How To Use DISC Basics to Increase Your Credibility

Back in the day, I would do some marketing and gather 30 CEOs and senior leaders in a room and together we would explore key business concepts, among them, DISC basics.

I always started (and still start) with personality.  Understanding how you’re wired and how others around you are wired to behave – DISC basics – is mind-blowing and game-changing for a leader.

Suddenly you understand why some people are loud and others quiet, why some people wade into conflict and others structure their live to avoid it.

The first time I wrote a personality assessment, the instructor looked at my scores and said, “So you’re a great-idea-implement-it-right-now guy eh?”  Then he rehearsed a very accurate list of my strengths and weaknesses.  I looked at him wondering how he could see directly into my soul.

If you don’t know your DISC scores, take the assessment here.  For your sake.  It’s free.



So here are some DISC basics to remember when interacting with each personality type:


D ominant

Dominants want to get as much in as short a time as possible.  They approach life from a perspective of action.  They want to help the team by making sure goals are reached.

To be effective with them, be brief and be gone!  Have a point to your meetings.  Show them that you are driving results and committed to reaching your goals and helping them reach theirs.

I nspiring

Inspiring people want to contribute exciting new ideas.  They want to make sure people are engaged and having a great time while they’re achieving goals.

To be effective with them, let them talk, give them opportunities to contribute creatively, help them with focus and detail, and get enthusiastic about their exciting ideas.

S upportive

Supportives want to do practical jobs that really help others.  They want to be a key member of a smaller team that works seamlessly together and has lots of warmth and comeraderie.

To be effective with them, build trust.  Take time to know them personally, don’t blow up at them or cause unnecessary conflict with them.  If a supportive trusts you, they’ll walk through fire for you.

C onscientious

These people approach life from a perspective of caution.  They don’t want mistakes to happen.  They want to help everyone by ensuring that it’s done right the first time.

To be effective with them, let them know that you’re committed to quality too.  Complete shared responsibilities thoroughly and accurately.  And give them lots of information.

There’s so much more to say about each personality type.

You can learn more by taking this free DISC course that explains all of these concepts in much more detail:

And remember this leadership maxim:

You gain credibility by responding to people in ways that they see as appropriate.  Note, not by ways that you find to be appropriate.  Just because you view the world in a certain way, doesn’t mean others view it in the same light.

Wise up, learn how others are wired, and see your effectiveness rise by orders of magnitude.

Trevor Throness head shot 2019

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here:

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