Using DiSC® to Build High Performing Teams

In order to build a smart team in the workplace, it helps to understand your work style as well as the work styles of those on your team. There are a variety of work assessments on the market, but we have found that DiSC® is the best assesment for understanding and improving team functioning and communication. Knowing your DiSC® work style will help you learn how to approach and connect with the other members on your team (or co-workers in your office). It is important to note that no style is better or worse than any other and that all 4 work styles are necessary in the work environment for successful achievement of goals.


D work styles are driven and strong-willed individuals who value results. They are usually in leadership roles and like to constantly challenge themselves and those around them. People who are a D seldom lack in self-confidence and are often viewed as impatient or insensitive. They are motivated by power, authority, winning and success. D individuals fear a loss of control and being vulnerable. Tips to remember when working with a D:

Be direct. When speaking with a D individual, be direct. Provide results, facts and ask straight-forward questions without hesitation or foot-dragging. It’s better to talk about possible solutions instead of complaining about the problem.

Don’t take offense. This person is forceful, energetic and outspoken, you need to remember these behaviors are part of their nature. They aren’t trying to offend you, they’re just trying to get to the point quickly.


People who are identified as an “i” work style are enthusiastic, social and talkative. They are motivated by collaboration, recognition and friendly relationships. These high-energy individuals can also be disorganized, impulsive and lack follow-through. They fear disapproval and social rejection. Tips to remember when working with an “i”:

Focus on the positive. It’s fine to address concerns with an “i” style but be direct instead of holding back. Also, be considerate of their feelings and reassure them by focusing on the positive. 

Tap into their energy and creativity. Use their high-energy for quick resolutions and encourage their creativity to help develop solutions. Collaborate with them on projects to show that you value their relationship, ideas and opinions.


Someone who is an S is stable, patient and likes to give support. They are good listeners who enjoy collaborating and desire a safe, predictable work environment. They can also be too accommodating, indecisive, and fearful of change.  Tips to remember when working with an S:

Show concern. The best way to gain trust with an S is to show you are concerned about their feelings, ideas and opinions. Reassure, encourage and provide support regularly and be positive in your communication. Also, show that you are genuinely interested in them and they will feel valued. Remember feeling safe is very important to an S

Be calm, clear and concise. S individuals prefer clear directions and step-by-step instructions. Don’t overwhelm them with too many details or give them too much to handle at one time. They prefer clear guidance and addressing problems directly and objectively. Make it clear that you are available to support, listen and advise them as needed.


People with a C work style are highly logical, detail-oriented and analytical. They often appear aloof, reserved or detached. C individuals enjoy working alone and diving deep into details. They enjoy a challenge, gaining knowledge and maintaining a high level of accuracy. People who are a C tend to be overly critical and dislike being wrong. Tips to remember when working with a C:

Use reason and logic. C people will respond more positively to your ideas and needs when you use reason, logic and facts to persuade them. They will not be as receptive if you try appealing to them with enthusiasm or emotions because they tend to become easily overwhelmed by this and distrust people who are overly emotional.

Embrace the space. Allow C individuals the space they need to get to know and trust you, as well as the independence they crave to tackle difficult projects. Since they like a challenge, use this to your advantage by asking them to solve a particular problem or have them determine better efficiencies for processes. Also, give them space when a problem arises so they can take time to process the situation before confronting the issues.


We hope these suggestions will help you and your team develop better communication, functionality and success. What DiSC® work style are you? Which one describes your boss? We would love to hear additional suggestions you have for working with the different DiSC® work styles and contact us for more information on how you can use DiSC® for team development.