Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Welcome to part 3 of “How Applying Behavior and Motivator Assessments Can Improve Your Life.” In the previous posts we introduced some of the answers our assessments deliver and why most assessments fail.

Today we are going to take a quick look into one of the assessments we use. If you haven’t done so, download a sample assessment here to follow along with.

A Crash Course on DISC

The DISC assessment uses a grid system, breaking down behaviors into four styles.

  • Dominance – relating to control, power and assertiveness
  • Influence – relating to social situations and communication
  • Steadiness – relating to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness
  • Compliance – relating to structure and organization



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The quadrants can be represented likewise.

  • D & C:  Above the line share task-focused aspects
  • S & I:  Below the line share people-focused aspects
  • C &S:  On the left share represent introverted and implementing personalities
  • D & I:  On the right represent extroverted and innovating personalities

Every person shares different levels of the four styles in DISC and that’s what makes this such a great system. Where exactly you map out is just as unique as you are.

In the wheel above, you will notice a small black circle. That indicates your Natural Style. And the star plots your Adapted Style. These points are determined by the results of your D, I, S, & C scores.

The closer these points are plotted to each other the more you’re utilizing your behavioral strengths in your job. Which means you aren’t having to use energy to adapt to the requirements of your work.

To give you a better understanding of what each style might look like, I’ll share a few of the behaviors, as well as well-known people who fall into that style.

High Dominance



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Key Strengths

  • Ability to tackle tough problems dealing with many issues
  • Forward-looking, aggressive and competitive
  • Ability to work in an environment that has variety and change
  • Initiates activity and sets a pace to achieve desired results

Emotion: Anger/Short Fuse

Drive: Fast, always somewhere to get to in a hurry

Gesture: A lot of hand movement when talking, big gestures

Read: Cliff notes, executive book summaries

Stress Relief: Physical activity, preferably of a competitive nature

Talk on the phone: Little chitchat. To the point, results.

Judges others by: Their ability for getting the task done quickly

Influences other by: Force of character, persistence

Fears: Losing control


  • Barbara Walters – When any celebrity agrees to do an interview with Barbara Walters, one thing is certain—the tough questions will get asked. Barbara Walters is unafraid of asking the hard personal questions. Her directness has taken her to the peak of her industry. Most celebrities consider it a career milestone to be invited on a Barbara Walters’ special.
  • Michael Jordan – What mountain of challenges has Michael Jordan not conquered in    basketball? In an issue of Time Magazine, the press covered Michael Jordan’s early retirement. Jordan said, “When I lose the sense of motivation and the sense to prove something as a basketball player, it’s time to step down.” When Jordan was no longer challenged in the sport, he walked away. High D personalities love and need challenge to keep them engaged. Jordan walked away from basketball because he had met or exceeded all that basketball could offer him.
  • Mr. Smithers on The Simpsons – Even our television characters fall into these categories. Mr. Smithers’ shorter fuse, constant eye on his power plant’s results, being in a hurry, taking big risks, competing in challenges, and impatience put him in the category of a High D. Of course, being a high D doesn’t make you a villain; High D’s make up a lot of corporate leaders and take on immense work loads.

High Influence


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Key Strengths

  • Very optimistic with a positive sense of humor
  • Places focus on people and high trust in relationships
  • Develops friendships quickly, enjoys networking
  • Uses consensus approach to decision-making

Emotion: Optimism

Drive: Visual, looking around, radio on

Gesture: A lot of big gestures and facial expressions when talking

Read: Fiction, self-improvement books

Stress Relief: Interaction with people

Talk on the phone: Long conversations, A great deal of tone variation in voice

Judges others by: Their warmth

Influences other by: Friendliness and interpersonal skills

Fears: Not being liked enough


  • Robin Williams – An expressive, outgoing, incredibly funny man with a thousand faces and voices. Robin Williams delights audiences all over the world. Outgoing and social, Robin Williams has no trouble blending in with any crowd. An expert at improvising, many of his roles are loosely defined allowing him the opportunity to ad-lib, which he does very well – as do all High I’s.
  • Former President Bill Clinton – Verbally persuasive, optimistic, friendly and trusting, President Clinton, as leader of the United State, attempted to be very persuasive in his efforts to direct the country. He is clearly an extrovert, unafraid to show high emotion or express his concern. Even his foes state that he clearly cares about people, even if they disagree with his agenda. Since his presidency, he continues to give his time to charities and needs of others – i.e. raising money for the Haiti earth-quake disaster.
  • Bart Simpson – Sticking with the Simpsons theme, Bart Simpson follows the styles of a High I. He is always looking for attention, he’s into comics, has a strong sense of humor. Even his prank calls show his I personality. He can easily start a conversation with someone he’s never met. He is very persuasive around others, getting people to do all kinds of things they wouldn’t do normally.

