Disc Subtypes Graphs

AccuracyC / I
High Compliance
Low Influence
A DISC profile with high Dominance and Compliance
A DISC profile with high Steadiness and Compliance

The sub-trait of Accuracy is found in DISC profiles with high Compliance and low Influence. The greater the difference between these two factors, the more Accurate the individual in question. The opposite sub-trait of Accuracy, where Influence is higher than Compliance, is Self-confidence.

This sub-trait is also sometimes referred to as ‘Caution’. The type of person to whom it refers hates to make mistakes – they check and recheck their work, and are prone to correct errors in other people, whether or not they have been asked to do so. This need for certainty means that they will never take a risk unless absolutely necessary. They are also cautious in communication, rarely revealing more about themselves than a bare minimum.

Accuracy is a classic introverted sub-trait: those who possess it are highly analytical and relatively uncommunicative. Because of their analytical style, people of this kind will often hold back from action, rather than risk negative results. They prefer the predictable and systematic. This can lead to their being seen by more active types as rather dour and uninspired. In fact, Accurate styles are quite as capable of original thought and inventiveness as any other style, but they are typically reluctant to act on their ideas, or communicate them to others unless encouraged to do so.

Accuracy takes a unique form in profiles showing high Compliance in conjunction with high Dominance (the High-DC profile, shown bottom left). In this case, the analytical and rather inexpressive element of the sub-trait is combined with a more demanding and assertive element. The demand for precision and unwillingness to take unnecessary risks associated with Accuracy are maintained, but the High-DC also has the assertiveness to demand these traits from those around them.

Cooperativeness

C / D
High Compliance
Low Dominance
A DISC profile with high Steadiness and Compliance
A DISC profile with high ComplianceThis is the classic ‘rule-oriented’ sub-trait, relating to a person who need to be absolutely sure of their position and prefers to use established regulations and procedures as a framework to support their ideas. Co-operative people are so called because this aspect of their personal style extends to the need for practical support from managers, colleagues and friends, and so they seek to maintain positive working relationships with others.

 

Co-operativeness is sometimes mistaken for a social sub-trait, but this is not the case. People of this kind work co-operatively with others as part of a behavioural strategy: it allows them to avoid individual risk and distribute responsibility. (This is not to say that there will not be other social drives in the behaviour – whether or not these are present will depend largely on the levels of Influence and Steadiness present in the profile).

Regardless of their motivations, though, Co-operative styles tend to be good team-workers. They are able to focus on the good of the group as a whole rather than on their own specific needs, and the organised, structured style that commonly accompanies this sub-trait can also be a strength in a group situation.

Efficiency

D / I
High Dominance
Low Influence
A DISC profile with high Dominance
A DISC profile with high Dominance and Compliance

Efficiency appears in a DISC profile when Dominance is significantly higher than Influence. An efficient individual is direct and assertive, but has little or no interest in personal matters. They take an objective, analytical view and drive towards their goals ruthlessly and relentlessly. They need to see results, and are quite willing to compromise quality or detail to get them.

The name of this sub-trait, Efficiency, comes from the sense of single-minded purpose, and need to see concrete results, that are associated with styles that possess it. It does not necessarily indicate an organised or formal approach, though it does not preclude these elements either.

While there are many profile shapes that can relate to Efficiency, it most often appears in one of two distinct styles, shown opposite. In the first of these, Dominance appears with no other balancing factors – this is an entrepreneurial style, in which the sub-trait of Efficiency enables an individual to focus on their targets and make immediate decisions, without being easily distracted from their purpose.

The second common style, where Dominance is balanced somewhat by Compliance, tempers this need for immediate results with a more structured and formal approach. Profiles of this kind are more commonly seen within the structure of an organisation.

Enthusiasm

I / S
High Influence
Low Steadiness
A DISC profile with high Influence
A DISC profile with high Dominance and Influence

This is an outgoing and extrovert sub-trait that has much in common with Friendliness, but with the added dimension of energy and pace. This animated style shows their interest in a topic very strongly, and their effusive nature can act as a motivating factor for others.

The nature of Enthusiasm tends to vary according to the relative level of the Dominance score in the profile. Where Dominance is low, an individual will tend to confine their expressive style to situations where they feel comfortable and accepted – they will rarely make direct criticisms or enter arguments, and are concerned about others opinions of them.

