DISC Test: What is the S/D or Worker Personality Type?

4 min min read
Updated on August 17, 2021
DISC Test: What is the S/D or Worker Personality Type?

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:

  • Intelligence
  • Morality/character
  • 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 S/D personality type

Your unique genius:  You’re unstoppable when you take on a task!

Brief description:

Workers are dependable, kind, persistent, reliable, non-verbal, and tenacious.  They are very task oriented and like to get things done in a friendly but thorough manner.  They are both energetic and stable.  They are patient with others and will stick with a task until it’s done.  They are a unique blend of personality traits that enjoys being with people and also enjoys being alone so they can get more done.

Strengths:

  • Patient
  • Tenacious
  • Dependable
  • Consistent
  • Protective
  • Kind
  • Watchful

Challenges:

  • Conflict
  • Communication
  • Planning
  • Making decisions that causes discomfort to others

Judges others by: Their work ethic, how they treat others

Motivated by: Doing a variety of challenging practical jobs

Under pressure: Withdraws, gets less communicative, and may lash out if the pressure gets intense

Fears: Not getting results, causing offense to others

Possible work fits: Police or military officer, manager, tradesperson, coach

To increase effectiveness:

  • Build strong team communication skills
  • Build times of relaxation and stress relief into every day
  • Make decisions for the good of all, not to preserve harmony
  • Choose a workplace where people share your values
  • Work on bettering planning skills

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:

DISC Personalities™ Assessment

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