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Lunch and Learn: DISC assessment

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Noah J. Tancer
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“To thine own self be true…” 

Master Sgt. Larry Felts, a technician with the Airman and Family Readiness Center, referenced this quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet while teaching a lunch and learn class on the DISC assessment, July 11, 2021, at the Kubli Morale and Wellness Center, here.

The DISC assessment is a personality test centered on improving communication through understanding by illuminating an individual’s personality numerically using four categories, Dominance, Influence, Support and Compliance.

"It's understanding what other people's personalities are and how you interact with them," said Felts. "When you deal with people, it's interesting to be able to understand your whole community around you and how you interact with them. How your interaction with them is getting what you need but also can give them what they need."

High dominance describes a person who is extroverted and task-oriented. They'll rise to the challenge, take command and overcome opposition. They’re seen as directors.

People high in Influence, inspirers, are extroverted and people-oriented. They solve problems by influencing and persuading people.

People high in Support, stabilizers, are introverted yet still people-oriented. They get results by collaborating with others and creating reliable structure.

People high in Compliance, critics, are task-oriented and introverted. They react to challenges with careful analysis and by-the-book decision-making.

"You can see the world and everything that's going on now," said Felts. "We take these few little minute differences that we have and we blow them way out of proportion, and then we stop communicating…you know what I mean?"

Each personality has its limitations that can irritate the other roles, but everyone who takes the DISC assessment will have a numerical value in each category, meaning a single individual could, if required, fill any of the four DISC roles in a team. That individual may not thrive if placed into a role they scored a lower value in but the numbers show that we are more alike than different.

"It takes everyone working together," said Felts. "D's see the big picture and are often CEO's. I's are the ones that communicate; they tend to be doctors and nurses, they're more worried about the relationship. S's hold the structure together, they're the ones who build society. C's are the one’s that actually take our society and put us into space."

Simple assessments like DISC can help individuals realize the importance of each other's individual ideals, skills, habits and irritants. Societal progress is not made through group compliance but through ideological challenge and cooperative disagreement.

Felts borrowed from another line of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which says, “Give every man thine ear, but few thine voice.” 

"Listen twice as much as you talk and you can understand more," said Felts. "Assessments like DISC really do help."