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Decode our levers through DISC



Virginie Graziani

Talent Management & Synergologist

26 April 2018

Reading Time: 4 minutes


The DISC tool is a personality inventory that helps better understand how an employee finds their energy and self-motivation and responds to external pressure. Based on emotions, the methodology examines four pillars; DISC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. This test is sometimes used in recruitment to determine how a candidate and recruiter match up. However, it is more broadly used in the world of consulting and coaching to help identify aspects linked to communication, in particular in a managerial or team context.


How is DISC built?


In concrete terms, DISC is a questionnaire consisting of twenty-five items. The aim is to determine the profile of the persons assessed according to four dimensions: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S) and Compliance (C). In general, each individual will show one or two major components from each of the four dimensions.  Here is a non-exhaustive list of the characteristics for each profile:


What is the purpose of DISC?


Like any professional personality inventory, the objective is to better know oneself and to decode behaviour and ways of interacting with others. It is important to recall that successful people are those that know themselves, their strengths and their weaknesses in order to implement strategies to meet the needs of their environment.

DISC is a real support tool to identify and work on various behaviour issues pertaining to aspects of interpersonal communication. This knowledge proves to be indispensable to managers wanting to build an efficient team, transmit their messages and delegate tasks, etc. Several recruiters optimise their recruitment process through this questionnaire to identify the personality traits in candidates that best satisfy the requirements of the sought-after profile.


The advantages of DISC 


For the assessor, the interpretation of the results is simplified with a disk-shaped presentation featuring the four components linked to a colour. No certification is required to administer this test, even though it is highly recommended. It is interesting to note that the “DISC method”, developed by the American company, TTI Success Insights, is also available in English.


levers disc

For the assessed candidate, the questionnaire is quick and easy to fill in remotely using a computer or smartphone. The results are automatically analysed and presented in a customised report featuring the main behavioural and relational characteristics of the assessed candidate. As a reminder, DISC is scientifically validated at 0.826 and 0.885 on the Cronbach scale (0.6 being considered as the minimum acceptable level of reliability).


Who is William Moulton Marston?


William Moulton Marston (1893-1947) had an astonishing career. Graduating in law from Harvard in 1915, he then gained a psychology PhD in 1921. At the start of his career, he was known as the co-inventor of the lie detector, through his work highlighting the link between blood pressure and emotions. He thus proved that when a person is embarrassed, anxious or irritable, they can have psychological reactions that are observable on a polygraph.

While continuing his legal career as an attorney, William Moulton Marston made a considerable contribution to the field of psychology. In 1924, he started various research projects focusing on emotions and published a book called “Emotions of Normal People” in 1928, describing all his discoveries. The publication of his work fuelled behavioural studies and led to the development of the DISC tool.

That is why William Moulton Marston is considered as the founding father of the DISC model. As a lawyer and psychologist, William Moulton Marston was also known as a writer and a defender of women’s rights. He even stood out in the press and comic strip world by creating the character of Wonder Woman for DC Comics.





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