Recognise the DISC Styles of your Friends and Family


We’ve all been there! You are invited to a summer BBQ at a friends house, only to find you don’t know anyone except the person you came with. Some people thrive off this opportunity to meet new people. They find it easy to introduce themselves to others. This situation is overwhelming for introverted people. The desire to build relationships is not second nature. So, for those of us who find it hard to put ourselves out there, here’s a quick hack to communicate with anyone!

Extended DISC® Styles provide you with a framework for people’s behaviour. Once you can identify the DISC Style of the person you are communicating with, it becomes much easier to converse with them.

As you become more familiar with the DISC Styles, you will find people are easy to identify. You will quickly think to yourself: “She is a D-style” or “He is an S-style.” These individuals are predominantly one style and can be identified more easily than those with combination styles. You can find out more in-depth detail about your friends or family DISC style by getting them to take a DISC test.

Other people you encounter will take a little more effort to identify their DISC profile type. However, it is a simple, three-step process of identifying your friend’s style:

Step 1: Observe

When you talk to someone, pay attention to traits such as:

  • What the person talks about
  • How they say it – type of words (e.g. “I” vs. “We”), type and amount of questions (e.g. “what?”, “why?”)
  • Body Language
  • Tonality

You will discover that observing behaviours will become second nature. Soon you will observe behaviours without thinking.

Step 2: Assess

Based on your observations, determine if the friend or family member is more:

  • Introverted – talks about the present, speaks calmly and quietly, limited body language hesitant to make eye contact
  • Extroverted – talks about the future, speaks loudly and with inflection, animated body language, maintains eye contact

Then determine if they are more

  • Task Orientated – talks and asks about things, focuses more on tasks than people, does not show a lot of emotion
  • People Orientated – talks and asks about people, focuses more on people than tasks, shows emotion fairly easily

Step 3: Recognise

Now you have the information needed to identify the person’s style by combining the Active / Reserved and Task Oriented / People Oriented.

How to Recognise D Styles:

Will be extroverted and task orientated

Talks about: Goals, hard values (money, revenue, profits) results.

How to identify D-styles:

  • Is decisive
  • Is assertive
  • Very impatient
  • May interrupt you
  • Is direct, says what thinks
  • “What’s the bottom line?”
  • Focuses on the big picture
  • States own opinions as facts
  • “How does this benefit ME?”
  • Often appears to be in a hurry
  • Makes decisions quickly, almost hastily
  • May talk to many people at the same time
  • May have difficulty understanding others’

How to Recognise I Styles:                

Will be extroverted and people orientated

Talks about: People, team spirit, good things, future, oneself

How to identify I-styles:

  • Talks a lot
  • Is animated
  • Is open and friendly
  • Appears unorganised
  • Does not listen for long
  • Stays away from hard facts
  • Does not pay close attention
  • Jumps from subject to subject
  • Does not focus much on details

How to Recognise S Styles

Will be introverted and people orientated

Talks about: Agreements, principles, past proofs, one’s team

How to identify S-styles:

  • Is easy going
  • Appears calm
  • Listens carefully
  • Appears thoughtful
  • Nods and goes along
  • “Let me think about it.”
  • Likes own physical space
  • Does not get easily excited
  • Ponders alternatives, slow in making decisions
  • Asks questions and inquiries about the specifics
  • Seems to have strong opinions but does not express
  • them vocally
  • Completely new ideas/things seem to make him/her
  • uncomfortable

How to Recognise C Styles

Will be introverted and task orientated

Talks about: Facts, analyses, details, rules, instructions

How to identify C-styles:

  • Is quiet
  • Focuses on details
  • Proceeds cautiously
  • Asks many questions
  • Appears reserved and somewhat timid
  • Doesn’t easily express disagreeing views
  • May have done homework on your products/services
  • Studies specifications and other information carefully
  • Makes decision only after studying pertinent facts/issues
  • May be very critical; criticism based on facts not opinions