WHAT IS DISC?

DiSC helps people understand their own behavior styles, and also recognize why other people behave in different ways. Four components comprise a person's DiSC style:

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  • Dominance - how assertive and results-focused is the person?
  • Influencing - how sociable and and people-focused is the person?
  • Steadiness - how reliable and team-focused is the person?
  • Conscientiousness - how analytical and accuracy-focused is the person?

Please see our DiSC personality styles page for more information about the various types of behavior. 

How is DiSC useful?

The DiSC personality assessment delivers a variety of applications for leadership development, talent management, recruiting, and organizational effectiveness. DiSC helps individuals and teams to minimize conflict, increase engagement, boost morale, and collaborate more effectively. How? By teaching people to recognize different DiSC styles and adapt their own behavior to better align with others.

What is the DiSC history?

Dr. William Marston developed the DiSC model at Columbia University in the 1920s. Several decades later, Dr. John Geier of the University of Minnesota updated Marston's research and created a personality profile to help individuals discover their own DiSC styles. Wiley Publishing now owns these DiSC tests and continues to create new DiSC products. In the past 40 years, some 35+ million people have taken the DiSC test in 30-odd different languages.

Why does DiSC have a small I? 

Since the 1970s, the DiSC assessment has always been written with a lower-case 'i'. Why? Nobody's quite sure - or if they are, they aren't saying. This has grown into an urban legend in the DiSC community, and there are a few competing stories:

  • When the publisher printed the first batch of profiles, they were scraping by on a dream and a shoestring. They couldn't afford to reprint the materials, so they sold the profile as-is, and the (mis-)spelling stuck.
  • It's to do with trademark and copyright - i.e., "the lawyers made us do it."
  • It's a fiendishly clever marketing ploy - after all, it got you asking questions about DiSC!

The truth is probably lost to the mists of time, but that's okay - it's more fun to speculate.