DISC Personality Testing: How Does It Work?

DISC is a workplace assessment tool used to measure different key traits of one's personality. Abbreviated from the four dimensions it measures Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.


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It evaluates tendencies and preferences in how a person tends to think, naturally react, and respond to certain situations. It does not measure intelligence, aptitude, or mental health––each DISC profile depicts human behavior, for example, how an individual reacts to challenges or deals with rules and procedures. DISC can be seen as a powerful dialogue guide that creates an opportunity for more effective communication in the working environment without passing judgment on a particular type of person's behavior.

Taking the Test

Taking the test is easy and straightforward - you'll be given a series of statements and fundamental questions and asked to rate from one to five how strongly you agree or disagree with them. The spectrum of answers allows the test to really get at who you are and how you may act in various work and social environments. This helps ensure that people are placed in the most beneficial roles for their personal growth and success. Your honest input into these questions will provide invaluable insight for those conducting your evaluation.

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What to Expect in the DISC Assessment

Taking a DiSC assessment typically happens when someone is hired into an organization, with the human resources department asking new hires to take an online questionnaire.

On the questionnaire, the person will answer a series of statements that specify how much they agree or disagree with each statement, or behavior related statements such as “I prefer taking direction than giving it” or “I like helping people develop skills." Based on these responses, the system produces a self assessment report for the individual that can help them be a better team player going forward.

Remember that there is no one "right answer" – the most important thing is to be honest and give an honest reflection of how you'd typically respond in different situations. Knowing your patterns can help you make better decisions, live out your values, set boundaries, communicate more effectively, and ultimately lead to increased self awareness and success both personally and professionally by developing greater self-awareness.

Below is a sample of questions that you may find in a DISC questionnaire:

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Understanding Results and the Profile Report

Our personalities are made up of a unique blend of traits, and the DiSC personal assessment tool is great for helping you identify what yours consists of. The results may provide you with a combination of letters from the four DiSC quadrants - Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness- that give an indication of how you interact with people.

For instance, you may receive ‘Di’ as your combination, which suggests that dominance and influence are qualities that you possess in your entire personality and interactions with others. So, it's likely you have an assertive personality and like being creative in approaching situations.

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Dominance (D): direct, forceful and driven

Individuals with a dominant personality type are highly motivated members of any team. These goal-oriented people are often characterized as confident, outspoken, and results-focused. They value action and being in control of their own destiny and are unafraid of taking risks in order to find success. Because they dislike feeling inhibited or taken advantage of, they prefer to have an active role in decision-making, where they can take charge. Dominant personalities bring a valuable approach to the workplace, providing a useful balance to more reserved personalities.

Influence (I): outgoing, enthusiastic and optimistic

Everyone needs a bit of influence from time to time, and if you have a high score for influence, you probably excel at it. You have an enthusiasm and energy that draws others in, and you enjoy coaching or mentoring.

At the same time, it's not all sunshine and roses – you don't love dealing with disapproval and rejection. But if you use it as an opportunity to practice your influencing and communication skills, even negative feedback can be turned into positive!

Steadiness (S): patient, accommodating and consistent

People with a steady personalities tend to be quiet, calm and reliable. They may not be the most adventurous of personalities, but they bring stability and organization to any project or team they're part of. These people are natural ‘peacekeepers’, preferring to settle disputes in an amicable manner by seeking out compromise or agreement.

Those with a steady personality also have a natural dislike of disruption and change — unless they’re sure that it could make things better in the long-run. Whether you identify as having a steady personality or know someone close who does, aiming for consistency is never a bad thing — especially when working on something important with others.

Conscientiousness (C): accurate, precise and controlled

Individuals in the conscientiousness quadrant are detail-oriented and strive for excellence. They are knowledge-seekers who appreciate the accuracy and technical prowess.

They often take pleasure in diving deep into a topic or task, researching its intricacies in order to create something valuable and worthwhile. At the same time, they loathe criticism and work tirelessly to ensure perfection is achieved. This dedication to properly understanding topics and achieving flawless results makes these individuals an asset in any workplace setting.

Today, DiSC assessments are becoming increasingly popular tools to boost the effectiveness of teams within business or between business and government organizations. These assessments use personal responses from individuals and other factors related to their preferences and behavior, allowing businesses to craft teams focused on cooperation and shared success.

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What are some of the benefits of taking the DISC personality test?

Taking the DISC personality test has a range of benefits for both individuals and organizations. Individuals that take the DISC personality test can gain insight into their personal communication and leadership style, as well as areas for improvement.

When it comes to organizational use, the DISC assessment can help build better teams by helping team members understand how each person communicates, works and interacts with one another.

Overall, taking a DISC personality test is beneficial for both individual growth and organizational development as it helps people become aware of not only their own interpersonal characteristics but also those of others around them so they may find more success in working together as a team.

How accurate is the DISC personality test?

The DISC personality test is considered to be a highly accurate assessment of an individual's key behavioral traits. This test has been used extensively in various workplace and educational settings, as well as counseling and coaching circles. It is based on the theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston and measures our preferences and behavioral style across four dimensions that make up our overall personality profile.

The accuracy of this personality assessment ranges from 85-90%. Research suggests that it accurately predicts how we respond to stress, how we manage risk-taking behaviors, what motivates us, how easily we can adapt to change, our attitudes toward authority figures, etc. Most experts believe the characteristics measured by this test stay fairly consistent over time provided there are no major life changes like trauma or illness.

What are some common misunderstandings about DISC personality types?

There are a few common misunderstandings about DISC personality types that many people have. The first is thinking that individuals can be "typed" into just one specific type. In reality, all personalities tend to fall along a continuum and no one is exclusive of one particular type. People may have certain behaviors or preferences that lean towards a certain type, but there are always elements of other types present as well.

Another misconception is believing that the four letters associated with the DISC model (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) represent absolute traits instead of tendencies. While it's true that some people may naturally inclined more towards being dominant or compliant, these traits do not remain static - they can evolve depending on the person's context and experiences in life.

Additionally, some people attempt to create labels such as "alpha" or "beta" associations with each type which simply do not exist nor apply here. As mentioned above, all four basic types form one complete profile depending on how strong each element is within an individual so it is impossible to classify any one specific type as more authoritative than another since they both possess different benefits and drawbacks.