Distinguishing Preferences In Communication

Let’s look at the four basic behavior types and familiarize ourselves with the DISC model. The idea is to help us differentiate between the behavioral types.

Communication StylesBased on the theory of the DISC Behavioral model, there are two factors that determine what behaviors are displayed:

  • Innate drive – the pace that we carry out menial, everyday tasks
  • Priorities – when it comes to people or tasks

Some folks tend to be more active; always on the move, which is characterized by a fast speech rate. Others take a more cautious approach – steadily working and speaking. Some people are good with the idea of being around others while others would rather spend time on their ideas and tasks.

Notice how the words “tend,” “good” and “rather” are underlined. This is to highlight the tendencies people have. Nobody will dislike everything and nobody accepts everything. We have a tendency to accept people, things, ideas, etc. And, we have a visible trait that denotes these things – speed of action and dialog.
Another visible behavior characteristic lies with those people who are more accepting, are focused more on people and tend to be friendlier. People who are not as accepting tend to like ideas and task-minded goals.

DISC graphicThis provides us with the four quadrants and behavioral styles:

  • Dominance – D
  • Influence – I
  • Steadiness – S
  • Conscientiousness – C

A Look At Each Personality Trait

D Trait – Task Oriented/Fast Pace

People who always seem to be active, talk fast and are focused on their tasks fall in the D trait. When working, they can come across as pushy and don’t care much for what they see as unnecessary small talk. They go after what they want and expect others to follow them in that respect. People with the D trait are seen as real achievers but could be described a cold and callous with little regard to the feelings of others.

I Trait – People Oriented/Fast Pace

People who fall into this category tend to be fast both in their speech and actions. They love to talk. They tend to have high levels of energy and are open to interactions with anybody regardless of the day or time. They always smile and are ready to talk or listen to people talk. Most I trait folks are not real listeners; they’d rather dominate the conversation. They are often seen as fervent, excited and sociable.

S Trait – People-Focused/Moderate Pace

People who fall in this trait tend to operate in at moderate speed, are more thoughtful and cautious in everything they say and do. These people love to be around other people, listen to what they have to say and are regarded as both warm and friendly. These are very sweet people, and people love to be around them. However, people see them as being slow both in their tasks and decisions.

C Trait – Task-Focused/Moderate Pace

People that fall into this trait are overly cautious and focused on their tasks. They like getting lost in their tasks, and dislike interruptions. They strive for perfection and are extremely organized. For DIS types, Cs tend to be too picky and cold.


Most of us have a blend of styles; we don’t fit into one particular style. However, people do naturally exhibit a dominant style. You could be more of an “S”, but you could also be a “C” with it being your secondary trait. What does that mean?

It means you could be very friendly but have high standards when it comes to your job. A person with high D traits with a secondary I trait is typically a high-driven person with a plethora of tangible goals but also comes across as being friendly. Hardly anyone is more than two traits and even rarer is a person with just one trait.


Comments are closed.