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The Secret Behind Everything Disc

Why do some teams perform better than others? Why do some organizations report a positive culture, where others report a toxic environment? It all rests on relationship management. How well do we understand others – team members, colleagues, and bosses and even clients. Knowing why we and others do the things they do is critical to working and performing together. Everything Disc has been the leading assessment tool for engaging people and elevating performance.

So just what is Everything
Disc? It an assessment tool that measures a person’s preferences and tendencies. Everything Disc describes four basic styles: D, i, S, and C. Participants receive personalized insights that deepen their understanding of themselves and others, making workplace interactions more enjoyable and effective. The result is a more engaged and collaborative workforce.


DiSC has a long-standing history rooted in psychology and research. Since the 1920s, the DiSC model has evolved and expanded into a multi-faceted learning solution designed to deliver personalized insights that foster engagement and collaboration in today’s ever-changing workplace. The history of everything disc is almost a century in the making.

APLS Group infographic showing the history of Everything DiSC

The DiSC Model of Behavior was first proposed in 1928 by William Moulton Marston, a physiological psychologist. His research was rooted in psychology and research. Marston theorized that the behavioral expression of emotions could be categorized into four primary types: Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Submission (S), and Compliance (C). His model integrated these four types of emotional expression.


In the 1940s Walter V. Clarke began using a measurement tool that utilized a list of adjectives that were commonly used in describing others. Clarke created a process to collect this information by asking participants to check the specific words that describe them. After collecting and analyzing the data he discovered that the four factors produced from the data (aggressive, sociable, stable, and avoidant) sounded a lot like DiSC. Clarke concluded that the data could be best explained by Marston’s model of human behavior.


In the 1970s, John Geier, a faculty member in the
University of Minnesota’s Department of Health Sciences, used self-description
to create the original Personal Profile System (PPS). He formed a company that
is now the Workplace Learning Solutions Group at Wiley, the first publisher of
a DiSC assessment, Geier’s main contribution was in furthering the
understanding of the 15 basic patterns discovered by Clarke. Geier collected
pattern descriptions through clinical interviews with hundreds of people. By
extracting behavioral information from those interviews, he provided richer
descriptions of these 15 patterns that had come to be known as the Classical
Profile Patterns.


After 35 years, in 1994 a research effort was launched to
improve the DiSC instrument. As a result, new items were added, non-functioning
items were removed, and the overall reliability of the instrument increased.


In the early 2000s, researchers introduced a new
representational model that was easier to interpret. This profile focused on
helping the learner understand the relevance of his or her DiSC style to their role
within the organization.

From 2007-2009 Everything Disc launched three specific
applications that focused on key organizational roles: Everything Disc Sales,
Everything Management and Everything Disc Workplace.

In 2007 Everything Disc introduced its first application, Everything
DiSC Sales. This assessment focused on helping the learner understand their
role within an organization. This report contains three broad sections:

  • Understanding Your DiSC Sales Style
  • Understanding Customer Buying Styles
  • Adapting Your Sales Style to Your Customer’s Buying Style

In 2008 The second Everything DiSC application launched as
Everything DiSC Management. This profile is designed to help managers
understand their own styles as well as the styles of the people they manage.
The report contains five broad sections:

  • Your DiSC Management Style
  • Directing and Delegating
  • Motivation
  • Developing Others
  • Working with Your Manager

In 2009 the third Everything DiSC application to be
launched was Everything DiSC Workplace. This profile is designed for general
use within organizations regardless of their role.  The report contains three broad sections:

  • Discover Your DiSC Style
  • Understanding Other Styles
  • Building More Effective Relationships At the same time, Everything DiSC Comparison Reports were launched. These reports allowed for two people to compare themselves on not only their DiSC style but also on a series of basic personality traits, such as careful vs. daring or skeptical vs. accepting.


Between 2010 and 2011 Everything Disc for Leaders launched. This assessment splits the work of leaders into three categories:

  • Vision
  • Alignment
  • Execution

In 2012 Adaptive testing was introduced allowing an
assessment to change depending on a respondent’s previous answers. This is
useful in cases where the results of a standard assessment are inconclusive
reducing ambiguity in their results. make the feedback more personalized and
relevant for users.

In 2017 Everything Disc introduced their latest assessment,
The Everything DiSC Productive Conflict Profile. Rather than focus on a
step-by-step process for conflict resolution, Everything DiSC Productive
Conflict helps learners curb destructive behaviors so that conflict can become
more productive, ultimately improving workplace results and relationships.

APLS Group is offering Everything Disc Certification in
Raleigh November 4th and 5th. Learn More.

As history has shown, Everything DiSC has a strong reputation for scientific-based research and utilizing that information to evolve and create new assessments to assist in creating harmonious and cohesive work environments.

APLS Group will be offering a 2-day Everything Disc Certification in Raleigh on November 4th and 5th. Register now, or find out more

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