Have you ever wondered why DISC personality traits are so frequently used in the modern workplace industry?
The reason is that the DISC assessment allows employers to measure whether and to what degree their employees match the demands of the job.
As a result, they can predict how the employees can adapt to the company environment, follow the rules and deal with challenges.
DISC model personality types are one of the most common assessment instruments for understanding people and their personalities.
The tool consists of four major personality traits (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) and is used by millions of companies around the world.
In this article, you’ll learn what DISC personality styles are and why using the DISC personality test is so important. We’ll also provide examples for each predominant personality style of DISC.
What Are the 4 DISC Personality Types?
The DISC profile is a behavioral model first created by psychologist William Moulton Marston in 1928.
The author first introduced the classification of these four personality types in his book, Emotions Of Normal People.
“DISC” is an acronym for four basic personality traits: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.
Based on these personality signs, the DISC instrument assesses the differentiation among styles and how a person uses these traits to work with others.
The personality styles of DISC generally take the form of a circular or graph.
However, whether it’s the DISC circular or DISC graph, the main purpose of this tool is to identify how a person responds to certain situations, what their dominant personality traits are, and how this can influence their performance either at work, in school, or other areas of life.
Most importantly, DISC models focus on behavior instead of intelligence, basic values, skills, or psychological well-being.
Therefore, regardless of a person’s background and knowledge, employers use the information received from this tool to determine how well their employees can communicate with each other and predict their behavior patterns in the working process.
These are the four key personality traits of DISC:
This personality trait is related to power, control, and assertiveness. Dominant people tend to be direct, fast-paced, and strong-willed.
This personality trait is related to communication patterns during social interaction. Influential people tend to be sociable, accepting, and easy-going.
This personality trait is related to persistence, willpower, and patience. Steady people tend to be gentle, patient, and accommodating.
This personality trait is related to structure, organization, and dedication. Conscientious people tend to be analytical, skeptical, and logical.
Based on the answers people give in the DISC test, employers can find out their personality traits and possible behaviors that are expected from this person in particular situations.
What is the DISC Personality Test?
The DISC personality test is one of the most popular personality assessment instruments in the workplace all over the world.
The DISC measurement scales are designed to quickly determine the personality profile and major personality traits.
The main purpose of DISC tests is to explain and predict individuals’ behavior in order to improve communication, productivity, and teamwork in the workplace environment.
Generally, DISC personality tests are conducted online. You just need to fill out the questionnaire to determine your exact personality profile.
The test consists of 28 groups of four statements. The entire process of filling out the instrument usually takes 5 to 10 minutes.
Studies show that the DISC assessment is an effective way to raise self-awareness and improve teamwork skills in employees.
Besides, organizations use DISC profiles to train their employees without judgment, help them develop stronger sales skills, and solve problems productively.
Type D: Dominance (Meaning & Subtypes)
Type D from DISC stands for Dominance. People with the dominant (D) personality type can be task-oriented, strong-willed, and outgoing.
Generally, people with this personality type are independent individuals who aren’t afraid of taking risks.
They are willing to accept new challenges and easily manage to perform multiple tasks in stressful working situations.
Therefore, the faster-paced work environment is extremely suitable for them.
On the other hand, employees with the Dominance personality trait often struggle to keep an eye on details.
They are rather impatient and find it hard to include other people in their decision-making process. As a result, they prefer to work on their own instead of working in teams.
DI: Dominance and Influence
DI style (Dominance & Influence) is one of the most common styles of DISC personality traits.
People with a DI-type personality tend to have an innovative approach to life. As a result, they usually use their creativity in the workplace to solve complex problems and find original solutions.
DI personalities are also called achievers or seekers.
Unlike the D type, the combination of dominance and influence creates a more adaptive style, enabling people to work efficiently in teams.
Even though people with these personality traits aren’t completely analytical, they are flexible, which makes them eager to try new experiences.
Thus, employees with a DI profile also tend to prefer working in a faster-paced work environment where they can show off their creativity and imagination.
DC: Dominance and conscientiousness
The DC-style (dominance and conscientiousness) is another variation of the D personality type. However, this time, it’s influenced by C (conscientiousness).
People with this personality type tend to be perfectionists. They put all their effort into achieving better success than people expected from them.
They are eager to take leadership roles while working in a team and stand out from all the other employees.
DC personalities just can’t work in routine environments. They enjoy challenges and are in search of exploring all the possibilities available.
Therefore, a slower-paced work environment isn’t something suitable for them. Instead, they prefer to create their own schedule and get all the work done at their own pace.
