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Understanding the 4 traits of DiSC Leadership Styles

Andrew Langat
October 28, 2022
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Too often, we are preoccupied with the best leadership style without introspection on what makes effective and successful leaders. Consider the case of Tom, an executive in a fast-rising tech company who prefers a participative style of leadership that has proved effective in a fast-paced environment. He has continually been ranked as one of the best leaders, and many see him as one of this generation's great leaders.

On the Other hand, Joseph, a leader in a legacy company in the same niche, prefers the same style, but his team is not fond of this leadership style. It has proven ineffective, and he has become unapproachable, and his ability to effectively lead his team is questioned.

For Joseph, a DiSC leadership assessment of his Disc type can help him identify his blind spots and help him evolve into a great leader.

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What is a DiSC Assessment?

DiSC Assessment is an organizational behavior assessment tool for employees or leaders to assess their strengths and weakness.

The Pioneer of the DiSC assessment was William Moulton Marston, a psychologist who detailed this approach in his 1928 book Emotions Of Normal People. He is also famously known as the creator of Wonder Woman.

His theory postulated that the root of understanding one's behavior is understanding primary behavior, as it helps in understanding our experiences and managing experiences.

These behaviors are categorized as: Dominance, Influence, Submission, and Compliance. It's from this that the DiSC acronym is derived.

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What does DiSC Stand For?

The DiSC acronym stands for: (D)Dominance, (i)Influence, (S)Steadiness & (C)Conscientiousness.

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How Does a DiSC Assessment Work?

The DiSC model works by building a picture of your personality through questionnaires measuring patterns, preferences, and tendencies. These assessments are usually done online, take 15 to 20-minutes to complete, and can come in different shades depending on the provider.

It is important to stress that DiSC does not diagnose but only divulges personality type and does not reveal intelligence level, mental health status, or personal values.

Based on DiSC results, one is assigned a DiSC profile. This assessment can be done as an individual endeavor, or workplaces can use them to understand team members and how best to improve performance.

It is also important to note that DiSC assessments should be taken regularly to ensure updated information, preferably after two years. This is because a DiSC profile can be influenced by factors such as training, personal and workplace experiences, and coaching.

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Why Use DiSC Traits in the Workplace?

The objective is to improve self-awareness and increase work productivity through better communication, decision-making, and motivation, Promote teamwork, train without judgment, manage work effectively, and respond to conflict.

  • Raising Self-Awareness: By becoming self-aware, employees and leaders better understand how to enhance personal relationships, strengths, and weaknesses and adapt to other people's styles.
  • Promoting Teamwork: team members will better understand their disc profiles and how they can leverage them to better the team. For example, a D-style personality can be trained on the importance of sensitivity in a diverse team.
  • Manage Work Effectively: Disc assessments give leadership and management a better understanding of their team members, which can be leveraged to assign tasks.
  • Improving Sales: Once the right disc style has been assigned, it becomes easier to make quick decisions in responding to customers. Moreover, it assists in recruiting the best disc profile for a sales position.
  • Improve Communication: Workplace communication improves when leadership and team members learn more about personality styles. For example, a dominant personality will prefer concise and direct communication.
  • Better Conflict Resolution: Whereas workplace conflict is a common occurrence, how it is handled matters, especially with a full understanding of a disc personality type. For leaders, it assists in better understanding positive and negative behaviors and how best to prevent and manage conflicts.

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Establishing Your DiSC Style as a leader

Whereas Leadership behaviors come in different shades, understanding core strengths enables one to become a better leader.

For leaders, a DiSC assessment can be done independently or as part of Executive coaching for leadership development training, which helps reveal your personality and how it can be applied in various development areas.

DiSC's Influence in leadership matters a lot. Whereas there is no best DiSC style in leadership, it makes a leader self-aware and how to best adapt in the face of changing business environment, pandemics such as Covid-19, and other events when one needs to show leadership strengths.

Disc leadership styles can be implemented using the following styles:

Dominance Leadership Style

A Dominance (D) personality style prefers shaping their environment to realize the result. They show a preference for confidence and prioritize the bottom line.

  • Personality Traits: Blunt, forceful, direct, high energy, forceful, strong, willing, and demanding of themselves and their team members.

D- Style leaders show a commanding leadership style, are likely to be resolute and strong-willed, prefer looking at the big picture, don't readily embrace advice, fear criticism, and are often viewed as Authoritarian.

Influence Leadership Style

An Influence (i) style prefers persuasion to achieve goals. They have a great tendency towards appreciating openness and building relationships and friendships.

  • Personality Traits: They are likely to be extroverted and people-oriented. They show enthusiasm, optimism, and trusting nature.

i-Styles leaders tend to be supportive and focused on creating an environment free of conflict.

Steadiness Leadership style

A Steadiness (S) style personality prefers working with other team members in the existing circumstance to accomplish results. To them, sincerity, dependability, and cooperation are supreme.

  • Personality Traits: An S-style personality type is likely to be accommodating, consistent, deliberate, a team player, patient, and try to resolve conflict to maintain relationships.

S-style leaders tend to be accommodative, preferring an inclusive leadership style. The downside of this leadership style is that the team can misinterpret it as indecisiveness.

Conscientious Leadership Style

A Conscientiousness (C) personality style shows quality, precision, competency, accuracy, and a systematic approach to the assigned tasks despite existing circumstances.

  • Personality Traits: They will likely ask thought-provoking questions to understand assigned tasks.

C style of leadership style places a premium on quality outcomes. They have a low tolerance for mediocre work. Most successful leaders prefer this route as they often inspire people around them to think it through before implementation.

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Want to learn more about connecting self-awareness to professional development? Get in touch today.

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How Highrise Can Help

Understanding a DiSC leadership style ensures that your management style strengths get enhanced no matter your preferred leadership style. Moreover, you will be better equipped to manage a team with different personalities.

At Highrise, we can assist you in identifying which DiSC styles best describe you and how you can focus on them to be a better leader.

Reach out today for a solution.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.