DISC Behavioral Assessments
What Are DISC Assessments and How Do They Work?
DISC is a simple, practical, easy to remember and universally applicable model. Based on the research of Dr. William Moulton Marston, DISC is the most widely-used behavior identification tool of its kind, supported by decades of research and continuous validation.
It focuses on individual patterns of external, observable behaviors and measures the intensity of characteristics using scales of directness and openness for each of the four styles:
Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientious.
The DISC Assessment and Report makes it easy to identify and understand our own style, recognize others and cognitively adapt to different styles, and develop a process to communicate more effectively with others.
People generally make the mistake of assuming that others interact and think the same way they do, and many of us grew up believing in The Golden Rule: treating others the way you would like to be treated.
In addition to building personal effectiveness in relationships and communication, many of the world’s most forward-thinking and successful organizations have relied upon our DISC expertise to provide them with distinct competitive advantages:
Increase Commitment and Cooperation
Build Effective Teams
Resolve and Prevent Conflict
Gain Endorsement, Credibility, Rapport
Know or Understand Others (interpersonal skills, communication preferences, behavioral strengths, potential areas of improvement)
Build common language
Understand the communication preferences of others and become a more valuable employee, manager and team member (person, partner, friend)
What Is DISC?
DISC is: needs-motivated, observable behavior and emotion. It is a combination of nature (inherent) and nurture (learned).
DISC is NOT: a measure of intelligence, skills, education or experience, or an indicator of values.
What are some observable behaviors of each style?
How can DISC be used?
Change Management - Learn behaviors for transforming resistance into receptivity.
Coaching & Mentoring - Discover how to help others consistently achieve their potential.
Conflict Resolution - Bring clarity and understanding to otherwise disparate behavioral styles.
Customer Service - Teach administrative and customer support teams how to dependably provide stellar service and interaction regardless of behavioral style.
Hiring & Selection/Bench marking & Comparison - Empower business owners, managers and HR professionals with the ability to compare new applicants to desirable job-performance benchmarks.
Leadership & Management Skill building - Empower your organization's leaders with the ability to get the most out of their teams by dependably and genuinely motivating their staff.
Sales Training - Drive revenue by teaching even the most novice or experienced sales professionals the keys to identifying and harnessing identifiable behaviors in their prospects.
Team building - Create your teams based on compatible skills and traits, not just generic ideas of balance.
Productivity - Plan meetings and projects with differing behavioral styles in mind to ensure best outcomes.
What does DISC stand for?
The DISC model uses four behavioral reference points. A formal assessment goes much deeper, but an overview of the four styles are:
People with the D style place an emphasis on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results. They are fast-paced and task-focused.
A person with a D style…
is motivated by winning, competition, and success
focuses on accepting challenges, taking action, and achieving immediate results
is described as direct, demanding, forceful, strong-willed, driven, determined, and self-confident
may be limited by lack of concern for others, impatience, and stubbornness
may fear losing control, being taken advantage of, or being seen as vulnerable; values competency, action, concrete results, and challenges
values results and action, getting things done now
When communicating with D-style individuals, give them the bottom line, be brief and quick, focus your discussion, avoid making generalizations, refrain from repeating yourself, and focus on solutions rather than problems. Allow them to make choices and have control.
People with the I style place an emphasis on shaping the environment by influencing or persuading others. They are fast-paced and relationship-focused.
A person with an I style…
is motivated by social recognition, group activities, and networking
focuses on spontaneity, collaboration, and expressing enthusiasm
is described as convincing, charming, enthusiastic, charismatic, trusting, and optimistic
may be limited by lack of follow-through, impulsiveness and being disorganized
may fear loss of social approval, being alone or ignored; values spontaneity, dreaming, freedom of expression, and a variety of relationships
values social acceptance and interaction, fun and excitement
When communicating with I-style individuals, share your experiences, allow them time to ask questions and talk openly, and don’t get frustrated with a quickly moving, sometimes scattered conversation. Focus on the positives, avoid overloading them with details, and don't interrupt. Follow up in writing.
People with the S style place an emphasis on cooperating with others within existing circumstances to carry out the task in a steady and predictable manner. They are slower-paced and relationship-focused.
A person with an S style…
is motivated by cooperation, opportunities to help, and sincere appreciation
focuses on collaboration, maintaining stability, and giving support
is described as calm, patient, predictable, deliberate, stable, and consistent
may be limited by being indecisive, overly accommodating, and a tendency to avoid sudden change without an opportunity to plan
may fear sudden change, loss of stability, and offending others
values loyalty, helping others, and security
When communicating with the S style individuals, be personal and amiable, express your interest in them and what you expect from them, take time to provide clarification. They may need some time to process. Be polite, and avoid being confrontational, overly aggressive, or rude.
People with the C style place an emphasis on working meticulously within existing circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy. They are slower-paced and task-focused.
A person with a C style…
is motivated by opportunities to gain more information and build their knowledge, show their expertise, and produce high-quality, accurate work
focuses on ensuring accuracy, maintaining procedures and protocols, and challenging assumptions with evidence and data
is described as careful, cautious, systematic, diplomatic, accurate, and tactful
may be limited by being overcritical, over analyzing, and isolating themselves
may fear criticism and being wrong
values quality and accuracy
When communicating with a C-style individual, focus on facts and details; minimize "pep talk" or emotional language; be patient, persistent, and diplomatic. C styles need time to process and respond so be sure to allow time for them to gather their thoughts and resources to formulate the best response they can offer.
