A renowned Harvard psychologist, Dr. William Moulton created the foundation of the DISC model in the 1920s. He put together a theory that people develop a concept of themselves from the four said personality traits- Dominance, Inducement, Steadiness or Compliance.
The DISC model is built upon keeping in mind the 2 fundamentals of how people behave:
Observation 1: Some people are OUTGOING and some people are RESERVED. This can also be explained in terms of pace, some people are ready to participate or ‘dive into’ anything quickly. And some are more ‘cautious’ in selecting activities they put their energy into, slower.
Observation 2: Some people are People- Oriented while some are Task-Oriented. This is in terms of what people categorize as their ‘priority’ or ‘external focus’. Like some people put every ounce of their concentration in getting things done while others are more prone to attend to the feelings and behaviours of people around them.
One thing must be kept in mind about these observations about behavioural tendencies- neither of them is good or bad or right or wrong, they are simply different from each other. These are all normal behavioural tendencies that people all around us have.
The DISC model is so derived from- Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive and Cautious.
Now, based on these observations, there are four main personalities:
People have some percentage of each of these traits all present together but generally, one of these traits is dominant in each person. Meaning most people show 1-2 tendencies in their typical day-to-day behaviour more than the other tendencies. The DISC model shows how the balance of these tendencies or traits does shape a person’s outlook on life.
D stands for Dominance:
An individual with a prominent D style is motivated by success, competition, and winning. They prioritize challenges and take actions for immediate results. Their behaviour is described as direct, determined, demanding, self-confident and fast-paced. Often, internally they fear being taken advantage of.
I stands for Influence:
A person who has a prominent I style is magnetic, warm, optimistic and convincing in nature. They prioritize enthusiasm, taking action and collaborations. They get motivated by relationships, social recognition and group activities. Internally, they may fear the loss of influence and disapproval.
S stands for Steadiness:
A person who has an S type personality is motivated by opportunities to help others, cooperation’s and appreciation for their efforts. They prioritize collaborations and stability; they do not like being rushed through things. They may fear the loss of stability or offending others.
C stands for Conscientiousness:
Individuals with c type personalities are motivated by opportunities to increase their knowledge when they produce top-notch quality work and challenging assumptions. They may fear criticism and being declared as wrong.
In conclusion, people have all these traits in some or other percentage in their personalities. One or two of these tendencies tend to overshadow the others and a person’s behaviour and forms the basis of their personality.