What is the DISC test?
The DISC test is a self-administered, self-scoring personality assessment of how a person responds in predictable ways to time, tasks, and other situations at home and at work.
Technically, the DISC test it is not a ‘test’ because you won’t pass or fail when writing it. There are no right or wrong answers, and there is no bad or good score. Everyone is a mix of all four personality dimensions, and each mix is equally valuable.
While the DISC test provides insight into a person’s interaction with their environment, there are things that it does not measure. Some of these include a person’s:
- Levels of ambition or motivation
- Self-esteem or lack of it
What are the origins of the DISC test?
Personality testing is not a new concept. The word ‘personality’ itself comes from the Latin word ‘persona’ which referred to the masks worn by stage actors in Greek theatre. These masks helped the audience identify which character played the tragic figure, which was the hero (or heroine), which was there for comic effect, and which was the antagonist.
The first recorded use of four quadrants of personality comes from Empedocles in the 5th century BC. Hippocrates in the 4th century BC believed that the four personality characteristics came from four fluids within our bodies. Galen (2nd century AD) first came up with the terms choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic and sanguine to describe the four dimensions of human personality.
1928 was the year when William Marston published his landmark book “Emotions of Normal People.” Marston was a lawyer and a psychologist; he also contributed to the first polygraph test, authored self-help books, and even created the character “Wonder Woman!”
Industrial psychologist Walter Clark developed these ideas into the first DISC profile in 1956. Clark created the ‘Activity Vector Analysis,’ a checklist of adjectives on which he asked people to indicate descriptions that were accurate about themselves. The assessment was intended to be used by employers trying to find qualified employees.
What does DISC stand for?
In 1928, William Marston would label the four personality types:
- D: Dominant
- I: Influential
- S: Steady
- C: Compliant
Based on administering personality assessments to approximately 10,000 people over a 25-year span, gettingpeopleright.com updated these four categories to:
- D: Dominant
- I: Inspiring
- S: Steady
- C: Conscientious
These categories have been updated to better reflect Marston’s original theory and are also more in step with modern culture. Few people today wish to self-identify as ‘compliant’ for instance. Nor is the ‘S’ personality type necessarily steady in all circumstances.
An overview of the I/D personality type
Your unique genius: You bring vision and inspiration to the team!
Optimists are enthusiastic, inspiring, future-focused, and motivational. They’re confident and often achieve positions of influence and power. They are creative, and warm and naturally pick up followers. They love implementing their great ideas immediately. They are able to express themselves well, verbally and in writing, and are happiest when trying to persuade someone about their new exciting idea. They live for exciting adventures both personally and professionally.
- Poor with routine
- Change direction often
Judges others by: How interesting they are, how positively they respond to ideas
Motivated by: Variety, freedom of action, brainstorming, building new relationships and persuading and teaching people
Under pressure: Lashes out, becomes scattered, changes strategy and direction
Fears: Being forced into dull routine, and being forced to follow strict, regimented, inflexible process
Possible work fits: Founder, salesperson, facilitator, marketer, recruiter, public relations person
To increase effectiveness:
- Follow a more consistent routine when working on teams
- Develop stronger listening skills
- Talk less
- Make fewer commitments and work hard to keep them
- Be more realistic about timelines, details and outcomes
How is the DISC personality test used?
The DISC personality test is used for a variety of purposes including:
- Learning how to communicate better with others
- Understanding the motivations of others
- Hiring the right person for the right job
- Coaching people to recognize their natural areas of strength and weakness
- Self-reflection and personal growth
Summary of the DISC Test
In summary, the DISC tool is a reliable, simple way to:
- enhance communication on your team
- increase your knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses
- learn the strengths and weaknesses of those around you
- understand the motivations of yourself and others
- improve success in hiring and promotion
- dramatically increase your effectiveness working with people
The DISC tool is simple, easy to use, and highly effective. Complete it here for free: