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An Insider’s Manual to DISC Assessments, Personalities & Profiles

DISC assessments are dynamic, deeply insightful evaluations focused on mapping out an individual’s traits and personality. As such, DISC evaluations can be powerful tools for professionals, C-suites, and any business looking to hire optimal candidates for a given role.

That’s because:

  • Professionals can use DISC profiles and evaluations to get a deeper, clearer understanding of their strengths and “weaknesses.” That can help them go for the right roles, position themselves better in interviews, and use their strengths to their advantage when it’s time to hit the ground running.
  • Leaders and companies can leverage DISC profiles to screen, hire, recruit, and evaluate candidates during the hiring process. DISC assessments can also be integral when it’s time for employee performance evaluations, department reorganizations, and so much more.

Revealing more about DISC evaluations, their uses, their benefits, and how they work in practice, this overview of DISC evaluations has been assembled and shared by the top C-suite recruiters at Cowen Partners to help professionals, executives, and businesses in their ever-evolving growth journeys.

Whenever you’re looking to take a DISC test now or you need information geared toward C-level leaders, click an option below.

What Is a DISC Evaluation?

DISC evaluations or DISC tests include a series of multiple choice questions to identify how an individual ‘fits’ or maps onto four behavioral categories. Those categories comprise the DISC acronym and include: 

  • Dominance
  • Influence
  • Steadiness
  • Conscientiousness

Each DISC profile “type” signifies distinct behavioral tendencies and patterns. That can mean specific:

  • Communication preferences and styles
  • Personality traits
  • Work habits
  • Mindsets

That’s why DISC assessments have become a go-to tool and resource for leaders, recruitment teams, C-suites, and professionals who are looking to make more informed decisions.

What’s the Best Type of DISC Personality?

No one type of DISC profile is the “best” or “better” than any other on the surface. Instead, the better question here be what type of DISC profile is best for a particular need, role, or objective.

That’s because different DISC personality types may be better suited for unique roles, based on the demands of the position.

Consequently, the best DISC profile to fit the needs of a CEO position in one company may not be the same as the best DISC profile for a marketing director, a sales manager, or someone else vital to an organization.

This is where an understanding of what different DISC profiles really mean can be essential. With that, it’s easier to dial into what (or who) may be the ideal fit.

What Do the 4 DISC Personalities Mean?

“DISC” is an acronym for the four main personality types it describes, based on an individual’s dominant behavioral traits. The four DISC personality types are as follows, with some general advantages and potential drawbacks for each type below:

  1. D = Dominance

Dominant DISC personalities are people who are “leaders of the pack.” These folks tend to take the reins, assert their opinions, and make decisions confidently, even when risk and unknowns are involved.

  1. I = Influence

Influential DISC personalities are people who are extroverts. These folks are the “life of the party,” and they tend to be great at developing relationships, bringing up the mood, and motivating others to join in or get on board.

  1. S = Steadiness

Steady DISC personalities are people who are usually cooperative listeners. These individuals tend to be dedicated, dependable, and supportive, fostering harmony and stability while also showing loyalty.

  1. C = Conscientiousness

Conscientious DISC personalities are people who are exceptionally organized, methodical, and deadline-focused. These individuals value accuracy and rules, and they tend to be skilled problemsolvers.

While these generalities can be eye-opening, it’s important to remember that they are not “absolutes” that perfectly or totally define any individual. Still, they can be very helpful guidelines in a variety of circumstances.

What “Weaknesses” Are Associated with Each DISC Personality?

No one is perfect, and that means that each DISC personality type can come with some possible “weaker” points. In reality, those can be opportunities for growth.

  1. Dominant individuals may come across as impatient, domineering, or uncompromising. In some cases, dominance could fuel avoidable conflict.
  2. Influential individuals may have trouble meeting deadlines, staying on task, or managing their time. Sometimes, influence can misguide people into not pushing back when they should, simply because they’re trying to keep everyone happy.
  3. Steady individuals may be resistant to change and risks. Sometimes, steadiness can mislead people into procrastinating high-stakes or complex choices because they don’t want to rock the boat or upset the status quo.
  4. Conscientious individuals may struggle with seeing the forest for the trees or possible ways to shift gears when they run into a roadblock. On occasion, conscientiousness can result in people being the “Negative Nancy,” who takes issue with everything.

Again, it’s crucial to reiterate that DISC profiles are simply guidelines about personality types, rather than an actual “roadmap” of exactly who an individual is. As such, DISC tests should be used with:

  • An understanding of their abilities and limitations
  • A DISC testing expert who can help you “read” and interpret the results
  • Other factors, like interviewing, references, past work performance, and more

Where Can I Learn More About DISC Profiles & How to Use Them?

Keep your DISC profile journey going by either taking a FREE DISC evaluation now — or by exploring more answers about how DISC assessments are used across C-suites, industries, and more nationwide.

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