what is dISC?
It is important to understand that every person is unique in their own way; they have their unique set of personality traits.
The perspective of every person is built into their defined personalities. You can call it ‘personality ‘traits’ or ‘temperament’.
Every person reacts differently than you and each other. You may wonder why they reacted to this in a particular way or what they were thinking.
The very starting point of understanding everyone or people, in general, is accepting the fact that- everyone is not like you!
The same things can be perceived differently by two different individuals, and they will have two different reactions to it.
You also need to accept that differences are not bad; they are just different from what you know.
What are the 4 disc personality types?
DISC is a personality assessment tool utilized to improve and optimize teamwork, performance, leadership, work productivity, communication, sales, and more.
DISC is what measures personality and behavior style under the reference points of four essential factors.
It is an acronym for the four types of personality styles that constitute the DISC model of personality and behavior.
These are the 4 disc personality types:
- D – Dominance
- I – Influence
- S- Steadiness
- C – Conscientiousness
It is a simple yet very profound and extensive tool to understand the personality and behavior of people.
The lack of understanding the Human behavior leads to misunderstanding and conflicts in workplaces, relationships, projects, and other ecosystems.
All that further leads to affecting the productivity, efficiency of people, their happiness, and peace of mind as well.
Who Developed DISC Theory?
Dr. William Mouton Marston from Harvard University conducted the research on DISC theory.
He crafted a method of recognizing predictable approaches, behaviors, and actions along with a consistent set of personality traits on the basis of the DISC model.
He narrowed it down to four distinct DISC personality traits on the basis of which this categorization can be done.
Dr. Marston founded DISC Theory in the 1920s when he was researching for writing his book, The Emotions of Normal People.
He basically created this method to identify the personality traits and behaviors of people in their day-to-day lives.
Since then, there certainly has been more psychological advancement, more accurate measure dynamics, and theory incorporated into the DISC theory. However, the core principles of the DISC theory remain the same.
History Of DISC Theory
Ancient History Behind DISC Model
The History of DISC actually goes way back to 444 BC, before it was founded by Dr. William Mouton Marton in the 1920s.
The very history of DISC theory started with the elements of Fire, Air, Water, and Earth.
These four different quadrants of the DISC theory were originally written by Empodocies in 444 B.C.
He was the first to identify that people apparently act in four different and distinct ways that can be categorized.
Epodocies also believed that external factors, the environment itself, affect how people act or behave.
It was foundationally so strong that it is still popularly used in the field of astrology to define personality style.
The Four Temperaments
However, these four distinct quadrants that were earlier known to be impacted by external factors shifted by 400 B.C.
It happened when the history of the DISC model was redefined by Hippocrates, who said that it is internal factors that impact these personality types.
Then he names these four quadrants Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, and Melancholic, calling them four temperaments.
Carl Jung & The Myers-Briggs Personality Test
From that stage of historical grounds for DISC profile further advanced when the world started seeing some major psychological advancements.
But it wasn’t until 1921 when famous Carl Gustav Jung re-worked on these four distinct quadrants, re-examined and tested for that time.
He realized that it is indeed true that personality styles do come from internal factors but he again re-defined these quadrants on the basis of how people think, receive, and further process information.
So now, these four quadrants become Thinking, Feeling, Sensation, and Intuition which become the factors to test under Myers-Briggs Personality Test (MBTI).
The Birth Of DISC Personality Styles
As further the history of the DISC profile advanced and moved further, finally, it came to form as we know it today.
It didn’t happen until Dr. William Moulton Marston found and identified the four quadrants of the DISC profile.
Actually, Dr. Marston came to research for the book ‘Emotions of Normal People’ where he created this tool to identify personality behavior and actions of people.
His approach is more on the side of understanding normal people and how their behavior and personality traits can be identified and categorized.
His research led him to find out that personality traits and behavior are indeed impacted by internal factors but also largely by the external environment as well.
But again, the DISC profile as we know it today didn’t come until 1940, when Walter Clark took the same theory and finally developed the first DISC profile.
That is the DISC profile we’re still using to date!
The Development Of DISC Profile
The Inception Of DISC Profile: William Moulton Marston (1920)
American Psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston is known to be the founder of DISC Profile in the early 1920s.
He set out to understand and explain how the emotional responses of normal people work with different stimuli.
In his quest to understand it better, he created this four-dimensional model of personality traits and the behavior of humans.
He named these different quadrants on the basis of the four emotions is Dominance, Influence, Submission, and Compliance.
This was the first time the model was called out to be DISC as the abbreviation of all these four emotions as we know it today.
What was initially a research work for his book ‘ The Emotions of Normal People’ was now more of itself a project to work on for Dr. Marston.
He further developed it and made it a devised system of identifying human behavior, but it was never a proper assessment tool or DISC profile instrument to measure behavior.
Dr. Marston was more focused on creating these descriptive categories to understand the practical application of this very model and whether or how it may be possible.
This has become the foundation on which the DISC profile is further developed since it was first introduced in 1972.