High Steadiness



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Key Strengths

  • Ability to present self in a calm and controlled manner, using the ability to concentrate as a means to listen and learn
  • Ability to stay with a task that provides meaningful contribution to the organization
  • A team member who can be open, patient and tolerant of differences
  • Enjoys praising others

Emotion: Non-Emotional

Drive: Relaxed Pace, no hurry

Gesture: Will gesture with hands, but not large sweeping gestures

Read: People stories, fiction and non-fiction

Stress Relief: Rest, hot baths

Talk on the phone: Warm conversationalist, friendly and concerned

Judges others by: Their consistency

Influences other by: Serving others

Fears: Not being appreciated and the unknown


  • Laura Bush – First Lady Laura Bush is gentle, calm, relaxed, with a deep concern for others. She has close ties to the family and seems always willing to help others. She endears the hearts of America to her causes and she added a distinction to her office while serving office as First Lady. America respects and loves the gentle, calm, stability of Laura Bush.
  • Rodney Rogers – This professional basketball player is a classic example of a High S. He won the NBA 6th Man of the Year award. As a true S, he was able to observe from the bench what was happening on the floor, then transferred the knowledge to perform as a high level contributor, once substituted into the game. But as a starter, he never made as great a contribution because he couldn’t see what his role was…he needed the time to observe and learn, then implement—to be effective.
  • Marge Simpson – Again, the Simpson family is full of high DISC styles. Marge is a great example of a High Steadiness profile because she is hesitant to take risks, sticks to the rules, and unwinds at the spa. In addition she is relaxed and patient despite all the chaos around her. She deals with conflict well and nurtures her family.

High Compliance


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Key Strengths

  • A promoter of quality systems
  • A good sense of urgency balanced with maintaining high standards
  • Organized, even in relationships. Appreciates company of people with similar ideas, likes being organized and quality-conscience
  • Sensitive to change in the social and work environment

Emotion: Fear

Drive: Careful, follow rules

Gesture: Very reserved, little or no gestures

Read: Non fiction, technical journals

Stress Relief: Alone time

Talk on the phone: Little chit chat, to the point.  May be short or long

Judges others by: Who they know, prestige and accomplishments

Influences other by: Strategy in good relations

Fears: Having to trade quality for good relationships


  • Courtney Cox – She is the actress who played Monica Geller on Friends . As the character Monica, Courtney Cox portrayed the classic example of a High C. Monica was always concerned with neatness and got very upset when things were moved from their normal position.
  • Former Vice President Al Gore – Al Gore has an analytical approach. He laid out the facts and figures of government waste, focusing on systems and procedures of how things are handled (or mishandled). Whether one agrees with his thinking or not, Gore is well thought out and analytical in his approach to the environment as well as government. Time Magazine gave an account of Gore’s success in a debate with Ross Perot over NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).Gore was urged by his advisors to play to his strengths to be “wooden,” not animated. Typical of a High C, he spent many hours studying alone He analyzed all of Perot’s claims, looking for flaws. Next he had a group of aides fire questions at him for over two hours and then held a mock debate. Gore took control of tactics and strategy. Gore told his team that he wanted to hammer Perot with facts. On all accounts, V.P. Al “Wooden” Gore won the debate.
  • Lisa Simpson – The last of the Simpson crew in this example, Lisa demonstrates a high Compliance style beautifully. She carries all the key strengths of a High C; she strives for high grades and doing well in competitions, she appreciates being around other smart people, she’s organized, she doesn’t embrace constant change. When she reads it’s always nonfiction and at a high level. She enjoys time alone and looks up to others who have accomplished something in their life.

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what a DISC Assessment shares about you. Of course, this is only four of the higher levels of each style. Everyone typically has a blend from all four, but understanding what style you fit and the styles of others around you can have a great impact on how you can best communicate together, get along, reach goals and more.

