Knowing Your Characters Post 1: DISC Personality Test

I recently had the opportunity to take the DISC Personality test, and I was both amused and impressed by how accurate it was for myself.

This is a simple assessment where one circles a word or selects an answer out of four options which best describe them. For example, you may be given these four words: Cautious, Even-Tempered, Decisive, and Life-of-the-Party. You would circle the one that best describes you (and sometimes it's hard!)

These answers are then ascribed to 1 of 4 personalities: Dominance (or Drive), Inducement (or Influence), Submission (or Steadiness), and Compliance (or Conscientiousness).

Most people are a mixture of all four personalities, and some may tie for two or more personalities. The minority of people are 100% one personality, and there are some who are high in one column and lower in the others. When I took this test, I was very high in Compliance (18/24 points), and my next highest rating was a 3 in Submission, followed by a 2 in Dominance and a 1 in Inducement. I am in the minority in having such a high number.

It was amazing how accurate this was, and how the statements given for Compliance absolutely fit into my life. But what I was thinking as I discovered this about myself, was that I should do this for each one of the characters that I ever write.

Since this may be long, I am going to post it in four parts, one for each type of personality. Today, we'll discuss what makes a "Dominance" character.


First post, we will cover the "D" in DISC, which is titled Dominance or Drive. (Relating to a person's control, assertiveness and power.)

Our second post will cover the "I" in DISC, which is called Inducement or Influence. (Relating to a person's behavior in social situations and manners of communication.)

The third post will cover the "S" in DISC, which is called Submission or Steadiness. (Relating to a person's patience, persistence and thoughtfulness.)

The final post will cover the "C" in DISC, which is called Compliance or Conscientiousness. (Relating to a person's structure and organization.)

A high "Dominance" character breaks down as follows:

Motivated by: Results and Challenge

Best Environment: One with Continual challenges, and the Freedom to Act and has Variety

Accepts: the difficult

Rejects: inaction

Major Strengths: Getting things done, Decisive, Persistent

Major Weaknesses: Insensitive to others, Impatient, over-looks risks and/or facts, Inflexible and unyielding
Hitler could be considered a "Dominance" character.

Under tension behaves: Autocratically

Would Benefit from: Listening

Their ideal world is where they are: in control, can do it their way, are able to change things

Greatest fear: losing control, or losing a challenge

Classic DISC patterns:

Developer: high "Dominance," low or zero in other columns
Inspirational: equal emphasis on "Dominance" and "Influence"
Results Oriented: highest in "Dominance," second highest in "Influence"
Achiever: highest in "Dominance," second highest in "Submission"
Creative: highest in "Dominance," second highest in "Compliance"

High "Dominance" characters tend to communicate in a one-way fashion, i.e., they do not listen well. In order to communicate with them, another character would need to be direct and to the point.

Cleopatra could also be considered a "Dominance" character.

High "Dominance" characters tend to be impulsive in their decision-making. All they want from someone else is the details.

High "Dominance" characters tend to emphasize the present moment (the now). From others, they want efficiency.

High "Dominance" characters tend to be emotionally detached and independent. They do not want others to dig into their personal lives.

High "Dominance" characters tend to be socially selective. In order to connect to them, another character needs to bring them out socially.

These characters can be convinced that their way is the best way, and they don't want to change to accommodate someone else's views. In order to convince them to change, they need to know the benefit to the proposed change.

In order to disagree with these characters, one first must compliment them, and admit that their way is best--then ask them why it is best and have them try to convince you.

Next time: Inducement/Influence