In fact, since then, it has been known to be used by more than 50 million people for different purposes, including psychological advancement, research, team-building, and more.
All of this research that Dr. Marston did was based on these four different emotions on the basis of which every individual responds, also mentioned in his book.
Since most of his research work was always done on people with mental or psychological illness, he decided to now do research on ‘Normal people.
He wanted to understand how normal people respond in different circumstances, their emotional responses, and their behavior.
He also believed that the behavior of any person is their perception of their environment and its impact on them.
According to him, the perception of their environment impacts their behavior more than the environment itself.
How they perceive their situation, and environment, and how people define their reaction towards it is what Dr. Marston suggested.
Marston also mentioned how effective people are capable of behaving according to their environment as they have the ability to predict the expectations as per the environment and then decide their appropriate response.
So, in other words, he shared how understanding our responses towards situations, environment and people makes us better equipped to recognize the true happiness of our lives.
The Activity Vector Analysis: Walter V. Clarke (1940)
The research on the DISC profile was further taken by Walter V. Clarke, an industrial psychologist in the 1940s.
Using the same research, he created Activity Vector Analysis, a tool that measures how people see themselves and what they believe about how other people see them.
Under his work, participants were able to complete the questionnaire twice as per their focus.
Further, those combinations of the answers with a change in their focus determine human behavior.
He also upgraded the four quadrants as Marston, but unlike him, he used four different factors Aggressive, Social, Stable, and Avoidant.
The First-Choice Assessment Tool: John Cleaver (1950)
In 1950, John Cleaver’s assessment tool was finally completed.
It was actually the very first forced-choice instrument that was based on the model of Marston’s four-dimensional factors of human behavior.
This was a questionnaire including 24 mandatory questions to be answered where participants were expected to choose two out of four words for every question.
Participants have to choose at least one word which they feel least like and one which they feel most like them.
The First Version Of DISC Profile: Dr. John Geier & Dorothy Downey ( 1970)
It won’t be wrong to say that it wasn’t until the 1970s that the DISC profile as we know it today began to take its true shape.
The very well-recognized and fleshed-out DISC profile as you know it today finally came to its first version of it.
It happened when Dr. John G. Geier and Dorothy Downey used the 24-question assessment of John Cleaver and were finally able to identify 15 different behavioral patterns.
Dr. John Geier moved further, and he authored the DISC Personal Profile System (PPS), which was created on the works of Marston, Clarke, and Cleaver.
This PPS was known to be the very first version of the classic DISC profile known today across the globe.
The Trademarking Of DISC Profile (1984-2012)
Curt Carlson a fellow college alumnus of Dr. John Geier and Dorothy Downey, purchased their company Performax System Internal in 1984.
Around ten years later, the PPS was again updated, re-examined, and re-validated as well.
It included more modern wording, new advancements, and updated psychological theories to make it more accurate.
DiSC PPS 2800, the updated version that encompassed 28 tetrads, was finally first published in 1994.
Curt Carlson died in 2000, and that’s when the Riverside Company purchased the company again from Carlson companies. They further changed the company name to Inscape Publishing Inc.
John Wiley & Sons acquired Inscape Publishing Inc. in February 2012 and continued to further develop DiSC product offerings.
Many companies started to duplicate the DISC model to alter it to create their own version of it.
DISC Personality Types
Personalities that score high exclusively in the Dominance (D) area of DISC Personality type are highly inspirational and focused.
They are also the kind of people with strong will and also very independent, free, and self-reliant.
These personalities want to do things by themselves and enjoy taking calculated risks. Such people tend to focus more on the ‘big picture rather than be short-sighted.
You would find them more inclined to do the big steps in the long process where they are able to delegate their day-to-day tasks to others.
D-Type personalities have a preference for a faster-paced working environment.
They are more task-oriented and strive to be highly indulgent in their work. However, you often find them struggling with planning and detailed work.
They also have issues with managing teamwork as well. These personalities basically come with their impatient and pressurizing predispositions that come across as quite intimidating.
DC: Dominance and Conscientiousness
The DC Personality type is the kind of personality that has Dominance (D) but along with influenced by Conscientiousness (C).
These personality types emerge as leaders with more focus on overcoming challenges and driving results with higher efficiency at work and accuracy.
You would see the dominant part of these personalities quite similar to the Dominance (D) personality type.
Such personality types are often overachievers. They are highly driven and motivated to achieve success.
But they are also the type of people who rather focus on the instant satisfaction of short-term success and triumphs; they prefer to step back and introspect the long-term impact and intangible advantages they gain from the decision.
DI: Dominance and Influence
DI personality type includes the predominant combination of Dominance (D) personality with Influence (I) personality.
Such personalities are creative in their approach, and they mostly bring it into their work environment.
You would also notice they often strive to innovate in their given space, try new things, and come up with fresh ideas rather than just sticking to what’s there.
They seek something out-of-the-box and apparently get along great in teams. They have a strong sense of direction and urgency as well.