Type I: Influence (Meaning & Subtypes)
Type I stands for Influence and expresses behavioral styles during social interactions.
People with the I personality type are known as sociable and energetic individuals whose actions are guided by assertiveness.
I personalities are a naturally outgoing, extroverted, and affectionate employees who enjoy working in teams and communicating with other people in the workplace.
They can easily notice positive things, even in difficult situations, and express warm feelings in order to help other people perform better.
Generally, the I (influence) type can’t concentrate on consistent routines. Traditional environments make them lose enthusiasm and motivation.
However, they can perform well in changing working situations where one can’t possibly predict the situation in advance.
ID: Influence and dominance
ID personality (influence and dominance) has the prevalent influence style (I) but is impacted by dominance (D).
They usually work hard in teams and try to help the company achieve success, but they aren’t motivated by genuine feelings.
Instead, DI personalities have extrinsic motivation, which means that they try to get things done in order to receive some specific rewards.
Whether it’s material rewards or appreciation from their co-workers, it makes ID types stay engaged.
Employees with an ID style can easily thrive even in challenging working environments as they are passionate about working hard and achieving their goals.
Besides, they are eager to motivate other team members because, in that way, achieving the collective goals is much easier and more effective.
IS: Influence and steadiness
IS style is a combination of influence and steadiness. Here as well, Influence is the predominant style that leads people to success and dedication.
IS personalities constantly try to step up to the career leader and get promotions as quickly as possible.
They are work-oriented, enthusiastic employees who find harmony among their co-workers as something valuable.
Having friendly and supportive relationships with their co-workers is a priority for IS personalities.
Even though they usually focus on maintaining harmony, they hate routine tasks and prefer to have the chance of growth and development.
Type S: Steadiness (Meaning & Subtypes)
Based on the Extended DISC validation study (2019), type S (steadiness) is the most prominent style worldwide of all DISC types.
Specifically, 32% of the worldwide population tends to have a steady personality type.
People with type S personalities are oriented towards other individuals.
They feel comfortable while working in a slower-paced work environment and struggle to deal with challenges and unexpected problems.
However, their advantage as employees is that they can look at things from different perspectives and evaluate the problem from various angles.
Generally, people with the S style find it hard to concentrate in emotional and stressful environments.
SI: Steadiness and influence
SI style consists of steadiness (S) with influence (I). Individuals with this DISC style tend to be supportive, empathetic, and understanding.
They are oriented towards people and enjoy helping others, even when it might slow down their progress.
Teamwork is something desirable for them, and engaging the team is one of the most desirable activities for SI personalities.
People with steadiness and influence personality traits are great listeners. They are motivated to help people solve their problems, but still, they can easily manage to achieve success on their own.
SI personalities make great charismatic leaders as they are enthusiastic about taking care of others’ needs.
SC: Steadiness and conscientiousness
SC personality type is a combination of prevalent steadiness (S), which is influenced by the conscientiousness (C) trait.
These two DISC personality traits create pragmatic, analytical individuals that can rationally consider all available alternatives before making final decisions.
They are practical, logical, and task-oriented people who can work well in traditional working environments.
SC personalities are focused on finding rational solutions to complex problems. They enjoy following guidelines and having a certain routine throughout the working day.
However, working in teams isn’t something for them. They have rather weak communication skills and prefer to work on their own.
Type C: Conscientiousness (Meaning & Subtypes)
Type C stands for conscientiousness. People with C personality types are highly organized, detail-oriented individuals who try to thrive in whatever they do.
They always do their best to achieve success. However, C personalities still manage to maintain rationality rather than being driven by emotions.
In simple words, people with conscientiousness DISC style tend to be perfectionists. They are focused on all the available data and try to be as accurate as possible.
They’re sincere, honest individuals with a pure motivation to succeed. They easily achieve their goals in a slower-paced work environment.
CD: Conscientiousness and dominance
CD personality type consists of conscientiousness (C) and dominance (D). Employees with this behavioral style enjoy working at their own pace.
As a result, they can’t always handle multiple tasks at the same time. CD personalities tend to be overly assertive and organized in the workplace.
Due to their organizational skills, CD types make great managers.
Conscientiousness and dominance personality traits help people with this behavioral style be extremely rational and remove all emotions while making decisions.
However, they often struggle to have clear and understanding interactions with their co-workers and often feel detached from them.
CS: Conscientiousness and steadiness
CS personality has a prevalent conscientiousness style (C) which is influenced by steadiness (S).
Employees with these two personality traits are described as responsible, reliable, and accountable individuals who prefer working in routine environments.
They are rather dependent types who prefer working with other people, but in communication, they tend to be shy and appear introverted.
