- Where you can do the test for FREE
- A quick overview of the 4 types
- How to interpret the results to see your what kind of parent you are (and the things that stress you)
- How to quickly read your child to see which profile they may be.
- Is there a “best” or preferred DISC personality style?
- What motivates people in each of the DISC styles?
- How does each DISC personality type approach tasks?
- What are each DISC types greatest needs?
- How should I expect each of the DISC personality styles to respond to a conflict situation?
- Does your DISC personality style change over time?
- Is DISC personality style related to gender?
- An example of this all working together.
1. Where you can do the test for FREE.
This is a free test worth over $250 and will only take about 15 minutes to do. The results will be sent to you via e-mail. Click here to go to the relevant link.
- The Dominant "D" type - An outgoing, task-oriented individual will be focused on getting things done, accomplishing tasks, getting to the bottom line as quickly as possible and MAKING IT HAPPEN! (The key insight in developing a relationship with this type person is RESPECT and RESULTS.)
- The Inspiring "I" type - An outgoing, influential people-oriented individual loves to interact, socialize and have fun. This person is focused on what others may think of him or her. (The key insight in developing a relationship with this type person is ADMIRATION and RECOGNITION.)
- The Steady "S" type - A reserved, steady people-oriented individual will enjoy relationships, helping or supporting other people and working together as a team. This also looks at how you respond to change and pace of change in your environment. (The key insight in developing a relationship with this person is FRIENDLINESS and SINCERE APPRECIATION.)
- The Cautious "C" type - A reserved, task-oriented individual will seek value, consistency and quality information. This person focuses on being correct and accurate. (The key insight in developing a relationship with this individual is TRUST and INTEGRITY.)
To summarize the DISC Model of Human Behaviour:
- D stands for the DOMINANT/ DECISIVE Type which is OUTGOING and TASK-ORIENTED.
- I stands for the INSPIRING/ INFLUENTIAL Type which is OUTGOING and PEOPLE-ORIENTED.
- S stands for the SUPPORTIVE/ STABLE Type which is RESERVED and PEOPLE-ORIENTED.
- C stands for the CAUTIOUS/ CONSCIENTIOUS Type which is RESERVED and TASK-ORIENTED.
If you have a high D score
These parents are often busy and they focus on problem solving and big picture solutions, focusing less on the emotions or the reasons why. The just seek a positive end result. These parents don’t work well when their children use drama, emotional manipulation or tantrums.
They want to be seen and experienced as a parent with authority and it is important that they set a good example to their children which they can role model. When they are being disrespected or not listened to, they will use a strong tone in voicing their disapproval as well as in their body language.
Other traits that may seem familiar to High 'D' parents:
• They are also more likely to react than respond as their emotions can be quick to emerge.
• More likely to regret saying and doing things later as perhaps they weren't thinking clearly when they first reacted.
• When stressed, or their buttons have been repeatedly pushed, they are quick to be decisive and put the consequence in place without a lot of conversation, negotiation or dialogue.
• They probably find that their preferred parenting style is more of obedience, than of negotiation and compromise.
• They can be a great Problem solver and enjoy trying out new things.
• At times, all the small parenting details of things they have to remember can be frustrating and seem limiting them from really getting going.
• They would prefer not to sit down and talk about things over and over again. Once a decision is made, then it's time to be inaction and then move on.
• Their children may at times feel they are being bossy. As parents, they prefer to tell their children what to do instead of listening to their problems over and over again.
A high 'D' parent with different children TYPES:
With a D-style child, there may be a struggle for power. Assert your authority early, but allow them to make decisions for themselves, as this still gives them some control over their own lives, which they crave.
With I, S, and C-style children, you will need to be careful of your tone and body language, as these styles will easily feel rejected or intimidated and may withdraw or avoid you as a result.
Setting boundaries is quite easy for you, although if unskilled your children will build resentment towards you as they feel you don't care about their situation. If you are also a low 'S' or 'C' you are more prone to keep changing your boundaries and being inconsistent in them. This may lead to a lot of anger and frustration towards your children not keeping them as you had thought they would. You are also more prone to being a shouter.
