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The DISC Assessment

Sep 01, 2021

An article published in 2019 by the Independent noted that more than 75% of all the Fortune-500 companies use psychometric testing during their hiring processes. Various types of assessments are used, like the Myers-Briggs personality test, the Ned Herrmann's method of psychological dominants, and the Gallup StrengthsFinder.

Today we will discuss one popular assessment tool in detail: the DISC assessment. The DISC assessment tool is broken up into four-sectors; Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance/Conscientiousness. And based on the results from the test you can conclude what an individual’s typical work habits, strengths and weaknesses are.

The DISC assessment tool can therefore be used to improve productivity, teamwork and communication amongst many other things. Experts say that it's not just useful when recruiting people, but it’s also good for building relationships in an already existing team, its motivation and development. In addition, DISC assessments can help you to choose your future career because you learn more about yourself.

The theory for this model was first described by the American psychologist William Marston (back in 1928 in the book "The Emotions of Normal People''). The theory helped professional psychologists to develop specialized questionnaires based on the information. You can see examples of such tests on websites like Whiley and Crystal.

Let's take a look at the DISC assessment tool in more detail. 

The DISC Assessment Tool

As mentioned earlier, the DISC assessment tool is broken into 4 sections; D, I, S and C. Each letter is different and every letter has its own characteristics. Interestingly, an individual may fit into more than one letter at any one time. So, let’s take a look at the letters in more detail.

  1. Type D - Dominance 

A person who is Type-D can be described as a competitive, determined, result-oriented, energetic and focused on quick results kind of person. This person likes to take responsibility and enjoys undertaking challenging tasks, and they can make sudden decisions.

D-types are usually good leaders because they are more profit-oriented, willing to take risks and can organize people.

  1. Type I - Influence 

A person who is Type-I can be described as a communicative, optimistic, people-oriented, energetic, enthusiastic and kind individual. They typically place a greater emphasis on relationships.

I-types are generally good at creative work and enjoy developing new ideas. They can easily encourage people and  dampen down bad conflicts.

  1. Type S - Steadiness 

A person who is Type-S can be described as a calm, helpful, great team member, attentive listener and reliable. They also place emphasis on cooperation. 

S-types like to feel part of a team and they like to bring people together.

  1. Type C - Compliance/Conscientious

A person who is Type-C can be described as an accurate, consistent, careful, good analyst, pays attention to detail, but may not see the whole picture and might not be very people-oriented.

C-types are better at doing work that requires attention and diligence, for example, analyst, HR specialist, accountant and clerks.

There are no good or bad types, and typically test results reveal that an individual is one or two letters at the same time depending on where they are in life.

What Do These Letters Mean For You? 

Knowing what letters you, or someone you work with are, means that you can tailor your work to suit the team and the workplace. 

For example, if your letters are SC-type and your manager gets a DI-type result, then you are likely to want to maintain a friendly environment, where you are always ready to listen to other people’s opinions. At the same time, your manager will want to obtain results, but you will adhere to this because you have C-type trends (compliant/conscientious). Therefore, you will strive for accuracy and quality in your work, which is the type of person who's likely to deliver the results the DI-type manager wants to see.

Knowing your manager’s letters means that you can find an approach to work with them. For example, if your manager is a DI-type then you know that you will get success if you express your thoughts clearly to them, you keep your messages short to them, and you listen to their opinion. 

On a similar note, you should be mindful not to overload your DI-type manager with lots of communication because they may not appreciate that. Instead you should pay attention to the project you are working on. You should emphasize the importance of such a project for the manager's reputation. Thus the I-type side of the manager will like this because they are image conscious.

Of course, there will always be other factors that influence the various letters. But it’s important to mention that each type has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, an overly confident and dominant D-type may seem rude, inflexible and push with their own opinions. On the other hand, C-types are more likely to retreat into themselves. 

In addition to this, a DISC result describes the person's reaction at a specific moment in time, so your letters may change and develop over a period of time. If you changed jobs or teams, you may change letters, for example

Interestingly, you can identify what type of letter a person is without a test, just pay attention to how the person is dressed. D-types usually wear expensive accessories to emphasize their status, while I-types strive to stand out, so they’ll wear something bright and modern. Obviously, this doesn't always work out every single time, but it can be useful when you’ve just started a new role and you’re trying to figure things out. 

DISCs in the media

A recent article published on the HR Vision Content Hub gave examples of the most famous people in the world and their DISC profiles. 

For example, the very well-known actor Will Smith is an I-type, because he is inspirational, persuasive and influential. Another example is David Beckham, who is an S-type. He is a very stable individual who is also sincere. Not only is he incredibly supportive but he does a lot of charity work too.  

How To Find Out What Letter(s) You Are?

You can complete a free DISC questionnaire to see what letter(s) you are most like. Then you can learn more about what those letters mean to you. Click here to start your DISC assessment. 


We hope that the DISC assessment tool will help you to learn more about yourself, perhaps it’ll help you to decide on the type of profession that you’d like, and maybe it’ll help you to find a suitable way of working with a colleague at work.


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