DiSC® dot and priorities explained

DiSC® dot and priorities explained

If you’re used to just talking about styles and preferences, Everything DiSC’s use of dots and priorities might be a little confusing. Everything DiSC is about much more than just a single letter or two denoting your personality style. It’s so much richer.

Everything DiSC dot showing a Di styleYour DiSC® dot

Each person who takes an Everything DiSC assessment has their dot plotted on the Everything DiSC map. The example at right shows a person who tends toward the i region, but also somewhat toward the D region. This represents an iD style. This person, therefore, is probably particularly outspoken, active, bold, and persuasive, as these qualities generally describe people who share both the i and D styles.

DiSC style

Everything DiSC defines a style as “a set of typical response patterns that are expected from a person. However, that doesn’t mean that a person can only exhibit that pattern. For instance, an individual who has been assessed and located in the D quadrant will demonstrate more dominant behaviors and preferences than a person with another style, but will also, from time to time, show behaviors and preferences that are associated with the other three quadrants.”

Read more about four basic DiSC styles:

Everything DiSC mapStyle inclination

If you look at the DiSC map for several people you’ll notice that not everyone’s dot is placed at the same distance from the center. That distance is also meaningful. People whose dots fall toward the edge of the circle are said to be much more inclined toward their DiSC styles. The style characteristics of someone with their dot near the outer edge will be much more pronounced than for someone whose dot is closer to the center of the circle.

As explained in the Everything DiSC Manual: “By way of comparison, imagine a continuum that ranges from extrovert (on the left) to introvert (on the right). We can have two introverted people that are located on the right side of the continuum, but one (who is more introverted) will be placed further to the right than the other person (who is less introverted). One person will be expected to show more pronounced introverted traits than the other.”

Your shading

The shading around the dot provides a rough approximation of the person’s comfort zone. In the example at right, this person with a C style will find behaviors such as analysis, caution and showing will come easily. Conversely, behaviors associated with the styles with little shading (showing enthusiasm, being optimistic, compromising) will require more conscious effort. The shading reinforces the message that we are all a blend of all four styles.


The shading also includes the three priorities closest to a person’s dot. In our example from Everything DiSC Workplace, these are accuracy, challenge, and stability. The priorities are an additional measurement unique to Everything DiSC. As the Everything DiSC Manual explains: “the priority scales measure much more narrow constructs. For example, the i DiSC scale measures a sociable, lively disposition. The priority scale of Enthusiasm measures only liveliness.” This provides a more nuanced feedback in the resulting profile.

Not all people with the C style, for example, are the same. Some people will show more than three priorities. Their DiSC map will include extra shading if their score on the priority is over a pre-set threshold. The example at right show an additional priority of enthusiasm for this D-style individual.

The Everything DiSC Manual explains: “This threshold was designed such that approximately one-third of respondents would receive an extra priority in their report. As well, shading does reflect the respondent’s inclination. In such a case, the individual’s dot is closer to priorities on the opposite side of the map, and, consequently, the individual would likely be more comfortable adopting those behaviors when they are needed. As mentioned earlier, however, the Everything DiSC shading is only designed to be a rough approximation of an individual’s comfort level with different regions of the map.”

People with a fourth or fifth priority will see those reflected in their Everything DiSC Workplace profile section on motivators and stressors (pages 5-6). The priorities assessed differ among the Everything DiSC assessments. For example, the priority for the S is Support in the Workplace and Management profiles, Sincerity in the Sales profile, and Inclusive in the Work of Leaders profile. (See examples of the different profiles and priorities at Comparing Everything DiSC profiles.)

Dive deeper

If you’re really intrigued by the results of an Everything DiSC assessment, you might want to take a look at the Everything DiSC Supplement for Facilitators. It’s a one-page report that provides you with more detailed data about a respondent’s DiSC style and dot placement. It provides the questionnaire items a person rated highly but aren’t typical for someone with his or her style. It also shows the respondent’s scores on all eight priorities.

Read more at Everything DiSC Supplement for Facilitators and Coaches







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