What is A DISC Assessment?

by | DISC Assessment, DISC University

Can you get to the heart of someone’s personality in just 4 words? You might not be able to but a DISC assessment can sure help! DISC is an acronym that describes a behavior model created by psychologist Dr. William Marston from Harvard. He studied how individuals behaved in 4 distinct areas. Specifically, how they typically handled: challenges (Dominant), relationships (Influencing), pace (Submissive), and rules (Compliant).

The terms Marson used: Dominant, Influencing, Submissive, Compliant were words congruent with language used back in the 1920’s. Times have changed and we prefer to apply words that don’t feel quite so negative. We settled on the following: Decisive, Interactive, Stabilizing, and Cautious.
In his research, he made observations about each style. Here’s a 30,000 foot view:

High scores in the Decisive (Dominant) style reflect someone who leans toward assertiveness, directness, and a focus on results. People with this style tend to be decisive, confident, and results-oriented. They could be seen as having a dominant personality.

Those who rate high in the Interactive (Influencing) style could be characterized by sociability, enthusiasm, and a desire for social interaction. Individuals with this style appear outgoing, persuasive, and usually enjoy working in teams. You could call them influencers.

High Stabilizing (Submissive) numbers emphasize cooperation, stability, and a preference for a harmonious environment. People with this style can be known for their patience, loyalty, and ability to work well in a supportive role. Preferring to be non-confrontational, some have called their behavior submissive.

People higher on the Cautious (Compliant) style scale often exhibit accuracy, attention to detail, and a focus on quality and precision. Individuals with this style are typically analytical, systematic, and organized. They can be identified by their conscientious actions.

The DISC assessment provides a framework for understanding these four distinct styles and how they interact with each other. By taking a DISC assessment individuals can gain an understanding of their dominant preferred style and their strengths and potential weaknesses in each area. This knowledge aids them in many areas of life including communication, work style, and relationships.