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What is the DiSC CD type?

8 min read

People whose DiSC® profile shows a CD style display a blend of the C style’s conscientiousness and the D style’s dominance. They are strong critical thinkers who push through obstacles. They have a fundamental skepticism that can make them world-wary at times. CD types hold high standards for themselves and others. They value competence, control, and independence.

CD style graphic with priorities: challenge, accuracy, results

The DiSC® CD personality type at a glance

  • Traits: Skeptical, determined, questioning, critical thinker, analytical, stubborn, impatient, blunt, cold, cynical, objective, independent, disciplined, systematic, high standards
  • Driven by: Efficient results, rational decisions
  • Anxieties: Failure, lack of control
  • Influences others by: Strict standards, resolute approach
  • In tense situations: Sticks up for own rights, becomes passive aggressive

How well this summary matches your own CD style will depend on how close your dot is to the edge of the DiSC circle. The closer your dot is to the edge, the more likely you are to exhibit these traits.

DiSC style blends: CD

Circle showing the 8 scales: four continua which intersect at the middle

Everything DiSC® assessments measure 8 scales: D (Dominance), Di/iD, i (influence), iS/Si, S (Steadiness), SC/CS, C (Conscientiousness), and CD/DC. People with the CD style score highest on the CD/DC scale. Further, their responses show tendencies slightly more in line with the C style than the D style. People with C styles are composed and analytical. D-style folks are direct and strong-willed. CD styles are a blend of the two.

Everyone is a mixture of all DiSC styles, but most people tend toward one or two. All DiSC styles are equally valuable.

What is the opposite DiSC style of CD?

The DiSC circumplex is helpful for visualizing the wide variety of personality types people have. These differences are especially apparent when looking at styles opposite each other in the circle. For the CD style, the personality type across the circle is the iS style. People with CD styles likely score lower on iS-scale measurements like optimism and empathy. That doesn’t mean CD-style folks are never positive or empathetic; it likely just takes them more energy to exhibit these behaviors than behaviors that come more naturally to their personality type.

Circle showing the 12 style wedges. The CD wedge is highlighted.
  • iS-style people tend to be warm and trusting, while CD-style folks are often guarded.
  • The iS-type personality is motivated by collaboration; the CD style often prefers to work independently.
  • iS styles tend to give in for the sake of harmony; CD styles are likely to dig in their heels when they think they’re right.
Image showing the active-to-reflective dimension and the skeptical-to-accepting dimension

What motivates the CD style?

People with DiSC CD styles are motivated by challenge, accuracy, and results.


  • won’t accept ideas without asking a lot of questions
  • determined; like to uncover problems that could affect results
  • relish an opportunity to prove their competency


  • focus on thinking logically to create the best solutions
  • avoid letting their emotions get in the way of making rational decisions
  • want to control the quality of their work


  • determined to deliver quality outcomes efficiently
  • willing to take charge when necessary
  • can be counted on to keep things on track

What are the CD style’s driving assumptions?

We all have unconscious beliefs that drive our decisions and behavior. We’re mostly not aware of them, and may not claim or defend them in the light of day, but they still direct our actions.

For the CD style, unconscious thoughts like these may drive their behavior and choices:

  • I should always be self-sufficient.
  • I’m valuable if I’m competent.
  • I must always maintain my credibility.
  • If I’m not in control, I open myself up to disaster.
  • I should have complete mastery in all areas of my life that are under my responsibility.
  • It is undignified to show intimate emotions.
  • I must maintain my dignity at all times.

Every person is different, so even within CD styles, some of these statements will resonate more than others.

Driving assumptions can lead to both destructive and productive behaviors. For example, the values above can lead CD-style people to be overly harsh on themselves and others when their high standards are not met. But they also motivate CD-style folks to persist through negative or uncomfortable feelings that would lead other styles to quit.

How does the CD style handle stress?

Different things create stress for people of different personality types. For example, many people find it stressful to give someone critical feedback, but CD styles find this kind of candor natural.

