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New Series: Understanding DISC

Wayne Kehl | February 23, 2012


Understanding DISC...
This is the first in a series of newsletters in which we will explain the most common personality survey on the market today. DISC is the foundation of understanding for virtually every human personality type. The science of DISC is proven and trusted all over the world as the benchmark for all employee behavioural testing.
 D.I.S.C. stands for:
·         DOMINANCE
·         INFLUENCE
·         STEADINESS
·         COMPLIANCE
The elements of DISC are represented by a plethora of suppliers under a variety of aliases, including but not limited to colours, temperatures, seasons, bunnies and tigers and a variety of other pseudonyms. No matter what they are called, the elements of DISC are common to all personality types and vary in intensity from one person to another.
Here is a breakdown of what DOMINANCE, INFLUENCE, STEADINESS and COMPLIANCE mean in these surveys.
DOMINANCE: This is the element of an individual’s personality that indicates competitiveness, drive and a desire to win. Highly dominant people tend become angry more often than lower dominant types. Dominance is a task oriented trait so once a highly dominant person takes on a task, they become determined to see it through to the end. These people often appear to be stern and severe. Once they have had an angry outburst, they forget the source of their anger quickly and move on to other things. Highly dominant people will often be seen as intimidating by others.
INFLUENCE: This is the element of an individual’s personality that indicates optimism, trust, and a sense of humour. Highly influencing people tend to joke around a lot, talk a lot, and use other people to get what they want out of life. Almost completely people-oriented, they need to be in the company of other human beings as often as possible. Highly influencing people like flashy, expensive cars, clothing, houses and virtually anything else they can show off. They are optimistic to a fault and trust almost everyone a little too much. Highly influencing people will often be seen as the life of the party by others.
STEADINESS: This is the element of an individual’s personality that regulates the pace at which they do things. Highly steady people tend to hold off on decision making until they believe the decision is the right one. They like to do research and get the approval of others before they do almost anything. They are people-oriented and will usually be very sociable with everyone they meet. Highly steady people will take longer to do their work, but because they are very thorough, the work they do is generally of very high quality. Others will often see them as logical, thoughtful members of the team.
COMPLIANCE: This is the element of an individual’s personality that creates a need for rules and regulations in their lives. Highly compliant people tend to approach every challenge or project with caution and concern. Because they are task oriented, they tend not to fall for a sales pitch that is not accompanied by facts and figures. They are fearful of not following rules to the point that if no rules exist, some will make up their own rules and insist that others follow them. They are often seen by others as overly careful, unbending and somewhat resistant to “outside the box” thinking.
 It is important to understand that every personality has all of these elements in it to varying degrees. In other words, some will be highly dominant and low compliant, with a very low steady style and a moderate influencing style.
Understanding how the various elements of the DISC blend with each other is extremely important. Hence, you should avoid referring to someone as HIGH DOMINANT or LOW COMPLIANT since all of the 4 elements will come into play in a variety of situations.
In future issues we will discuss DISC blending and the effects of intensity on overall behaviour.
If you are interested in taking a survey or ordering one for someone else, please click on this link to order


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