Deciphering DISC: Identifying Behavioural Styles

Explore the power of DISC behavioural assessment for effective communication and improved team dynamics – an introductory guide.

In this article, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of DISC Theory, a powerful tool that unravels the mysteries of human behaviours and paves the way for more effective interactions in teams. This knowledge is a gateway to fostering better teamwork and effective communication. While this overview of the fundamentals will provide valuable insight, for the most impactful improvement our DISC Profile Assessments are an invaluable resource.

For context, at Team8, we offer two unique behavioural profiling products: the Team8 DISC Profile and the TeacherDISC Profile. These profiles examine human behaviour as four dimensions, represented by the letters D, I, S, and C: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientious. 

Below is a quick overview of each DISC style:

Dominance (D): Someone who measures highest in Dominance (a ‘High D’) will be fast-paced (movement, talking, deciding), more direct (to the point), task/goal-orientated (want to get things done), and personally more guarded (do not disclose personal information readily).

Influence (I): A person who measures highest in Influence (a ‘High I’) will be fast-paced (movement, talking, deciding), more direct (to the point), people-orientated (seek out and enjoy the company of others), and personally more open (disclose personal information readily).

Steadiness (S): Those who measure highest in Steadiness (a ‘High S’) are slower-paced (slower to move, talk, and respond), more indirect (take time to get to the point and give detailed information), people-orientated (seek out and enjoy the company of others), and personally more open (will disclose personal information).

Conscientious (C): Someone who measures highest in Conscientious (a ‘High C’) will be slower-paced (slower to move, talk and respond), more indirect (take time to get to the point and gives detailed information), task/goal-orientated (want to get things done) and personally more guarded (do not disclose personal information readily).

DISC Graph

Now, let’s dive into the really intriguing part of DISC, how does one quickly and accurately identify each style in order to practice adaptability?

Simply ask two essential questions:

  1. Is this person more direct and fast-paced, or indirect and slower-paced?
  2. Is this person more guarded and task-orientated or open and people-orientated?

Now, let’s dive into the really intriguing part of DISC, how does one quickly and accurately identify each style in order to practice adaptability?

Simply ask two essential questions:

  1. Is this person more direct and fast-paced, or indirect and slower-paced?
  2. Is this person more guarded and task-orientated or open and people-orientated?
Let’s look at the X-Axis: 


Indirect/slower-paced (S and C styles left of the vertical line)

Common behaviours:

  • Infrequent use of gestures and voice intonation to emphasize points
  • More patient and cooperative
  • Often makes qualified, well-structured statements
  • Subtle body language or gestures
  • Infrequent but profound contributor in the team
  • More likely to wait for others to introduce themselves
  • Reserves expression of opinions



Direct/fast-paced (D and I styles right of the vertical line)

Common behaviours:

  • Frequently uses gestures and voice intonation to emphasise points
  • Less patient; more competitive
  • Often makes emphathetic, generalised statements.
  • Sustained eye contact
  • Frequent contributor in the team
  • Expresses opinions readily and openly
  • More likely to introduce self to others
Now, let’s look at the Y-Axis: 


Open/people-orientated (I and S styles below the horizontal line)

Common behaviours:

  • Shows feelings and enthusiasm freely
  • Emphasizes main ideas
  • Goes with the flow
  • Conversation can wander in team meetings
  • Opinion–orientated
  • Animated facial expressions
  • Easy to get to know
  • Friendly body language or gestures



Direct/fast-paced (D and C styles right of the vertical line)

Common behaviours:

  • Keeps feelings private
  • Limited range of facial expressions
  • More formal and proper
  • Avoids/minimises physical contact
  • Goes with the suggested program
  • Speaks in specifics; cites facts and examples
  • Formal body language or gestures
  • Conversation stays on subject
  • Appears less emphathetic
Looking at the Whole Picture

The Four Basic Behavioural Styles Overview

When you combine these behavioural elements, you create each of the four different DISC behavioural styles. Individuals who exhibit guarded and direct behaviours are Dominance Styles; direct and open behaviours are Influence Styles; open and indirect behaviours are Steadiness Styles; and indirect and guarded behaviours are Conscientious Styles.

Understanding DISC is like piecing together a puzzle, and this knowledge is a game-changer for understanding how people behave in their work environments. DISC acts as a window into someone’s behavioural tendencies and a key to improving interactions with them. The chart below illustrates common characteristics of each of the four styles.

Overview of DISC Styles

DISC
Style

High in
Dominance

High in
Influence

High in
Steadiness

High in
Conscientious

Preferred
Pace

Fast-paced Decisive

Fast-paced Spontaneous

Slow-paced Relaxed

Slow-paced Systematic

Their
Priority

Achieving Goals

Connecting with People

Feeling Accepted

Getting things right

Motivated
By

Results and Control

Participation and Praise

Acceptance and Security

Accuracy and Precision

Their
Strengths

Setting Standards

Motivating Others

Supporting the team

Planning and Logistics

Growth
Areas

Impatient and Insensitive

Inattentive to Detail

Takes things Personally

Perfectionism and Critical

Their
Fears

Not having Control

Loss of Recognition

Sudden changes

Personal Criticism

Irritated
By

Infficiency and Indecisiveness

Routines and Complexity

Impatience and Insensitivity

Disorganisation and Informality

Under
Stress Become

Dictorial and Critical

Sarcastic and Superficial

Passive and Indecisive

Withdrawn and Stubborn

Gains Security
By

Control and Leadership

Recognition from Others

Friendship and Cooperation

Preparation and Structure

Measures Worth By

Impact or Results

Compliments and Applause

Depth of Contribution

Quality of Results

Ideal Environment

Efficient and Fast-paced

Interactive and Personal

Friendly and Supportive

Structured and Systematic

Where to from here?

To be the best in the most demanding and competitive business environments, you need the best resources, and to prioritize your most important asset; people. Team8 specialises in helping you, your team, and your clients unleash their full potential through the transformative power of DISC Profiling. We’re here to champion and make a valuable contribution to your success and the success of those you work with. If we can help you and your team organisation perform at your best, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We look forward to hearing from you!

share this Post:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Interested in learning more?