DiSC Personality Types Explained: A Full Analysis

Finding out your DiSC personality type can give you greater insight into your own tendencies, strengths, weaknesses, and behavioral patterns. However, to fully benefit from this personality test, you must first understand what DiSC is and how to interpret the results you get.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the DiSC personality model, with a particular focus on the four basic DiSC styles. As a result, you will learn which specific traits characterize each type, what their subtypes are, and how to interact with various DiSC personalities effectively.

So, let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • DiSC personality theory classifies human behavior into four basic categories: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C).
  • The DiSC personality test represents all results on a chart consisting of two intersecting axes—the bold/cautious axis and the questioning/accepting axis.
  • Each of the four types has a combination of bold/cautious and questioning/accepting traits, depending on their specific position in relation to the two axes.
  • Every DiSC personality type has three subtypes: the pure one and the two that are influenced by their neighboring DiSC styles.

What Is the DiSC Personality Theory?

What Is the DiSC Personality Theory?

Retrieved from: discprofiles.com

A DiSC personality theory is a classification of human behavior into four distinct categories, which are represented on a chart and characterized by specific traits and tendencies.

Initially, the DiSC theory was introduced in the 1928 book Emotions of Normal People, written by American psychologist and comic book writer William Moulton Marston. Although the theory originally didn’t receive much attention, it grew in popularity over time.

Today, DiSC personality theory is primarily used in job candidate assessment and team organization. According to a study by Elena Suman of Moldova State University, this personality test helps managers build more efficient teams by identifying each member’s strengths and weaknesses.

According to the DiSC personality theory, human behavior can be classified along two axes—bold/cautious and questioning/accepting.

The first axis (bold/cautious) shows how you perceive yourself in relation to your environment. For instance, those who land on the bold end of the scale tend to believe they have power over their surroundings, while cautious types feel less powerful and are thus more likely to adapt and go with the flow.

On the other hand, the second axis (questioning/accepting) describes your general perception of the environment. People with questioning tendencies usually experience their surroundings as more antagonistic and untrustworthy, whereas accepting types believe their environment is favorable and aligned with their interests.

Based on the intersection of these two axes, Marston developed four basic personality styles characterized by a specific trait: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. Put together, these four types make up the acronym DiSC.

How Does the DiSC Personality Test Work?

The DiSC personality test works similarly to other personality tests—it relies on self-assessment, asking you to agree or disagree with various statements about yourself. Once you complete the test, your results are represented on a chart that looks like a circle divided into four quadrants by two intersecting axes.

This is the so-called DiSC personality types chart; the vertical line is the bold/cautious axis, while the horizontal line is the questioning/accepting axis. Each of the quadrants resulting from their intersection is characterized by traits dominant on that end of both axes.

To illustrate this, let’s take the D (Dominance) personality style as an example. This type is in the quadrant dominated by bold and questioning traits, so people who land within it tend to be assertive, goal-oriented, confident, and domineering.

The Meaning of the DiSC Circle

As important as the two axes are, the circle is also crucial for understanding the DiSC personality types.

Namely, the DiSC theory attempts to avoid putting people in boxes, even within the same quadrant. Instead, its proponents emphasize that all personality traits exist on scales, meaning that they are more pronounced in some people than others, regardless of their type.

In the DiSC theory, the circle illustrates this fluidity of traits. Generally speaking, people who are closer to the center of the circle have less pronounced characteristics of their own type and an easier time adapting to other quadrants’ styles.

Conversely, those at the edges of the circle are more likely to be true representatives of their type and exhibit stereotypical characteristics associated with each DiSC style.

4 DiSC Personality Types Explained

Now that you better understand the theory behind the DiSC model, it’s time to introduce and explain the four basic DiSC personality types and their meanings. Below, you will find an in-depth analysis of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness, as well as their subtypes.

#1. D (Dominance)

As mentioned before, the D (Dominance) personality type is in the bold and questioning quadrant, meaning that they are active go-getters who tend to be somewhat suspicious of their environments. Consequently, they tend to be emotionally closed-off but confident, goal-oriented, and intense.

Although it’s impossible to make a completely accurate correlation between different personality models, similarities between the D type in DiSC and the ENTJ or ESTJ personality types in the 16 personalities theory are quite obvious. These two types are usually very results-oriented, self-assured, and competitive, paying little attention to other people’s feelings.

To begin, let's explore some traits that define these similar personality models:

  • Strong-willed
  • Assertive
  • Aggressive
  • Forceful
  • Bold
  • Direct
  • Goal-oriented
  • Outspoken
  • Questioning
  • Competitive
  • Self-reliant
  • Ambitious
  • Tough
  • Confident



- They don’t back away from challenges.

