The DISC Personality Assessment
The DISC personality assessment is one of the most popular personality assessments to date. It is completed by over 10 million people a year for the purpose of recruitment, personal development, team building and coaching.
The DISC assessment is a particularly helpful tool for furthering your self-awareness and gathering a deeper understanding of your personality and behavior. The DISC can also aid you in your career search by matching your strengths to the requirements of a given career.
The 4 Primary Types of DISC
The DISC personality test originates from the early work of William Moulton Marston in 1928, who introduced four personality styles that are influenced by: a) whether we view the environment we are in as being favorable; and b) whether we perceive ourselves as having control over the situation we are in.
Marston’s work was later developed by Walter Clarke in the 1940s, who introduced the DISC model that we all use today. The model measures human personality and behavior across four primary types, namely: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientious.
- Dominant individuals tend to be direct, strong-willed and forceful.
- Influential people are typically sociable, talkative and lively.
- Steady people are often gentle, accommodating and soft-hearted.
- Conscientious individuals tend to be private, analytical and logical.
The 12 DISC Personality Styles
The modern day DISC assessment goes one step further than four personality types to include 12 personality styles.
If you scored very high on one of the four original types, then you would have a single letter personality style. For example, if you are profusely self-reliant and independent then you may be a “D” style individual. Whereas, if your main focus is obviously towards harmony and cooperation, you may be an “S” style.
There are then eight double letter styles (Di, iD, iS, Si, SC, CS, CD, DC). These are combinations of the two primary types that someone scores most highly on, with the highest scoring coming first. For example, someone who is mostly Dominant but secondarily scores high in Influence as well would be a DI-style individual. Similarly, those who score the highest on Conscientious and the second highest on Steadiness would be CS.
These type combination are useful as they provide more accurate and personalized feedback about our goals, fears, strengths and areas for self-development. Some consultants, coaches and organizations may go one step further and explore tertiary traits too – so you can certainly find discussion about more than 12 DISC styles! It’s all a matter of how granular you wish to group similar trait combinations.
“DISC” vs. “DiSC”‘
The DISC assessment has been revised a lot over the years. If you’ve done your own research, you may notice that different DISC providers offer different names for the four primary types (e.g., Conscientiousness versus Compliance, or Dominance versus Drive). You may also notice different nicknames for each style. These things are all minor and down to the personality providers preference.
One core thing you may notice is the difference between ‘DiSC’, that uses a lowercase ‘i’, and the ‘DISC’, that uses an uppercase ‘I’. However, the difference between the two is actually really rather simple.
DISC has had a number of different publishers over the years. It was once published by a small company called Performax. They placed a printing order for the DISC assessment. However, when it got back from the printers it has a typo which made it DiSC. Performax had no budget to correct this error, so they decided to use this mistake and copyright ‘DiSC”. So, whenever you see ‘DiSC’, you know that the assessment is copyrighted and published by Wiley Publishing.
Is the DISCs Popularity Warranted?
Completing the DISC personality assessment is an excellent tool to aid self-reflection and self-development. It is increasingly popular because it is easy to administer, interpret and easy to apply to the workplace. It is a useful tool to help ourselves, and employers, understand how we communicate with others, solve problems and respond to conflict.
Like all personality assessments, the DISC has received some scrutiny over the years. Some argue that it is not an accurate measure of personality and that it ignores many of the fundamentals of personality. However, others argue that there is indeed scientific support for the reliability and validity of the DISC assessment; making it a useful tool.
Overall, the DISC personality test is so popular because of its simplicity and applicability. It allows individuals to reflect upon themselves and their own personality, increasing their self-knowledge. Here at The Career Project, we find the DISC assessment to be useful when considering which career path to pursue… and which career paths to approach with caution!
Taking the DISC Personality Test
Being comprised of only 54 questions and taking 5 minutes to complete, the DISC personality test is a great way to discover your workplace personality. For each of the 54 questions, you are asked to mark how words describe you, from ‘inaccurate’ to ‘accurate’. Words are those such as “deliberate”, “dominant”, “precise” or “cheerful”.
The free DISC report explains your behaviour across the four broad DISC styles and tells you which style you share the most interests with. When you pay to upgrade, you get to discover your personality in more detail. The upgraded report takes a look at the DISC style you related most too in a great amount of detail. You will get to know your core motivations and fears.
The paid report also includes look at how your personality style behaves in the workplace. You will explore your workplace priorities, your talents in action, your communication style, your conflict style, how you work in a team, what stresses you, how to improve your wellbeing, how to increase your effectiveness and how to work with others.