominant “blue”. “Red” corresponds to “D” (dominance) in DiSC profile; very few au pairs have that as the main color, and it is reasonable that Chinese au pairs won’t have that, maybe especially for cultural reasons.
Here is the correspondence to DiSC: red = D, yellow = I, white =S, blue =C. My perfect au pair profile is primary blue, secondary red. YMMW.

WarmStateMomma March 5, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Thanks. At this point I don’t remember which agencies had which personality thing, but our next AP arrives this month (CCAP) and I’m pretty anxious about it. AP#1 was a great person but a lousy fit for our family. AP#2 is such a great AP and housemate that she has become a great friend. I’m going to miss her and am nervous that keeping our expectations for AP#3 realistic.

Multitasking Host Mom March 5, 2015 at 6:03 pm

I also noticed all the blue and only a little red. This seemed to be across all cultures. Could it be more that this is showing the personality of the type of person who wants to be an AP instead?

SKNY March 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm

O wondering if Aupairs are actually honest or respond the test they think families want to hear.
You know.,. If I was filling the disc for a job I may choose words that I feel will make me look good vs being honest?

Should be working March 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Wow, this looks SO long on this blog page. My own document didn’t seem that long. Concision is not my strong point, clearly. Thanks for reading, everyone.

HM in Cali: DISC is one ingredient, part of an overall picture. I wouldn’t discount the candidate you are talking to. She sounds like an ‘Inspirational’, although the numbers you cite aren’t a way of presenting DISC that I’m familiar with. Inspirationals can be warm, playful and make great decisions, and I’m guessing can stick to details that they consider important. I think it’s more important to start with THIS candidate and see what you feel about her, and then check that against the DISC, also in line with your perceptions of her during interviewing. Again, DISC cannot tell you who will make a great AP, but can give you SOME clues for how people respond in different kinds of situations.

WarmStateMomma March 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm

It’s long because there’s a lot to explain. I really appreciated your explanation of how it works, how to understand my current AP, and how to apply it to the hunt for the next rockstar AP. This was really helpful, SBW.

AlwaysHopeful HM March 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Thank you so much for doing this post! I’m trying really hard not to cheat, and to take the test first, but I can’t figure out where to get it! Would you mind posting the site you used? I did take a free test a few weeks back, but I struggled through it (second guessing ) so I’m not sure how accurate it was. Also, I didn’t get detailed overall descriprions of the various profiles. Anyway, I’m trying really hard not to finish reading your post just yet…but it’s hard! I’m so excited!!

SKNY March 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm

oh gosh… I only took the free one, so decided to stop and wait until I take the $35 one before I continued reading (cant be done at work thought :( )
Just decided to comment because I have been waiting for this post for soooo long that I am kind of anxious about getting home and taking the test. hahaha

Should be working March 4, 2015 at 3:56 pm

I wish I had thought to ask for kickbacks. :)

Mimi March 4, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Love this topic! I’m also a huge DiSC fan and found out (with SBW’s prompting, posted in another thread) that girls we’ve had success with are practically identical in their profiles and that the ones that haven’t worked out are also practically identical in their profiles. I like high C individuals as APs, probably because I’m one myself.

When I found out how similar my successful APs were I had wondered if culture played any part of the profiles because they were all from the same geographic area, but what I’ve found is that research indicates that there are no meaningful differences in DiSC among traditionally defined ethnic groups. Overall, age appears to have little relationship with DiSC styles and although gender differences do exist, they are small.

I’m an objective thinker (C/SD). My profile says “You tend to avoid aggressive behavior, either on your part or from others, and you are likely to come across as a mild-mannered individual. Despite your calm demeanor, however, you probably have a powerful drive to control your own environment. You may try to achieve this control through your quest for accuracy in everything, which helps create rules and procedures that are to your liking.” No surprise here that I have a very structured household!

I think my profile works to my advantage in a few ways with my APs; diplomatic communication, systematic fact finding, using subtle or indirect approaches to conflict are found in high C people. On the flip side, I have to work harder to be aggressive/assertive when there are AP problems and be more flexible when things aren’t done “my way” but the end result is the intended goal.

Should be working March 4, 2015 at 6:25 pm

It looks line Onlinediscprofile dot com will let you do the Classic 2.0 for $35, am I right about that?

Also discusonline dot com slash udisc slash has lots of info and some of the profile/subtrait explanations.

Emerald City HM March 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm

I need to study this in more detail for sure, particularly the profiles I am not. I took the test years ago and know that I am High D and Low everything else.

