What are the Everything DiSC Communication Styles?
DiSC Communication styles provide rules of engagement when speaking, working, or interacting with anyone. Understanding communication styles is especially important when working in environments like sales or meeting someone new.
We all have preferred ways of interacting with each other, and Everything DiSC provides an easy way to recognize and change how you communicate with someone based on their style. It teaches you to stretch towards other behaviors that might feel less comfortable for you. Those behaviors will allow you to form deeper connections with the person you are trying to communicate with or work with.
In this article, we will outline how the DiSC model provides unique insights into communication styles by covering the following topics:
- How DiSC Measures Communication Styles
- Overview of the four DiSC Communication Styles
How DiSC Measures Communication Styles
The DiSC model is simple to understand, yet, it contains deep insights into why someone behaves in certain ways. The model helps us understand different communication styles by measuring two distinct scales:
Energy or activity level:
- Is the person fast-paced, bold, assertive, and dynamic?
- Or, is the person more calm, methodical, and careful?
How someone perceives their environment:
- Is the person you communicate with more logic-focused, objective, skeptical, and challenging?
- Or, is the person more empathizing, receptive, and agreeable?
These two scales operate on two continuums, and you can estimate your DiSC Communication Style by answering four simple questions:
Do you see yourself as;
- Active and fast-paced? Do you make bold and dynamic decisions?
- Are you more thoughtful? Do you take time to make more careful decisions and approach situations or tasks more methodically?
- Are you focused on logic? Do you try to maintain an objective view of the world and challenge what you hear and see?
- Do you try to empathize with people? Do you allow yourself to agree with others, so you don’t upset a relationship?
As you reflect on the questions above, find which answers you answered ‘Yes’ to and view the chart below to estimate your DiSC style:
This short exercise should not be used to replace discovering your true DiSC Style. We’ve included it so you can understand how the model seeks to find your preferred communication style.
The Everything DiSC assessment asks dozens of questions and uses an advanced assessment process called adaptive testing to pinpoint your style. However, you can use this exercise to get a basic understanding of your style.
Once you have found your style, you can review the next section to learn more about your communication preferences and the communication styles of those around you.
What are the Four DiSC Communication Styles?
This style prioritizes getting immediate results. They are quick to take action, and they won’t easily shy away from achieving personal goals. They take this same energy and use it to challenge others to meet their expectations.
This communication style is motivated by feeling in control and being successful. All of us have these motivations. However, the D-Style can be singularly focused on this area more than other types of motivations.
When communicating with this style, be aware of how long it takes to communicate your message. Don’t be afraid to be direct. This communication style feels stressed when they believe their time is being wasted. They also lack patience (compared to other styles) for incompetence & laziness or following an inefficient process.
Interacting with the D-Communication Style
When speaking with someone with this style:
- Focus on results.
- Allow for immediate action.
- Expect that they may challenge your thinking, strategy, or message.
This style has a psychological need to feel in control. If your conversation concerns topics that might make them feel a loss of control, allow them to express those fears. They may respond negatively or push back aggressively if your conversation causes them to feel any of the below fears:
- Loss of control
- Being taken advantage of
This style prioritizes expressing enthusiasm, taking action, and encouraging collaboration. Often, individuals with this style also prioritize having fun and being around others.
They find motivation in being around others. When you compare DiSC to MBTI, you will find that the extraversion scale runs right through the i-Style on the DiSC model.
When communicating with this style, expect them to have an equal amount of energy as their D-Style counterparts, but watch how they focus on collaboration, social recognition, and building friendly relationships. Everyone strives to be friendly and collaborate to a certain degree. However, this style needs those interactions. It’s a driving force behind their psychological needs.
Interacting with the i-Communication Style
When speaking with this style, allow them to be impulsive and disorganized. What they may lack in follow through, they will make up in providing high energy, collaboration, or both. When speaking to these individuals, focus on the following:
- Making a connection with them and building the relationship.
- How their enthusiasm can make a project work.
- How they can help to collaborate.
Because this style focuses on how they connect and relate to others, be mindful of engaging in topics that might make them feel isolated. They will likely experience much stress when asked to do routine work or work in a rigid environment.
This style fears:
- Social rejection
- Loss of influence
- Being ignored
The S Style prioritizes being accommodating and providing support. Individuals with this style seek stability, and they enjoy collaboration. For other styles, they might view the S-Style person as a pushover since they likely withhold their own viewpoints, so they don’t upset someone else with their opinion.
They seek sincere appreciation, cooperation, and ways to help others. They are known for being great listeners and attentive to the needs of those around them.
When communicating with this style, focus on how your topic affects others. They will move into action faster if your topic allows them to engage in their motivation to help and cooperate with others.
Interacting with the S-Communication Style
When speaking with an S-Style person, don’t hesitate to ask repeatedly for their opinion. They may not knowingly know they are withholding it because they don’t want to say something that may upset them. Focus on ways that they can collaborate with others, and seek ways that they can find stability in their lives. Focus on:
- Allowing them to find opportunities to help.
- Finding ways to build cooperation into a task, strategy, or initiative.
- Finding ways to ensure stability.
Because this style focuses on supporting others, changes or losses of harmony deeply affect this style. While everyone is affected when relationships are negatively impacted, this style is deeply motivated to help. They may become indecisive if their options force them into situations they feel will make them or their lives unstable.
This style fears:
- Loss of stability
- Loss of harmony
- Offending others
C-Style individuals focus on ensuring accuracy and challenging assumptions, while also maintaining stability.
They are often perceived as being reserved, which might not be an entirely accurate description of them. Because they have a psychological need to share their expertise and ensure accuracy, they may hold back from expressing their opinions until they know the right thing to say. Their quiet nature, then, is really a by-product of their need to produce quality and accurate work.
When communicating with this style, be aware they may be overly critical and might overanalyze a situation. Pull them back and help them see the forest from the trees. It’s important to recognize that they will need space to process. Unlike other styles, they will be less willing to ‘talk through’ problems. They will likely want to spend time alone thinking about what was said and how they want to respond.
Interacting with the C-Communication Style
When working or talking with someone with the C-Style, ensure that you allow them to bring their energy to focus on the details, and they can challenge assumptions. They strive to be right, so let them build their expertise and put it to work! It’s important to have a way to talk about times when they might get too deep into a project that goes beyond what is required. Help them recognize when they are overanalyzing what is being said. Focus on:
- Ways to ensure accuracy in a project or task.
- Allow them to find ways to make things more stable.
- Find ways they can put their attention towards producing high-quality work.
When something goes wrong, be careful giving criticism. This style seeks to avoid being wrong at all costs. Focus on how the process might not have worked or find ways to allow them to express what went wrong.
This style fears:
- Being forced to work within inefficient or ineffective methods
- Being wrong.