Updated: Apr 7, 2022
Back in the early 2000s, researchers associated with Wiley’s Workplace Learning Solutions Group (called Inscape at the time) began experimenting with ways to represent DiSC with a circumplex model instead of with a line graph model. Here, a person’s DiSC style was represented with a dot within the DiSC map. The advantage of this representation was the ease of interpretation and application. For instance, users could much more easily see the relationship between the four styles and could plot two people in the same circle. Researchers discovered that this circumplex approach to measuring and presenting DiSC shared substantial overlap with the Interpersonal Circumplex theory in academic psychological research. Drawing on this research and theory, the Everything DiSC® series of reports was developed as it exists today.
The Everything DiSC model is made up of four basic styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. Each style is divided into three regions. The image below shows the 12 different regions where a person's dot may be located.
The location of the dot shows the DiSC style. In this image, because the dot is located in the D region but is also close to the line that borders the C region, it represents a DC style.
DiSC Map showing styles and regions
One of the cornerstone principles of DiSC is that everyone is a blend of all four styles, but most people tend strongly toward one or two styles. Whether the dot is in the centre of one style or in a region that borders two, no dot location is better than any other. All DiSC styles are equal and valuable in their own way.
A dot's distance from the edge of the circle shows how naturally inclined a person is to encompass the characteristics of his or her DiSC style. A dot positioned toward the edge of the circle indicates a strong inclination toward the characteristics of the style. A dot located between the edge and the centre of the circle indicates a moderate inclination. A dot positioned close to the centre of the circle indicates a slight inclination. A dot in the centre of the circle is no better than one on the edge and vice versa.
What does this mean in practical terms? The strength of the inclination toward the style can be reflected in how much energy you may need to flex your style and adapt to others. Those with a slight inclination may find this easier, while those with stronger inclinations may find that it doesn't come naturally and requires more energy.