I do wish I could get my husband to take it. I suspect he is extremely low I. He might be High S, but I can’t predict past that.

I am really glad that even more agencies have started using this, since I won’t go with CC due to the consecutive weekend thing.

Emerald City HM March 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm

I mean the 1.5 consective day thing.

A/BHostMom March 6, 2015 at 4:45 pm

We matched with someone from CC, and I don’t see anywhere on the website that the 1.5 days off have to be consecutive. I only see the State Dept regs which say 1.5 days per week. Do you have a link?

Emerald City HM March 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm
hOstCDmom March 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Its in the contract you electronically sign

A/BHostMom March 6, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Thanks! Kind of annoying because it does not say that in the US State Dept regs, just says 1.5 days off. Not that we go out that often on Saturdays, but still. Their rules can supersede the State Dept?

WarmStateMomma March 6, 2015 at 5:35 pm

I think agencies can add any rules they like, so long as no laws are violated.

TexasHM March 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Emerald City I am curious (and nosey) why the day rule is a deal breaker for you. I thought it was for us too but then realized we are fine with Friday date nights or Sunday date nights or if we want a Sat worked then I could get the kids on the bus on Monday am, no biggie. Just curious how you do The free weekend off per month but the other weekends would be a dealbreaker. Feel free to tell me it’s none of my business! ????

Emerald City HM March 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm

It’s only for now when our au pairs generally work 9 hours days. When they become school age and we have an au pair working part time, I’m actually totally cool with weeknight date nights. There’s nothing special about Saturday nights to me, I actually prefer not to go out. Right now it’s the aspect of keeping her under 10 hours a day that hoses the whole consecutive days when we do actually have a holiday.

My husband and I also do not get most of the traditional bank holidays, so that is also a factor at the moment.

TexasHM March 5, 2015 at 12:12 am

Ok I’m slow today I still don’t get it. I’m guessing you’re on the young children schedule Mon- Fri 9 hour days and all weekends off so the 1.5 day off per week rule shouldn’t be an issue there. And then if there’s a holiday and she’s off that’s 3 days a week off that week right? I was adverse to the 1.5 day block until I thought about it and realized we could work around any scenario I could think of. We could technically even do Friday and Sunday date nights and still be giving the AP 1.5 consecutive days off in between. Unless you’re saying there is a day in between there somewhere like your AP works 9 hrs a day Mon-Thurs and then 9 hours on Saturday so she’s off Friday and Sunday or some not consecutive combination like that. Am I getting warmer? ;)

hOstCDmom March 5, 2015 at 8:43 am

I think the issue arises when you need say 8+hrs/day, M-F to cover working time and you can’t shift that bc you have to be at work at certain times M-F; so, while in theory, you have 3-5 hours “left” in a week and wouldn’t go over the 45h/week rule, but if you wanted to go out on Saturday night for 3-5 hours, while you would be under the 45h rule, you would not be giving 1.5 CONSECUTIVE days off. And they can’t go out on Monday to Friday after work bc they have already used 8+hrs each of those days, so they don’t have “enough time” to go out and stay under the 10h/day rule. And I’m speculating that going out on Sunday is possibly undesirable or not feasible due to venues being closed/early work start on Monday etc .

TexasHM March 5, 2015 at 8:56 am

Got it. That I completely see. The 9-10 hour day schedule wasn’t computing for me because there wouldn’t ever be hours leftover. That and I am lame and have no desire to go out on Sat nights anyway! ;). Although in your 8 hour example I was thinking you would also have the option to do a Sat am breakfast date or lunch date, both of which are more appealing to crowd avoiders like me! ;)

Emerald City HM March 4, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Our au pairs only work 1 weekend every 2 months in the first place, but to be further restricted complicates thing for us.

NJ Mama March 5, 2015 at 6:49 pm

That restriction is a drag. I get home from work so late most nights — even Friday nights — that I’m usually too tired to go out. And Sunday nights for me is really for the whole family — it’s the one day a week we all eat together.

We probably only go out on the weekend once every two months like you do, almost always on a Saturday night. And maybe twice a year we meet groups of friends out — also on a Saturday night.

What’s the rationale behind the rule? Otherwise it seems like you’d have to take off on a Friday or Monday (my job doesn’t do half days), go out only on weekends when there’s a Monday holiday, or hire another sitter, for that rare occasion that you go out on a Saturday night? Just curious to know why they have it?