In my 3 D's to setting effective boundaries, (Detail, Delivery and Diligence), it would be worth your while learning the skills in delivery (so that your children hear you without fearing you), and your diligence (creating the systems and routines so your boundaries are consistent)
If you do these things, you will be stressing out a high 'D' parent or child.
• Block their initiative and personal goals.
• Tell them to slow down.
• Get in their way by asking them lots of questions and telling them to explain why they are doing what they are doing.
• Take advantage of them and use them to achieve what you need done.
• Get them to follow and fill in lengthy checklists before doing a new activity.
If you do these things, you will be stressing out a low 'D' parent or child.
• Tell them to step up and to take responsibility.
• Put them in charge of planning the weekend activities.
• Let them know that everyone is counting on them to have a great outing.
• Tell them they have to complete the task ASAP and bug them for it.
If you have a high I score
These parents have loads of energy, are expressive, fun, and communicative. They love to be the center of attention, and enjoy when others are smiling, interacting, and being creative. They are very focused on people. They possibly tend to find organization, details, time management, and rejection challenging. As they will want to be accepted by others, and their children, they will likely struggle with being the disciplinarian or one who has to say “no”. They like being in touch with their emotions. They are open, spontaneous, flexible, and giving. Setting boundaries may at times be uncomfortable for these parents.
Other traits that may seem familiar to High 'D' parents:
• The house rules are there more as a guideline than to be adhered to strictly.
• If their child has a tantrum, they think it's good for them to get all that stuff out.
• They probably prefer to just wake up in the morning and then see what they feel like doing.
• They love just chatting with their child.
• At times they may also feel that they are not very consistent with your boundaries.
• They believe that children mustn't just obey... It is really important that they can express their uniqueness and individuality.
• They believe that the meaning behind the words is more important the what is actually said.
• They prefer not to be pinned down to commitments and deadlines.
• To them, all the details of the daily routines can seem restricting.
• They believe that things should just flow from the heart more than being controlled from the head.
• They believe that expression of our individuality is more important than conforming.
A high 'I' parent with different children TYPES:
As a high 'I' parent, you are more people oriented than task oriented which can mean that if your children are more 'D' and 'C' children they will find you more words than action. Also 'S' and 'C' type children prefer more routine and stability which you often find limiting and restrictive. They will find you less trustworthy and prone to changing your mind when you feel like it. If you have 'S' and 'C' type children, learn the skills in making and keeping good routines.
As a high 'I' you are more expressive of your feelings. A high 'C' child who doesn't express themselves much will frustrate you as you can't tell what is going on for them. To open your line of communication with them, talk about what they like, and the systems and tasks they enjoy.
If you do these things, you will be stressing out a high 'I' parent or child.
• Dampen their optimism and enthusiasm.
• Frown when they smile.
• Don't let them speak up, suppress their views and opinions.
• Don't let them show any emotion, not even any physical gestures.
• Take away their phone and say they can't have any more play dates.
If you do these things, you will be stressing out a low 'I' parent or child.
• Ask them to cheer up their sibling.
• Tell them they must plan and organise their own play dates or family function.
• Give them a big bubbly pep talk to inspire them.
• Make do them chores that involve team work from their siblings.
• Ask them to stand on the sideline and cheer their siblings at sport.
If you have a high S score
These parents are stable, selfless, patient, and calm. They make an effort to have peaceful relationships and environments, and will put others' needs before their own in order to achieve this. They tend to avoid conflict with others, as it causes them intense stress, which they will likely internalize. They create a strong sense of security and grounding for their children and are very committed and loyal to their families. As they dislike change, they may also become stubborn or inflexible in their ways. They also give so much of themselves to the point that they no longer take time for their own wants and needs.
Other traits that may seem familiar to High 'S' parents:
• They may often feel that they are compromising on what they want.
• They may feel that their children know just how to get what they want from them.
• They often find it challenging to say No to their children.
• It can be challenging for them to be really firm on their boundaries.
• Even though they really want to the best for their children, it may sometimes feel like they are overprotecting their children.
• It is important that they resolve sibling rivalry in their children as their fighting can be difficult for them to bare.
• They would prefer to find a quick solution for a challenging situation rather than see their children in distress (ie they tend to do more things for their children than let them struggle on their own).
• It can be difficult for them not to intervene when their children are struggling in learning to do something, or if they are in a difficult situation,
• Creating harmony and peace in the home is really important to them.
