DiSC Assessment Styles provide powerful methods for understanding more about yourself and others. The DiSC Styles are increasingly popular and are based on theories developed by the Harvard educated psychologist, Dr. William Moulton Marston. His DiSC original theory recognizes four basic, predictable behavior patterns in human beings as reflected in their everyday observable behavior.
D i S C is an acronym for the four behavioral styles of Dominance, influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. DiSC Assessment Styles suggest that all people possess these four basic behavioral tendencies to differing degrees.
People with a D style are considered to be fast-paced, outspoken, active, and bold; they are also logic-focused, questioning, objective, skeptical and challenging. People who score high on the dominance trait always ask “what” and try to get things done immediately. They want to take action and get results. They challenge themselves and those around them. Their motivation is power, competition, authority, success and being a winner. If they are strong and are able to achieve, they feel like they are valuable. However, they are afraid of losing control and fear that they are taken advantage of or become vulnerable. Others see them as impatient, insensitive and not very empathic. They are very competitive, highly confident, direct, decisive and forceful and like to take risks.
If you communicate with someone who scores high on dominance, you need to get to the point and be brief, letting them lead because they need that authority. Stick to the topic and respect their need for autonomy. High D’s like others to be direct, straightforward, and open to their need for results. You should be prepared for a blunt/demanding approach, lack of empathy, lack of sensitivity; they may even seem to be pushy or even rude.
People with an i style are considered to be fast-paced, outspoken, active, and bold; they are also people-focused, accepting, empathizing, receptive and agreeable. People with high influence scores ask “who” and show a strong openness to other people. You will may notice enthusiasm, faster speech, lots of facial expressions, spontaneity and optimism.
Their priorities are around expressing enthusiasm, influencing others, talking about their emotions. and getting people to work together. They want social recognition, take part in group activities and crave relationships. If people like them or they are paid attention, they feel valuable. They are afraid to be rejected socially, fear disapproval, being ignored and loss of influence. Some will see them as being disorganized, lacking follow through and as being impulsive. They are optimistic, enthusiastic, charming and sociable.
When you are communicating with an influence style, you should be social and relaxed, allow them to talk about their feelings and recognize them in public. Let them tell you how they feel, keep the conversation light and provide written details. You should be prepared for attempts to persuade, the need for the spotlight, over-selling ideas and vulnerability to feeling rejected.
People with an S style are considered to be moderate-paced, thoughtful, cautious, and reflective; they are also people-focused, accepting, empathizing, receptive and agreeable. People who score high on the steadiness trait always ask “how” and try to get along with others. They want to cooperate and try to deal with the circumstances as they are. You will notice that they are patient, tactful, team players, good listeners, a calm approach and humility.
Their priorities are around giving support, maintaining stability and collaborating with others. If they feel useful this way, they know they are valuable. They worry about losing stability and harmony, change and offending others. Some find them over accommodating, indecisive and that they avoid change. However, their approach is calm and methodical, they are stable and patient, are humble and that they listen more than talk.
In communication give them the clarification they need, don’t confront them or show aggression, appreciate them sincerely and be systematic in your approach. Because they are resistant to change, let them go slowly into change. You should be prepared for difficulty with prioritizing and deadlines, resistance to change and a friendly approach to others.
People with a C style are considered to be moderate-paced, thoughtful, cautious, and reflective; they are also logic-focused, questioning, objective, skeptical and challenging. Those who are high in conscientiousness ask “why” and want everything to be correct. They think in an analytical manner so that everything stays stable, thereby ensuring accuracy. They want to be right, competent and self-sufficient. You will notice they tend to be tactful, quiet, reserved, analytical, precise and skeptical, motivated by opportunities to gain knowledge or use their expertise and attention to quality.
Their priorities are around challenging assumptions, maintaining stability and ensuring accuracy. They feel valuable if they are right or avoid being wrong. They are afraid that their work will be criticized, worry their methods are slipshod and hate being wrong. Some find them too critical of themselves and others and they may appear indecisive because they want to have all the data first. However, their behavior is cautious, precise, analytical and diplomatic and others find them reserved and quiet.
In communication give clear expectations and deadlines, give them a chance to show their expertise, value their high standards, and understand that they have little need to be with others. You should be prepared for resistance to vague information, discomfort with ambiguity, a desire to double check and little need to work with others.