Understanding The DiSC Test And Its Origins

William Moulton Marston is the brains behind the theory that explained how healthy and normal individuals respond to a range of stimuli on an emotional level. His goal was to help people to understand that every emotion they feel is normal, even if they made them feel ashamed. Yes, each of us is completely different, but that is normal as well. In Marston’s theory, people weren’t labeled as types. Instead, he believed that each person fits mainly into one or two different styles. According to Marston, understanding why you respond in a certain way when confronted with various demands from people, societal expectations and different situations, means that we are able to realize our happiness both on a professional and personal level.

Marston published his findings in 1928 in his The Emotions of Normal People Book. The tool we now know as DiSC was based on this. According to Marston, there are four main emotions within our lives, being Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. He then also developed a system that allowed greater understanding and description of how humans behave. However, he did not create a tool or test to actually measure behavior. His humble starts grew into the DiSC test, which is one of the most popular personality assessment tools in the world today. It is interpersonal and it allows you to understand yourself, other people and what the distance between these two means.

Taking a DiSC test involves little else than answering some questions. The traditional DiSC test includes only force questions. You have to pick the words that most and least describe you. The updated version, the Everything DiSC Test, uses a five point scale to see how much you agree to certain statements. You will then be provided with a report that can show you what your style is, what your needs and tendencies are and what sort of strategies you could implement to become more effective. It teaches you about your strengths and areas of improvement. As it is not a test, you cannot answer questions wrong, nor can you get bad results. Regardless of the style you will identify with, there are pros and cons. The test is written in a way that is easy to understand and doesn’t judge people at all. Once you understand your own behavioral tendencies, you can improve the way you deal with conflict and you will learn about the things that motivate you but also about the things that stress you. Naturally, you will also be able to work with the test in order to find out what you can do to deal with stress better. As such, you can be more effective and engaged in both your job and your personal life. When you understand what your strengths and weakness are, you are able to better adapt the way you respond to external stimuli, making you more effective in everything that you do. Managing yourself and understanding yourself is the key to performing better and to working better in relation to other people. Understanding other people’s DiSC profile can help you to understand what their priorities are and it will teach you how to connect and communicate better.

The DiSC Styles

D Is Dominance

1-DiSC-testPeople who score high on the dominance trait always ask “what” and try to get things done straight away. They want immediate results and take actions. They challenge themselves and those around them. Their motivation is power, competition, authority, success and being a winner. If they are strong and are able to achieve, they feel like they are valuable. However, they are afraid of losing control and fear that they are taken advantage of or become vulnerable. Others see them as impatient, insensitive and not very empathic. They are very competitive, highly confident, direct, decisive and forceful and like to take risks. If you communicate with someone who scores high on dominance, you need to be to the point and brief, letting them lead because they need that authority.

i Is Influence

2-DiSC-testPeople with high influence scores ask “who” and they want to be recognized. Their priorities are about influencing others and talking about their emotions. Their priorities are around taking action, expressing enthusiasm and getting people to work together. They want social recognition, take part in group activities and crave relationships. If people like them or they are paid attention, they feel valuable. They are afraid to be rejected socially, fear disapproval, being ignored and loss of influence. Some will see them as being disorganized, lacking follow through and as being impulsive. They are optimistic, enthusiastic, charming and sociable. When you are dealing with an influence style, you have to be social and relaxed, allow them to talk about their feelings and recognize them in public.

S Is Steadiness

3-DiSC-testIf you rank high in steadiness, the question is “how” and the goal is to get along. They want to cooperate and try to deal with the circumstances as they are. They give support, work towards maintaining stability and like to work together. They are patient and team players, motivated by a stable environment, cooperation, real appreciation and the opportunity to help. If they feel useful this way, they know they are valuable. They worry about losing stability and harmony, change and offending others. Some find them overly accommodating, indecisive and that they avoid change. However, their approach is calm and methodical, they are stable and patient, are humble and great listeners. In communication, give them the clarification they need, don’t confront them or show aggression, appreciate them sincerely and be systematic in your approach.

C Is Conscientiousness

4-DiSC-testThose who have high conscientiousness ask “why” and want everything to be right. They focus on accuracy and quality and want to challenge assumption. They think in an analytical manner so that everything stays stable, thereby ensuring accuracy. They pay attention to detail and quality and want to be able to use their opportunities to use their expertise and want to have performance expectations. They want to be right, competent and self-sufficient. They are afraid that their work will be criticized, worry their methods are slipshod and hate being wrong. Some find them too critical of themselves and others and they may appear indecisive because they want to have all the data first. Their behavior is cautious, precise, analytical and diplomatic and others find them reserved and quiet. Communication with Conscientious people, be reserved and precise.

For those looking for further details and world class assistance with their DiSC Tests we urge you to checkout our sister site at http://www.intesiresources.com. IntesiResources employs a Certified DiSC Trainer on staff along with being an Inscape Authorized Distributor.


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About Mike Discovella

Mike is an avvid writer about DiSC Profiles and Personality Testing in general. Be sure to follow Mike on Google+

One Thought on “Understanding The DiSC Test And Its Origins

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