Using DiSC Theory to Predict Communication Style

Yes, I know that DiSC theory is commonly used to identify personality traits within individuals to predict actions.  Many personality theories can also be used to predict how an individual communicates, DiSC being one. This is a research project of mine.

DiSC theory was first published in 1928 in a book called Emotions of Normal People by William Marston (yes, the original creator of Wonder Woman). It was horribly skewed to suit corporate needs in 1956 as a way of vetting people for a job. Today, DiSC has been altered slightly to be more positive in nature (and replaced Compliance with Conscientiousness).

And this is where I am going to insert words of caution. Personality tests are fickle things. While I get a kick out of taking them from time to time, they are very subjective to your current state of mind. I’ve even had mine change based on being hungry, what emotional state I was in, if I was tired, and so on. Personality tests are not concrete evidence of your personality.

Be cautious of any organization that uses a personality test for employment screening.

There are organizations that use personality tests to ensure they obtain individuals that will do anything they want, regardless of ethical or legal issues. I have had personal experience of organizations using a personality test and then pushing a sales position on me based on the results.

DiSC theory centers around four personality traits: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.  Typically, it is a self-administered assessment used to understand a person’s predominate personality trait. It can indicate what type of leader a person is. It can also indicate how a person communicates, if you know how to read it.

People that score high in Dominance are labeled as leaders, problem solvers, and multitaskers. They tend to welcome challenges, will usually not hesitate to speak out, can see the big picture, and ask questions based around ‘what’. In communication, dominance people are direct, to the point, and will not typically ramble or generalize.

People that score high on Influence are those that seek to inspire others. They are communicators, peacemakers, and tend to be sociable. Influencers are good spokespeople, motivators, are typically positive and optimistic, and can be impulsive and emotional. In communication, these people can talk, offering their opinions freely and enthusiastically. They love to brainstorm and tend to be persuasive.

People with a high score in Steadiness are the relationship builders and team players. These people are patient and can read between the lines. They are loyal and dependable within their teams, are the voice and ears of reason, and can help foster a more favorable environment. In communication, these individuals are your how people. They want to know how things work and want clarity. These individuals typically cannot handle aggressiveness.

People that score high in Conscientiousness are the analytical people. They are the organizers, the analysts, the diplomats, and the evaluators. They are very logical and systematic, emphasizing quality and data. In communication, these individuals need ALL the facts and details, and are very literal people.

Dominant and Influence individuals tend to be more assertive and louder than Steadiness and Conscientiousness individuals. In leadership, organizations like the Dominant and Influencers to lead the way. In reality, an organization needs to have all 4 styles on a leadership team.

Do you know what your primary representation is in DiSC theory? Do you know how to communicate with every style? Effective communication is learning how to adapt your own personal style to tap into all other styles.

Want to learn more about being a more effective communicator? Contact me today!