TexasHM March 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm

I was told it was because they felt like the au pairs needed a solid amount of time to recharge/make plans each week and like most rules, apparently there were many families having APs work everyday most weeks so they felt the need to institute their own guideline. In regards to your question NJMama if you wanted a Sat date night you could still do that if you had the flexibility to get the kids on the bus Monday am.

NJmama March 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm

I realize my email came across a lot crankier than I intended. Was just thinking… Gee, we rarely go out, and rarely go over 35 hours/week, how annoying!

I never thought that people would have their APs work seven days a week – four “full” days and three “half” ones. That’s a shame and now I understand.

TexasHM March 5, 2015 at 11:07 pm

Yeah I was put off at first as well honestly which is why I asked Julie Dye to explain it to me! ;)

SKNY March 4, 2015 at 9:52 pm

Asked my best ever Au pAir to fill one. She got extremely high S. Then she got close together D (24%) and I (21%), and C as last (15%). Trying to identify exactly what it tells. Wow

Anna March 4, 2015 at 10:28 pm

Thank you for this post. After 8 years of hosting, i am starting to dig this too.
It started with my work offering a workplace DiSC class. I found it very enlightening, both in learning about myself and my coworkers.

I am high D and secondary high is I.
Here is my shortcut for remembering those qualities, colored by who I am:
D- results oriented, achiever, straight spoken and sometimes perceived as not tactufl
I – party lover and bubbly, social
S- conflict avoider, meek (probably hardest for me to respect or get along with)
C – very detail oriented ,engineer type, sometimes anal, executes tasks well and follows directions well, accurately

I am with GoAuPAir now, and their color code personality has rough correspondence to DiSC (and yes, it is DiSC with a small i)
blue – motivated by intimacy – roughly C (or maybe C with some I?)
white – motivated by peace = S
yellow – motivated by fun = I
red – motivated by power = D

:I do have a perfect profile for our family; it is primary “blue” with secondary “red”. (or in DiSC, probably primary C with secondary D). I love the executive capability of C with initiative and backbone of D.

If you look at DiSC other than classic, like the workplace one that I took and am familiar with, now they have a circle divided in four colors; it helps understand relationships between the qualities. It goes in order from top left quadrant clockwise: D, I, S, and C. D and S are opposite on this “wheel”, and so are I and C. So I do think it is very hard to have a combination of them, I think. It is usually two neighbor qualities that can coexist in most people (like D and I, I and S, S and C, and C and D).

Should be working March 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm

That is one weakness with the circle graph. There are indeed profiles with high D and S (Achiever) and high I and C (Appraiser). The circle graph gives an impression of “opposition” of qualities that doesn’t exist in the Classic.

Someone on here listed themselves as high D and C, “Creative”. That is a really interesting profile because it is paradoxical in some ways: Drive for power and authority but also adhering to given structures. A close relative of mine turned out to have this, and suddenly some of the conflicts I know she gets into became more understandable.

Anna March 5, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Thank you, this is very interesting.

I have looked through much more au pair profiles on GoAuPair than CC, and it is very clear that the majority of au pairs there are dominant “blue” (the “do-gooders”, motivated by intimacy). Is there a dominant DiSC trait that is most common in au pairs? I think there must be….

NJmama March 5, 2015 at 9:26 pm

I took the free test and I was high D and high C. I didn’t know what to make of it b/c it does seem contradictory, and I wasn’t sure if it had to do with the mood I was in or some weird quirk in the test. Or some weird quirk with me lol! Sometimes the choices weren’t clear at all for me and I just went with whatever. In any event this whole thing has been very fascinating indeed.

SKNY March 5, 2015 at 11:00 pm

I have taken the test twice; once the free and once the paid, and scored that in both. I have a more detail info. Made sense at the time

Luana March 5, 2015 at 9:45 am

Oh how I wish APIA used such a profile test. We absolutely are going to stick with this agency due to other area LCC’s incompetence. I wish I could find a carbon copy of our current Au pair. She was all perfect on paper but I didn’t get a strong gut feeling over Skype so I was really unsure. So glad my husband prevailed! But now I don’t know how to go about finding someone similar.

Taking a Computer Lunch March 5, 2015 at 11:19 pm

Use her to help vet your next AP! A great AP can really assess the interest level of her successor.

WarmStateMomma March 6, 2015 at 11:23 am

Our current AP found her successor, but she doesn’t arrive for 2 more weeks.