• Ensuring all their child's needs are met is important to them.
A high 'S' parent with different children TYPES:
As you have greater difficulty in asserting your needs, with a D-style child you will have to make an effort to hold your ground. High 'D' children are more dominant and want it their way. The challenge is that as a high 'S', you will want to avoid conflict, however your children will respect you for setting boundaries. In the 3 D's of setting boundaries, learning the skills in Detail and Delivery will support you in creating effective and long term boundaries.
You will also most likely be frustrated with the children who have low concentration spans and want to keep changing their activities (most likely being the 'D' and 'I' type children). As a high 'S' parent, you prefer routine and the least change possible.
You will also most likely be sending mixed messages in your communication as you tend to tone done your own needs for those of others. This can build resentment and more passive aggressive interaction style. The Alternative To Saying NO workshop skills will really help you find ways to have your needs met (and not at the cost of your children's needs).
You would also have the greatest chance of all the other types at mastering the skills of Problem Solving. This skill set is the most powerful one I know of all the skills I teach. Master this one and you will never be stuck in any situation again.
If you do these things, you will be stressing out a high 'S' parent or child.
• Keep changing the rules and routines.
• Change expected results of routine actions.
• Question whether they are really doing this for everyone best interests.
• Don't prioritize tasks, leave it up to them to decided what is more important.
• Be vague and leave things hanging.
• Rush them to complete a task.
• Give them to much to do so they become overwhelmed.
If you do these things, you will be stressing out a low 'S' parent or child.
• Force them to follow specific daily routines by the book.
• Ask them to work a rigid checklist of activity.
• Make them wait for extended periods of time.
• Demand multiple layers of process and approval for every action.
If you have a high C score
These parents are organized, reserved, task-oriented and logical. They will teach their children to find out how and why things are how they are, to gather information, and look at the details before deciding. They often will put systems in place for things to run smoothly, but may be inflexible when it comes to changing these systems. They are independent and creative people who can see into the details and analyze a situation based on information. However, others may perceive them as withdrawn or unemotional and may have a difficult time getting close. They will avoid conflict and also seek out peaceful and stable environments. As mentioned, they like to gather information, look into the details, and analyze the world around them, which is full of mistakes and problems.
Other traits that may seem familiar to High 'C' parents:
• They love to find the parenting skills that they can apply to most situations. If they can unlock the secret formula, then they can be on top of the game.
• They prefer things to be clear, with little misunderstanding.
• If the boundaries are clear, they have a high expectation that their children should adhere to them because they were made with the child's best interests at heart.
• They believe that children should follow the rules because that will really increase the flow of the house, and therefore also make it easier for everyone.
• It is really important that as parents they discipline fairly in all situations.
• They like to work with star charts and other ways of motivating and keeping track of things.
• They prefer their child's room to be tidy, organized and things in their own special place.
• They can feel quite overwhelmed if their child throws a big emotional tantrum, especially when what they are doing doesn't seem to help resolve it.
• It really gets to them if their child doesn't do the things they say they will.
• They prefer to use reason and logic to get their children to operate with them.
• They like giving advice to their children on how they can do things better, or learn from their mistakes.
A high 'C' parent with different children TYPES:
Perhaps the greatest challenge with high 'C' parents is not too become emotionally distant to their children, especially the high 'I' and 'S' children who are people oriented. According to them, you are unapproachable and 'cool'.
You are more likely to be frustrated by high 'S' and 'I' children as they don't seem to think carefully before acting, and are more impulsive than you are comfortable with.
As a high 'C' you are quite competent in what you do and feel your children should be independent and able. This can cause stress for a high 'S' child who like to involve others and be part of a team.
You are closest to all the other types in master the Diligent component of setting boundaries. Your children will know that you don't let things slide, no matter how small, and that they had better do it right the first time around or else you will get them to do it again.
High 'D' and 'I' children will feel you are restrictive and uncompromising. With them, learning the skills of problem solving will help. It will also be useful to determines which areas are non negotiable and which areas you can actually be more flexible in.
If you do these things, you will be stressing out a high 'C' parent or child.
• Deny them time to complete things and criticise their work.
• Rush them.
• Force them to make snap decisions.
• Give them insufficient information.
