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  • Writer's pictureDan Plowman

DISC - What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

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 an individual's patterns of external, observable behaviours and measures the intensity of characteristics using scales of directness and openness for each of the four styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientious.

D - Dominance - How an individual addresses problems and challenges.

I - Influence - How an individual handles situations involving people and contacts.

S - Steadiness - How an individual demonstrates pace and consistency.

C - Conscientious - How an individual reacts to procedure and constraints.

What is DISC?

  • DISC is: needs-motivated, observable behaviour and emotion. It is a combination of natural (inherent) and nurtured (learned) behaviours.

  • DISC is NOT: a measure of intelligence, skills, education or experience, or an indicator of values.

Benefits of Learning and Applying DISC

The DISC Assessment and Report make it easy to identify and understand our own style, recognize others and cognitively adapt to different styles, in turn allowing us to develop a process to communicate more effectively with others.

It's easy to make the mistake of assuming that others interact and think the same way we do. Many of us grew up believing in The Golden Rule: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated." Instead, we encourage another practical rule to live by – what Dr. Tony Alessandra calls The Platinum Rule®: "Treat others the way THEY want to be treated."

In addition to building personal effectiveness and communication in relationships, many of the world’s most forward-thinking and successful organizations have relied upon DISC expertise to provide them with distinct competitive advantages. Some of these include:

  • Increased commitment and cooperation

  • Building more effective teams

  • Resolving and preventing conflict

  • Gaining endorsement, credibility, rapport

  • Better understanding of others (interpersonal skills, communication preferences, behavioural strengths, potential areas of improvement)

  • Building common language

  • Increased sales

What are Some Observable Behaviours of Each Style?


  • Decisive

  • Competitive

  • Daring

  • Direct

  • Innovative

  • Persistent

  • Adventurous

  • Problem Solver

  • Results Oriented


  • Charming

  • Confident

  • Convincing

  • Enthusiastic

  • Inspiring

  • Optimistic

  • Persuasive

  • Sociable

  • Trusting


  • Understanding

  • Friendly

  • Good Listener

  • Patient

  • Relaxed

  • Sincere

  • Stable

  • Steady

  • Team Player


  • Accurate

  • Precise

  • Analytical

  • Compliant

  • Courteous

  • Diplomatic

  • Precise

  • Fact Finder

  • Objective

Individuals who typically exhibit direct and guarded behaviours define the Dominant Style. Individuals who exhibit direct and open behaviours define the Influence Style. Individuals who exhibit indirect and open behaviours define the Steadiness Style. Lastly, individuals who exhibit indirect and guarded behaviours define the Conscientious Style.

How Can DISC be Used?

  • Change Management - Learn behaviours for transforming resistance into receptivity.

  • Coaching & Mentoring - Discover how to help others consistently achieve their goals and potential.

  • Conflict Resolution - Bring clarity and understanding to otherwise disparate behavioural styles.

  • Customer Service - Teach administrative and customer support teams how to dependably provide excellent service and interaction regardless of behavioural style.

  • Hiring & Selection/Benchmarking & 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 behaviours 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.

“I should not be more excited about your business than you are.” - Dan Plowman

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