Dorsi March 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm

I just accept that Skype is a very poor screening tool (for us, at least). I find people who look good on paper, answer my email questions appropriately, ask good questions about our family to show that they have actually thought about the information I present, and Skype so I can check that box.I don’t look at videos either!

SKNY March 5, 2015 at 10:53 am

Ok, so I finally got my results and evaluated a couple of things…
You guys who understand more… Help make sure I understood it.
I am a Creative pattern. From higher to low: D, C, S, I.
My favorite most loved au pair is an extremely high S, kind of tied D and I (I is one number lower than D), and a little lower C. I am not able to find which exact pattern she is (she took the free one), but I am guessing she is closer to an Investigator.
After reading and thinking about it, I feel like what would work best for me is a High S and high C, with a lower I and D (but not too low on neither).
Does that sound like something that makes sense?
Am I missing something?

WorkingMomX March 5, 2015 at 11:40 am

Serious shout out to you for this post, SBW! I find the DISC invaluable in discerning what makes an au pair tick. I’m a crazy high DI, very low S and C. I do appreciate working with other high Ds, but there’s a price you pay sometimes . . . This is just incredibly helpful and I’m going to share with all my host mom friends and our LCC.

Emerald City HM March 5, 2015 at 11:58 am

That’s exactly it. :)

Emerald City HM March 5, 2015 at 11:59 am

That’s weird I thought I replied to hOstCDmom below.

Texas5TimeHostMom March 5, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Super useful as I am interviewing for our 6th au pair now and this is on APC profiles for the first time in my experience! Having a hard time with qualified candidates but that’s another topic.

Taking a Computer Lunch March 5, 2015 at 11:03 pm

APIA does not use the DISC, but in 14 1/2 years of hosting, I have learned to judge AP personalities (I’m not perfect – I’ve gotten a couple of matches disastrously wrong). Having just taken the test last night, I learned that I’m a high D-I, low S-C, which does not surprise me. I’m a highly motivated, no-bullshit person. I hate passive-aggressives (I work with one and she drives me nuts), I hate whining, and I can’t stand people whom I perceive don’t try hard (failing doesn’t bother me – but not showing up drives me nuts). I don’t mind other dominant personalities at all – as long as they are right (AP #2, #3, #6). Once I learned from a classic introvert #7 about shyness and loyalty, I saw it and admired it immediately in AP #9. Downright defiant (#10) pissed me (and sweet DH) off – we went into rematch at 10 weeks.

The one who side-swiped me – #8 – she played me. She wanted to come to my community because her favorite garage band was 30 miles away. DH refused to go into rematch, even though he hated her as much as I by month 8. She remained manipulative until the end.

Some of you see years of matching – or the right to use school-based care and walk away from hosting APs – ahead of you. For me, the Camel is now 16. I’m in countdown mode. I had always fantasized that once she was past school-age, my work life would be more flexible. Just this year, I realized it would be as rigid as when she was an infant.

I’m not looking forward to it.

anna March 5, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Taken a computer lunch, you are my twin, both in personality and in preferences/likes/dislikes!

TexasHM March 5, 2015 at 11:13 pm

Interesting sidenote – it seems like there are a lot of high DIs (inspirationals) and DCs on here. What are the odds that those types are either more likely to host in the first place OR have personality traits that help manage the relationship???? ;)

anna March 5, 2015 at 11:31 pm

Agree. Hosting an au pair is a risk and somewhat a gamble – hiring someone you never met. Maybe being a D gives one confidence, optimism and drive to deal with it.

Nina March 5, 2015 at 11:35 pm

ok, so now I am freaking out. Our au pair who arrives next week is high I and low everything else.

I matched and then I was not sure anymore about the match, but then decided to go ahead with this match. Now that I read your description on this profile, it totally makes sense: he’ll be very social, but nothing else…

I guess we’ll have to figure it out or we’ll end up in rematch:(

Should be working March 6, 2015 at 1:56 am

Nina, it’s not so clearcut. That profile has great qualities too, and now you can know better how to manage that AP and what to keep an eye on.

We had an AP with that profile. She was so enthusiastic that she reminded me of all the great things in our area and life. She loved the kids with passion. She laughed at my every joke. And–not predicted by DiSC, she was our best cleaner-upper ever. Hated untidiness. Also she had worked real, crappy jobs so she was totally reliable and appreciative of our generosity.

She did need attention. She wanted to talk, be part of the family, share her sorrows. She got emotional when something didn’t go well. She had some petulant moments. She was maybe our most “teenage” AP in temperament.