- They are focused, straightforward, and action-oriented.

- They are quick to take charge in stressful situations

- They may feel anxious when they’re not in control.

- They may be overly intense and come across as aggressive or difficult to please.

The Dominance personality type can be further divided into three subtypes:

  • D: The basic Dominance type that exhibits the exact traits listed above and is located in the middle of the D quadrant.
  • DC: A blend of Dominance and Conscientiousness, characterized by an even more skeptical or cynical nature. DC people are still quite bold and action-oriented, but they are also highly analytical, independent, and perfectionistic, and they often come across as aloof.
  • Di: A blend of Dominance and Influence, Di types enjoy a fast-paced life filled with new opportunities. They are even more outspoken than regular D’s, and their tendency towards Influence gives them a dose of charm and magnetic enthusiasm.

#2. I (Influence)

DiSC Personality Types Explained

The I (Influence) personality type is the charmer of the DiSC model, nestled comfortably in the bold and accepting quadrant. As a result, these personalities believe their environments are generally favorable and also feel that they have the power to mold their surroundings to their liking.

They succeed in that by using their charisma and warm, infectious energy, which can win over almost anyone. In this, they resemble ESFJs and ENFJs, two of the most people-oriented types in the 16 personalities theory.

Let’s examine some of the defining qualities of these comparable personality models:

  • Sociable
  • Lively
  • Talkative
  • Enthusiastic
  • Charming
  • Optimistic
  • Warm
  • Expressive
  • Impulsive
  • Energetic
  • Subjective
  • Excitable
  • Gregarious



  • They easily build connections with others.
  • They can use their charm to have things go their way.
  • They are generally pleasant to be around.
  • They are too dependent on other people’s opinions.
  • They may be overly sensitive to rejection or criticism.
  • Their need to be liked by everyone might make them seem inauthentic.

The Influence personality type can also be divided into three subtypes:

  • I: The pure I subtype is the prototype of the Influence type in general, with little to no mixing with other types and their traits.
  • iD: As a mix of Influence and Dominance, these types are bolder than pure Is, as well as more ambitious, impatient, and assertive. However, unlike Di personalities, they still primarily focus on their bonds rather than results and goals.
  • iS: A blend of Influence and Steadiness, the iS subtype is generally calmer, more patient, and more empathetic than pure I’s. Still, people with this personality are characterized by the same charm and magnetism that other I’s possess.

#3. S (Steadiness)

The third DiSC personality type is S (Steadiness), which belongs to the cautious and accepting quadrant. People with this behavioral style perceive the world as generally favorable to them but feel that they don’t possess significant power to change it.

However, they certainly leave a mark thanks to their kind, warm, and empathetic nature. Thus, examples of this DiSC personality style may be found in INFJs or ISFJs who exhibit similar traits and tendencies.

Here are a few characteristics that typify these related personality frameworks:

  • Warm
  • Gentle
  • Caring
  • Empathetic
  • Accommodating
  • Soft-hearted
  • Sincere
  • Reflective
  • Patient
  • Consistent
  • Modest
  • Passive
  • Conflict-averse




  • Warm
  • Gentle
  • Caring
  • Empathetic
  • Accommodating
  • Soft-hearted
  • Sincere
  • Reflective
  • Patient
  • Consistent
  • Modest
  • Passive
  • Conflict-averse
  • They are excellent listeners, always willing to lend an empathetic ear.
  • They often play the role of peacemakers.
  • They are highly emotionally intelligent.
  • They are often overly passive and sensitive.
  • They prioritize other people’s needs over their own, which results in quicker burnout.

The Steadiness personality type consists of three subtypes:

  • S: True S types possess all the traits listed above to a lesser or greater extent, depending on their position in the DiSC circle.
  • Si: The Si subtype blends the characteristics of Steadiness and Influence personality types. Compared to pure S types, the Si ones are more outgoing, friendly, and energetic, though they still possess the same kind and gentle nature.
  • SC: As a mix of Steadiness and Conscientiousness, the SC type is more analytical, cautious, and reflective than other S subtypes.

#4. C (Conscientiousness)

How Does the DiSC Personality Test Work?

Finally, the C (Conscientiousness) personality type is in the cautious and questioning quadrant. People who identify with it tend to view the world through a skeptical lens and feel that they have little power to change it. As a result, they keep to themselves, never taking action unless they carefully think it through.