Next up, The 6 Motivators

What style did you find fit you the closest?  What did you learn?

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31 thoughts on “A Crash Course On DISC: Assessment Series Part 3

  1. Now this post is for me. Thanks Bryce. I get to know more about this awesome concept. The PDF is detailed and easy to follow as well. Your post is long I got it printed out.

  2. I remember learning the DISC model a number of years ago. If I remember, I was fairly high in everything but D. Which sounds contradictory, but it’s a weird combination that really does describe me. I may have been a slight bit lower on the I than the C, but all 3 were fairly high on the self test I took.

    I need to go back and reread that book I have because understanding personality types is really fascinating and helps you understand why people act the way they do.

  3. Bryce Christiansen

    Hey Eddie,

    Glad it was helpful. It’s more of a reference guide compared to the conversations and commentary I usually do, but I thought it might be helpful for any of the readers who were knew or coming back to understanding DISC.

    Many of the posts I’ll write may refer to some of the takeaways DISC provides since it’s become so ingrained in the work I do.

    Hope you had a good weekend.


  4. Bryce Christiansen

    It’s definitely possible to have a few of these come out high. I am above what they call the energy line on my I and C. That’s a contradiction in itself but it makes sense if you know me.

    I like to socialize and be in constant contact with friends and family, but at the same time my C comes through in how I enjoy getting work done on my own. Details and analysis don’t bother me so much in work, but can be a bore in actual conversation.

    Great comment Grady,

    Always good to have you here.


  5. Cool post Bryce,

    I’ve had a couple different DISC profiles taken with different jobs over the past few years. One thing I really appreciate is that it allows you to understand intrinsic things about a person, which allows you work with them according to their strengths. For instance, you know that approaching a Promoter and a Analyzer are very different.

    Great job breaking this down Bryce!

  6. Bryce Christiansen

    Good to have you here again JK,

    That’s very true. Many of the things a DISC report pulls out about a person would be very hard to understand otherwise. For example, some people are very kind natured even when you are doing things that absolutely drive them nuts.

    Knowing how a person prefers to solve problems, work on teams, what kind of pace they are comfortable with and such really helps everyone work better together.

    Great additions JK, always good to have you.


  7. Hi Bryce,
    I am a mixture of both high dominance and high compliance. I guess it would depend on my mood for that day as to which one I am expressing.

  8. Bryce Christiansen

    Good to have you here Justin,

    That’s one of the interesting things about the DISC reports we do. People are not static so it makes sense that our styles would change as well depending on the situations.

    So… the report comes up with a natural and adapted style. The natural style is how you are when you are being yourself (at home, with friends, when the stress is free). While the adapted style is how you are at work (do you change your behavior at work compared to home or with friends?)

    It’s a great way to see where your stress is coming from and how to match your style with your work.

    Your D and C make sense to me. I see you as a thought leader and I know with all the work you put into your site you have to have a system for getting everything done.

    Great to have you again,


  9. Awesomeness!

    I really enjoyed this post Bryce! It’s amazing how much information on personalities and behavior the DISC reports gives.

    I learned during this reading that I am “highly” High Influence. :) I know you mentioned that we all have traits from all four, but I saw myself the most in each of the key strengths listed under High I.

    Now that I know this, I am going to try and use whatever influence I do have for influencing positiveness throughout the world… well, the world might be a far reach right now. Maybe I should just stick with my immediate circle and readership for now. lol :D

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post mate. I hope you’re having great day in your part of the world. ;)

    Your friend in Atlanta,


  10. Bryce Christiansen

    Hey Deeone,

    Always nice to have your positive attitude on the comments.

    You nailed it. The keyword for I is positive. I’m a Super High I as well and I think I’ve become that way over time because of how much I hate negativity and advocate positive thinking.

    I have no problem with you conquering the world with your awesomeness. Keep up the excellent work on your blog.

    I’ll see you again,


  11. Hey Bryce,
    The business/work me is so very different than the relaxed family and friends me.

    It’s like Sly Stallone in the movie, “Over The Top.” When he is about to arm wrestle he turns his hat backwards and it is all business from there.

  12. So interesting Bryce. I can see myself in everyone of these with the exception of High Steadiness. I had the least in common with this one.
    Thank you for this interesting assessment.

