Everyone is a blend of all four DiSC styles—usually one, two, or even three styles stand out. Each person has a unique behavioral profile with different styles and priorities—no one style better or worse than the next.
We believe that these differences in style can be extremely valuable. Once you assess these differences and harness their value, better workplace communication AND healthier organizations become possible.
The D (Dominance) style is active and questioning. This describes people who are direct, forceful, and outspoken with their opinions.
The i (Influence) style is active and accepting. This describes people who are outgoing, enthusiastic, and lively.
The S (Steadiness) style is thoughtful and accepting. This describes people who are gentle, accommodating, and patient with others’ mistakes.
The C (Conscientiousness) style is thoughtful and questioning. This describes people who are analytical, reserved, and precise.
Although the DiSC dimensions form four distinct styles, it is probably more useful to think of the DiSC circle in continuous terms. Consider that each of the four styles blend into their neighboring styles much the same way that colors blend into one another on the color wheel.
D measures a direct, dominant disposition using adjectives such as aggressive, strong-willed, and forceful.
Di measures an active, fast-paced disposition using adjectives such as dynamic, adventurous, and bold.
i measures an interactive, influencing disposition using adjectives such as sociable, lively, and talkative.
iS measures an agreeable, warm disposition using adjectives such as trusting, cheerful, and caring.
S measures an accommodating, steady disposition using adjectives such as considerate, gentle, and soft-hearted.
SC measures a moderate-paced, cautious disposition using adjectives such as careful, softspoken, and self-controlled.
C measures a private, conscientious disposition using adjectives such as analytical, reserved, and unemotional
CD measures a questioning, skeptical disposition using adjectives such as cynical, stubborn, and critical.
The Idea Of Stretch
The continuous nature of the DiSC circle also helps people understand the idea of “stretch.” It is helpful to think of your style as your home base or comfort zone.
Someone with a C style may be very comfortable working alone on analytical projects that require accuracy. At times, however, this person may be called on to mingle with strangers at a professional function. In this case, the person is being asked to stretch across the circle toward the i style.
Now, someone with the C style who has a dot close to the center of the circle will probably find this mingling unpleasant, but manageable. On the other hand, someone with a C style whose dot is located on the edge of the circle is more likely to find this mingling highly stressful. In the second case, the person has had to travel farther outside their comfort zone, and that will require more energy.
So, as a general rule, people with dots located close to the center usually have a somewhat easier time adopting foreign DiSC styles when the situation calls for it. People whose dots are on the edge of the circle may have to stretch more (and experience more stress) if they want to adopt another style. On the other hand, because these people have more pronounced DiSC styles, those styles are often accompanied by some very distinct strengths.
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Excelerant is an award-winning leadership development and human resources solutions company based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Using a unique approach, Excelerant combines expertise in training, coaching, human resource consulting, and facilitation to solve problems with practical, executable solutions that deliver high-impact, sustainable results.