Here at the DISC Group, the DISC assessment is what we do best. So if you’ve been asking yourself, “What actually is the DISC assessment?”, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post we will explain everything you need to know about the DISC model and how it is used in an assessment.

DISC is a model of personal assessment that is today used by individuals and organisations the world over for the purposes of better understanding behaviours and enhancing performance in the workplace. A form of psychometric testing, the assessment uses the four DISC behavioural styles to provide insights into someone’s personality that can help improve their self-awareness and working relationships.

By having employees take DISC personality tests and harnessing the results, companies can better the teamwork, communication and productivity of their workforce.

History of the DISC model

The DISC model was first introduced by psychologist William Moulton Marston in his 1928 book Emotions of Normal People. Marston’s study focused on people’s self-perception in relation to their environment, from which he developed a theory of four primary emotional types. These were:

Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance.

However, Marston did not himself develop a means to measure or test these aspects of personality, and in the 1940s, another psychologist named Walter Clarke began to work on the first method of assessing the DISC model. In the decades since the publication of Marston’s theory and the introduction of Clarke’s test, advancements in psychology and other relevant academic fields have allowed for the development and refinement of many different assessments that use DISC as their foundation. These have become most relevant in the context of the modern workplace and how people interact with their co-workers.

DISC: the four styles

As it evolved, the process of DISC profiling began using slightly different labels for the four behavioural styles than those given earliest. These, along with the main characteristics they are defined by, are described below.


Also known as D-style, these individuals overcome resistance and shape their environment in order to achieve results. They are typically independent, competitive, confident and strong-willed, but may be quite stubborn and impatient with others.


Also known as I-style, these employees use charm and persuasion to influence their environment. They are often enthusiastic, optimistic, friendly and communicative, but may be less effective when working individually or become easily unfocused.


Also known as S-style, these people are accepting of their environment and stable in how they relate to situations. They are usually calm, patient, accommodating and dependable as well as good team players, but can lack assertiveness when it is necessary.


Also known as C-style (or sometimes Conscientiousness), these staff members adjust to superior forces in their environment. They are careful, systematic, analytical and expectation-oriented, but may lack decision-making skills and be overly perfectionistic and critical.

Results of a DISC assessment

The results provided by a DISC test will determine which behavioural style best describes the test-taker’s personality. While the result can be a blend of the DISC styles, having an insight into the overarching personality type opens the door to a wide range of benefits.

To identify someone’s DISC personality style, the DISC test measures a person’s tendencies, working preferences, traits and the values they prioritise. This can shed valuable light on the way in which they interact with situations and other people, whether that be in terms of communication style, leadership style or learning style. While DISC is a useful tool for self-assessment, it is most valuable to organisations and managers as a non-judgemental way of learning more about each employee and having a common framework within which to evaluate their different personalities.

By DISC profiling staff in the workplace, businesses can improve their decision-making and maximise productivity; for example, managers putting together a team will be able to balance the personality types within the group and be better prepared to carry out conflict resolution. Additionally, identifying employees’ strengths and limitations will allow for more effective training and boost employee engagement due to tasks being assigned appropriately.

The reliability of the DISC assessment has been consistently found to be high. In terms of test-retest reliability (which measures the consistency in results when an assessment is taken more than once by the same person), a good reliability score is considered anything over .70. Studies have generally found DISC to have a reliability of between .86 and .89.

As well as merely identifying a personality type, results of the DISC assessment are augmented by clear and detailed reports that expand on the behavioural findings to create comprehensive personality profiles.

Our DISC Flow Profiles

We have a selection of personality profiles available amongst our offering which each offer different in-depth reports based on the results of the DISC profiling assessment.

DISC Flow CORE: Uses the DISC model combined with aspects of emotional intelligence to produce a personalised report on the test-taker’s general behaviours and characteristics, motivators and stressors, development potential and more.

DISC Flow PORTRAIT: A simplified version of the CORE, this profile reports on the DISC-only aspects of the test.

DISC Flow LEADER: A report which focuses specifically on the leadership approach of the DISC personality type identified through the assessment tool.

DISC Flow GROUP: Examines the trend of behaviours and emotional intelligence amongst members in a team, improving understanding of the DISC styles within the group and allowing for better team dynamics.

As you can see, DISC assessments can lead to accurate and valuable behavioural profiling of individuals and groups, managers and employees alike. They allow organisations to reap a wealth of rewards through harnessing the knowledge provided by DISC profiling (read more about this in our blog post on the benefits of using DISC). For more information on how to integrate our DISC personality tests into your workplace, contact our friendly team – we will be happy to help!