Using DISC Insights in your organisation

Enhancing awareness, communication and organisational performance with DISC Insights

What is DISC Insights?

DISC is a behavioural model which was designed by psychologist William Marston in the 1920s. The first question people usually ask is, ‘what does DISC stand for?’. It is simply the acronym for the four key personality traits, also called behavioural factors – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. Marston noted “All people exhibit all four behavioural factors in varying degrees of intensity”. The theory hasn’t changed a huge deal in the last century, but it’s popularity and the technology to examine it has grown significantly in recent years.

Insights is the leading method of exploring DISC, and this is achieved through self-assessment. Individuals complete a series of online questions about their preferences, and through computer algorithms, a behavioural profile is produced. Insights using the DISC behavioural model is widely recognised as being an incredibly accurate tool – there are over 50,000 different behaviour combinations so the corresponding report an individual receives can by no means be described as generic!
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DISC is a super tool for any business to tap into – it provides mirror like clarity for individuals and teams on the behaviours that drive them. 

We love delivering workshops using DISC Insights because we can tangibly see the benefits for the organisations we work with from personal development, team building, better communication and improved performance.

About DISC Insights

What do the different behaviours in the model mean?

DISC is often displayed as a wheel of colours, much like the infographic below.

DISC diagram

Breaking the model down further:

– Dominance (or red) – how you handle problems and challenges
Influence (or yellow) – how you handle people and influence others
– Steadiness (or green) – how you handle change and pace yourself
– Compliance (or blue) – how you handle rules and procedures set by others

In summary, the DISC model asserts that:

  • Those who display higher Dominance and Influence behaviours on the right of the wheel will be extroverted.
  • Conversely, individuals who have more Steadiness and Compliance behaviours on the left of the wheel will be introverted.
  • There is also a correlation between people who have higher red and blue profiles being ‘Task oriented’, and people who have more yellow and green profiles being ‘People oriented’.
  • Importantly, all individuals are able to display all behaviours in this model, and everyone is capable of flexing up and down our natural style. However, our behavioural preferences are those that we feel most comfortable with, and when we are operating out with these, we expend more energy.


What are the benefits of DISC Insights for organisations?

DISC is a hugely powerful tool for any organisation, no matter the size or sector. Fundamentally, the DISC behavioural model can be used to build awareness and enhance communication and performance across an organisation. The uses and benefits of DISC Insights are extensive:

  • Building self-awareness – Often people hone their technical skills in their early careers and are promoted to manager positions without having a clear understanding of their strengths and areas for development on a behavioural level. DISC is an incredibly insightful tool for individuals to develop self-awareness and consider how they may flex up and down behaviours, and in turn become a more effective manager and leader in the organisation.
  • Understanding human behaviours – It’s natural to feel you work better with certain people and find others more challenging, whether it be colleagues, customers or contacts, and this is deeply rooted in our behavioural modes and preferences. DISC Insights enables us to look deeper at human behaviours and understand what drives others, along with what frustrates them! Enhancing our understanding in this enables us to make adaptions where necessary to achieve required outcomes for organisations more effectively.
  • Team building – we don’t often get to choose our colleagues, unless of course we are the hiring manager. A DISC team session brings people closer together through creating a higher level of understanding of individual behavioural styles. No matter your behavioural profile, a facilitated team building exercise around DISC Insights will create eureka moments at both an individual and team level – suddenly it falls into place why people act in particular ways, and this in turn improves communication and contributes to developing a high performance team.
  • Hiring – we all know recruitment is a challenging task. You need to assess an individual within the space of an hour or two, and candidates are in the interview room to sell themselves for the job which makes getting clear picture of a person’s true self tricky. Using DISC can support a hiring manager in learning more about candidates, and coupling this insight with how that compares with the existing team can be hugely effective.


What are the challenges with DISC Insights?

There can be a tendency towards thinking about DISC in a fairly simplistic way based on the fact it is split into 4 behavioural factors and colours. However, the uniqueness of individuals extends far beyond DISC – in using this model, organisations must bear in mind people can adapt considerably, flexing up and down their behaviours. Alongside avoiding pigeon holing people into the four colours, it is also important to recognise that there is no “Good” or “Bad” when it comes to the behaviours – one behavioural style does not make for a better leader than another. Instead, what DISC enables is enhanced awareness of styles to build high performance teams and leaders across an organisation.


Where can I learn more about DISC?

There is a volume of literature surrounding DISC and Insights. Thomas Erikson is the leading authority on the subject, and has a series of best-selling books with comical titles such as “Surrounded by idiots”, “Surrounded by bad bosses” and “Surrounded by psychopaths”. However, the best starting point if you are new to DISC is to complete the process itself, whether on an individual, team or organisational scale.

How can FD People help you with DISC?

FD People are accredited and trained in using and facilitating DISC through Insights. We will:

  • Work with you on what you are looking to achieve from DISC;
  • Arrange for DISC Insights questionnaires to be sent to your team, and provide supplementary information to team members on the process;
  • Facilitate either team or individual sessions to further explore profiles; and
  • Provide follow up materials to support individuals in building a personal development plan around their DISC behavioural profile.


Contact us today for a free no obligation consultation around how you can use DISC Insights to benefit your organisation.

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