What does stress out a CD-type personality:

  • lacking control
  • feeling vulnerable
  • having any possibility they will be seen as incompetent
  • experiencing failure
  • not having expertise in a task they need to perform
  • following an inefficient process
  • being surrounded by incompetent or unreliable people

Under stress, CD styles tend to:

  • be easily irritated and impatient with others
  • become judgmental
  • be quite blunt
  • look for ways to gain or maintain control
  • have a real aversion to showing vulnerability

How can I work well with CD-style people?

People with DiSC CD personality types bring a lot to their workplaces. They have high expectations for their teammates, encouraging people to rise to the challenge. And they have even higher expectations for their own performance.

Tips for working with CD personality types:

  • Focus on facts and minimize “pep talk.”
  • Say what you mean. Don’t talk around a subject; address it directly.
  • If you feel taken aback by something they say or the manner in which they say it, point it out and ask for clarification. They may not always be aware how their direct demeanor affects others.
  • Demonstrate your competence and your commitment to high standards.
  • Show how your ideas will get results.
  • Show them it’s OK to be vulnerable sometimes. Make it clear that mistakes and missteps are part of the process.
  • Recognize the value of their drive to get things right.

The CD style and teamwork

CD-style teammates are generally proficient and resolute. You can count on them to follow through on even challenging projects and produce high-quality results.

Strengths of CD-style teammates:

  • love a challenge
  • will go the extra mile to master a skill; you’ll rarely hear them say “that’s good enough”
  • are direct communicators
  • won’t accept ideas at face value
  • hold themselves and others to high standards
  • are rigorous and reliable
  • excel at turning obstacles into opportunities
  • won’t let problems slide

Challenges of CD-style teammates:

  • communicating with tact
  • asking for help
  • keeping an open mind when teammates do things in a way they wouldn’t
  • collaborating with people they see as less competent
  • showing patience
  • dealing with strong displays of emotion

Read more: Team building

What if there are many CD-style people on a team?

The mix of individual styles within a group creates a larger DiSC group culture. When a group displays a C culture (with many people of CD, C, and CS styles) it tends to be detail-oriented and analytical, and hold itself to high standards. We call this the “get it right” team.

Advantages of the CD group culture:

  • emphasizes reliability and precision
  • rewards critical thinkers
  • embraces challenge

Drawbacks of the CD group culture:

  • prefers independent work to collaborating
  • may not foster a strong sense of community
  • closes itself off to outsiders

Read more: DiSC C group culture

What careers are good for DiSC CD personalities?

People of all DiSC styles find success in all job fields. Although this is a common question, we don’t recommend basing career decisions (or hiring decisions) on personality type alone.

Although your DiSC profile can’t tell you which career to pursue, it can help you clarify what you’re looking for in a job. Reviewing your DiSC profile can clarify your foundational motivators and stressors. It can remind you what gives you energy and what doesn’t.

For example, people with CD styles often want autonomy at work. They want the opportunity to gain and exhibit personal mastery of their subject area. CD-type people could explore jobs in data analysis, research, engineering, technology, craftsmanship, economics, quality control, and many other fields that welcome their tough-mindedness and attention to detail.

Everything DiSC Workplace priorities map
Review your priorities when considering a career change. Image: Everything DiSC Workplace® priorities map.

Do CD personality types make good leaders, managers, and salespeople?

Are CD types good leaders?

You’ll find great leaders of every DiSC style. No single DiSC style is best for leadership. Rather, effective leaders discover how to work within their natural strengths and challenges. They adapt their leadership styles to meet the situation at hand.

CD-style people are resolute leaders: challenging, determined, and rational. They set high expectations, address issues head-on, and work to improve methods.

On 360-degree-type leadership assessments, CD-style leaders tend to rate highly in areas like making systems more efficient and speaking up about problems. They receive lower ratings on being approachable.

Read more: CD-type leaders

Resolute leaders: setting high expectations, speaking up about problems, improving methods

What are CD-style people like as managers?

