Personality Styles (DISC)

Create harmony by singing different notes


Get a good idea of the diversity and similarities within a team and how you can use this to achieve better collaboration. Both within the team and with stakeholders.


With some you can always collaborate well, while with others everything you say seems wrong. Why are some colleagues or customers so flexible and others very attached to rules? This technique helps the team to gain more insight into the preferred collaboration styles of team members. This insight provides understanding for each other and gives you the opportunity to attune your behavior accordingly and thus achieve better results.



Beth Pilgreen plays caricatures of all personality styles from DISC and shows how you recognize them.

Ever wondered why geese fly in a V formation? Learn more about the power of collaboration.

To Work

There are several options for getting started with DISC. We’re keeping it as close to base as possible here. That means: use your own insight, the insight of your team members and learn from each other.

  1. Place the A4 sheets of Eagle, Parrot, Dove, and Owl personality styles in the four corners of the room.
    Read the descriptions of the four personality styles one by one, or ask people what characteristics they recognize in each of the birds. Ask the team members to stand next to the image of the style that best suits him/her.
  2. Interview a few team members on which aspects they recognize in themselves. Occasionally ask the other team members if they recognize this.
  3. Add the Task-oriented, People-oriented, Action-oriented and Thoughtful characterizations. Explain that these are preferred styles, so they represent where you start on a new, difficult challenge. Ask the participants where they like to start, and to adjust their position where necessary.
  4. For each personality style, discuss the following topics with the people involved:
    • What are your greatest strengths?
    • What do you need, to utilize your strengths more?
    • Where do you require help?
    • Where do you sometimes overshoot?
    • What can we do, to help you return to your strength?
  5. Discuss with each other how the personality styles are distributed in the team. What do you have a lot of, and what might you miss? What does this mean for the effectiveness of the team? What can you do to make better use of everyone’s talents and to absorb any weaknesses?
  6. Determine two or three improvement actions together and test them in the coming period.


The first publication on DISC dates back to 1928 by psychologist and professor Dr. William Marston. In the book Taking Flight, Merrick Rosenberg and Daniel Silvert take you through the different personality styles, using a fable about birds. The various combinations of styles with their strengths and pitfalls can also be found in this book. We have incorporated these birds in this technique. By recognizing the characters of these birds, the different styles stay with you more easily.

You find a description of this model in section 3.2 Understand Each Other in our book Connective Teamwork (EN, NL). The book helps you set your team in motion with a practical 5-step plan and 20 teamwork techniques. This technique is described in more detail in section 7.3 Personality Styles.

You can learn more about and practice this technique in our Connective Team Coach Training Course.

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