Where the Dominance score is high, however, the Enthusiastic type is much less concerned about causing offence. Where this type of profile is concerned, the outgoing and expressive style remains, but is bolstered by a more assertive approach.

Friendliness

I / D
High Influence
Low Dominance
A DISC profile with high Influence
A DISC profile with high Influence and Steadiness
Examples of DISC profiles with high levels of Friendliness

Friendly people love to talk – communication is the strongest element of this style. They are outgoing and extrovert, but they find it far from easy to concentrate on mundane tasks, and are easily distracted from such work by the opportunity for social interaction.

Friendliness is a very positive (if not always very practical) sub-trait: individuals showing this aspect in their behaviour are typically warm, open and genuinely interested in others. In common with all High-I profiles, they enjoy being the centre of attention, but in this particular case they are also interested in others’ feelings and ideas, especially where the profile exhibits a high Steadiness score.

Friendly individuals typically display a confident style, especially in circumstances where they feel comfortable and accepted. Despite this confidence, though, they are not particularly assertive – their low level of Dominance makes it difficult for them to be effective in pressurised or confrontational situations

Independence

D / C
High Dominance
Low Compliance
A DISC profile with high Dominance
An example of a DISC profile with high levels of Independence

Independence appears in a DISC profile when Dominance is significantly higher than Compliance. This type of person feels frustrated by rules and regulations – they prefer to follow their own ideas, and often work alone or in positions of isolated authority. This sub-trait is common, for example, in entrepreneurial styles.

Independence is a highly competitive and determined sub-trait. Those who possess it in their behavioural styles are dynamic and direct. The precise way that it will appear in a person’s behaviour can often be dependent on the Influence and Steadiness scores in their profile.

Influence will affect how socially-motivated an Independent individual is. Where the Influence level is low, an autocratic and domineering approach is often seen, which a high Influence score sees Independence combine with Self-confidence resulting in a very powerful and persuasive style indeed.

Steadiness is most typically low in Independent profiles (as in the example shown). Where this applies, a common feature of this style is a low concentration span, and a tendency to regularly change direction. A high Steadiness score (a less common phenomenon) makes for a more single-minded and stubborn approach.

Patience

S / D
High Steadiness
Low Dominance
A DISC profile with high Influence and Steadiness
A DISC profile with high Steadiness
Examples of DISC profiles with high levels of Patience

This style of person has little sense of urgency and a slow pace, which means that they are able to work in situations that others would find repetitive or dull. They are submissive in style, and ready to accept that there are some things they cannot change.

Patient individuals tend to have an open and optimistic attitude, especially to other people. They are not competitive in style, and prefer to avoid situations where they may come into conflict with others. This leads to a rather trusting approach; they like to develop warm and friendly relations with those around them, and will not usually look for ulterior motives.

The position of Influence will affect the style of a Patient individual, affecting the level of overt Friendliness that that individual presents. Regardless of the Influence level, Patience always retains the same basic behavioural structure, but more Influential individuals will present a more open and outgoing aspect.

Where Patience occurs in a profile that also contains a high level of Compliance, then a more practical aspect to the sub-trait appears. In this situation, the profile shares Patience with Accuracy; the result is a behavioural style in which a person concentrates particularly carefully on the details of a task.

Persistent

S / C
High Steadiness
Low Compliance
A DISC profile with high Steadiness
A DISC profile with high Influence and Steadiness
Examples of DISC profiles with high levels of Persistence

Persistent people deal particularly badly with change. Once they have become established in a status quo, they find it very difficult to break out of this and adapt to a new situation. This means that they will do what they can to maintain their current state of affairs, showing great loyalty and resilience in defence of their present environment and social circle.

Behavioural styles that exhibit Persistence tend to work at their best when they can focus on a single task. People of this kind don’t easily shift their attention from one thing to another; it will often take them time to adjust. Nonetheless, once they are embarked on a particular course of action, they can be relied upon to carry it through to the end.

Persistence is most often seen in passive, patient styles of behaviour, but it can occasionally coexist in a profile with high Dominance. Where this happens, the individual concerned can be expected to display remarkable tenacity and determination.

 

Self confidence

I / C
High Influence
Low Compliance
A DISC profile with high Dominance and Influence
A DISC profile with high Influence
Examples of DISC profiles with high levels of Self-confidence

Self-confident profiles represent people who rarely experience self-doubt, and feel at ease in almost any social situation. They mix easily with strangers, and are unafraid to initiate social contact. They can at times become over-confident, leading them to act impulsively.