How DISC Behavior Assessments Work
The good news about DISC assessments is that there are no right or wrong answers. They're also simple to take online, with some assessments taking as little as 10 minutes to complete.
Although a person’s Natural profile tends to stay fairly consistent over time, the Adapted style can change based on the environment, situation, or relationship and is a reflection of a moment in time. Some may consider taking the assessment again several years apart because the accuracy of the assessment itself is continually improved. Keep in mind, changes to behavioral style can also occur due to seasons of life and emotional experiences. It’s always a good idea to continue to evaluate your behavioral patterns to build awareness of how you are responding to various situations, environments, and relationships.
Scoring and reporting can either be done electronically or in a few simple steps if you take a paper version of the assessment.
Taking a DISC assessment involves answering a questionnaire about your own behavior by choosing descriptors most like you and least like you. From your selections, an algorithm returns your personal behavioral blend and your scores produce a profile report. You'll be able to read about your unique behavioral style, your tendencies, needs, preferred environment for greatest opportunities to be effective, and strategies for adapting behavior appropriately with others. You will also learn more about your strengths and potential challenges.
Reports also include insights about other DISC styles so you can learn more about how others act and what their strengths and weaknesses are as well. When you do this in a work team setting, you will end up with a greater understanding of your workplace colleagues to help you with effective communication strategies going forward.
Some people are concerned that DISC profiles can place unfair labels on people. For example, you might have heard someone dismiss someone’s action or comments with a remark like “She’s a D, what do you expect?” Assigning labels and rationalizing poor behavior are not what DISC profiles are about. Not all D styles behave or respond in the same way, especially when we consider the style blend. A DC will behave differently than a DI, even though their primary style is the same. DISC simply helps people better understand behavioral and communication preferences and priorities.
How Long Does the DISC Assessment Take?
In most cases, it takes 10-15 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
When you begin the assessment, you will make 26 selections of the words or phrases that are most like you and the words or phrases that are least like you. From these choices, the report algorithm determines the balance of your DISC blend and returns the comprehensive report tool.
It is important to note that not all vendors will have the same DISC assessment process. Some offer computer adaptive testing with up to 80 questions, and others provide a 28-item forced-choice questionnaire.
Because DISC is not a copyrighted model, vendors are free to use their own process. However, there are only a small handful of valid, scientifically-backed versions of DISC assessments out there. Be sure you examine the validity of the tools and pay special attention to the last time the data was validated.
What Does DISC Measure
DISC measures observable behavior and emotions. It does not measure intelligence, education, experience, aptitude, mental health, or values.
You may gain greater insight into how you respond to challenges, how you influence and interact with others, how you operate at your preferred pace, and how well you follow directions and function with structure in place, as well as many other tendencies.
When you are aware of these dimensions and know how to apply them effectively, you can use your style strengths or modify your style weaknesses to meet your needs and the needs of others.
A DISC report has three parts:
Part I helps you understand each DISC style and identifies characteristics, including the tendencies of each behavioral style. The overview of the model is provided to help you with a strong foundation of understanding in directness, openness, pace, priority, and the emotions of each style.
Part II focuses on understanding yourself and will reveal information about the tendencies that make you unique. You’ll receive narratives and visuals that support your understanding of your style as well as bullet-point lists including Communication Do's and Don’ts, Your Workplace Tendencies, Potential Areas of Improvement, How You Respond in Stress, and your 12 Behavioral Tendencies at Work. This section is all about you, and there are several pages devoted to helping you achieve a deeper understanding of your style blend.
Part III explores adaptability and offers actionable recommendations for you and others who interact with you. This section is designed as a resource to assist you in communicating more effectively with others and includes multiple tools to help you practice your new DISC knowledge and guide your continued development and implementation in your everyday environments.
Our Reporting, Research, and Validation
Assessments DISC TALENT maintains the highest standards of development and application through extensive research and we diligently work to validate and ensure our reports are accurate. Each report is designed to provide clear interpretations and feedback based on the individual’s self-perception score that is then confirmed with face validity (to ensure the assessment measures what it says it will measure).
We also practice a philosophy of transparency and openly share our rigorous reporting, research, and validation information to ensure a high degree of confidence for use in business, non-profit, coaching, or counseling. Our research reports are publicly available here.
DISC Assessment Test Sample Reports
Click on the links for each assessment below to view each sample report. Note that the foundations of the reports are the same: each DISC assessment begins with the DISC-Self report, and the Leadership, Sales, Service, and Coaching reports provide a specific appendix for each focused content area to help you apply DISC.
DISC Self - Describes "you" based on your observable behavior and can provide insights for others regarding your communication preferences as well as how you will likely interact with and respond to them. This self-perception report allows you to observe and evaluate your behavioral responses in various environments. By exploring your behavior and communication in a variety of environments, situations or relationships, you can determine the most effective communication strategy or course of action to take with others.
DISC-Motivators Combination – By combining DISC and Motivators, you can not only apply what you’ve learned about your behaviors and emotions, but also align them in ways that reflect what matters most to you (your motivations). This combination report allows end-users to evaluate how their behavior is in alignment with or in a position of tension against their core values and motivational drivers.
There are also ready-to-teach DISC workshops available for those who want to have a complete solution to training DISC in a variety of contexts including: Self-Awareness & Communication, Transitioning from Peer to Leader, Trust-based Leadership, Making Teams Work, and Sales Optimization.
To find out more about our pricing, including wholesale pricing information, contact us by calling