DISC Profiles

by Unre Visagie

Understanding DISC Profiles

Update: If you are considering a midlife career change it is very important that you complete a DISC profile.

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I Ask

Somebody said that understanding DISC Profiles can be extremely useful in dealing with customers and colleagues. I’m not so sure what it is exactly, let alone how to use it. Can you explain it to me?

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I Answer

Your DISC Profile gives you an indication of the behavioral style that you prefer based on the DISC Dimensions of Behavior Model.

This model provides for four Behavioral Dimensions, each of which encompasses a set of key characteristics and personal behavioral preferences.

The acronym DISC indicates the main characteristic of each of the four styles or dimensions:

D – Dominance

I – Influencing

S – Steadiness

C – Compliance

The table below describes typical behavioral characteristics of persons with High “D”, “I”, “S” and “C” preferences:

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High D – Dominance

  • Active, positive movement in an unfavorable environment.
  • Observable characteristics: strong, forceful, competitive.
  • Basic orientation: task-oriented (results), moves people to action, desire to cause change.
  • Positive motivators: directness, does not like to be entertained or restrained.
  • Negative motivators: does not like being taken advantage of , especially criticism of their character (self-concept/ego).
  • Basic growth factors: impatience is a behavioral limitation, they are selective listeners, tend to have a blind spot regarding other’s views and feelings.
  • Sees environment as antagonistic/hostile.

High I – Influence

  • Active, positive movement in a favorable environment.
  • Observable characteristics: optimistic, easily relate to people.
  • Basic orientation:  social, high-keyed emotionally, loves to entertain.
  • Positive motivators:  needs social recognition, needs companionship, needs group morale.
  • Negative motivators:  social rejection – experience disapproval in relationships or criticism as personal rejection by others.
  • Basic growth factors: disorganization in task behavior is a competency limitation.
  • Sees environment as supportive / favorable.

High S – Steadiness

  • Passive, agreeable movement in a favorable environment.
  • Observable characteristics: pragmatic, objective, team payer, family person.
  • Basic orientation: concrete results-oriented, bottom-line approach, prefers concrete to abstract.
  • Positive motivators: proven practices, clear objectives, follows procedure.
  • Negative motivators: loss of stability, suspicious of the unknown, does not like change.
  • Basic growth factors: possessiveness and adherence to the code of order.
  • Tranquility is a key limitation.
  • Sees Environment as antagonistic / hostile

High C – Conscientiousness

  • Cautious, tentative movement in an unfavorable environment.
  • Observable characteristics: accurate-the most precise of all patterns, the quality control person.
  • Basic orientation task orientated (Detail): highly intuitive, people readers, cautious in relationships.
  • Positive motivators: the correct or proper way, most self-discipline.
  • Negative motivators: criticism of their work or their effort in a situation.
  • Basic growth factors: overly critical and demanding of both themselves and others because of their high standards (though this criticism is often unspoken).
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I Ask

But what practical value does these concepts have?

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I Answer

DISC Dimensions of Behavior helps you discover and capitalize on your unique behavioral strengths. DISC can also help you realize how overusing your strengths can create misunderstandings, tension and conflict.

Knowing how to be responsive to the communication needs of others is the key to success in relationships.

Understanding the Dimensions of Behavior helps you to better understand the behavior of others whose strongest behavioral preferences lie in the dimensions (styles) which differ from your own.

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I Ask

Is there any way to determine the behavioral preference of a person, say for instance, a customer…?

The DISC People Reading Guide is a most valuable tool in this regard, especially if you use it in combination with the DISC Behavioral Styles Summary:

Outgoing / Direct

  • Faster Pace
  • More telling
  • Louder speech
  • More inflection

More competitive and directing (“D” need)

  • Closed posture
  • Unexpressive / Cool face
  • Feeling unexpressed
  • Formal
  • Focuses on “What?”
  • Priority on goal and Results
or

Reserved / Indirect

  • Slower pace
  • More asking
  • Softer speech
  • More monotone

More accepting and doing
(“S” need)

  • Closed posture
  • Relaxed / warm face
  • Feelings expressed
  • Casual
  • Focuses on “How?”
  • Priority on cooperation and stability
or
or

More talkative and interactive (“I” need)

  • Open Posture
  • Animated / warm face
  • Feelings expressed
  • Casual
  • Focuses on “Who?”
  • Priority on people and approval
or

More assessing and thinking
(“C” need)

  • Closed posture
  • Unexpressive / cool face
  • Feelings unexpressed
  • Formal
  • Focuses on “Why?”
  • Priority on quality and analysis
DISC Behavioral Styles Summary
Dominance
“D”
Influence
“I”
Steadiness
“S”
Compliance
“C”
Major Goals: Results
Control
People involvement
Recognition
Security / Stability Accuracy
Order
Major Fears: Losing control of environment
Being taken advantage of
Rejection
Loss of approval
Sudden change
Loss of security
Criticism of performance
Lack of standards
Dislikes: Being controlled by others
Lack of results
Handling complex details
Working alone
Hostility, conflict
Unpredictability
Disorganization
Unclear explanations
Under Pressure: Domineering
Impatient
Emotional
Disorganized
Conforming
Indecisive
Withdraws
stubborn
As a buyer responds to: Options
Efficiency
Testimonials
Saving personal effort
Assurance of stability
Personal attention
Evidence of quality and accuracy
Logical approaches
Decision style: Quick Emotional / “Gut feel” Deliberate Analytical
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I Explain

It might be a smart move to fill in your own DISC Profile, as well as those of your team members on this page. It would be very helpful in guiding you in your interaction with them.

Just bear in mind that behavioral preferences are not cast in stone and can change over time…

Example

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DISC Profile Example

If you are not sure of what your DISC Profile is ask your team leader for assistance.

My profile is that of a counselor.

Counselors are particularly effective in solving people’s problems. They impress others with their warmth empathy and understanding.

They find it easy to look for the good in others and have an optimistic outlook. Counselors prefer to deal with others on the basis of building long- standing relationships.

About Unre Visagie
I am a master coach with 30 years of career and business coaching experience. I have built and sold many of my own multi-million dollar companies. I have always built my companies based on the principle of successful people make a successful company. I invest in people. As your coach you get 30 years of experience to help you do the work you love and earn the salary you want.

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