Using DiSC in real life

Using DiSC in real life

How do staff at use the profiles they offer?

I recently asked two of my colleagues for their insights into DiSC. They both provide customer service and hear many stories about clients who have benefited from DiSC, but I wanted to know about their own experiences.


DiSC Classic Appraiser pattern

Nancy took her first DiSC assessment in 2005. That’s 15 years ago, and she’s not yet tired of talking about it. Her result was the iC style. You might not be familiar with this style because it’s no longer referenced except in DiSC Classic. It’s the Appraiser pattern. She, like many of us, took the assessment for her job—in this case, so she’d be familiar with the experience and know how to provide customer service for people using DiSC. “I couldn’t believe how accurate it was,” she says.

People often wonder if a person’s DiSC style can change. Nancy is proof that you can get different results. With the more accurate Everything DiSC assessments, Nancy is now a D or DC. However, her first Workplace assessment showed her as an Si. This was after spending years as a stay-at-home mom and developing those encouraging and compassionate traits. Her boss challenged her to look at the D style and read the description. “He saw me as more of a D-style. It fit, but I didn’t want to be a D,” Nancy remembers.

Her dot placement was always close to the center, so she found flexing into other styles more comfortable than she does now. “My work responsibilities bring out my D,” she says. “Just recently, I’ve gotten farther towards the edge.” We spoke about how we’ve both become more comfortable claiming our D-style traits as we’ve matured. Research shows that personality traits are relatively stable over time, but they can and often do gradually change across the life span.


Everything DiSC i styleAmy took her first DiSC test in 2017. Like Nancy, she has taken six of the Everything DiSC assessments. Her style varies a bit with each test, but always centers around the i style. Workplace put her solidly in the i quadrant, but Management reported her as an iD and Sales as an iS, reflecting more of how she sees herself in those differing situations. She believes that she flexes into the D style to project more confidence and be more results-oriented when in leadership roles. When she’s serving customers, she’s more focused on their needs and draws on the S style. She’s a good reminder that we have all the styles within us, it just takes more effort to call upon those less used or comfortable.

“DiSC has helped me to understand why I am the way I am,” Amy says. “It’s made me less judgmental of myself. Now I give myself a break and look for ways to adapt.” She gave the example of learning time management techniques because it’s difficult for her to stay focused on a single task for long.

DiSC and customer service

Both of my colleagues have found DiSC to be of great help when providing service to callers and responding to their needs. “I can pick up a little on how callers want to hear the information they need—if they’re looking for data or more of my own experience,” says Nancy. “Data is not my go-to response but understanding the value it has for others has made me learn that data. I adapt the same basic information so they can understand it, remember it, and possibly share it.” Nancy also referenced the value of people-reading skills. “It changed the way I talk and respond on the phone.”

If you’re a frequent caller, you’ll probably notice that when you get Amy you spend a bit more time on the line than with Nancy, but both get you what you need. It’s not their style that makes them successful, but rather their commitment to clients and their understanding of customer needs and preferences.

DiSC style comparison via Catalyst

Image from Everything DiSC on Catalyst

DiSC at home

Like many of us, Amy and Nancy have also put DiSC to use at home. They have had their loved ones take the Workplace assessment and used it to help them understand their mates. Amy and her partner are opposites. She’s put DiSC to use in understanding his perspective and, in particular, his need for a slower pace and more care when working on projects together. She’s learned to no longer rush him into chatting up new people in social situations.

Nancy and her husband are of similar style, but their adult children are not. She identified improved communication as the major benefit an understanding of DiSC has provided her. “I know they are not just reacting to me as Mom. They also respond from their own styles.” She has also used DiSC to help her advise her son regarding communication problems he had with his coworkers.

Accurate and memorable

I asked Amy if she had taken any personality assessments before working for “I had zero idea of what DiSC was. I wasn’t impressed by the free tests I’d taken before. I didn’t know if this was a real industry.” So it was with great skepticism that Amy first took Everything DiSC Workplace. Afterwards? “I thought ‘this is like me’ and I asked people in my house, and they all agreed. Now I hear about customers’ successes with DiSC. It’s something I love to talk about and sell. I made a 180-degree change.”

Nancy told me that she’s done the MBTI twice. “I always forget what I am or what it means. I have to ‘get it’ right away or I just forget.” She and Amy both find the four basic DiSC styles easy to learn and remember, with greater complexity available when and if you want it.

Group culture

The "Get it done" teamAs a team we probably reward the D or Di style behaviors most. We’re rather loud when together, we’re always opinionated, and we focus on getting the job done. We’ve had to create spaces and new routines to maintain a focus on our interpersonal relationships as a team as we all now work from home. We are conscious that as a team, it’s only our consultants who have the S style reflected in their DiSC maps. Nevertheless, we are able to collaborate, celebrate team accomplishments, and show other S-style behaviors. We all try to take the lessons of DiSC to continually improve as a team. It’s work we’re all committed to and it brings our little company great results.

Related posts

What I’ve learned from DiSC over the years

What I’ve learned from DiSC over the years – episode 2


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