In this, the C type resembles analytical introverts of 16 personalities, such as INTJ or INTP. These two types differ in many aspects, but they are known to be highly logical, reserved, and cautious when dealing with people.

Let's continue by looking at some of the key traits shared by these similar personality types:

  • Analytical
  • Reserved
  • Critical
  • Private
  • Logical
  • Skeptical
  • Objective
  • Detail-oriented
  • Determined
  • Cautious
  • Unemotional
  • Restrained
  • Perfectionistic



  • They are highly independent and critical thinkers.
  • They aren’t easily influenced and rarely crack under pressure.
  • They act like anchors in any group.
  • They struggle with emotional vulnerability, both their own and other people’s.
  • They may be stubborn, especially when not presented with clear facts.

Like other DiSC styles, the Conscientiousness type encompasses three subtypes:

  • C: Pure C types possess only the traits associated with their type, without any influence from other surrounding subtypes.
  • CS: A blend of Conscientiousness and Steadiness, CS types are gentler than other C subtypes, with a warmer disposition and a calm, modest demeanor.
  • CD: The CD subtype is influenced by both Conscientiousness and Dominance, which makes it more ambitious and confident than other C types. People with this type also tend to hold themselves and others to a higher standard and have little patience for emotional outbursts.

Tips on How to Interact With DiSC Personality Types

To effectively interact with DiSC personality types, you must know their preferred ways of communicating and be familiar with the approaches they dislike.

Here are a few tips on interacting with the four basic DiSC personality styles:

How to Interact With Dominance Types

DiSC Personality Types

As their name suggests, Dominance types can be overly domineering, with an unpleasant tendency to overshadow those around them and ignore their wishes. They don’t necessarily do this on purpose—it often simply happens because they are so opinionated.

So, it’s important to be clear and direct when communicating with D types; otherwise, they might not take note of your thoughts. Also, don’t try to tell them only what you think they want to hear. They have far more respect for those who stick to their beliefs, even if they don’t align with their own.

How to Interact With Influence Types

Influence types appreciate open, friendly people who are willing to share their thoughts and interests with them. These types stick to informal communication even in the workplace and prefer to truly get to know their coworkers rather than simply exchanging pleasantries.

Furthermore, it’s important to show them that you value them as people. I types thrive on appreciation and praise but are also eager to give the same to others. Communicate with them openly and help them feel welcome in your life if you want your bond to truly blossom.

How to Interact With Steadiness Types

Steadiness types need to feel safe and comfortable when communicating with you, so make sure to check in with them often and take a genuine interest in their thoughts and opinions. They rarely complain or draw attention to themselves but still appreciate when someone else shows that they care.

Moreover, try to resolve all your issues with S types through open and honest discussion rather than starting a fight. These personalities are very conflict-averse and may feel extremely stressed if they feel like they are being attacked.

How to Interact With Conscientiousness Types

Conscientiousness types rarely respond well to emotional outbursts, pep talks, or long-winded speeches—with them, the best approach is clear and concise communication based on logic and reason. However, they also don’t like to be treated as if they are cold or emotionless, so it’s important to find a nice balance.

Also, C types dislike pushy people who don’t give them enough space to think things through and instead demand that they immediately make a decision. Make sure you’re not one of them; after all, C types aren’t likely to tolerate such behavior for long.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the DiSC model gives excellent insights into your behavioral tendencies and attitudes toward your surroundings, simultaneously attempting to avoid boxing you into an overly restrictive category. As a result, it’s quite a useful psychometric tool, especially in professional settings.

If you wish to analyze your personality in more depth, we suggest combining the DiSC personality types assessment with the 16 personalities test. That way, you’ll be able to correlate and compare both of your results and gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

DiSC Personality Types FAQ

#1. What is the rarest DiSC profile?

The rarest DiSC profile is the Dominance style, which can be found in only 9% of the entire population. Other DiSC personality type percentages are as follows: 28% for Influence, 32% for Steadiness, and 31% for Conscientiousness.

#2. What is the best DiSC profile for a leader?

The best DiSC profile for a leader is most likely the DC subtype because it combines the assertiveness and goal-oriented nature of the Dominance type with the analytical approach of the Conscientious type. However, all types and subtypes have specific strengths that could make them excellent leaders.

#3. What is the purpose of the DiSC test?

The purpose of the DiSC personality styles test is to describe human behavior using four distinct personality types and help us better understand each other. The DiSC test is frequently used in workplaces, where it can assist in assessing new candidates or uncover which employees are perfectly suited for specific tasks.

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