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How to Use DISC Personality Assessments in Coaching

Adam Stamm

DISC Personality Assessments for Coaching

The DiSC personality assessment is a great tool for coaches because it helps individuals identify their strengths, motivations, and how someone prefers to communicate. In each of these areas, coaches can match a person’s DISC Profiles to areas they may struggle to succeed.

The DISC Personality Assessment measures two distinct scales and identifies a person’s style based on four personality types:

  1. Dominance (D – Personality Type
  2. Influence (I – Personality Type)
  3. Steadiness (S – Personality Type)
  4. Compliance (C – Personality Type)

A person’s DiSC profile is typically a combination of these four letters, but many of us prefer to behave within one style more than the others.

If you work within management, leadership or executive coaching and use DISC, you can help your clients more easily identify their blind spots. With this knowledge, they can help their clients adapt how they behave to behaviors that are more appropriate.

Becoming a DISC Certified Coach

Coaching using DISC has many benefits. One of the greatest benefits of using DISC for coaching is that it’s a simple tool to understand and use. When a person completes a DISC Assessment, the concepts are easy to understand while providing deep insights into their behaviors and how they view the world.

Executive and Team Coaches who want to use DISC can provide these insights without becoming a Certified DISC Coach. However, DISC Certification is a great course for anyone who wants to become more adept at learning DISC Research and theory.

Coaches who become Certified in DISC will receive 10 free DISC Profiles. Sign-up today for $1,695.

Tips for Coaching Each DISC Type

Coaches should also use the concepts of DISC as they work with their clients. When a coach learns their client’s style, they should adapt how they work with that particular style and use behaviors that are more likely the be accepted by their client (and their DISC Type).

Below are some tips and techniques you should use when working within leadership coaching using DISC.

Coaching the D Personality Type

Here are some tips on how to coach someone who has a D style on the DISC model:

  • Be direct and honest. People with a D style appreciate direct communication and honesty. They don’t like to beat around the bush, so be upfront with them about your expectations and feedback.
  • Give them challenging tasks. People with a D style are motivated by challenges and results. Give them tasks that will stretch them and allow them to achieve something meaningful.

Here are some specific coaching techniques that you can use with people who have a D style:

  • Use “what” and “how” questions. People with a D style are action-oriented, so use questions that will help them to brainstorm solutions and take action. For example, instead of asking “Why did you do that?”, ask “What were you thinking when you did that?” or “How could you have done that differently?”
  • Set clear goals and deadlines. People with a D style need to know what they are working towards and when they need to achieve their goals. Set clear goals and deadlines with them so that they can stay focused and motivated.
  • Provide regular feedback. People with a D style appreciate feedback, so be sure to give them regular feedback on their performance. Feedback should be specific, timely, and constructive.

Coaching the I Personality Type

Here are some tips on how to coach someone who has a I style on the DISC model:

  • Build rapport. People with an I personality type are relationship-oriented, so building rapport with them is important before you start coaching them. Get to know them on a personal level and find common ground.
  • Help them to stay focused. People with an I personality type can sometimes be sidetracked by their emotions or by new ideas. Help them to stay focused on their goals and to achieve their objectives.

Here are some specific coaching techniques that you can use with people who have an I personality type:

  • Use open-ended questions. People with an I personality type are creative and enjoy brainstorming. Use open-ended questions to encourage them to share their ideas and come up with solutions.
  • Set aside time for brainstorming. People with an I personality type enjoy brainstorming. Set aside time for brainstorming sessions so that they can share their ideas and come up with solutions.
  • Be flexible. People with an I personality type can sometimes be spontaneous. Be flexible with your coaching sessions and be willing to change your plans if needed. 
  • Help them to set boundaries. People with an I personality type can sometimes over-extend themselves. Help them to set boundaries so that they don’t take on too much and burn themselves out.

Coaching the S Personality Type

Here are some tips on how to coach someone who has a S style on the DISC model:

  • Be patient and understanding. People with an S personality type are steady and predictable, so they may not be as quick to adapt to change as other personality types. Be patient with them and understand their need for stability.
  • Be supportive and encouraging. People with an S personality type are motivated by cooperation and support. Be supportive of their efforts and encourage them to take on new challenges.

Here are some specific coaching techniques that you can use with people who have an S personality type:

  • Use active listening skills. People with an S personality type appreciate being heard. Lean on a Connective Listening Style to show them that you are listening to them and that you understand their concerns.
  • Ask open-ended questions. People with an S personality type are thoughtful and reflective. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas.
  • Provide positive reinforcement. People with an S personality type are motivated by positive reinforcement. Be sure to give them positive feedback when they do a good job.
  • Be patient. People with an S personality type can sometimes be slow to warm up to new people. Be patient with them and allow them to get to know you before they start opening up.

Coaching the C Personality Type

Here are some tips on how to coach someone who has a C style on the DISC model:

  • Be specific and clear. People with a C personality type appreciate clear and concise communication. Be specific in your instructions and expectations, and avoid using vague or ambiguous language.
  • Provide data and evidence. People with a C personality type are motivated by logic and reason. Provide them with data and evidence to support your claims, and avoid making emotional appeals.

Here are some specific coaching techniques that you can use with people who have a C personality type:

  • Use “why” questions. People with a C personality type are analytical and detail-oriented. Use “why” questions to encourage them to think critically and explore the root cause of problems.
  • Set clear goals and deadlines. People with a C personality type need to know what they are working towards and when they need to achieve their goals. Set clear goals and deadlines with them so that they can stay focused and motivated.
  • Provide regular feedback. People with a C personality type appreciate feedback, so be sure to give them regular feedback on their performance. Feedback should be specific, timely, and constructive.
  • Be respectful of their need for time and space. People with a C personality type can sometimes be introverted. Be respectful of their need for time and space, and avoid overwhelming them with too much information or too many demands.

Check out Leadership Development Institute for additional coaching information.

Going Beyond Coaching With DISC

DISC Personality Assessments offer a foundational tool for Coaches. However, it’s not the only tool that we offer. Coaches will also benefit from being knowledgeable in other tools like Emotional Intelligence and Motivators.