What Motivates Each Main DiSC Personality Type?

DiSC Personality TypesThe DiSC assessment system can break down even the most complex human personalities into categories that are easy to understand.  Everyone will be a little different – that goes without saying – but the Wiley DiSC method of breaking down different people’s fears, aspirations, and motivations have proven to be incredibly effective, and not only in theory. In practice, these breakdowns of different people’s reactions to the world are comprehensive, encompassing, and provide insight into the minds of the people around you in the workplace.


Motivations and Fears

As per the DiSC system, there are four main personality styles: D Style, i Style, S Style and C Style. Each has their own priorities or goals, and each one is thought to be motivated by different things. They also each have different fears that are related to their motivations. Having an understanding of these tendencies can reveal a lot about how and why a person behaves the way they do, especially in a professional setting.

D Style – Dominance

D styles are mostly oriented around achieving bottom-line results and victory.  A true D style person will tend to fixate on achieving their goals at a brisk, steady pace. At the same time, D style personalities fear appearing weak in the eyes of their peers, in addition to being taken advantage of. While it can be said that no one wants to be taken advantage of in general, vulnerability is a particularly unpleasant notion for a D personality.

i Style – Influence

The i Style is most motivated by approval, popularity, and the excitement of those around them.  They tend to thrive off collaboration and enthusiasm. Above all, someone with an i style personality will fear being rejected and/or not being heard.  Being sidelined on a project as the rest of the team progresses and contributes without them can be particularly upsetting for an i personality type.

S STYLE – Steadiness

S style personalities are more concerned with being accepted by their peers, in addition to having close, comfortable relationships with the people on their team. Sudden changes can be hard for an S style personality to deal with; they delight in their steady, comfortable spaces and can be challenged by having to adapt.

C STYLE – Conscientiousness

The detail-oriented C style personality will value accuracy and the process by which their team undertakes a task.  They tend to take the initiative to ensure superior results. Understandably, C style personalities are afraid of being wrong, and can sometimes even be averted by strong displays of emotion.  A C personality can often be a little reserved, since that’s what makes them comfortable, so a strong show of emotion can easily put them off.

It’s important to note that while the four categories above are the main tendencies or styles outlined by the DiSC system, there are also multiple subsets of personality styles which generally combine two of the main categories (i.e. DC Style, iD Style, iS Style, etc).

Knowing what drives a person and what might make a person hesitate in the face of adversity can shed important insight into effectively communicating within a team.  Find out what motivates your team members with the help of DISC Profile Canada and take steps to improve your communication.


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