DISC Styles and Task Compatibility

DISC Styles

Professionally and personally, communication is critical when it comes to relationships. Unfortunately, it can oftentimes be a seemingly impossible task.  This is why understanding DISC styles and its lessons in behavioral adaptability are so important. Read Dr. Tony Alessandra’s story to first learn which DISC styles are most/least compatible, and secondly to learn what you can do to improve relationships between the less compatible styles.

DISC Styles and Task Compatibility

by Dr. Tony Alessandra

W hen it comes to tasks – whether it is doing a project at work, purchasing a family car, or just balancing the checkbook – the DISC styles who are drawn to one another socially do not necessarily attract as much as they compete, or even conflict.

Now, their similarities can get in the way because they have the same needs.  After all, to complete a task, one must have resources, rewards, time, space, and attention. But there is only so much of those to go around.

So, when those needs are not met, tension and conflict can result.  When one partner feels a need to win, for instance, the other one may sense he or she has been shortchanged. The frequent outcome: resentment.

Before getting into which pairs clash, let us look at the most naturally compatible combinations task-wise:

Conscientious ‘C’ Style & Steady ‘S’ Style

Dominant ‘D’ Style & Steady ‘S’ Style

Influencing ‘I’ Style & Steady ‘S’ Style

See a pattern here?  You bet!  The Steady ‘S’ Style gets along with everybody in a task situation.  He or she is the universal antidote for disharmony.  It is the Steady ‘S’ Styles’ most distinctive trait.  They are supportive workers who exert a calming, stabilizing influence.  Naturally interested in others and in making a contribution, they enjoy being productive partners.  No wonder they are everybody’s favorite. 

The moderately compatible combinations, as far as working on tasks together, are:

Conscientious ‘C’ Style & Conscientious ‘C’ Style

Steady ‘S’ Style & Steady ‘S’ Style

Influencing ‘I’ Style & Conscientious ‘C’ Style

Conscientious ‘C’ Styles loom large in this second grouping.  While not as easygoing as Steady ‘S’ Styles, they are sensitive to others’ needs and have a passion for excellence that others usually recognize.

Interestingly, Conscientious ‘C’ Styles figure in many of the least compatible combinations socially, but among the highest in tasks.  This suggests that others appreciate the quality and thoroughness of their work, even if the Conscientious ‘C’ Styles are not always viewed as being a lot of laughs.

Last come those combinations that are least compatible, because they tend to see one another as competitors:

Dominant ‘D’ Style & Dominant ‘D’ Style

Dominant ‘D’ Style & Conscientious ‘C’ Style

Dominant ‘D’ Style & Influencing ‘I’ Style

Influencing ‘I’ Style & Influencing ‘I’ Style

Dominant ‘D’ Style – Dominant ‘D’ Style combinations work fairly well socially, but when it comes to tasks, a Dominant ‘D’ Style’s competitive nature and need for control can stymie cooperation, especially with like-minded Dominant ‘D’ Styles.

As for the Dominant ‘D’ Style & Conscientious ‘C’ Style, there is a fundamental clash in the Dominant ‘D’ Style’s need for speed and control versus the Conscientious ‘C’ Style’s penchant for being slower paced and systematic.

Notice that while the Influencing ‘I’ Style – Influencing ‘I’ Style pair is ranked as among the most socially compatible, they are likely to be the least productive as far as working together on tasks.  That is because neither is motivated to deal with task details. 

Similarly, Dominant ‘D’ Styles & Influencing ‘I’ Styles also have moderately high social rapport but plummet to the lowest rungs of compatibility when tasks are involved.  That is because they both tend to want to delegate.

With all this said, do not give up yet on those whose DISC style may not be a perfect fit with the situation.  With some effort at understanding, and applying DISC’s lessons in behavioral adaptability, you can work successfully with anyone.


DISC Styles
Follow Dr. Tony Alessandra

Dr. Tony Alessandra has a street-wise, college-smart perspective on business, having been raised in the housing projects of NYC to eventually realizing success as a graduate professor of marketing, internet entrepreneur, business author, and hall-of-fame keynote speaker. He earned a BBA from Notre Dame, a MBA from the Univ. of Connecticut and his PhD in marketing from Georgia State University (1976). Known as “Dr. Tony” he’s authored 30+ books and 100+ audio/video programs. He was inducted into the NSA Speakers Hall of Fame (1985) and Top Sales World’s Hall of Fame (2010). Meetings & Conventions Magazine has called him “one of America’s most electrifying speakers”.

Dr. Tony is also the Founder/CVO of Assessments 24×7. Assessments 24×7 is a global leader of online DISC assessments, delivered from easy-to-use online accounts popular with business coaches and Fortune 500 trainers around the world. Interested in learning more about these customized assessment accounts? Please contact us.

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