CS personalities feel comfortable when managers give them tasks without asking any questions.
They ideally work at their own pace, but only if someone gives them the right instructions. They easily manage to follow guidelines and consider the demands.
Examples for Each of the 12 DISC Personality Styles
Each of the 12 DISC personality types differs from each other with specific behavioral styles in certain situations.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that although certain personality types have a tendency to behave in some ways, each individual is unique and might perform different behaviors from people of the same DISC types.
Still, they have more or less the same tendencies.
Let’s take a look at the examples of 12 DISC personality types.
D – results, action, challenge
Goals: Get exact results, overperform, win, compete with others
Fears: To be defeated, to seem weak
Leadership: Taking charge of the team, focusing on results
Career: Lawyer, architect, operations manager
DI – action, results, enthusiasm
Goals: Thriving at work, facing challenges, taking quick actions
Fears: Losing power, being taken advantage of, failing
Leadership: Searching for new possibilities, setting future goals
Career: Art director, public speaker, news reporter
DC – challenge, results, accuracy
Goals: Personal achievements, independence, accuracy, task orientation
Fears: Failure to achieve goals, getting inconsistent results
Leadership: Having high standards, engaging the team members
Career: Attorney, project manager, CEO, finance director
I – enthusiasm, action, collaboration
Goals: Admiration, acceptance, approval, popularity
Fears: Abandonment, blackmailing, rejection
Leadership: Building engaged networks, expressing charisma
Career: Graphic designer, filmmaker, creative director
ID – action, enthusiasm, results
Goals: Progress, advancement, innovative solutions, taking steps forward
Fears: Routine tasks, following fixed rules, lack of attention
Leadership: Looking for opportunities, taking action
Career: Travel agent, copywriter, content creator, CCO
IS – collaboration, enthusiasm, support
Goals: Supporting colleagues, communicating, friendship
Fears: Not being popular, not being appreciated
Leadership: Taking care of team members, expressing emotions
Career: Public relations, minister, teacher, counselor
S – support, stability, collaboration
Goals: Maintaining harmony, keeping balance, adaptation
Fears: Unexpected changes, disappointing people
Leadership: Diplomatic skills, open communication with the team
Career: Therapist, nurse, international relations
SI- collaboration, support, enthusiasm
Goals: Close relationships with people, affirmation, support
Fears: Antagonistic attitude from others, ignorance, hostility
Leadership: Affiliative leadership, praising team members
Career: Human resources manager, primary teacher, psychologist
SC – stability, support, accuracy
Goals: Fast progress, direct objectives, following rules
Fears: Chaos, disorganization, time pressure
Leadership: Compromises, fixed obligations, strict demands
Career: Scientist, data analyst, researcher
C – accuracy, stability, challenge
Goals: Facing challenges, stable outcomes, validity
Fears: Making mistakes, having to show emotions
Leadership: Clear communication, strong discipline, goal orientation
Career: Investment analyst, data analyst, software developer
CD – challenge, accuracy, results
Goals: Rational decisions, reasonable arguments, efficient outcomes
Fears: Losing rationality, failure, lack of success
Leadership: Focused on progress, having high standards
Career: Manager, CFO, social work, psychiatry
CS – stability, accuracy, support
Goals: Reliable relationships, steady results, security
Fears: Uncertainty, emotional burden, ambiguous situations
Leadership: Fair-minded leadership, modesty, fairness
Career: IT director, accountant, bookkeeper, chemist
Frequently Asked Questions About DISC Personality Types
What is the most common DISC personality type?
The S (Steadiness) type is the most common DISC personality type in the world.
In fact, 32% of the global population tends to be of the S personality type, showing signs of stability, predictability, and friendliness.
What is the rarest DISC personality type?
The D (Dominance) personality type tends to be the least common DISC personality type in the world.
In fact, people with the D personality type represent only 9% of the global population.
Which DISC style works fastest?
The fastest DISC personality profile tends to be DI (dominance and influence).
Individuals with DI personality types are goal-oriented, practical, and quick employees who prefer to get the work done as quickly as possible.
They are open to new experiences and tend to solve problems quickly and effectively.
What DISC personality do employers want?
IS type tends to be the most highly demanded of the DISC personality types. IS type is a combination of influence and steadiness, which is something employers are always looking for.
People with an IS personality type usually have an optimistic, easy-going attitude and easily adapt to the working environment.
What DISC style is best for leadership?
D-style personality types indeed make the best leaders and managers. The reason is that D personality types have the personality trait of dominance.
They are focused on controlling the environment and getting things done exactly as they are supposed to be.