• Give them lousy equipment or toys that don't work properly.
• Force them to finish projects and homework before checking over it.
• Don't let them finish anything.
If you do these things, you will be stressing out a low 'C' parent or child.
• Reward them only if the task has been done correctly according to agreement.
• Tell them that every detail must be followed and ticked.
• Ask them to give you detailed points about what they have done.
• Ask them to stay to the facts and not bring in opinion or emotion.
This model of human behavior is based on 2 foundational observations about how people normally behave:
Observation #1: Some people are more outgoing, while others are more reserved.
You can think of this as each person's "internal motor." Some people always seem ready to "go" and "dive in." They engage their motor quickly. Others tend to engage their motor more slowly or more cautiously.
Observation # 2: Some people are more task-oriented, while others are more people-oriented.
You can think of this as each person's compass that guides them. Some people are focused on getting something done; others are more tuned-in to the people around them and their feelings.
With both observations, we want to emphasize that these behavioural tendencies are neither right or wrong or good or bad. They are just different. We are simply identifying normal behaviour styles.
People have different styles, and that is okay.
Thus, we have 4 behavioural tendencies to help us characterize people:
• Outgoing or Reserved
• Task-oriented or People-oriented
Everyone has some of all 4 of these tendencies at different times and in different
situations. However, most people typically have 1 or 2 of these tendencies that seem to fit them well in their everyday behaviour. And, on the other hand, 1 or 2 of these tendencies usually do not fit them well, and these tendencies may even seem "foreign" to their approach to life. The balance of these 4 tendencies shapes the way each person "sees" life and those around them.
Thus, 4 basic personality traits emerge.
• Outgoing and Task-oriented
• Outgoing and People-oriented
• Reserved and People-oriented
• Reserved and Task-oriented
Yes, you can learn to “read” your child, but it is more of an “art” than a “science.” In this Model of Human Behavior, we present certain characteristic traits that help us identify styles. Observe your children and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Are they are more “GO” and " outward going" (“D” or “I”) or more “SLOW” and "introverted"(“S” or “C”)?
2. Does their “compass” point them more toward tasks (“D” or “C”" or more toward people (“I” or “S”)?
• A “D” child is both fast-paced, outward going and task-oriented. They will be the children taking the initiative and setting up the task to be achieved. At break they will be the ones organizing the games and what one has to don in the games.
• An “I” is both fast-paced, outward going and people-oriented. These children will know everyone in the school and will most likely be well liked by them all as well. They will love to spend break time playing with their friends. They love being the center of attention in the games.
• An “S” is both slow-paced, introverted and people-oriented. These children love routines and stability. They will prefer order and may frequently ask others for support. They also come across as easy going as they may often give up their needs to please others.
• A “C” is both slow-paced, introverted and task-oriented. These children don't like to be rushed and are more perfectionist. They love checklists, star charts and attention to detail.
This information allows you to relate better to others’ frames of reference by knowing how they will tend to think and respond.
No, there is no best style, although for environment reasons, you might prefer another style. Each style has some wonderful strengths, but with every set of strengths there is a companion set of struggles.
As a quick example, a young woman who is quiet and reserved, was baby-sitting for some very active children. When she told them it was time to go get ready for bed, they told her, “We’re not going and you can’t make us!” She knew she was a low 'S' type (often gives in to other people's needs. Kids have a way of bringing out the real you!)
She then thought, “I need to lower lower my ‘S’ and I raised my ‘D,’ (a higher 'D' is more decisive, in charge and authoratative)" and told those kids, “Your parents left me in charge and if you don’t do what I say right now, I’m telling them and you’ll be in big trouble!” And they said to her, “Okay, we’ll go to bed!”
As we study the styles, we understand why certain people’s traits help them to excel in certain areas. We can learn to imitate those traits for greater success in our own areas of weakness. The good news is that we can grow, change, and mature to demonstrate those traits we admire in other styles.
• “D” motivators tend to be dominant, bottom-line, results and achievement. As a parent you are not that interested in that much detail and theory, you just want to get the results. With your children you expect that they figure out how to get things done without you having to continuously remind or motivate them.
