DISC is an acronym for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. Developed in 1928 by John Geier, with assistance from psychologist William Moulton Marston and behavioral specialist Walter V. Clarke, it provides a protocol that allows job candidates to be assessed for their potential behaviour styles through a questionnaire.
The assessment test was designed on a model invented by Dr. William to evaluate the manner in which we react and respond to our immediate surroundings.
Dr. William found that our behavior can be grouped into four basic styles. Most of us will be a combination of these definitions, but usually one will be more predominant:
Dominance: This refers to an individual’s control, sense of power and assertive nature.
Influence: People communicate and deal with social situations. How they do this tells about one’s ability to relate with people around them.
Steadiness: This refers to an individual’s persistence, patience and consideration capacity.
Compliance: One’s cautiousness and compliance with circumstances is important for behavior profiling. In a professional setup it shows how well one can deal with the structure of the organization.
How DISC Works
Dominance: When people have a high score in this group it means they can effectively deal with challenges and problems. Such people are characterised as being, ambitious, determined, aggressive, egocentric and strong-willed. A low score in the “D” sector can imply that an employee will prefer to carry out more research before making a decision or making a commitment. People whose scores are low in the “D” sector tend to be more cooperative, conservative, calculating, slow, agreeable and peaceful.
Influence: Those with a high score in this group are emotional, talk well and are good with activity. They have a magnetic personality, are enthusiastic and persuasive. At the same time they are warm, optimistic, trusting and convincing. A low score can indicate that an employee will be more strongly influenced by facts and data rather than emotions and feelings. They are calculating, logical, skeptical, pessimistic and critical.
Steadiness: People in this group work with security and work steadily. These people tend to prefer gradual changes rather than sudden ones. Those with high scores are usually predictable, calm, possessive, deliberate, consistent and unemotional. Those with low scores prefer changes and like variety. They are demonstrative, eager, impatient and impulsive in nature.
Compliance: People with high scores in this group are cautious, neat, systematic, diplomatic, tactful and accurate. Those with low scores are stubborn, unsystematic, self-willed and arbitrary.
Most experienced HR personnel will use the DISC assessment for profiling the behavioral disposition of potential applicants as part of their screening and job application process.