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Submitted by sbockh01 on


Does anyone have experience with or an opinion on using social styles instead of or in conjunction with DISC profiles? I have talked to a few people about DISC and they keep bringing up social styles. I don't have experience with this "profile/test" and was looking to the community for advice and opinions. On the surface they look similar, but I am sure there are differences.

Thanks in advance,


US101's picture
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Check out this article that discussing social styles vs disc vs mbti

Social Styles is very similar to DISC. The 4 Social Styles are Director, Socializer, Relator, and Thinker. For some people, these labels are easier to remember than Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Concientious.

One difference between social styles and disc or mbti, is that with social styles participants, along with a self-rating, each person is also rated by coworkers in what is known as a multirater assessment. In this way, participants obtain a well-rounded and more objective—and accurate—picture of their Social Style.

There were no differences among the three training programs in terms of participants satisfaction with training or their perceived usefulness of the training.

Participants in the SOCIAL STYLE training scored significantly higher than did participants in the DISC and MBTI programs on a measure of retention of key knowledge based on the joint training objectives.

Participants in the SOCIAL STYLE training scored significantly higher than did participants in the DISC and MBTI programs on two measures of participants skill at analyzing and responding to the interpersonal behaviors of others.

adragnes's picture

Social Styles is indeed very similar to DISC. People are classified along the same two axes. The vertical axis specifies responsiveness, whether you prefer talking about tasks or relationships. The horizonal axis specifies assertiveness, whether you prefer asking questions or giving orders.

In the variety I am familiar with the styles were named Driving, Expressive, Amiable and Analytical.

There are some differences, however. With DISC you get a score in each style, where as with Social Styles there is only one score and a measure of "flex" which is a percentage specifying your ability to adjust to different styles.

There is probably some methodical differences in how the scores are derived as well. In the variety I am familiar with the score was computed based on which of a total of 150 adjectives best describes you, but I think the [url=]TRACOM Group[/url] is moving towards a more behavoural model.

If you would like to learn more there is a book [i]People Styles at Work: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better[/i] by Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton, 208 pages, Amacom, ISBN 978-0-8144-7723-6.


AManagerTool's picture

I guess that the question that I would like to ask of this or any other alternative to DISC is the following:

Can this model be used without having the subject tested and the results made known? In other words, can I walk up to somebody that I do not know and say, "Wow, this guy really is a High-D personality. I can tell because of the way he gives commands, makes assertions and uses his hands above his waist. I better adjust my behavior accordingly."

I know I can't do it with Meyers-Briggs.

adragnes's picture

[quote="AManagerTool"]Can this model be used without having the subject tested and the results made known?[/quote]

Social Styles can be used that way. Indeed the book I mentioned spends maybe one third of their pages on how you should flex given your and the other's styles.

I think the main difference between DISC and Social Styles on the one hand, and Myers-Briggs on the other is that former focus on observable patterns in behaviour whereas the latter focuses on personality.

In addition, trying to score someone along five dimensions rather than two is probably just too much for most minds to handle.


tree123's picture

Thnx guys,

This discussion has helped me clearing my doubts as well. I was also looking for difference between social styles and disc. I hope some of you will have websites of their own and will upload a complete article on it.