Managers with the DiSC CD style:

  • create efficient processes
  • focus on results
  • communicate clearly and directly
  • respond best to people who can demonstrate their competency

CD-type managers probably enjoy:

  • pushing their team to have high standards and meet them
  • being looked to for their expertise and advice
  • solving problems head on
  • helping their employees find better, more efficient ways of working

CD-style managers likely don’t enjoy:

  • feeling like they have to be a cheerleader to boost morale
  • dealing with overly emotional people
  • following inefficient systems
  • dealing with ineptitude or careless work
Priorities map from Everything DiSC Management
Priorities map from Everything DiSC® Management

Read more: Management

Do CD-style people make good salespeople?

Each DiSC style has its natural strengths and challenges when it comes to sales. Someone’s DiSC style does not predict how successful they will be as a salesperson.

Salespeople with CD styles display competency. They are confident, well-prepared, and not easily flustered. Customers can tell they really know their stuff.

Other characteristics of CD salespeople:

  • don’t let personal feelings get in the way
  • are great problem-solvers
  • make customers feel they’ve made a smart decision

The overriding priority for salespeople with CD personality types is competency.

Everything DiSC Sales priorities
Everything DiSC® Sales priorities

How does the CD personality type deal with conflict?

People with CD styles are often seeking justification in conflict situations. They are unlikely to budge if they think they’re right. Rather, they will lay out their argument, which is likely well-thought-out.

Conflict is a part of every workplace, and many studies show that some amount of conflict is actually healthy, when this conflict is productive, not destructive.

Priorities map from Everything DiSC Productive Conflict
Priorities map from Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict

Tendencies of CD styles that are productive during conflict:

  • willing to have objective debates
  • interested in the root cause of the problem
  • unafraid of tough issues
  • focused on facts

The same personality traits driving the above tendencies can also drive destructive tendencies during conflict, like:

  • being defensive
  • becoming overly critical
  • overanalyzing the situation
  • not seeking to understand others’ perspectives

If you are in conflict with someone with a CD style, try these tips:

  • Don’t take their bluntness personally.
  • Don’t withhold your ideas and opinions just to appease them.
  • Acknowledge problems instead of hoping they’ll just go away.
  • If you also have a CD or similar style, you may notice both of you digging your heels in. Articulate this to the other person, then take a step back and reevaluate.
Conflict behaviors in the Five Behaviors model
The Five Behaviors® model discusses healthy and unhealthy behavior during conflict. For CD styles, you can see that a healthy behavior is sticking up for their own rights and an unhealthy behavior is becoming passive aggressive.

Is the DiSC CD style emotionally intelligent?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is not an abstract trait you either have or lack. Rather, it is a collection of skills you can practice and develop. Each DiSC style has natural EQ strengths and challenges.

Of the eight EQ mindsets described in Everything DiSC Agile EQ, CD styles align most closely with the resolute mindset. This means CD-style people are likely to:

  • persist through challenges that might otherwise threaten their goals
  • maintain confidence in their perspective, even when others cast doubt
  • stand up for their beliefs
Priorities map for Everything DiSC Agile EQ
Priorities map for Everything DiSC® Agile EQ™

What are some growth opportunities for DiSC CD styles?

Unlike many other personality assessments, Everything DiSC is developmental rather than just descriptive. If you take an Everything DiSC assessment, you’ll get both an understanding of your personality and an individualized path for personal development.

In general, CD-style people may benefit from working on:

  • cooperating
  • paying attention to others’ needs
  • looking beyond data
  • showing warmth
  • practicing patience
  • displaying vulnerability
  • seeking to empathize with others

What is my DiSC style?

Do you have the DiSC CD personality type? If so, how does your unique personality differ from the typical CD type? Taking a DiSC assessment is the first step toward meeting many personal development goals. Not only will you understand your own behaviors more, but you’ll learn how to form better relationships at home and work. We recommend starting your DiSC journey with Everything DiSC Workplace.


Avery Harris-Gray

SC style, NY based. Writing about Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors since 2020. Leadership style: humble. EQ mindset: composed. I always have snacks to share.

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