Understanding what drives your actions and behaviours is key to personal growth and achieving your full potential. Yet it is surprising to know that most people strive to achieve personal and professional goals without this valuable insight. Personality tests are an ideal way of discovering this, so let’s find out more about one particular type of assessment.
DISC assessment is one of the oldest methods available and was devised in the 1920s by American psychologist William Moulton Marston. In the 1970s, another American psychologist by the name of John G Grier is credited with developing the personality test that is so popular today.
The DISC assessment defines four personality types that have each been attributed with different behaviours. These are Dominant, Influential, Steady and Conscientious or Compliant as it is sometimes referred to, and together make up the acronym DISC. Let’s look at each personality type in greater detail.
D = Dominant
You probably won’t be surprised to know that the dominant personality type applies to those who are confident, strong-willed and competitive. They enjoy taking the lead and love challenges. Although motivated by competition, winning and success, D types can be perceived as being ruthless and aggressive. They tend to be outspoken, results driven and direct. Surprisingly, D styles fear being seen as vulnerable or being taken advantage of and value competency, action and personal freedom.
I = Influential
People with the influential personality type thrive off new ideas and situations and shape their working environment through persuading or influencing others. They are talkative, optimistic, open and energetic and enjoy being part of a team. I types are also enthusiastic, outgoing and extremely creative. People perceive those with an influential personality as being charming and trusting. A downside is that they don’t focus on details and could be better organised. I styles fear rejection, being ignored and losing influence but value coaching, counselling and freedom of expression.
S = Steady
People with a steady personality style are sincere, loyal and dependable and enjoy working as part of a team but not in a leading role. They are patient, likeable and conservative but find change difficult to embrace. As calm individuals, they don’t like to be rushed and value long-term relationships. This calming influence helps them act in a peacekeeping role when conflicts arise. S types are motivated by helping others and being appreciated. They fear letting others down and offending people but value loyalty and security.
C = Conscientious
Perfectionists fall into the conscientious category. They are analytical and approach work in a systematic manner. C type people have a thirst for knowledge, are diplomatic and revel in their independence. By setting the bar so high, they struggle to lower expectations of themselves and others. They are motivated by opportunities to learn and showcase their expertise. People with this style of personality are seen as being tactful, careful and diplomatic but don’t like being criticised. C styles worry about being wrong and value quality and accuracy.
A combination of personality styles
It’s important to realise that these four styles are not ranked in any order of importance and because people are complex characters nobody fits exactly into one style. In fact, we are combinations of all four and use each one in our daily lives. The DISC assessment helps identify which one you gravitate towards most.
A range of benefits
This is extremely useful from a professional perspective because employers will understand which personality style will be most productive in specific working environments. Similarly, which communication style is best suited to each individual and what style of working will deliver optimum performance. The DISC assessment can also reveal who works most effectively together and flag up areas of conflict that may occur.
More than one million people uses the DISC assessment every year and it is easy to understand why it is so popular. Self-awareness is powerful because once you realise what is holding you back and how to propel yourself forward, the possibilities are endless.
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