What’s Your Leadership Style?

Based on the work of Dr. Carl Jung and Dr. William Marston, there are four types of classic dispositions (DISC) or behavioral style indicators possessed by most leaders. Below are various types described, along with some guiding principles regarding them. Find out which style fits you best.




 DISC Wheel

Direct Controller (D): They are dynamic, forceful, and results-focused. They enjoy challenges, want to be creative, and show a strong will to achieve their goals. They tend to drive for concrete results, put in many hours, and at times pay a high price for success in their personal and social lives, because they choose getting results over developing relationships. They can display impatience, aggressiveness, anger, and combativeness when stressed or thwarted.

Direct Accepter (I): Desires to be liked by people. They put relationships before tasks. They display an optimistic outlook and seek frequent approval and affirmation from others. They are concerned with gaining and giving interpersonal acceptance. They establish a wide network of friends and build alliances in order to be included and accepted.

Indirect Accepter (S): Quiet, unassuming individuals yearn for more tranquility and stability than the other types. They prefer to be pleasant and cooperative, and to moderate their emotional extremes. They’re typified mainly by the behaviors of accommodation and steady-paced follow-through. They tend to care about people, but show that caring indirectly. They also tend to focus on building trust with the aim of establishing long-term personal friendships. They have patience, staying power, and stick-to-itiveness. They commit themselves to—and work hard at—making relationships work.

Indirect Controller (C):
Recognized by their introverted and controlling tendencies. They tend to look at the whole picture or system, while homing in on the main critical factors or issues that increase the efficiency, or quality of the output. They link to solve problems through deductive, precise logic, in a true Sherlock Holmes fashion. They want products and services to be produced under specific, controlled conditions. They act as if subjectivity and emotions distort reality. They believe that there is a proper procedure or way for doing things.

Understanding and using DISC in helping develop leaders and managers is most effective within the context of the following principles:

Principle 1:  There is no best preference or DISC position.
Principle 2:  All people are motivated by their needs (goals and fears).
Principle 3:  85% of the world demonstrates more than one DISC preference or position.
Principle 4:  Two preferences cannot, at any one time, be equally strong under pressure.
Principle 5:   Each personal preference has its own inherent strengths or limitations and, therefore, still undeveloped potentials.
Principle 6:   People can become more versatile; other preferences can be developed.

We all have a basic behavioral style that we bring to our work environment. CriteriaOne DISC Behavioral Styles Indicator identifies which one of the four basic behavioral style is strongest based on an individual’s responses to a short questionnaire. But our preferred and strongest style might not be the best approach in all situations. Effective leadership requires the ability to understand your preferred approach as well as the strengths and weaknesses of others when it comes to problems, people, pace, and procedures.

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