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DISC: History and Development

DISC has been in development far longer than most people realize. Dating back to 444 B.C., the original DISC model was theorized by Empodocles – a philosopher from Sicily. The original four “elements” proposed by Empodocles were Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. He believed a person’s behavior was affected by these environmental elements, rather than by internal factors known today as DISC Personality Types. Approximately fifty years later, Hippocrates redefined these elements as the Four TemperamentsCholeric, Sanguine, Melancholic, and Phlegmatic.

Carl Gustav Jung and William Moulton Marston

During the early 1900’s, Carl Gustav Jung (known as the founder of analytical psychology) made yet another change to the Four Temperaments. After further research and development, he came to define the four internal factors as Feeling, Intuition, Sensation, and Thinking. This reflected his findings that temperaments directly affect the way we give, receive, and process information. Jung’s discoveries ultimately laid the foundation for the Myers Briggs Personality Test (MBTI), an inferior but well-known cousin of today’s more accurate DISC assessments.

It was not long after Carl Jung that William Moulton Marston wrote a book titled Emotions of Normal People in the late 1920’s. Marston’s book marked the true beginning of modern-day DISC personality theory. He called it the DISC Personality System, which he validated at Harvard University through official research studies. His biggest contribution to DISC personality theory was the acknowledgement and validation that a person’s DISC profile accurately predicts their observable behavior.

With Marston’s work, the four quadrants of the DISC Personality System were renamed for the final time as Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. These definitions are still in use today in modern-day DISC Tests and Behavioral Assessments.

Myers Briggs Personality Test

The Myers Briggs Personality Test (MBTI) indicates personal preferences in how people view the world, process information, and make decisions. It’s a popular personality test frequently used in the workplace to improve communication and help managers better motivate their employees.

It has many shortcomings, however, mainly because you are lumped into one of just sixteen (16) personality categories. This oversimplification means there is little functional insight or value of the MBTI assessment in the workplace, even if the test itself is fun to take and share with colleagues. Furthermore, MBTI is not a validated assessment for hiring, communication, training, or development.

DISC Personality Tests

There are many flavors of DISC Personality Tests available in the market today. These range from free and useless to expensive and insightful. Many of the less expensive DISC Personality Tests available use a model similar to the Myers Briggs Personality Test. Such assessments only provide between 4-16 final profiles from which to draw insight. Oversimplified profiling reduces accuracy and validity, and also renders the assessment useless for hiring, training, and development.

By contrast, our DISC Tests and/or Talent Insights Assessments provide 384 profiles derived from 19,000 possible combinations. Our partner, TTI Success Insights, was the first company to computerize the DISC Personality Test in the 1980’s and remains the industry-leader for reporting accuracy and validity today.

The unparalleled validity and accuracy of our performance assessments yields detailed, validated, and functional results. These are professional tools with research, patents, case studies, and legal clearances behind them – things no other DISC Personality Test or related product has today.

Putting this into context, our DISC Personality Test and related assessments have been used over 30 million times around the world at over 100,000 companies. They are available in more than 40 languages and currently are in use in more than 90 countries. All of our assessments have a proven track record and are validated for hiring, training, and development.

Applications of DISC in the Workplace

DISC is frequently used in the workplace for:

  • Employee Selection – Many employers use DISC Personality Tests and related assessments to screen applicants and evaluate job fit, which is called Job Benchmarking or Predictive Analytics.
  • Training & DevelopmentDISC workshops are popular activities for small and large companies alike. They help employees apply the insights from their DISC tests for improved communication and productivity.
  • Sales Skills Training – Another frequent application of DISC is sales training. Combined with tools like our Sales Skills Index, which compares a salesperson’s profile to 30,000 top sales performers, DISC can help a salesperson communicate more effectively with prospects and customers – increasing their persuasiveness and leading to more closed deals.

Ready to take your DISC Personality Test or learn more? Contact us today to submit your inquiry and we will gladly assist you. Alternatively, learn more from our articles below or with our free online DISC eLearning course.

29 02, 2016

15 Career Aptitude Tests To Boost Your Job Hunt

By |2016-11-18T19:44:53-06:00February 29th, 2016|Categories: DISC, Self-Management|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

A career aptitude test helps you find the perfect job It's no surprise that a lot of job seekers are starting to take their job search to the next level by taking career aptitude tests. A career aptitude test is a quiz or assessment which helps job seekers with their job search. These days, many employers use pre-employment [...]

15 02, 2016

DISC – Leadership skills for the High-C

By |2016-11-18T19:44:53-06:00February 15th, 2016|Categories: DISC, Team Building|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Leadership skills from a High-C, as assessed from a DISC assessment, comes from a mix of having a great analytical mind, precision and accuracy in planning and execution, and diplomacy. As we have described before, the "C" in DISC stands for "compliance" or "conscientious." The word "compliance" isn't usually associated with leadership, but the term [...]

8 02, 2016

DISC – Leadership skills for the High-S

By |2016-11-18T19:44:53-06:00February 8th, 2016|Categories: DISC, Team Building|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |1 Comment

The High-S: a hidden leader Leadership skills for the High-S is hardly obvious. After all, S stands for "Steady" while the other behavioral types, D for "Dominant" and I for "Influencer," seem like a better DISC profile to match a leader. The truth is, the High-S, who is known for being passive, inactive, and predictable, [...]

1 02, 2016

DISC – Leadership skills for the High-I

By |2016-11-18T19:44:53-06:00February 1st, 2016|Categories: DISC, Team Building|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

High-I Leadership The High-I stands for "influencer" as explained in detail in our in-depth look at each personal behavioral style as determined in a DISC assessment. The measurement of this behavioral style determines how a person interacts and influences others to share a point of view. High-I characteristics and be a part of the personality [...]

25 01, 2016

DISC – Leadership skills for the High-D

By |2016-11-18T19:44:53-06:00January 25th, 2016|Categories: DISC, Team Building|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

The High-D stands for “Dominant” as explained in detail in one of our previous posts. It is one of the four types of behavioral styles that can be identified in a DISC assessment. Specifically, measuring the magnitude of this trait in a person requires looking into how one approaches and responds to challenges and exercises [...]

21 12, 2015

DISC and Understanding your own Behavior

By |2016-11-18T19:44:54-06:00December 21st, 2015|Categories: DISC, Executive Coaching, Self-Management|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

DISC does wonders for self-improvement. It is absolutely necessary to understand your own behavior before you can start to communicate effectively with others. The whole premise of DISC is to allow you to understand your behavior and tendencies easily. As mentioned in a previous post, self-awareness is key to become successful as a leader and [...]

18 12, 2015

DISC Personality Types – The High-C

By |2016-11-18T19:44:54-06:00December 18th, 2015|Categories: DISC, Team Building|Tags: , , , , , , , |3 Comments

In this article, we will explore the nature of the "High-C" as ranked by a DISC test. Reminder: DISC measures behavior and communication style. When we talk about exploring the nature of the High-C, what we are referring to is their visible behavior and communication style. Remember, DISC is not actually a measure of personality even though many people think [...]