DISC profiles look at how you respond to certain situations, how to influence others and how you respond to co-workers. Employers use DISC to assess teams, communication and potential candidates. It has four key personality components:
Dominance: Relates to control, power and assertiveness
Influence: Relates to social situations and communication
Steadiness: Relates to patience, persistence and thoughtfulness
Conscientiousness: Related to structure and organization.
In the DISC profile, employers are asked to pick a description or word that is most like them and one that is least like them. Answers are plotted in one of four personality categories on the DISC circular or quadrant diagram. Because the DISC assessment focuses on four main behaviors, the DISC personality test is fairly easy to understand. Although everyone is a mixture of traits, one or two predominant personality styles usually stand out.
The DISC assessment is often used in the workplace because it focuses on behavior rather than intelligence, aptitude, mental health or values. Employers use DISC information to assemble teams that work and communicate well together which often results in more productive and efficient meetings. With less conflict, teams typically encounter a less stressful workplace.
Although there are four DISC personality styles, there are 12 recognized combinations. Each style has its unique strengths. Most people fall into one or two combinations in the DISC graph. The first letter indicates the most prominent style followed by the second influential area. Since a variety of companies offer DISC-related tests, the labels may vary. Here are the 12 results:
Employees who rank exclusively in the dominance (D) area are focused and inspirational as well as strong-willed, self-reliant and independent. They are self-starters who enjoy taking risks. D personalities tend to look at the “big picture,” identify the next best steps in a process and delegate day-to-day tasks.
D types are task-oriented and prefer a faster-paced work environment. However, they may struggle with teamwork, details, and planning. Their forceful and impatient predispositions may be intimidating, especially since they sometimes forget to include others in the problem-solving process.
The DC personality type has a dominance (D) prevalence influenced by conscientiousness (C). As such, they tend to be leaders focusing on challenges, results and accuracy. They are often overachievers driven by the motivation to succeed. Challengers could benefit from slowing down and taking time to listen to and understand others on their team. Instead of focusing on the instant satisfaction of short-term wins, they would do well to take a step back and survey the long-term effects and intangible benefits of a decision.
An employee with a DI style has a prevalent dominance (D) personality combined with influence (I). DI-type personalities are action-oriented and enthusiastic. They tend to bring creativity and innovation to the work environment, always looking for new and fresh ideas. Seekers are focused and tend to work well in teams with a sense of urgency and direction.
Since they aren’t particularly analytical or detailed, careers focused on small details may not be suitable for them. DI types thrive on change, excitement and spontaneity rather than slow-paced or tedious occupations.
Those with an exclusive I personality are energetic and sociable yet may seek recognition with verbal approval. They are the people who can highlight positive things in difficult situations, making them good communicators in the workplace. I types have strong socialization skills due to their outgoing nature.
However, I personalities tend to have problems with consistent and predictable routines. As a result, they are unlikely to thrive in careers that focus too much on routine and structure.
I types are people-oriented and prefer a faster-paced work environment. They require regular interaction with others and usually prefer occupations that entail a great deal of teamwork and collaboration.
Employees who rank as ID have a prevalent influence (I) style influenced by dominance (D). They are motivated by the feeling they get when their team is successful vs. being motivated by extrinsic value such as a job promotion. ID types are passionate and work better when they are awarded some freedom to take risks. They gravitate toward positions in less traditional environments, like working remotely or in outside sales. If an ID is on your team, you may be able to keep them engaged in the daily operations by encouraging them to share their bold ideas and innovative solutions.
An IS combines influence (I) with steadiness (S). IS employees are intent listeners and empathetic. They put a high value on peace and harmony and want to make every situation successful. Their main goal is to promote others to help them grow in their abilities. They feel most content when interacting with those around them and often use their kindness to build strong connections.
However, their desire to be friends may hamper their abilities as authority figures. They don’t like routine or consistency and may have trouble making rational decisions or plans.
The S personality often serves as the bridge between management and their co-workers because they are both sincere and dependable. They have the ability to understand all sides of a situation. They are great listeners, which makes them effective mediators.
S types are thoughtful and deliberate in their actions and aren’t likely to take big risks, no matter the payoff. They struggle when dealing with angry or unruly individuals, providing potentially negative feedback and often fail to be productive in emotionally charged environments.
S types are people-oriented and prefer a slower-paced work environment.
SI employees combine steadiness (S) with influence (I) to be team-oriented and supportive. They excel at bringing teams together to work effectively and efficiently. They tend to be very empathetic, great listeners and care about fellow team members’ feelings.
Because of these qualities, SI types work strongly in teams and can develop into great leaders. They are also good at working independently in roles that require them to collaborate with others, for example, technology consulting.
The SC personality combines steadiness (S) and conscientiousness (C). This results in a logical, pragmatic employee who wants to get tasks done correctly the first time. They may not necessarily be savvy with technology but they are technically proficient with the work that they are responsible for.
Professions that require a high level of meticulous, organized work suit SCs best. They particularly enjoy making plans, rules, and guidelines. Less social than some of the other DISC model personality types, SC types are often content with getting their work done and are described as even-tempered and reliable.
The conscientiousness (C) type strives for accuracy and perfection. They are data-driven, highly organized, detail-oriented perfectionists. C types tend to be very logical and aren’t easily influenced by emotions, which can be beneficial when working on a team.
They are very focused and insightful, yet they require projects that hold their interest. Whether researching a new topic or analyzing an important data set, C personalities can be very productive and thorough employees, especially when they love what they are doing.
C types are task-oriented and prefer a slower-paced work environment.
The CD personality displays a combination of conscientiousness (C) and dominance (D) traits. They are very detail-oriented, highly organized and enjoy doing tasks to their completion. This personality type will be assertive in the workplace. As managers, they have high standards and will engage in discussions with employees if expectations are not being met.
CD types in management should consider their coaching strategies. Communicating problems to employees is only half of an adequate management strategy. The rest includes developing the employee to ensure they do it the right way in the future.
A CS personality emphasizes conscientiousness (C) influenced by steadiness (S) and is defined by reliability, preparedness and responsibility to their teammates. They are very responsible and thrive in routine environments.
CS types can be shy, which may make it a challenge to be heard in group projects. They may feel more comfortable when they don’t have to ask questions, so if you manage a CS type, it is important to be thorough when giving instructions.