DISC is an acronym which stands for Dominant, Influential, Stable and Conscientious. The four components included in the DISCp4 model are represented on a disc with two axes:

Horizontal ‘tasks-people’ axis

The profiles on the left are more comfortable with managing tasks whereas those on the right lean more towards managing people.

Vertical ‘extroverted-introverted’ axis

Profiles towards the top are more extroverted and feel superior to their environment and are in control of it. Towards the bottom are introverted people who put up with their environment rather than controlling it.

DISC profiles wheel

The 4 components of the DISCp4 model are represented by the initials which make up the acronym. They are also associated with different colors: red, yellow, green and blue.

Each profile can be defined according to the main characteristics listed below. These caricatured portraits can be tempered by bearing in mind that a person’s profile is always made up of several components.

Dominant profiles

Powerful – Go-getters

We often associate Dominants with the color red: fire, emergencies, firefighters etc. Dominants are at the top left of the disc, meaning they are extroverted and task-oriented.

Dominants have a macro vision of things. They enjoy taking an overall view and don’t bother with details, which tend to bore or scare them.

Dominants are straight-talkers. They don’t beat about the bush to say what they mean. They tell it the way it is which, when it goes too far, can make their contacts uncomfortable.

Dominants are motivated by challenges. Repetitive tasks bore them. They can complete them, but in a lackluster style. They will engage 100% with challenges.

Dominants come straight to the point. They move forward and do what it takes to attain their goals. If they encounter an obstacle (technical or human difficulties), they find a way to get around it. Dominants are competitors at heart, which can make them look aggressive to others.

Dominants speak loudly. They can seem to be shouting, especially when talking with other Dominants. A simple discussion with them may seem like an argument and can surprise people around them with other profiles.

Dominants speak fast. They don’t like blanks in a sentence and may take over any time their contact pauses in what they are saying.

Dominants are not afraid to get things wrong. They would rather get things wrong than do nothing. They may take decisions with very few cards in hand and it doesn’t bother them at all to acknowledge any mistakes they may make.

Influential profiles

Present – Self-confident

Influential profiles are associated with the color yellow: sunshine, joy etc. They are on the top right of the disc, meaning they are extroverted like dominants, but people-oriented.

Influential profiles are enthusiastic. They soon take an interest in innovations and can learn about them fast. They are able to pass their enthusiasm and motivation on to their team and lead their contacts forward.

Influential profiles enjoy working with others. They are sociable, eloquent and interested in their co-workers. They avoid solitude. They are often to be found by the coffee machine, chatting away with their colleagues.

Influential profiles maintain their list of contacts. They can refer us to the right person to solve our problems. Experts at networking, they delegate a lot. They sometimes find it hard to understand they need to complete a given task themselves.

Influential profiles live through others’ views of them. They like being the center of attention and can’t stand being alone or ignored. If they are neglected for too long, they may feel bad and lose motivation. Compliments, even on minor subjects, motivate them.

Influential profiles find it hard to complete tasks. They soon take an interest in – and become experts on - new things. But the downside of their enthusiasm is that as soon as another new subject comes along, they forget the previous one. It is therefore preferable to assign them tasks one by one.

Influential profiles are fashion victims. They always own the latest trendy gadget. Always very well dressed, they adapt their appearance to the environment so they will get noticed. They are either totally out of synch with others, very colorful but still classy, or extremely elegant with a bespoke suit.

Salespeople and door-to-door reps typically have Influential profiles, although this doesn’t mean they can’t excel in other fields.

Stable profiles

Social - Loyal

Stable profiles are associated with the color green: calm, grass, nature etc. They are at the bottom right of the disc, meaning they are people-oriented like Influential profiles, but introverted. One difference between Stable and Influential profiles in their relation to others is that Stable profiles genuinely like people, whereas Influentials are more interested in the communication process.

Stable profiles speak quietly. It is often necessary to ask them to speak up on the telephone. Their contributions are rare but relevant. They require silence and when they speak up in meetings, the other participants pipe down.

Stable profiles can’t stand stress. At the opposite end of the spectrum to Dominants who are always on the go and who feel the need for things to move fast, Stable profiles need time to process information before they can react. Pressuring a stable profile may incapacitate them.

Stable profiles put other people before themselves. Mother Teresa or a man who is a good father typically have this profile. They can’t say no when asked for help and would do anything to come in aid to those close to them.

Stable profiles act in a calm and moderate fashion. They are even-tempered. They speak without raising their voices or gesturing with their hands, which remain on the table or in their pockets. They show no particular reaction to stress, although it bothers them profoundly.

Stable profiles are humble. They don’t like being singled out or receiving public compliments. It’s better to congratulate them in private. However, they appreciate their team being complimented and praised openly.

Stable profiles can react violently. Calm and helpful, they tend to keep to themselves criticisms or situations they don’t appreciate. But keeping things in means they stock negative energy. This means increased stress or a simple comment from a team or a family member can make them explode. Just like the straw that broke the camel’s back!

Stable profiles can explode completely. When they lose their temper, everything comes out at once, making for a disproportionate reaction. They will probably regret saying things they didn’t really mean. People can thus end up in conflict with a Stable profile for something banal, without realizing that their reaction has been generated by multiple sources of professional and/or personal tension.

Conscientious profiles

Attentive - Meticulous

Conscientious profiles are associated with the color blue: the sea, calm, the police etc. They are on the bottom left of the disc, meaning they are introverted like Stable profiles, but task-oriented.

Conscientious profiles work alone. They don’t particularly enjoy working with others, who often hold them back. If they are lucky enough to have their own office, they will close the door.

Conscientious profiles think things through. They only support decisions which are logical. Any form of logic will do, but ideally, it should be their own.

Conscientious profiles can identify flaws. They are experts at spotting when a system isn’t working (without necessarily knowing why). Their ability to detect inconsistencies is a strength to be reckoned with.

Conscientious profiles love details. They write long e-mails. These contain an introduction, a main argument, a counter-argument, a conclusion, examples... and many attachments, which they expect people to read. For every task entrusted to them, they enjoy being showered with details in order to do their job meticulously, contrary to Dominants, who can’t stand them.

Conscientious profiles are scared of getting things wrong. The very possibility can paralyze them. They find it hard to take decisions for fear making a mistake. They need to have all the necessary elements in hand to feel at ease and tend to put off deadlines until all variables are known.

Conscientious profiles respect rules and procedures. Accountants and administrative staff typically have this profile, although this doesn’t mean they can’t excel in other fields.


These memos sum up the main characteristics of each DISCp4 profile. They are an ideal addition for understanding your test results and adapting your communication to the context.


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