And now that she is gone she is like a wonderful old friend, we email and phone and she always has insights about the kids.

Everyone– remember that DiSC is not a perfect forecast tool. High I can be very tidy. High S can be passive-aggressive. Someone with work experience might be better at handling long days. Someone from a large family can accept a noisy household. An only child AP might be thrilled to join a big host family. DISC does not at all give the whole picture of any one applicant.

SKNY March 6, 2015 at 7:03 am

True. The One down of our loved Au pair who happened to be very high S, was that when upset she was passive aggressive.

HostMomCA March 6, 2015 at 8:13 pm

+1 for SBW’s advice. The DISC, like any personality test or general assessment, is just a tool to understand how someone communicates. Definitely don’t freak out. Like all generalized tools, it just represents that at this stage in the AP’s life he will actively seek out people to interact with and will influence through interpersonal relationships. Other personality types will seek to use logic to influence others, your new AP will probably be very team-oriented and good at persuading people.

Here are some of the probable strengths about a high I person:
-Can see the “big picture” and communicate it
-Motivated by praise and encouragement
-Socially and verbally assertive
-Very optimistic
-People-oriented and team-oriented

Possible limitations of a high I person:
-May act impulsively — heart over mind
-May be overly trusting of people
-May speak too quickly without thinking
-May be overly optimistic

He is going to have his strengths and also his limitations, but if he arrives in a week you’re already ahead of the game and can prepare for his arrival AND for how you want to manage him. One of the challenges of hosting an AP is that each one needs to be managed differently.

I firmly believe that the DISC is just another tool for assessing how you will manage this person, not whether you should match with them in the first place. There are so many factors to the match — experience, skills, special needs your family may have, personalities, the family’s schedule, etc. — IMHO you should not match because of what a DISC test says. Instead, match based on your family’s needs and the connection you feel to the AP candidate. Then, after the match is confirmed, use both your DISC profile AND the AP’s DISC profile to manage your communication. Knowing how YOU like to communicate and how the AP likes to communicate will help you keep the relationship positive and productive.

(FWIW — don’t be afraid to share your own DISC assessment with your AP!! If you can tell them how you like to communicate and what comes naturally to you, it will be great for your AP to get that info right from the start.)

Nina March 7, 2015 at 12:31 am

Thanks! Hoping you are right!

Nina March 7, 2015 at 12:32 am


Nana May 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Just to follow up. We ended up in rematch with our high I and now I get back to this post frequently while looking at new candidates.

He was very outgoing, great with kids, enthusiastic as they say, but didn’t think ahead and put kids at risk with safety, didn’t comply until the mediation etc.

TexasHM March 6, 2015 at 9:26 pm

+++ there is no “right” profile on this. Every profile has strengths and weaknesses it is about being aware of them and using it to manage the relationship or better yet – if you know what profiles or traits make you batty you maybe screen harder a candidate that shows that profile. Just another tool to be used in conjunction with everything else – profile, skype, interview questions, handbook review, to give you a better picture of who will be showing up at your home and living with you for the next year.
I just had a random DiSC thought (now I’m hooked). I wonder if certain profiles are also better candidates for extension. For example, would an inspirational be more likely to set goals, stay engaged, stay positive as friends leave etc vs maybe a strong I that may beg to extend but could then potentially be crushed when the best AP friend goes home? Again, not that the DiSC predetermines success in every case, but just curious if a certain profile or strong trait tends to extend more often/more successfully or on the flipside, tends to not extend. (Maybe strong D accomplishes everything year one and then is ready to return home and move on.) Just wondering if any of you long time DiSC hostmoms have noticed a trend…

3txmom March 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm

This was so fun! Thanks so much. Just curious… I am a combo high d / high c. If anyone else is this combo, I would love to know what Au pairs have worked well for you? I feel in theory, I like the high I, but can’t take the drama that sometimes accompanies. And I need initiative takers. Just curious ..

TexasHM March 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

I am high DI and my husband is DC and our last rockstar and incoming AP are both high DI. Again, I think it depends on what personality types you do well with and like working with. Some strong Ds will not want strong D APs because they won’t want the potential challenge whereas some (like myself) it doesn’t bother. We had a high I and she was great but you’re right, when the boy she liked went away to college she was devastated and when her friends left at the end of their year she fell apart but she was also creative and dynamic and the most well liked and had the most friends of any of our APs so every profile has its pluses and minuses!

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