top of page

Understanding The DISC Assessment – Unlocking Insights Into Human Behavior

Written by: Melissa Willis, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Melissa Willis

In the realm of self-discovery and personal development, various tools and assessments have emerged to shed light on the intricate tapestry of human behavior. One such tool that has gained significant prominence is the DISC assessment. Developed on the foundation of behavioral psychology, the DISC assessment serves as a powerful instrument for understanding individual behavior traits, communication styles, and interactions within diverse settings. DISC creates self-awareness and critical awareness of others.

Love to learn pencil signage near walking man

Decoding the acronym: D-I-S-C

The DISC assessment derives its name from the four primary behavioral traits it measures: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C). Each of these traits represents a distinct facet of an individual's behavior and influences how they approach tasks, relate to others, and navigate the world around them. The styles relate to pace (faster pace or more reserved pace) and whether one is people-oriented or task-oriented.

Dominance (D): Individuals with a dominant trait tend to be assertive, results-oriented, and competitive. They thrive on challenges, often taking charge and making decisions swiftly. These individuals are driven by achieving goals and overcoming obstacles.

Influence (I): The influence trait characterizes outgoing, persuasive, and enthusiastic people. People with strong I-factor are skilled communicators and are inclined to build connections and relationships. They often thrive in collaborative and social environments.

Steadiness (S): Steadiness reflects individuals who are patient, reliable, and focused on maintaining harmony. They value stability and are excellent team players. People with a high S-factor are often empathetic listeners and prioritize cooperation.

Conscientiousness (C): Conscientious individuals are detail-oriented, analytical, and systematic in their approach. They prioritize accuracy and precision, often demonstrating a strong sense of responsibility and adherence to rules and procedures.

Unveiling the assessment process

The DISC assessment typically involves a series of questions or scenarios that prompt respondents to rank or choose behaviors that resonate with them the most and least. The assessment generates a behavioral profile through these responses, indicating the individual's predominant and secondary traits. It's essential to note that most people exhibit a combination of these traits, with varying degrees of intensity.

Real-world applications

The insights gained from a DISC assessment offer multifaceted benefits across personal and professional spheres:

Enhanced Self-Awareness: Understanding one's primary and secondary behavioral traits fosters self-awareness, enabling individuals to recognize their strengths and areas for growth. This self-knowledge is pivotal for personal development and effective communication.

Effective Communication: Armed with insights into their communication styles, individuals can tailor their interactions to connect more effectively with others. This is especially valuable in team settings, where different behavioral traits come into play.

Conflict Resolution: Knowledge of the DISC model can aid in resolving conflicts by enabling individuals to understand the motivations and preferences of others. This insight promotes empathy and facilitates compromise.

Leadership Development: Leaders who comprehend their behavioral profiles can adapt their leadership styles to suit the needs of their teams. For instance, a leader high in Dominance might emphasize decisive action, while a leader high in Influence might focus on motivation and collaboration.

Team Building: When assembling teams, an awareness of the DISC traits can aid in creating balanced and harmonious groups by ensuring a mix of dominant, influential, steady, and conscientious individuals.

Limitations and considerations

While the DISC assessment provides valuable insights, it's crucial to acknowledge its limitations. Human behavior is complex and influenced by various factors, including cultural background, upbringing, and personal experiences. The DISC assessment doesn't account for these nuances and should be used as a complementary tool rather than a definitive representation of an individual's entire personality. DISC looks more at behavior than personality.

The DISC assessment serves as a valuable instrument for unraveling the intricate web of human behavior. By offering insights into dominant, influential, steady, and conscientious traits, this tool equips individuals with the knowledge to enhance self-awareness, communication skills, and overall interpersonal interactions. While not an all-encompassing solution, the DISC assessment undoubtedly contributes to the journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Harnessing the power of the DISC assessment in coaching

Coaching, as a transformative practice aimed at unlocking an individual's potential and facilitating personal and professional growth, benefits greatly from the integration of various tools and assessments. The DISC assessment stands out as a particularly valuable asset in the coaching process due to its ability to provide insights into behavioral tendencies, communication styles, and interpersonal dynamics. Here's why the DISC assessment is important in coaching:

1. Self-awareness and personal development

One of the primary objectives of coaching is to foster self-awareness. The DISC assessment serves as a powerful catalyst in this process by offering individuals a structured framework to understand their behavioral tendencies. By identifying their dominant and secondary DISC traits, clients gain clarity about their natural inclinations, strengths, and potential blind spots. This awareness forms a solid foundation for targeted personal development efforts.

2. Tailored coaching strategies

Coaching is most effective when it is tailored to the unique needs and preferences of the individual. The DISC assessment equips coaches with valuable insights into how clients process information, communicate, and make decisions. Armed with this information, coaches can customize their approach to resonate with the client's preferred communication style and motivation triggers, leading to more impactful coaching sessions. It’s important to treat people the way that they want to be treated.

3. Enhanced communication skills

Effective communication lies at the heart of successful coaching relationships. By understanding their communication styles and those of their clients, coaches can navigate potential communication barriers and foster more open and productive conversations. This awareness prevents misunderstandings, builds rapport, and establishes a solid foundation of trust between the coach and the client.

4. Managing interpersonal dynamics

In many coaching scenarios, the ultimate goal is to improve relationships and collaborations, whether in personal or professional spheres. The DISC assessment provides clients with insights into how they interact with others and how their behavior might be perceived. Coaches can guide clients to adjust their behavior based on these insights, leading to improved interpersonal interactions and smoother team dynamics.

5. Goal setting and action planning

Coaching often involves setting goals and creating action plans to achieve desired outcomes. The DISC assessment aids in this process by helping clients align their goals with their natural behavioral tendencies. For instance, a person with a dominant (D) trait might focus on setting ambitious, results-driven goals, while someone with a steadiness (S) trait might prioritize collaborative and gradual progress.

6. Conflict resolution

Conflict is a common challenge in both personal and professional life. The DISC assessment equips clients with a framework to understand the behavioral motivations of others, which can be invaluable in resolving conflicts. Coaches can guide clients to approach conflicts with empathy and adapt their communication style to facilitate resolution.

7. Leadership development

For clients in leadership roles, the DISC assessment can provide profound insights into their leadership styles. Coaches can help them leverage their dominant traits to be more effective leaders while also addressing potential areas for growth. This leads to better decision-making, enhanced team management, and improved overall leadership skills.

Incorporating the DISC assessment into coaching enriches the experience by infusing it with a structured understanding of behavioral patterns. However, it's important to remember that the DISC assessment is just one tool in the coaching toolkit. A skilled coach integrates these insights while considering the broader context of the client's life, experiences, and aspirations, ensuring a well-rounded and impactful coaching journey.

Whether it’s used to enhance personal relationships, build harmony in the workplace, or simply navigate one’s daily life more effectively, the DISC assessment is a priceless tool that will change how we interact with each other. If you’d like to take a complimentary assessment, this website is a great resource.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Melissa Willis Brainz Magazine

Melissa Willis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Melissa Willis is an expert in helping her clients move past what's holding them back. Her no-nonsense approach coupled with her wit and understanding make her a sought-after coach, speaker, and marketing consultant.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page