• “I” motivators tend to be influencing, fun, travel and position. As a parent you will be more involved with your children's schooling functions and extra mural activities. You want to be involved and part of it all, inspiring them to do better. You will prefer to keep checking in with your child to find out how their day is, how things are going, who their friends are, and who is coming over to play.
• “S” motivators tend to be steady, helping people, building friendships and appreciation. As a parent you value routine and predictability. You like a smooth flow throughout the day with everyone pulling their weight so it all comes together as planned.
• “C” motivators tend to be value, compliance, excellence and consistency. As a parent this means you have high expectations of yourself and doing it well. You wish to parent the right way. You also have high expectations of your children. They need to be everything that is expected of them, and you believe that if they do, they will succeed.
• “D” = Do it now, do it quickly. As a parent you will expect high levels of obedience. You expect your children to listen to you the first time and to be in action of it straight away. Lazy children will frustrate you.
• “I”= Put it off until later, make it fun. As a parent you prefer to be spontaneous and go with the flow. It's okay if you take your time and change things as you go along. A child who is a perfectionist will frustrate you.
• “S” = Get help from others, use traditional methods. As a parent you will pace yourself and carry on till finished. You will be frustrated if your child wants to keep changing the task or the goal, but you will patiently keep bringing them back on track. You will also motivate them by praising and affirming their good work.
• “C” = Do it yourself, do it properly. As a parent you can see that doing things right the first time will save time if not done correctly. You will get frustrated with children who can't stay focused and impulsively change tasks or get bored easily.
• “D” needs challenge and dominance. As a parent you like doing different things as boredom is uncomfortable. You can be impulsive and too much fore planning may not allow 'in the moment' opportunities to be taken. If your children want routine and consistency, they will resist your ideas and decisions to do activities and things (especially if it is spontaneous and they were not involved in the process).
• “I” needs recognition and interaction. As a parent you like to feel needed and involved. It's great when your children ask you for your ideas or your support. Children who just view the problems and what is going wrong will be uncomfortable for you.
• “S” needs stability and routine. As a parent you can get overwhelmed if there are just too many things to do in the day. You find it very frustrating if your children are not reliable and don't keep to what you had all agreed on.
• “C” needs quality answers and correctness. As a parent you like to know as much as possible before making any decisions. You like think carefully about what you are doing and ensure things are all in place before you start. Impulsive children rush and unsettle you. They don't seem to understand that delaying gratification is a worthwhile characteristic to have.
• “D” demands its own way. As a parent you can be really strong willed and expect your children to do what you say. If your child is also a high "D", you will experience strong stubbornness.
• “I” attacks personally if it cannot make peace. As a parent will be more likely to accuse and blame others for what is not working for you. Look to see how to take responsibilty for what is happning and what you can do to resolve it.
• “S” complies with expectations. As a parent keeping the peace is important so it's important that everyone is happy. However your children could perceive you to be a push over and may take advantage of not taking your boundaries seriously.
• “C” avoids confrontation whenever possible. As a parent conflict involves the unknown and can be deeply unsettling. If everyone just does what is needed then there wouldn't be conflict in the first place. If your children are a high 'D', you are going to be in quite a bit of conflict as they will be more impulsive and chop and change as they want.
Again, there is no correlation between gender and the traits of “D,” “I,” “S,” or “C.” I have known some incredibly strong male “D’s,” but I have also known some incredibly strong female “D’s.” The same is true among “I,” “S,” and “C” traits. In many cultures, females are subservient to males and assume an “S” type posture in their presence.
However, when they are among only other females, their DISC personality traits are very marked. Studies have shown this to be true among African, South American, American Indian, Asian Indian, Oriental and Pacific cultures.
Observe the way little girls and boys play with their toys and you will see that Basic Styles are not gender-based.
Research shows us that however you are wired in your Basic Style is who you are for life. But yes, you should mature in your traits as you work on balancing your personality.
We define “maturity” as being able to know and understand the appropriate thing at the appropriate time. A major trauma in your life may temper your display of this style, but your Basic style refers to your core self, not how you have adapted it.
For example a High "D” teenager goes into the Army. While he is there, his “D” is under the control of others, and he learns it is not appropriate to act as independently as he might prefer. But, he will still be more comfortable exercising “D” type traits. When he leaves the army, he will show more the 'D' type traits agin.