Self-confidence is a largely social sub-trait – its effects are most directly seen where a person is in a social situation, or interacting with others on a personal level. It does not equate to assertiveness – self-confident individuals may also be assertive, but equally they may not. This depends to a great extent on the position of the Dominance factor in the profile.

Where Dominance is high (as the topmost of the example profiles opposite), the individual concerned has both an assertive and a confident behavioural style. This powerful combination allows such an individual to deal directly fearlessly with most situations. While they will typically prefer to keep matters on an open and friendly level, they are quite capable of adopting a more confrontational stance where a situation calls for it.

Where Dominance is low, this assertive element is absent from the individual’s behaviour, or at least not strongly represented. In such circumstances, the confident approach will be see only in favourable environments: where the environment is hostile, such a person will often become uncomfortable and considerable less expressive.

Self Motivated

D / S
High Dominance
Low Steadiness
A DISC profile with high Dominance
A DISC profile with high Dominance and Influence
Examples of DISC profiles with high levels of Self-motivation

Self-motivation appears in a DISC profile where Dominance is higher than Steadiness. Action is a key ingredient of this sub-trait. This type of person feels a need to be active all the time, and is impatient with those who are unwilling or unable to keep up with their urgent pace. They react quickly to new developments, but never lose sight of their own goals and ambitions.

Self-motivation is very common in highly Dominant profiles: it reflects the self-reliant elements of that factor. Such individuals are capable of accepting personal responsibility for their action, and indeed are often eager to do so. Profiles of this kind reflect individuals who can deal with confrontation and pressure as part of their daily lives.

Self-motivated styles are strongly motivated by personal success; they tend to be competitive by nature (as are most Dominant styles). As we have seen, though, patience is not an element of a self-motivated style. People of this kind look to see immediate results, so long-term planning and thoughtful consideration of problems rarely occur.

Sensitivity

C / S
High Compliance
Low Steadiness
A DISC profile with high Dominance and Compliance
A DISC profile with high Dominance, Influence and Compliance
Examples of DISC profiles with high levels of Sensitivity

People of this kind are extremely aware of their environment and changes taking place within it, to the extent that they often notice subtle points that other people miss or ignore. In itself, this is a positive factor, but it does have the consequence that they have a very low boredom threshold and are very easily distracted.

The precise nature of Sensitivity will vary somewhat depending on the position of the Influence factor within the profile.

Where Sensitivity is accompanied by high Influence, then this describes individuals who are socially aware, and able to detect nuances in communication. An example of such a profile is shown in the third of the example profiles opposite. While social Sensitivity of this kind is valuable, it can also have its disadvantages: specifically, individuals can become over-sensitive to others’ opinions, sometimes seeing criticism or disapproval where none in fact exists.

Where Influence is low in the profile, Sensitivity becomes a more practical sub-trait, focussing on matters of fact and precision. A profile of this kind, Sensitivity reinforces Accuracy: such an individual is concerned to check things carefully and ensure that mistakes are avoided. Again, this detailed approach is positive in itself, but can sometimes be taken to extremes.

Thoughtfulness

S / I
High Steadiness
Low Influence
A DISC profile with high Steadiness and Compliance
A DISC profile with high Steadiness
Examples of DISC profiles with high levels of Thoughtfulness

Thoughtful individuals plan their words and actions carefully and never act on impulse. Deadlines and other time constraints are difficult for this type of person to deal with. Their advantage, however, is the reliability and steadiness they bring to their work.

As a sub-trait, the term thoughtfulness refers specifically to the fact that individuals with element in their profile tend to think, plan and consider more than most other types. In common use, ‘thoughtfulness’ also often indicates someone who is considerate, or takes other people’s feelings into account. Though this isn’t part of the ‘technical’ definition of the sub-trait, people with high Steadiness in their profile often display such considerate traits in their styles.

The specific form taken by Thoughtfulness will often depend on the level of Compliance present in the profile under consideration. Where this is high, Thoughtfulness combines with Accuracy, leading to a disciplined, purposeful approach, where actions are carefully planned with caution and care.

Where the Compliance level is low, Thoughtfulness becomes a less focused sub-trait. In this case, it can often be used to reinforce a High-S’s resistance to change or direct action: the person concerned will prefer to think and plan than act directly.

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