What are the DISC Personality Types?

Adam Stamm

Review the DISC Personality Types.

DISC was theorized in the 1920s by William Moulton Marston in his book titled The Emotions of Normal People.  Marston wrote that you could identify a person based on what he called “primary emotions” and their typical behavioral responses. The four behaviors are that he identified are:

  • Dominance (D)
  • Influence (I)
  • Steadiness (S)
  • Conscientious (C)

Marston believed that a person’s personality isn’t made up of a single style. Rather, we are a blend of all of these styles with a certain style that we naturally feature more than others. Marston used the image of a color wheel to describe his theory saying that while one color describe a person best, you could still see evidence of the other colors.

It’s important to note that Marston never created a DISC Personality assessment, but his theory is used as the foundation of DISC Basic. Since the time of Marston’s theory, the DISC assessment has evolved, but his four primary DISC Personality Types have remained the same. Here is a overview of Marston’s DISC Personality Types:

D-Personality Type

Dominance: The D-Personality Type

As the label suggest, most people that fall in this category have a dominant personality. Individuals with this style are:

  • Direct
  • Result-oriented
  • Strong-willed

People with this style are likely to seek control of over situations and other people. They are highly skeptical and fast paced. Frequently, it’s noted that people with this style have little patience for people and situations that do not conform to their goals, beliefs, or preferences. As a consequence, they might become irritated or become argumentative more than the average person. They tend to be direct, if not blunt, with their opinions.

Without this style, our teams wouldn’t complete projects as quickly.

Influencing: The I-Personality Type

One of the best adjectives to describe this DISC style is outgoing. Individuals with this style are often found to be:

  • Lively
  • High-Spirited
  • Enthusiastic
  • Social
I-Personality Type

The largest behavioral difference that the I-Personality Type has is that they seek out social opportunities and generally talk more than the average person. Frequently, people in this style are very interpersonally positive. People of this style are often the first ones to a gathering and the last ones to leave. When asked to draw a picture that represents their style, this group frequently draws a martini glass to represent how social they are.

Without this style, our teams wouldn’t be as engaging.

Steadiness: The S-Personality Type

People with the S Style are typically interpersonally warm. Frequently, they describe themselves as:

  • Calm
  • Peaceful
  • Even-tempered
S-Personality Type

Patience is one of the largest differences that sets this style apart from the others. Frequently they are the counselors of any given group. They will listen patiently to what issues their co-workers or peers are experiencing, and they are generally interested in what others have to say. 

Without this style, our teams wouldn’t feel as supported.

C-Personality Type

Conscientiousness: The C-Personality Type

A person with the C Style is usually described as analytical. Along with being analytical, individuals with this style are:

  • Private
  • Accurate
  • Reserved

People with this style will typically take more time on projects than others because they 1) want to understand as much as they can, and 2) ensure that any opinion or work they provide is accurate. They have a strong attention to details, and are frequently finding ways to be more systematic to ensure that they are being as accurate as possible.

Without this style, our teams wouldn’t be as accurate.

What are the combination DISC Personality Styles?

DISC Basic improves on Marston’s DISC theory, and provides 8 DISC Personality Types. The additional styles provide more nuances when determining a person’s style. Here is an overview of the DISC Combination Styles:

DI-ID Personality Type

Dominance / Influencing (DI / ID Style)

People who fall in this location on the map describe themselves as adventurous and bold. They are more likely than the average person to identify themselves as enterprising or entrepreneurial. They typically have a combination of self-confidence and social poise that can be described as magnetic or inspiring. The DI style is accurately described as convincing and daring, while the ID style is accurately described as animated and inspiring.

Influencing / Steadiness (IS or SI): 

The word ‘gentle’ is a prominent way to describe those that have these personality types. Another way is ‘cheerful’. In general, people who have these styles are trusting and see the best in others. They are more than likely than the average person to rate themselves as compassionate and welcoming. The IS style is more upbeat and lighthearted whereas the SI style is supportive and agreeable.

SC-CS DISC Personality Type

Steadiness / Conscientiousness (SC or CS): 

Those that have the SC or CS style are the least prone towards action and more likely to deliberate on their options. They are careful in their decision making and describe their pace as steady and step-by-step. Compared to the average person they show less outward energy. This style is also associated with a degree of passivity.  People in these styles prefer to work behind the scenes or let others take control. The SC Style is is described as modest and unassuming while the CS Style is more quiet and self-controlled. The major descriptors of these two styles are: 1) Being cautious 2) showing passivity.

Conscientiousness / Dominance (CD or DC): 

A person who falls into this category is more skeptical than the average person, but not to the extremes of being either highly aggressive or withdrawn. The word challenging is frequently used to describe a person with these styles.  They are prone to show little sympathy or patience for people who do not meet up to their standards. Likewise, because they may not engage in social niceties, they are frequently perceived as being cynical or interpersonally guarded. The CD style is described as unsentimental and matter of fact. The DC style is described as resolute and strong-willed.

DC-CD DISC Personality Type

Do you know your DISC Personality Type?

We encourage new users of DISC to take the DISC Basic profile because it is validated and researched.