Sales Secrets: Understanding DISC -Part 1: Why Do People Always…

A Powerful Way to Understand People, Using the DISC Personality Concept

Part 1: Why Do People Always…


Why Do People….. It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for years.  Have you ever asked yourself that?  

Why do people always…

-put makeup on when they’re driving to work

-buy more at the grocery store than what their list says

-get the same thing at a restaurant every time

-raise their hand to ask a question at EVERY meeting

-remain silent during a meeting

-laugh when they get nervous

-get tense when they answer the door?

If you found yourself saying, “Well, I don’t do any of those,”  I can guarantee you that the question you might ask will get that same response from another person in the room.  The questions we ask about human behavior are built around our own behaviors.  We use those as a standard for understanding how others behave.

That philosophy is flawed!  Each person’s perspective is built into who THEY are.

Some people call it “personality” and some refer to it as “temperament.”

Ever notice how different that your family and friends can be from you?  If you are like me, you have asked yourself, “Why did they do that?” or “What were they thinking?”

The starting point of understanding people is to realize and accept one simple fact:

Everyone is not like you!

Have you ever said the same thing to two people and received two totally different reactions? How can saying the same words produce such different results? Each person “heard” you differently based on his or her personality style! You said the same thing, but what they “heard” was different.

Different is not bad, it is just different! A lack of understanding of ourselves and others can lead to real problems such as tension, disappointment, hurt feelings, unmet expectations and poor communication. As you know, it is hard to work with a problem, especially if you do not understand what is going on inside the mind of another person.

There IS a Simple Way to Understand People!

The good news is that there is a simple key to understand how people behave and how they are motivated. We call the concept “The DISC Model of Human Behavior.” This concept will allow you to unlock the mystery behind developing good people skills and creating better relationships. You will be able to use what you learn in this introduction to reduce conflict, improve productivity and relate with others more effectively.

Some Background on the DISC Model of Human Behavior

Twenty-four hundred years ago, scientists and philosophers, most notably Hippocrates, began to recognize and categorize differences in behavior that seemed to follow a pattern.

Since then, many psychologists and scientists have explored behavioral patterns. Dr. William Marston wrote “The Emotions of Normal People” in 1928 after earning his doctorate from Harvard University. Marston theorized that people are motivated by four intrinsic drives that direct behavioral patterns. He used four descriptive characteristics for behavioral tendencies which are represented by four letters of the alphabet: D, I, S and C. Thus the concept of “DISC” was introduced.

On a side note – I learned about “DISC” over 25 years ago from a good friend who helped me to understand my daughter. The concept was so revolutionary in my own family that I began my own research. Since then I have trained thousands of people and written many books on the subject. No one is more passionate about what I am sharing with you than I am, because these are the very concepts that changed my life!


Building on a “Wellness” Model

Many behavioral models focus on what is wrong with a person to identify “personality disorders.” The DISC model is based on normal behavior, not abnormal behavior. DISC is a “wellness model” that is objective and descriptive rather than subjective and judgmental.

Therefore, DISC is a practical way to understand yourself and those around in the common settings of everyday life.

A Positive Approach

The DISC wellness model is a good framework for understanding people. DISC should be used in a positive way to encourage a person to be his or her best – not as a way to “label” someone.

Healthy, positive relationships come from having an accurate understanding of yourself and others. DISC is a powerful tool for obtaining a new appreciation for our personality styles and their effect on our everyday lives.

We apply the DISC model with four main ideas that allow it to be used appropriately as an effective and encouraging tool:


We use a POSITIVE approach to highlight and encourage a person in his or her STRENGTHS.

We use a POSITIVE approach to address a person’s possible BLIND-SPOTS without assuming a weakness exists.

We recognize that each person has a unique blend of ALL the major personality traits to a greater or lesser extent.

We recognize that behavioral patterns are fluid and dynamic as a person adapts to his or her environment.

We have a saying that, “your strengths should carry you while your blind-spots should concern you.”  Being able to identify and articulate your strengths can be very empowering. Being able to identify and uncover blind-spots can also be very empowering! The next few posts can be the start of your own empowering discovery process.

Now you know where the DISC concept came from and the importance of having a positive, flexible approach.  Our next blog post takes a look at the Model of Human Behavior using the DISC!

For more information about DISC, or to inquire how Alex can help your business increase sales and build better teams, simply fill out the contact information below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Alex Swire-Clark

The Rapport Advantage™

Connect Quicker With People, Close More Sales, Build Better Teams

Contributions by Robert A. Rohm, Ph.D.

Concise Adult Version

This 6-page report provides essential feedback with an accurate measurement of your personality blend. Your report will include the following:

  • Words that describe you
  • Your strengths
  • Keys to Excellence
  • Your value on a team
  • Your DISC personality graphs