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DISC is the four quadrant behavioral model based on the work of William Moulton Marston Ph.D. (1893 - 1947) to examine the behavior of individuals in their environment or within a specific situation. DISC looks at behavioral styles and behavioral preferences. Marston, the father of the DISC, was a graduate of Harvard University. Among his contributions in his profession, Marston was a consulting psychologist, researcher and author of five books, which he either wrote or co-authored. He was published in the American Journal of Psychology, The Encyclopedia of Psychology, and The Encyclopedia Britannica.

Marston’s 1928 “Emotions of Normal People”, introduced DISC theory to the public. He defined four categories of human behavioral styles, types or temperament, now know as "D" for Dominance, "I" for Influence, "S" for Steadiness and "C" for Conscientious.

Dominance: Direct & Decisive. These are the people that tend to be strong-minded. They are strong-willed people who enjoy challenges, taking action, and immediate results.  The bottom line is their focus tends to be on the bottom line and results.

Influence: Optimistic & Outgoing. These individuals tend to be very social people who prefer participating on teams, sharing ideas, and entertaining and energizing others.

Steadiness: Sympathetic & Cooperative. These people tend to be supportive, helpful and team players.  They prefer being behind the scene, working in consistent and predictable ways. They are often good listeners.

Conscientiousness: Concerned, Cautious & Correct. These people are often focused on quality. They plan ahead, check for accuracy, and utilize systematic approaches to problem solving.

The real power of DISC comes from its ability to interpret the relations between these four quadrants. For example where a highly Dominant person has an equally high level of Influence, they will behave quite differently to an equally Dominant individual without that Influence. The factors combine like this to provide (theoretically) around one million different 'profiles' (that is, combinations of the four factors).

Using this information, DISC can be used to describe a person's general approach, including their motivations and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and some of the basic assumptions they make about other people. It can also go far in helping to predict how a person will react to a specific set of circumstances.

Benefits of using the DISC profile include:

  • Discovering behavioral strengths
  • Learning to value the strengths of others
  • Discovering ways to deal with conflict effectively
  • Cultivate teamwork and reduce team conflict
  • Developing strategies to meet a diversity of needs
  • Improve communication skills through determining communication styles
  • Increasing sales skill by understanding client or customer behavior and decision making styles
  • Improve customer relationships and customer satisfaction
  • Reduce personal and organizational conflict and stress
  • Manage interpersonal communication better
  • Enhance and develop coaching and mentoring skills