Understanding the 12 DiSC Personality Types

July 08, 2024 by Cynthia Orduña

Ever wondered how behavior and personality assessments can help your employees thrive in the workplace? In this article, we’ll be covering the DiSC assessment and how you can utilize its 12 DiSC personality types in your organization.

What Is DiSC?

The DiSC assessment is a behavior assessment tool based on the DiSC theory of psychologist William Marston. The theory centers on four different personality traits:

  1. Dominance (D): People with this trait are confident and place an emphasis on accomplishing results. They are motivated by challenges, competition, and success.
  2. Influence (I): Individuals with high Influence are characterized by their social abilities and emphasize relationships and persuasion. They are often enthusiastic, optimistic, and motivated by social recognition and group activities.
  3. Steadiness (S): This trait is associated with patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness. People high in Steadiness prefer stable environments and supportive roles. They are motivated by cooperation, opportunities to help, and appreciation.
  4. Conscientiousness (C): Those with high Conscientiousness value accuracy, quality, and expertise. They are detailed, analytical, and methodical, and are motivated by opportunities to gain knowledge, show their expertise, and work independently.

The DiSC model is widely used in personal development, team building, sales training, leadership development, and recruitment to help individuals understand their behavior and improve interpersonal relationships.

What Are the 12 DiSC Personality Types?

The 12 DiSC personality types are combinations of the four primary DiSC traits: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C). These combinations create a more nuanced understanding of individual behavior. 

The first four DiSC personality types are the four primary DiSC traits we’ve already covered:

  • D (Dominance): Focused on results, competitive, and assertive.
  • I (Influence): Sociable, talkative, and enthusiastic.
  • S (Steadiness): Patient, calm, and supportive.
  • C (Conscientiousness): Detail-oriented, analytical, and precise.

The remaining eight types are combinations of these primary traits:

  • DI (Dominance/Influence): Energetic, persuasive, and results-driven.
  • ID (Influence/Dominance): Outgoing, charismatic, and goal-oriented.
  • IS (Influence/Steadiness): Friendly, reliable, and people-focused.
  • SI (Steadiness/Influence): Warm, cooperative, and service-oriented.
  • SC (Steadiness/Conscientiousness): Patient, systematic, and attentive to details.
  • CS (Conscientiousness/Steadiness): Accurate, dependable, and methodical.
  • CD (Conscientiousness/Dominance): Analytical, assertive, and task-focused.
  • DC (Dominance/Conscientiousness): Direct, detail-oriented, and determined.

These 12 DiSC personality types help provide a more detailed and comprehensive view of individual behavior patterns. Click below to learn how our Careerminds leadership coaching and development programs can help your leaders assess and harness their DiSC personality types to unlock their full potential and achieve organizational success.

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Which DiSC Personalities Work Best Together in the Workplace?

Utilizing the DiSC assessment to identify and combine different DiSC personality types in the workplace can enhance communication, teamwork, and overall productivity. Here are some ways you can apply it effectively:

Improve Communication

  • Tailor communication styles: Understand the preferred communication styles of team members based on their DiSC personality types. For example, those with high Dominance may prefer direct and concise communication, while those with high Influence may appreciate a more enthusiastic and engaging approach.
  • Conflict resolution: Recognize and address the root causes of conflicts by understanding different DiSC profiles. This can help mediate disagreements more effectively.

Enhance Teamwork

  • Team composition: Build balanced teams by combining different DiSC personality types. A mix of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness can ensure a variety of perspectives and skills.
  • Role assignment: Assign roles that match team members’ strengths. For example, those high in Steadiness may excel in supportive roles, while those high in Dominance might thrive in leadership positions.

Boost Productivity

  • Motivation strategies: Motivate employees according to their DiSC personality types. For instance, those high in Conscientiousness may be motivated by opportunities for detailed and challenging work, while those high in Influence might be driven by social recognition and interaction.
  • Work environment: Create a work environment that caters to different DiSC personality types. For example, those high in Steadiness may prefer a stable and predictable environment, whereas those high in Influence might thrive in a dynamic and interactive setting.

Leadership Development

  • Leadership training: Develop leadership programs that help managers understand their own DiSC personality types and those of their team members. This can enhance their ability to lead effectively.
  • Personalized coaching: Use DiSC profiles to provide personalized coaching and development plans for employees, focusing on their unique strengths and areas for improvement.

Recruitment and Onboarding

  • Hiring process: Use DiSC assessments during the hiring process to identify candidates whose profiles match the skills that are missing from the team.
  • Tailored onboarding: Tailor onboarding programs to new hires’ DiSC personality types, helping them integrate more smoothly into the team and the company.

By leveraging the various combinations of DiSC personality types in these ways, organizations can create a more harmonious, efficient, and productive work environment.

What Is the Best DiSC Profile for a Leader?

