DISC Leadership & Management Styles (& Best Leader Profile)
By Carly Gail
Being a leader isn't without challenges; some people may shy away from those challenges, while others may welcome them with open arms. Becoming self-aware of your personality, behaviors, characteristics, and DISC leadership style will allow you to use your strengths better and overcome your weaknesses to be a more effective leader.
When you are familiar with your abilities, tendencies, and preferences as a leader, you are better equipped to navigate the duties and responsibilities of your role. Through leveraging DISC, you gain the ability to identify your leadership style and lead more effectively. Read on to learn more about your management style strengths and weaknesses.
Why it is important to know the DISC management styles
Like a team is composed of unique individual working styles, each leader has their own unique management style. Learning your DISC management style and DISC training is essential to be an effective leader. It is beneficial for a team to have a leader aware of their blind spots and who can optimize their leadership strengths. This self-awareness can guide a team to success when making difficult decisions or in situations that require a leader's competency.
DISC leadership styles explained
Looking at each leadership DISC profile, we can see the different patterns and styles that emerge. Familiarize yourself with each DISC style to determine which best fits you--you can also take our DISC assessment to discover your personality type quickly! Keep in mind, each personality type has its unique strengths and weaknesses, and there is no best DISC profile for leadership.
Dominant (or D Style)
D-type personalities tend to be assertive, confident leaders who value quick, tangible results and a hard work ethic.
Eager to take charge and provide clear direction
Challenges others by setting high expectations and goals
Focuses on the big picture or end result
Creates a competitive, dynamic work environment
May be too fast-paced for other team members to complete high-standard quality work
May immediately seek to resolve conflict via verbal confrontation
May not value personal interaction or relationship-building in the workplace
Influence (or I Style)
On the DISC model of leadership, I-type personalities tend to be enthusiastic, inspiring, and personable leaders who value creative innovation and social interaction.
Inspires others with bold visions of the future
Creates a casual, outgoing work environment
Gives others autonomy to find their own solutions to problems
Comfortable delivering important messages verbally, in group meetings
May not maintain thorough notes and documentation for team members to refer to
may have a relaxed attitude towards risks without carefully considering associated costs
May not devote enough time for the team to analyze the details of a problem before jumping to solutions
Steadiness (or S Style)
In leadership, DISC S-type personalities tend to genuinely care and nurture their team members while encouraging a more people-oriented work environment.
Typically leads by example
Creates a peaceful, calm work environment
Expects team members to be reliable, stable, and cooperative
Focused on developing the team with one-on-one coaching and instruction
May be overly forgiving instead of holding team members accountable to deadlines, quality, and responsibilities
May allow interpersonal conflicts to sit beneath the surface without bringing them out into the open
May miss out on good opportunities for team development and advancement because of high sensitivity to risk
Conscientious (or C Style)
C-type personalities tend to establish clear procedures to follow in leadership roles while encouraging a more independent and data-driven work approach.
More comfortable delivering important messages in writing
Focuses on creating rules and processes for others to follow
Expects team members to make decisions with logic and supporting data
Provides detailed, specific instructions to solve problems
May encourage the team to spend lots of time researching and assembling information when immediate action is required
Might ignore the emotional or social impact of a decision, even when it is logical and practical
May restrict more creative team members by requiring them to conform to standard practices, rather than allowing for flexibility
What is the best DISC profile for management and leadership?
Because each DISC type has certain advantages depending on the environment and team, there is no singular best DISC style leader. The best DISC profile for leadership depends on the team dynamics and culture for which it is managing. Therefore each DISC style has the potential to be a great leader:
Someone with a DISC D-type may perform well for teams that need strong direction and a leader to take control.
Someone with a DISC I- type may perform well for teams that need a leader with creative ambition and innovative ideas.
Someone with a DISC S-type may perform well for teams that need a compassionate and supportive leader.
Someone with a DISC C-type may perform well for teams that need more structure and tested processes.
DISC leadership styles: Key takeaways
Regardless of where a leader's personality falls on the DISC model, they can learn how to use their strengths and use DISC to facilitate a healthy work environment. Learning about your behavioral style and everything DISC is the first step in taking your leadership from good to great. Start by discovering your personality profile by taking our DISC personality test today!
DISC management and leadership styles FAQs
What is DISC, and how does it help you become a better leader?
DISC is a widely-used and highly-trusted personality framework that provides valuable insights into a person's behaviors, motivations, and characteristics. It is a handy tool that helps you learn about your working and leading styles, resolve conflict, and work and communicate with others. Once you know your DISC personality type, you will recognize your strengths, weaknesses, and how to optimize or overcome them, respectively.
What is a DISC leadership assessment?
The DISC assessment tool is a series of questions where you rank certain traits based on how well they resonate with you. After the brief test, your unique personality type is determined, and you can view your specific character insights.
Want to learn about your personality and what comes naturally to you?