If you’re a parent it’s only natural, you’re going to become out of necessity a keen observer of your children’s behavior. Day after day of close inspection and interaction are bound to define your reflexes based on behavioral expectations: you figure out that your daughter is very detail-oriented in the way she carefully arranges her doll collection, or you note that your youngest son always seems to be directing his friends as to which game they’re going to play today.
Or another parent realizes that his daughter always wants the same jam sandwich for lunch every day, while his son never cares because he always swaps his lunch because he seems to be friends with every kid in school.
Mothers and fathers get to put in lots of hours observing and comparing, but what they may not have is the vocabulary to identify that the girl with the super-organized dolls is a high C, the boy who is setting the playtime goals is a high D, the girl who likes to stick to the same routine for lunch everyday is a high S, or that the boy who knows every kid in school is a high I.
Yet vocabulary aside, the parents clearly understand the differences that each child expresses through his or her actions, but without the blueprint of a structured approach to understanding behavior as provided by DISC profiles, they are in a disadvantaged position when handling collisions of behavioral style.
When the High I boy with tons of friends takes his sister’s jam sandwich to trade with his buddy who said he likes jam, he’s just following his impulsive behavioral pattern of trying to please and influence, not realizing that he may be creating an avalanche of stress for his sister, the High S, who is now very distraught to have the reassuring stability of her expected sandwich being unexpectedly replaced by her brother’s turkey on wheat.
Further, if the parent is unaware of his or her own behavioral style they may fall into a biased reaction to the incident. If the mother is also a High I, she might be led by her behavioral disposition to take the son’s side, while the High S father might see the issue as stress-inducing his daughter does.
The parental dilemma grows as the kids get older and are exposed to an increasing number of influences and experiences that are outside of the parent’s sphere of observation. Expectations set by past patterns of behavior may be jarringly disrupted by the emergence of behavioral shifts so often seen during the teen years.
Here again, the trained DISC behaviorist has an advantage in deciphering the puzzle of disruption due to inconsistent behavior. Proper DISC profiling examines and charts both natural and adapted behavioral profiles – shifting environments and peer dynamics are as likely to cause behavioral adaptations as any stressful office – understanding modifications of behavior and the gap between natural and adapted styles can give the experienced behavioral strategist data points for understanding that a typical parent wouldn’t have at their disposal.
Something to also consider is that the parent’s own behavior profile can indicate a tendency to “side” with one child over another if that child’s communication preferences are driven by a similar behavior style as the parent’s style. It is important to realize that behaviors are not necessarily inherited.
Just because Mom is a High D, doesn’t mean that her kids will share that behavioral emphasis.
A parent’s style might match one child, but not another. On the one hand this similarity might make for a strong bond of empathy with the one child, but on the other hand could lead to behavior-based communication problems with the other. Stress will induce different communication issues among people with differing DISC profiles, regardless of whether the relationship is between parent and child, siblings, or among co-workers.
What if the parent’s DISC behavior differs from all the children? Imagine a High C father with a High D daughter and one son who is a high S and another who is a high I. The father values credibility, procedures and attention to detail, the daughter is bold and authoritative, one son is gregarious and demonstrative, the other is passive, but resistant to change.
So what happens when each of these kids breaks their curfew? The father is irate because of the disobedience and disrespect for established rules, He’s perhaps overly critical of the excuses: well not in the daughter’s case because as a High D she offers no excuses – simply states what her objectives in staying out late were and has difficulty understanding why they are an issue.
The High I son stayed out late to curry favor with his friends, he’s extremely apologetic and willing to make amends with his father, because that’s who he is in front of right now, but he is likely to bend to the peer pressure again should the occasion arise. The High S son on the other hand probably only stayed out past curfew because of some unusual stress or necessity – it’s not in his nature to break routine – his father’s frustration is only compounding an already distressed state.
Of course this is a hypothetical scenario, but the point is that for all of us, behavioral patterns can lead to very different perspectives on a given situation.
Parents that are aware of this can provide guidance that is aligned with the child’s behavior instead of carrying an expectation based on the parent’s own DISC profile. By recognizing the daughter’s competitiveness and boldness, the one son’s political behavior, and the other’s tendency to be non-demonstrative, he will be on the path to attaining the insight to temper his initial over-critical response with one adapted to each child’s individual DISC style.