There isn’t a single “best” DiSC profile for a leader, as effective leadership can come from any profile. The key is understanding one’s own strengths and areas for development within the context of their DiSC profile and adapting their leadership style accordingly. Different leadership situations may benefit from different DiSC personality types. However, here’s how each primary DiSC trait can contribute to effective leadership:

Dominance (D)

  • Strengths: Decisive, results-oriented, and confident.
  • Challenges: May come across as too forceful or impatient.
  • Best fit: Situations requiring quick decisions, driving change, and overcoming obstacles.

Influence (I)

  • Strengths: Charismatic, inspiring, and great at building relationships.
  • Challenges: May be overly optimistic or struggle with details.
  • Best fit: Situations requiring motivation, team morale boosting, and networking.

Steadiness (S)

  • Strengths: Patient, supportive, and excellent at building consensus.
  • Challenges: May resist change or struggle with assertiveness.
  • Best fit: Situations requiring stability, team harmony, and long-term planning.

Conscientiousness (C)

  • Strengths: Detail-oriented, analytical, and methodical.
  • Challenges: May be perceived as overly critical or indecisive.
  • Best fit: Situations requiring precision, problem-solving, and quality control.

Ultimately, the most effective leaders are those who understand their own DiSC profile and can flex their leadership style to meet the needs of their team and the demands of the situation. They leverage their strengths while being mindful of their potential weaknesses, and work to develop a well-rounded approach to leadership.

How to Use DiSC Personality Types in Your Organization?

If you want to use the DiSC assessment in your organization, follow these steps to ensure its effective implementation:

1. Learn about the DiSC theory and its application. Familiarize yourself with the different DiSC personality types and how they influence behavior.

2. Choose a reputable provider that offers validated and reliable DiSC assessments. Ensure the provider can tailor the assessment and reporting to fit your organizational needs.

3. Explain the advantages of using DiSC assessments to senior leadership, highlighting improved communication, teamwork, and productivity.

4. Secure commitment from leadership to support and promote the use of DiSC within the organization.

5. Clearly communicate why the DiSC assessment is being introduced and how it will benefit both the organization and the employees.

6. Be open to addressing any concerns or questions employees may have about the assessment process.

7. Train HR professionals, managers, or designated facilitators on how to administer the DiSC assessment and interpret the results.

8. Consider hiring external DiSC consultants or trainers to guide the process and provide expertise.

9. Distribute the DiSC assessment to employees and ensure they understand how to complete it.

10. Assure employees that their results will be handled confidentially and used constructively.

11. Provide personalized feedback to employees, helping them understand their DiSC personality types and how they can use this information for personal development.

12. Share team dynamics reports with managers to help them understand the collective strengths and areas for improvement within their teams.

13. Use DiSC profiles to enhance team-building activities, improving collaboration and understanding among team members.

14. Incorporate DiSC assessments into leadership development programs to help leaders understand their own styles and adapt to their team members.

15. Gather feedback from employees and managers on the effectiveness of the DiSC implementation.

16. Make necessary adjustments to the program based on feedback

Curious about DiSC personality types in the workplace? Learn about the 12 DiSC personality types to help you identify and utilize the strengths of your employees.

and observed outcomes.

17. Provide continuous training and support for employees to deepen their understanding and application of DiSC.

18. Periodically re-administer the DiSC assessment to track changes and ensure ongoing development.

By following these steps, you can effectively integrate the DiSC assessment into your organization, using its 12 DiSC personality types to enhance communication, teamwork, and overall performance.

DiSC Personality Types: Key Takeaways

The DiSC assessment is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance personal and professional dynamics within an organization. By understanding the four primary DiSC traits—Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness—and the various combinations of DiSC personality types, organizations can gain deeper insights into individual behavior, leading to improved communication, teamwork, and productivity. 

Here are the key takeaways:

  • The DiSC model includes 12 DiSC personality types that provide a comprehensive view of individual behavior patterns in various combinations of the primary DiSC traits.
  • Effective leaders can come from any DiSC profile. The key is understanding one’s own strengths and adapting leadership styles to meet the needs of the team and situation.
  • Successfully integrating DiSC into an organization involves educating the team, securing leadership support, training facilitators, administering the assessment, interpreting results, and continuously monitoring and adjusting the program for improvement.

If you’re interested in learning more about our leadership coaching and development services, click below to connect with our experts and see if Careerminds is the right fit for your organization.

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Cynthia Orduña

Cynthia Orduña

Cynthia Orduña is a Career and Business Coach with a background in recruiting, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has helped 50+ companies around the world hire and retain talent in cities like LA, SF, NY, Berlin, Tokyo, Sydney, and London. She has also coached over 300 people, from entry to senior levels, in developing their one-of-a-kind career paths, Her work has been featured in publications such as Business Insider, The Balance Careers, The Zoe Report, and more. To learn more you can connect with Cynthia on LinkedIn.

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