What they aren’t is analytical or detailed, so any work or type of task that requires detailing is not their strong suit.
In fact, it is better to stay steer away from those kinds of careers that include such descriptions predominantly.
They are more on the side of spontaneity and bringing change. DI personality types thrive on adapting to the changes, and they are quite excited about it.
So you won’t find them enjoying slow-paced and tiresome occupations or jobs.
People with Influence (I) personality types are highly sociable and energetic. However, they still look for recognition with some level of verbal approval on what they do.
Such personalities have the ability to highlight or indicate positive things, even in the most difficult or negative situations.
And that kind of quality makes them great communicators when they want to put across their messaging in the workplace.
Influence (I) personality types possess very strong socialization skills because they have a very friendly and outgoing nature.
These personality types often seem to have trouble maintaining consistency and running on predictable work routines.
Due to this, they are unlikely to achieve success in careers that predominantly focus or work on too much structure or routine.
You also see that the I-Type personality is more people-oriented. They look for more faced-paced workplace surroundings.
Such personality types need regular interactions with other people to remain excited and energized.
Also, they tend to choose such occupations or career options that come with teamwork and collaborative tasks.
ID: Influence and Dominance
First of all, the ID-Personality type should not be confused with the DI-personality type as in the first one, Influence is the dominant trait, whereas the latter one has Dominance as a dominating trait.
People with ID-personality type have predominantly Influence (I) style inhabited along with some influence by Dominance (D).
These personalities are basically motivated by the feelings they have after the triumph of their team.
They also have highly motivated extrinsic values such as appraisals, job promotions, etc.
ID personality types are highly passionate about their work, and they tend to work even better when they get opportunities to take risks.
These personality types are also quite gravitated towards positions that are in less traditional environments, such as remote working, fieldwork, outside sales jobs, etc.
They are the kind of people that, if you find them on your team, you will be able to keep them engaged in extensive work by merely encouraging them to share creative, unique ideas and innovative solutions.
IS: Influence and Steadiness
When these two traits, Influence (I) and Steadiness (S), combine together, they make up for a unique personality type called IS- personality type.
These personalities are intent listeners and quite empathetic in nature. They consider peace and harmony to be highly valued.
They also try to make every situation possible and eventually succeed in one way or another.
These personality types have their primary goal to promote others and help them grow their skills and abilities.
Such people feel more satisfied and content when they interact with the people around them. These people use their kindness to build strong connections with people.
However, it happens a lot that their desire to extend friendship with someone hampers them from being in an authoritative position.
Such personalities also despise routine or consistency. They tend to have problems while making plans and rational decisions.
The S personality is the kind of personality that particularly serves as a bridge between the administration or management and their workers.
It is because they are dependable, sincere, and have the ability to apprehend different sides of a situation.
You would see them becoming quite a mediator when it comes to due to their exceptional listening and capability to understand different perspectives.
These personalities are deliberate in their actions but also very thoughtful and decisive.
They certainly don’t like to take big risks, irrespective of the fact of how big or small the payoff is.
S types prefer slower-paced working environments as them being more people-oriented.
What they really struggle with is dealing with people who are unruly or angry, anyone giving them negative feedback.
S-personality types also often seem to be failed in emotionally dense circumstances or surroundings.
SI: Steadiness and Influence
To begin with, the SI-personality type is different from IS personality type we’ve mentioned earlier.
Just like the IS-personality type, SI personality type also combines the Steadiness (S) and Influence(I) but in different ratios.
Steadiness (S) is a more dominating trait of SI-personality type individuals, followed by traits of Influencer (I).
This makes them more supportive and team-oriented. Such personality types are great at bringing people together to form an effective and efficient team.
They are great listeners, are more understanding to people, emotionally available to others, care about their feelings, and are empathetic to them as well.
Such a line of qualities makes them strongly suited to work in a team and shapes them to be great leaders.
However, they are also very capable of working independently when required.
SC: Steadiness and Conscientiousness
SC-personality type combines Steadiness (S) and Conscientiousness (S) together with dominating characteristics of Steadiness over the latter personality trait.
These personality types prove to be highly pragmatic and logical beings, efficient employees who are determined to get the task done the very first time.
You would necessarily find them to be tech-savvy, but they are efficient with technology while working or simply know of things that they are responsible for.
Professionals with such personality types are meticulous in their job and very well organized with their work.
They are truly good at and also enjoy making detailed laid-out plans, guidelines, and rules.
You would find them comparatively less social than other personalities from DISC profiles.
The personality type is known to be Conscientiousness (C) found to be striving for accuracy and perfection.
Rather than being people-oriented, they are heavily task-oriented individuals and also prefer to work in a slower-paced environment.
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“Vision, strategy, and inspiration – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of “TheLeaderboy” dedicated to leadership and personal development. As a self-taught practitioner, I have been studying the principles of effective leadership for the past decade and my passion lies in sharing my insights with others. My mission is to empower individuals to become better leader