DISC: Personality Is Not Everything!


image courtesy of Christian Coach Institute

When my coworker got a new job, I knew she would have a difficult time with the transition because she’s an S. I just didn’t anticipate HOW difficult it was going to be. From the minute she accepted the new job, she took everything our boss—a high C—did as a personal insult to justify her decision to leave. She made the work environment a tense and awful place to work for six weeks before my boss finally asked her to leave early on her last day. The first day without her was the first time I relaxed in weeks. And none of this had anything to do with how she was being treated—but it had everything to do with personality differences.

In addition to the beauty of spiritual gifts, God has also given us distinct personality types that I will blog about for the next few weeks. The best personality assessment that I’ve found to match with spiritual gifts is the DISC personality profile. DISC was created by William Marsten and made popular by Walter Vernon Clarke, and it has been used for many years to encourage community, create cohesiveness, and combat conflict in relationships of all types. Here’s what you need to know about the four basic personality types of DISC:

  • D stands for the dominant personality. D’s like to be challenged and tend to be determined, decisive, and demanding. You can always find a D doing—because that’s what we love to do most. We are task-oriented and can take charge if given the reigns. I am a high D who tends to walk into a group and take over—especially if there is weak leadership. Like all D’s, I love a challenge, though, and I am fearless and forward when it comes to accomplishing something. In conflict, D’s can be stubborn and hardheaded as well as assertive—which can make for interesting team dynamics!
  • The I’s are your natural salesmen—the inspiring personality. They like to influence, impress, and interact with others—the life of the party. Most I’s like to tell stories and get noticed, wanting to be recognized and not paying enough attention to detail. My supervisor (beneath my boss) is a high I—and he loves people. I’s are people-oriented and thrive when they can be in relationship with others and have prestige. My supervisor loves to plan happy hours, tell jokes, and be your friend. But when it comes to conflict, I’s are easily hurt by criticism and will try to talk their way out of anything.
  • S’s look for security as their motivation. They, too, are people-oriented but tend to be more passive. They are your shy, stable, servants who love to have personal support and need plenty of time to adjust to change. They thrive in consistent, familiar environments and are mostly relaxed and friendly to everyone. My former coworker is a high S who was incredible at her job because she had been in that office for 10 years. So when she decided to take a new job, it was easier to find security in her decision by creating conflict where it did not exist.
  • The C is for your cautious, competent person. They are careful and contemplative about everything, and their main motivation is quality. C’s are task-oriented and give thorough explanations to everything. My boss is a high C— a detailed professional who brings zero personal issues into the workplace. He does not come to work to make friends; he comes to accomplish tasks in a clear and precise manner. He has a high standard of excellence and strives to meet it. In conflict, C’s may stick to the facts and ignore feelings—and this is exactly what caused so much strife between my boss and coworker during her transition out of our office.

Personality is not everything, but it is a large part of who we are! When you better understand your personality and others’, you can have more grace for them. I will discuss more about each individual personality trait over the next couple of weeks, including some personality blends. Join me in this new series as we discuss more how our personalities influence our identities!

From these brief descriptions, what DISC personality type do you think you are?

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