disc personality profile

What are DiSC Personality types and how do they help your Organisation?

DiSC is a personality profiling test used by many of the world’s biggest companies to evaluate their workforce. We have developed our own proprietary version of DiSC based on consultations with independent psychologists and workplace psychologists. We use it with great success as part of our suite of analytical tools to help surface potential personality conflicts within organisations.

Where does DiSC come from?

In the 1940’s William Moulton Marston developed a way of understanding personality types based on Jungian Psychology. In the intervening 80 years DiSC has matured and been refined to the point where it is now an essential business tool used by many of the world’s biggest companies and organisations. DiSC is objective, reliable and helps validate other information generated by APeopleBusiness (APB) analysis tools.

Benefits of DISC in business:

When people work together there is often potential for either synergy or friction. The aim of DiSC is to understand the different types of personalities present in your key teams and in the wider workforce.

Understanding personality profile mix of different jobs and roles is useful when recruiting (we can profile jobs as well as people), and for re-assigning good people who may just be in the wrong job (as well of course as helping them to leave).

The information APB’s DiSC analysis surfaces allows business leaders & HR to easily evaluate and diffuse potential areas of stress and conflict. In addition the insights into your people’s personalities can be used proactively to implement procedures that enhance cooperation, workplace cohesion and efficiency.

DISC personality types: An overview:

As we know some people are very extrovert and ‘go getter’, whilst others are more introverted, shy and inward looking.

William Marston’s research into different personality types lead him to the idea that personality is more than simply introvert or extrovert. He theorised that human personality is a blend of four key traits, that he identified as Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. This concept is now known as DiSC.

So what are the 4 key personality traits?

D = Dominance

The desire to take charge of one’s environment, the need to win, to excel, to conquer, to take power, to control.

I = Influence

The desire to cause others to act so as to further one’s own desires. The need for acceptance and affection, concern with one’s image.

S = Steadiness

the desire to maintain things as they are. The need for security, slower pace, consistency, justice, sincerity.

C = Compliance

The need for rules and authority – both one’s own and other’s. To follow rules and to respond positively to perfection, logic and analysis.

Comparing personality types

The easiest way to understand DiSC personality types is by using a series of indicative words and phrases. It is important to note that  most people are a blend of these four types, but in varying amounts. Click on the letters below to see more >

D = Dominance


Demanding, hard driving, assertive – even aggressive, forceful, controlling, pragmatic, direct, blunt, arrogant, can meddle, self-starter seeks to achieve, competitive, needs a challenge , motivated by need to win, needs to exercise authority, Fears failure.


Non-demanding, mild, meek, timid, dislikes confrontation, non-aggressive, non-antagonistic

I = influence

High I

Persuasive, charismatic, verbal, eloquent, communicative, has ideas, seeks co-operation, wants involvement, out-going, gregarious, friendly, people-orientated, noisy, accepts others, familiar, motivated by peer-group recognition, needs to be liked, fears rejection.

Low I

Serious, reflective, quiet, loner, reserved, suspicious, non-empathetic, things orientated.

S = Steadiness

High S

Steadfast, persistent, dependable, glue of society, doesn’t like to make waves, questions, supports, slower than D or I, good listener, checks, gathers information, lacks imagination, trustworthy (but not trusting), intensely loyal, sincere, seeks to maintain, works hard not long, systematic, careful, thorough, stable, reliable, routine orientated, may forgive but doesn’t forget, wants security, accepts the tried and trusted, motivated by precedent, needs the established, fears change and surprises.

Low I

Restless, active, alert, mobile, energetic, speedy, pacey, hates routine, likes variety, low boredom threshold, high energy cycle, opportunistic.

C = Compliant

High C

Logical, perfectionist, accurate, precise, law abiding, high integrity, follows rules but may first write them, pedantic, often quite creative – particularly within a discipline, learns things, often qualified, seeks the rules, picky, uncompromising, wants directives, accepts the proven or established, careful, non-confrontational, wants a discipline to work to, accepts the rules, likes procedures, motivated by proof, can be an intellectual snob leading to sarcasm, needs to be aloof from conflict, fears disorder and confrontation.

Low C

Strong-willed, individualistic, independent, hates rules, wayward, difficult to manage, expedient, economical with the truth, rule book out of window.

DiSC and Leadership

So how does an understanding of DiSC personalities translate into the real world?

A good example is seen in leadership styles; different personality types have very different approaches to dealing with people and taking on business challenges. If you are interviewing for a new company CEO or C-Suite executive DiSC will give you invaluable insights into what to expect should you hire them …

D - Autocratic

Very demanding. Strong at delegation. Often disliked but usually admired for ability to get results. May be unsympathetic, ruthless. A survivor. Capable of saying whatever is expedient. Tends to judge everyone simply by their results. Usually impatient and can be very unforgiving especially of errors which are repeated. Tends to take very quick decisions and sort out any negative consequences ‘on the fly’.

I - Charismatic

Inspires, encourages and charms. Often applies instinctively effective emotionally-based arguments. May have favourites…. responds very positively to being appreciated. Occasionally may be over sympathetic. May champion the underdog.

S - Not a natural manager

Works mostly through being reasonable and relies on consensus and others’ respect for fair-play. Mild mannered and finds giving discipline difficult. Likely to be rather slow to chide. Will prefer boss to deal with sackings when the subject is unlikely to have had any indications of impending dismissal. Very approachable and can be confided in. Tends to lead by providing a consistent example for subordinates to follow. Usually applies directives rather than initiates changes.

C - Rigid follower of rules

Expects subordinates to adopt the same respect for quality standards. Rarely surprises staff with new approaches. Likes to measure and analyse thoroughly before applying a decision. Strong leader of a peer group of similar experts or specialists who naturally follow the leading expert and respect technical excellence. May have great difficulty in controlling wilful proactive characters.


This article is intended as a general introduction to the personality types identified by DiSC profiling, and how this knowledge is used in business. As we have seen every person is a unique blend of 4 personality traits that defines how they approach and deal with tasks and stress, as well as interact with other colleagues.

APeopleBusiness’s StressFactor™ solution incorporates our propriety DiSC profiling technology to help organisations understand the personality mix in their organisation. These insights are especially important in the difficult times created by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resultant stress on employees forced to work from home.

At the time of writing, a year and a half into the pandemic, we are all too familiar with the very real sense of isolation caused by lockdown, the fear of the unknown, and having to work from a location often unsuited for work. These stresses can be identified by the leadership team, allowing them to take a more caring, sympathetic and personalised approach to dealing with their workforce.

Contact APB to find out more about how APB’s StressFactor™ and DiSC solutions can help your organisation surface and resolve workplace issues caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Image credit

Icons from Noun Project:

  • Agree By Alice Design
  • impatient by Gan Khoon Lay
  • wearing business suit by Gan Khoon Lay
  • whiteboard by ProSymbols