What is DISC?

DISC is a behavioural profiling system, based on four dimensions:

Different people have different responses to particular events or situations. In any given situation, we can expect that different people will react in different ways. In DISC terms, behaviour is defined as the sum of all a person's varying response styles to varying stimuli.

In practical terms, it is not possible to measure and evaluate every one of a person's possible responses to every possible stimulus, and so different kinds of responses are grouped together into 'traits'. A trait is a tendency to act in a certain kind of way when faced with a certain kind of situation.

The DISC profiling system identifies different traits. The vast majority of the population demonstrate a combination of two or more styles. DISC measures observable behaviours and emotions. It does not measure intelligence, skills, experience, education or training.

History of DISC

It is based on work undertaken in the 1920's by an American psychologist named William Moulton Marston, who developed a theory to explain people's emotional responses. In order to test his theories, Marston needed some way of measuring the behavioural styles he was trying to describe. His solution was to develop his own technique to measure four important factors. The factors he chose were Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance, from which the technique takes its name - DISC. Walter Clark built on this work in the 1950s and various individuals and companies have developed the model further since then to create a universal language of observable behaviour.