What is a DISC Profile?

The DISC profile is a behavioural assessment tool based on the theory of Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung and American psychologist William Moulton Marston.

Extended DISC is a self-assessment that measures an individual's natural (unconscious) behavioural style as well as their adjusted (conscious) style. DISC assessments are practical, easy to understand and implement. Organisations and their employees quickly adapt to DISC and use it comfortably in their day to day interactions.

Globally, thousands of organisations use DISC profiles every year to improve productivity and teamwork, support recruitment decisions and enhance communication. We processed over 16,000 profiles in 2019 in Australia alone!

What does DISC stand for?

DISC is an acronym, the letters D, I, S and C stand for the four primary DISC personalities. The DISC profiles are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. Each DISC profile is associated with certain behaviours or observable characteristics.

Dominance

D profiles are competitive, aggressive, decisive and results-oriented. They prefer to move fast, take risks and get things done now. D profile types also like to be in charge, control and have the power.

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Steadiness

S profile types are calm, patient, and modest. They are loyal and often make excellent team players. S profiles tend to be patient listeners, trustworthy, and balanced between tasks and people.

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Influence

I profile types are talkative, sociable, optimistic and lively. They are people-oriented, spontaneous, energetic and enthusiastic. I profiles tend to be positive and good at influencing others.

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Compliance

C profiles are exact, logical and analytical. C profile types require lots of structure and rules. Their ability to think deeply about issues helps make C personalities excellent problem-solvers.

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What does a DISC Profile tell you?

A DISC profile measures an individual's behavioural style in a variety of workplace contexts. The DISC profile is not an analysis of intelligence or ability – but of a person's natural behavioural tendencies in areas such as sales and leadership.

A DISC profile provides an easy to understand explanation of the way a person tends to interact with their colleagues. The report describes a person's decision-making style, preferred means of communication, and their general behaviour in a workplace environment. The reports also provide information about things that motivate the respondent, what causes them stress, as well as tips to improve their performance. The information in the DISC report is helpful for recruiters to avoid bad hires and place people in the right roles that suit their behavioural strengths. Managers also use DISC to create a tailored individual development plan to improve employees' performance.

History of DISC (Carl Jung)

You have probably heard of Carl Gustav Jung. His work has been quite influential, and DISC Theory is based on the foundations of his work. Jung's theory represents one of the first serious attempts to map the human personality and is central to most of the highly regarded DISC profiling systems today.

Jung developed a framework of the 'Functional Types, ' which explains how people perceive the world. Jung's Four Functions contain significant echoes of the Four Temperaments dating back to ancient Greece.

Jung recognised patterns in the way people behave and linked these character traits to the difference in how we think and process information. He distributed people's behaviours into two pairs of factors that vary by how people perceive things and make decisions. These factors are Sensation or Intuition and Thinking or Feeling. Jung suggested that people have one of the two fundamental attitudes.

According to Jung, the dominant function characterises consciousness, whereas the opposite characterises the unconscious. These behavioural axes defined by Jung form the foundation of the four-quadrant model.

History of DISC (William Moulton Marston)

The work of Jung was further developed by William Moulton Marston, an American psychologist who created the four-quadrant model we know today. Marston was also the inventor of the Wonder Woman Comics and the Lie Detector!

Marston also viewed people behaving along two axes; one indicating whether an individual is more passive or active; and the other on the individual's perception of the environment as being more favourable or antagonistic.

By placing the axes at right angles, four quadrants form with each describing a behavioural pattern. These quadrants are the styles we are familiar with today — dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance.

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Is DISC a Personality Test?

DISC is commonly labelled a personality test. However, it is actually a type of behavioural assessment. Although behaviour is part of what shapes our personality, they are two different entities.

The term 'personality' encompasses more than just behaviour, it also includes our values, characteristics, temperament, emotional intelligence and belief system. DISC measures the behavioural aspect of our personality, such as how we prefer to communicate and how we react to certain situations. DISC is a valuable tool to help us understand the behavioural patterns of the people around us. But, it's not the only tool we need to fully understand personality.

DISC is a valuable tool to help us understand ourselves and the behavioural patterns of the people around us. But, it's not the only tool we need to fully understand personality.

Is a DISC Profile test accurate?

Extended DISC® International, the publisher of our DISC Assessments, is committed to maintaining high standards of validity and reliability. 

Extended DISC® International publishes a validation study on a bi-annual basis. It shows a remarkable consistency in results and has achieved high scores in all measurements used to analyse accuracy.

The successful use of psychometric assessments globally, and the increasing demand for them in the workplace, are a testament to their versatility and accuracy in determining behaviours that have a measurable effect on job performance.

Can your DISC Profile change?

Our DISC profile tests measure both your conscious (adapted) style and unconscious (natural style). Your unconscious/natural profile tends to remain relatively stable over time. Although, you may find slight differences in your natural style, especially if you have been through a significant life change.

Your conscious DISC profile tends to be more fluid and can change based on your current environment, such as a new project, a change in job role or company. You can also adapt your conscious personality to suit different situations or to enhance interactions with others. We recommend taking the DISC assessment every two years to ensure you have the most accurate and recent information.

When to use DISC Profiling?

Organisations use DISC profiling tools successfully in a variety of ways; from recruitment, mergers, personal development, leadership development, sales training, improving communication, identifying emotional issues and even in matching prospective romantic couples!

The benefit of the DISC model is that it is flexible and applicable in many situations and businesses applications. DISC profiling can improve your team's overall productivity and efficiency.

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