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DISC theory, researched by Dr. William Moulton Marston at Harvard University, is a method of identifying predictable actions and personality traits within human behavior. Marston narrowed these predictable personality traits into four DISC personality types.
Organizations embracing DISC may benefit from improved communication, less misunderstanding, shorter meetings, less conflict, effective teams, more cooperation, more productivity, and improved financial performance. Key areas where DISC is particularly useful:
A Behavioral Language— DISC focuses on behavior not emotions. DISC is not a clinical tool, so no doctor visits are necessary.
An Understandable Language— DISC uses four main dimensions and their intensities, so it is a simple language to understand and remember.
A Universal Language— DISC may be the only language that is truly universal.
A Neutral Language— DISC does not have right or wrong, good or bad styles. All styles have strengths and limitations, and all styles are uniquely positive.
A Practical Language— DISC can be applied to life. It has practical and useful applications in social, business, and family relationships, and is a wonderful tool for self-development.
Human behavior is not cut and dry, or black and white, which is why DISC theory consists of a combination of four DISC personality styles. It's possible, but rare that someone only has Dominance within their personality traits, but more likely that they have Dominance as the highest factor, with Steadiness as a secondary factor, and a little bit of Influence as a third.
Taking into account someone's primary, secondary, tertiary and even absent personality traits allows us to see the unique blend of their DISC personality types and how this affects their everyday actions, personal preferences within different environments, communication with others, ability to organize, reactions or avoidance of conflict, and more.
By understanding someone's DISC personality blend, we can take proactive steps to placing that person in environments where they'll feel comfortable and empowered, approach them in a way that they'll react positively, and better understand and predict their actions and reactions in general. Human behavior is complex, yet predictable.
The DISC personality test, based on Marston's DISC theory, has been used in business and personal applications for over 30 years. Just like creating infinite new colors by mixing together primary colors for painting, DISC personality uses these four basic personality traits of human behavior and every person has a very unique blend. It's the "color palette of the personality." The DISC Theory research that Marston conducted in the 1920's continues today to give us great insight into human behavior and DISC personality types.
|General Characteristics||Direct. Decisive. High Ego Strength. Problem Solver. Risk Taker. Self Starter.|
|Value to Team||Bottom-line organizer. Places value on time. Challenges the status quo. Innovative.|
|Possible Weaknesses:||Oversteps authority. Argumentative attitude. Dislikes routine. Attempts too much at once.|
|Greatest Fear:||Being taken advantage of.|
|Motivated By||New challenges. Power and authority to take risks and make decisions. Freedom from routine and mundane tasks. Changing environments in which to work and play.|
|General Characteristics||Enthusiastic. Trusting; Optimistic. Persuasive. Talkative. Impulsive. Emotional.|
|Value to Team||Creative problem solver. Great encourager. Motivates others to achieve. Positive sense of humor. Negotiates conflicts; peace maker.|
|Possible Weaknesses:||More concerned with popularity than tangible results. Inattentive to detail. Overuses gestures and facial expressions. Tends to listen only when it's convenient.|
|Motivated By||Flattery, praise, popularity, and acceptance. A friendly environment. Freedom from many rules and regulations. Other people available to handle details.|
|General Characteristics||Good listener. Team player. Possessive. Steady. Predictable. Understanding. Friendly.|
|Value to Team||Reliable and dependable. Loyal team worker. Compliant towards authority. Good listener, patient and empathetic. Good at reconciling conflicts.|
|Possible Weaknesses:||Resists change. Takes a long time to adjust to change. Holds a grudge. Sensitive to criticism. Difficulty establishing priorities.|
|Greatest Fear:||Loss of security.|
|Motivated By||Recognition for loyalty and dependability. Safety and security. No sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. Activities that can be started and finished.|
|General Characteristics||Accurate; analytical. Conscientious; careful. Fact-finder; precise. High standards; systematic.|
|Value to Team||Perspective: "the anchor of reality." Conscientious and even-tempered. Thorough to all activities. Defines situation; gathers, criticizes and tests information.|
|Possible Weaknesses:||Needs clear-cut boundaries for actions/relationships. Bound by procedures and methods. Gets bogged down in details. Prefers not to verbalize feelings. Will give in rather that argue.|
|Motivated By||Standards of high quality. Limited social interaction. Detailed tasks. Logical organization of information.|