What is DISC?

The DISC model is a powerful and insightful tool for understanding human behavior

The Language of Behavior

The behavioral theory behind the DISC model, developed by William Moulton Marston, revolves around the idea that people exhibit emotions and behavioral patterns in four predominant styles: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C), acronym of DISC. Marston theorized that these emotional responses influence an individual’s behavior towards their environment and others.

The model doesn’t categorize people into a single type but rather suggests that everyone possesses a blend of these four styles, with one or two usually being more dominant. This theory provides a framework for understanding and predicting human interactions, enhancing communication, and improving personal and professional relationships.


This trait is about how an individual addresses problems and challenges.

People with high 'D' traits are often very direct, assertive, and competitive. They prefer to lead and make decisions quickly. They are result-oriented and may sometimes be seen as forceful or aggressive.


This trait focuses on how individuals interact with others and influence their environment.

Those with a high 'I' score are often very communicative, lively, and sociable. They are good at persuading and motivating others, thriving in group settings, and often have a positive outlook. They can, however, be more impulsive and less detail-oriented.


This trait looks at how individuals respond to pace and consistency in the environment.

People with high 'S' traits value stability and consistency. They are patient, loyal, and good team players, preferring a steady pace and a structured environment. They can struggle with change and may take longer to make decisions.


This trait is about how individuals approach and organize their activity, procedures, and responsibilities.

High 'C' individuals are detail-oriented, value accuracy and quality, and are analytical and systematic in their approach. They respect established norms and guidelines but can be overly critical and may avoid taking risks.

Behavioral styles

The DISC model becomes particularly interesting when we consider the combinations of its primary factors: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Compliance (C). Each individual’s behavior usually reflects a mix or combination of two or three factors, leading to a more nuanced understanding of his or her personality and behavioral style.

It’s important to remember that the characteristics of each profile are “behavioral tendencies” and not strict labels or categories. People are dynamic and can exhibit different traits in different contexts. Understanding these combinations in DISC language can help in personal development, enhancing team dynamics, and improving communication and leadership styles.

Three-dimensional behavior

In DISC assessments, the concepts of Natural, Adapted, and Self-perception profiles are key to understanding behavioral dynamics:

  • Natural Profile

    This reflects a person's intrinsic behavior in comfortable, stress-free environments. It shows their genuine, unadapted response patterns and is considered their true behavioral style.

  • Adapted Profile

    This represents how individuals adjust their behavior in response to their external environment, particularly in work or social settings. It highlights the changes they consciously or unconsciously make to meet external demands or expectations.

  • Self-Perception Profile

    This profile is based on how individuals perceive themselves, which may or may not align with their Natural or Adapted profiles. It offers insight into their self-awareness and how they think they should act in various situations.

A transformational tool

Understanding and learning the DISC language can lead to significant personal transformation. By recognizing your own DISC profile, you gain insight into your natural tendencies, strengths, and areas for growth. This self-awareness can lead to better self-management, improved decision-making, and increased emotional intelligence. You become more aware of how your actions and communication style affect others, leading to more mindful and effective interactions in all aspects of your life.

The impact of learning and applying DISC across personal, family, and professional life is profound. It leads to improved relationships, enhanced communication, and a greater understanding of oneself and others. This holistic improvement in interpersonal dynamics fosters an environment of empathy, cooperation, and productivity, transforming not just individual interactions but also contributing to a more harmonious and effective community and workplace environment.