  13. Check out that awesome keyword! Man that’s good to know. Just as well as knowing that I’m among good positive company when I come through here for a visit. :)

    We were meant to rule the world. If not rule, then definitely influence it. ;)

    Thanks for the encouraging compliments mate; they mean more than you’ll ever know.

    And did I read that right? Did I read “awesomeness” in your reply? Now, that’s awesomeness my friend! ;)

    Stay cool Bryce and keep sending out that positive energy.

    Your friend in the ATL,


  14. Thank you for putting this together. It’s very informative. I seem to have all four styles and would use them in different situations. I am trying to understand which is my more dominant one.

  15. This is great post and very helpful, only I can say is appreciated most. Thanks.

  16. Bryce Christiansen

    That happens Justin,

    I know that feeling. It’s almost impossible to not adjust something between your adapted and natural style.

    The important part is understanding where the changes are coming from. The last thing you want is to burnout.

    If you are going to rock it out through your work, Sly Stallone isn’t a bad choice :)

  17. Bryce Christiansen

    Hi Angela,

    Always good to have you. When you look at a DISC report you will see colored bars representing each of the four styles. They show how much of each style you demonstrate, and often we have bits from each.

    The real value is in knowing which are your dominant styles. The behaviors you would demonstrate before any others given the situation.

    Hope all is going well with your book. That must be so exciting.


  18. Bryce Christiansen

    Hi Evelyn,

    Good to see you again :)

    That is the difficult part. When you go through the assessment they have you rank 1-4 various statements to help you see which styles are more dominant than others.

    Rarely does someone have qualities that only fall into one of the styles, or none of a style.

    But you know what Evelyn? That probably means you are a well rounded person and are very giving. Being willing to help out wherever you can. It’s stressful, but shows how good a person you are.


  19. Bryce Christiansen

    Thanks Elpidio,

    I appreciate your comment as always. I read your last blog but was having trouble getting the comment box to show up. I tried Firefox and Internet Explorer. Maybe it was just a bad day, I’ll have to try again.


  20. Bryce Christiansen

    Deeone I use awesomeness to describe your work because that’s the best way to put it.

    I don’t know how you put out so much EXCELLENT content so frequently. That’s a power I certainly lack.

    I can tell you are passionate about everything you write and are not going to put something on your site that you wouldn’t be proud of.

    Looking forward to more of your writing.


  21. Hi Bryce,
    Thanks for all the detail on this. It was nice to see how high profile celebs, real and not real ranked up. Knowing where we and the people we relate to fit on this model can help our relations. I am really intrigued by this system.

  22. Man Bryce,

    That is super kind of you to say mate. And I really do thank you for such a humbling compliment. I know that I still have SO much to learn, but hearing encouraging comments like the one you just shared with me, makes me push that much harder towards my goal. Thank you so much mate. Please know that you have put one heck of a smile on my face today.

    Have a phenomenal day my friend.

    Your friend in Atlanta,


  23. Okay, when you describe it that way I see bits and pieces of certain things about me but none of them all fall under a certain category. So with this one I go back to being uncertain which ones I fall under. But I must admit, that’s really interesting the way you spelled it out more and then put some high profile figures that have those characteristics. Very interesting indeed Bryce. Thanks for sharing this post again.

  24. Bryce Christiansen

    Good to see you Lisa,

    I’m glad it was interesting to you. It was an older post so I wasn’t sure if it would still work with all the new readers.

    Glad it seemed to make sense.


  25. Bryce Christiansen

    Thanks Adrienne,

    We do tend to have a mix of the styles so I can understand your uncertainty. On the actual assessment you rank statements 1-4 so that we can see which styles are your dominant ones.

    My I and C come out dominant while my S and D are lower. I still have some of D and S even though they are lower.

    I’m glad you found it interesting none the less.

    Always good to have your comments,


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  30. dm88

    what about someone who takes the evaluation and has all of the letters scored relatively the same? Someone who scores towards the center? What does that mean?

  31. Bryce Christiansen

    If you come out fairly center it says you are likely to behave one way or another based on the situation. For example, you might like to work alone, but in your free time you enjoy surrounding yourself in the company of others. Maybe you see certain times where you need to be direct and forceful to get the job done, but you also take care to be supportive and easy going when it’s called for.

    Having scores toward the center can be incredibly valuable to a team, but it can also be stressful on yourself since you have to adapt your behavior based on the situation. That can take incredible energy.

    Hope that helps.

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