DISC can be defined as a theory or tool that provides a powerful means to understanding people. Whether at home or work, human behavior can prove to be a mystery. Personal behavior and personality, especially are two aspects of human interaction that are often overlooked and cause enormous stress in the workplace and at home, ultimately impacting on the contentment and productivity. However, you don’t need to work yourself up; a 20-minute DISC test can foster better relationships, self-betterment, conflict resolution, and self-motivation.
Based on the complexity of human behavior and varying personality types, the DISC theory is comprised of a collection of four DISC forms of personality. Dominance or Decisiveness is the first of the factors, followed by Influence or Interactive, Steadiness or Stability, and Conscientiousness or Cautious. There is no right or wrong in with any of these areas; they are just how you are made up.

picture of DISC By looking at a person’s primary, secondary, tertiary, and even absent traits, you can be able to see the merger in personality traits that the person exhibits through their actions and attitude in different environments, communication preferences with others, organizational skills, conflict resolution, among others.
In as much as human behavior is described as complex, one thing that is for sure is its great deal of predictability. With this in mind, one can be able to identify and understand people’s variations regarding behavior and attitude while in different places. This will help in placing the individual in environments that they feel empowered and comfortable as well as approach them in ways that guarantee a positive reaction and predictable actions.

The DISC personality test that is structured from the renowned Marston’s DISC theory has been applied by both personal and business environments for more than 30 years now. Just like artists can get more colors by blending different primary colors, DISC makes use of the four personality traits that define human behavior and which are unique for each individual. Marston’s DISC theory which dates back to the 1920s continues to provide a baseline from where human behavior can be understood better.

To many of us, DISC has a short history. However, the evolution of this theory that harmonizes four personality traits to establish a merger and understand a person’s behavior in different environments can be traced back to 444B.C.

The DISC theory began with the idea of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water initially developed by the renowned Empedocles in 44B.C. He believed that different people act and behave in four distinct ways, but instead of attributing this to personal factors as the DISC theory does, he believed that it is a person’s external environment that determines how they act and behave. In fact, astrology disciplines are still using the idea of determining a person’s traits based on external elements to date. By 400 B.C., the history of DISC was transformed by the shifting the four quadrants from external elements to personal traits. Hippocrates did this by rebranding these quadrants to be Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, and Melancholic, which he called the 4 Temperaments.
From there, the history of DISC took a fast-forward turn. And while there have been numerous developments in psychology, the year 1921 saw Carl Gustav Jung redefine the four quadrants and behavior types. Upon the realization that indeed personality traits are guided by internal factors, Carl Jung described the difference in personality traits as a result of how people think and process information. As a result, his four new quadrants were Thinking, Feeling, Sensation, and Intuition, which formed what is now utilized in Myers-Briggs Personality Test (MBTI).

Regardless of the numerous advancements before, the birth of the DISC personality types that are in use now is credited to William Moulton Marston. In his book “Emotions of Normal People,” that was published in 1928 and validated at Harvard University, Marston was able to develop what is currently being used as the DISC personality system and which has been in use for over 30 years.

Marston redefined the four quadrants of DISC and personal behavior as a set of predictable traits that we act out in our day to day lives. He saw the different DISC personality traits as innate but also impacted mainly by the external environment that we live in. The four quadrants were rebranded into Dominance or Decisiveness, Influence or Interactive, Steadiness or Stability, and Conscientiousness or Cautious which is currently being used in the DISC personality Tests today.

The DISC theory history also took a turn in 1940 when Walter Clark took the Marston’s owned theory and developed it into the first ever DISC personality profile; the same one that is used to date.
In conclusion, the DISC personality theory has seen numerous rebranding all in the quest to understand better why people act and behave how they do in different external environments. Each rebranding brought with it more insight on the subject and ultimately developed one of the most successful theories of understanding people’s behaviors and actions both at home and in the workplace.

If you want to go further into DISC give Sheryl Isenhour an email at sheryl@cvccoaching.com or she is also available by phone at 704-425-0211. Let her help you and your team reach a new level that can be achieved by the availability to know the team member behavior and personality, how to communicate with others and if they are in the correct seat. Also, when using in New Hires you can under the person before you hire and make sure this is the person for you.