DISC develops Emotional Intelligence

Last spring, Dr. Bryan Forsyth first contacted Alex Fryer from Indaba Global. Dr. Forsyth wanted to become a DISC Coach. He enjoyed taking a DISC assessment and Alex trained him to become a coach. Dr. Forsyth also teaches a course on Emotional Intelligence for Ottawa University. During the training, he was interested to hear no one has done any research on how DISC and emotional intelligence relate.

Alex then talked to Hellen Davis the creator of DISCflex. They were both excited to join Dr. Forsyth in examining if there was a connection. Alex managed to map out how the DISC Sub-factors taught in Indaba’s DISC eLearning course, help develop emotional intelligence.

Dr. Forsyth brought in his colleague Brian Mitchell. Brian is an executive that specializes in leadership development. They wanted to see if they could use this information to create a Leadership Model. A model that could be taught to executives. They also thought that with higher emotional intelligence this would improve job satisfaction and performance. Dr. Forsyth led the team and submitted their research to The Journal of Organizational Psychology.

Today the Journal of Organizational Psychology has published their model and research paper. Please read our published paper liste below on how DISC develops emotional intelligence and leads to higher job performance and job satisfaction.


The DISCflex Leadership Team Performance Model

Written by Dr. Bryan Forsyth, Brian Mitchell, Hellen Davis, and Alex Fryer.

DISC develops Emotional Intelligence
DISC and Emotional Intelligence are directly related.


The purpose of this research is to study the relationship between the DISCflex™ (DISCflex) Leadership instrument and the improvement of the skills that are widely known as emotional intelligence (EI) leading to improved leadership and leadership team performance in the workplace. The research question would be, “What is the relationship between the use of the DISCflex Leadership profile, the Team Report and successfully attaining positive results related to improving EI skills and leadership/team performance in the workplace?” This paper will be broken down into four sections and they will be: the introduction; the explanation of the DISCflex Leadership/Team instruments; the explanation of the usual definition of what constitutes emotional intelligence; a description of how DISCflex relates to EI and leadership/team performance in the workplace; and finally, a model will be shared as a concept that works based on all evidence to date as seen in this paper. 


The DISCflex Leadership assessment is one of the best tools to assess a person’s behavioral tendencies. Looking at patterns – the peaks and valleys of the landscape of a person’s behavioral tendencies uncovered in a typical DISCflex Profile – the most important thing to understand are the relationships among the four factors – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

A comparison of the relative valuations between the individual factors creates a spread. This spread – which is referred to as the Difference/Delta or Factor Spread – will govern the behavioral choices that people make. The DISCflex Leadership Report is a guide to understanding one’s behavioral tendencies in the current moment of a respondent’s life. Because of the delicate nature of behavioral/personality assessments, DISCflex provides a well-researched profile based on the self-report and perceptions of the respondent (and if appropriate, includes third party perceptions invited by the respondent) (Davis & Klassen, 2012). Theoretical Underpinnings Leading to DISCflex Marston’s (1928) theoretical underpinnings in Emotions of Normal People provided the contextual groundwork to develop the four-factor dimensions of behavioral styles – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

DISC theory as it is known today stems from millennia of research, development, theorization, and refinement. It all started with a four Quadrants model. Originating in Ancient Greece, this original four Quadrants model is one of the oldest known behavioral assessment tools. Hippocrates developed the first four Quadrants model: Consciousness, Emotion, Intelligence, and Wisdom back in 400 B.C. Many great philosophers and mathematicians like Plato and Aristotle studied and augmented Hippocrates’ lessons. In Greece during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, scientists continued searching for the basis of human behavior. Renowned psychologists such as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gathered in Munich to discuss their theories. Jung delivered a lecture on psychological types focused on extroverts and introverts. He later expanded his theory to include early models of personality description.

Throughout the 20th century, researchers continued to explore variations of the Four Quadrants model to try to explain human behavior. As an example, Jung’s research is the foundation for the Myers Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI). William Marston, a Harvard-trained psychologist working at Columbia University, dedicated much of his life to the study and enhancement of his four Quadrants model. His book outlined his theories and became the foundation for modern DISC assessments. Marston introduced the definitions of DISC. He named the four factors Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance. Though each of the terms has held onto its definition, the acronym has been changed over time to better fit modern society. DISC, as it is known today, is defined as Dominance – relating to control, power, and assertiveness; Influence – relating to social situations and communication; Steadiness – relating to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness; Compliance – relating to structure and organization.

In the past 50 years, dozens of behavioral scientists and assessment companies have been instrumental in reworking the DISC theory and commoditizing Marston’s work. Geier’s (1977) research efforts brought credibility to the theories that Marston espoused in Emotions of Normal People. This has been further corroborated with the academic and business worlds as DISC coaches found better strategies and methods for identifying behaviors and learning how to flex them. The foundation laid by Marston and the continued and high-quality research afterward make DISC one of the most valuable models in identifying and developing human behavior. Theoretical assumptions that lead one to believe that there is a significant difference between personality and behavior. Whereas personality is the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual (the totality of an individual’s behavioral and emotional characteristics), behavior focuses on the continual flux of human action. It can best be said that “an adult human’s personality is as much ontogenesis as it is genetics. The adaptations of the human species are nothing without experience” (Smith, 2004 p. 4).

As a general rule, personality and behavioral assessments have focused more on the interpersonal side of how we interact with others, what our attitudes are, and how to identify our stressors and motivators. The more in-depth assessments look at how one’s behavioral patterns affect one’s propensity for change, the type of decision-making methods one uses, and even one’s comfort level for delegating authority and assigning responsibilities (Davis, 2012). Davis & Klassen (2012) posited the belief that behavior is measurable only as a snapshot, with the evolutionary ability for human beings to flex their behaviors taking greater importance. It is through comprehensive and practical knowledge/feedback provided in eLearning that helps reduce the strain of behavioral flexibility so one can adapt their responses to meet their desired outcomes.

The DISCflex instrument measures an individual’s behavior at a current moment in time. The theory is postulated that behavior is always in continual flux between the different spheres of our life (work, family, social) and thus some personality assessments do a disservice by stating that an individual’s values and personal identity are fixed. Humans are simply too complex to adequately measure their actions based on biological or experiential predispositions (Davis & Klassen, 2012). 

A New Rendering of DISC Assessment – DISCflex

The DISCflex Instrumentation is a new rendering of well-established theory and conceptualizations. A commitment to the fundamental patterns of behavior identified by the DISC constructs continues. Based on the theoretical assumptions discussed above, DISCflex introduces direct linkage to change activities and eLearning. The instrument uses eighty single word items rank-ordered to build the four DISC scales. The instrument also presents forty statements requiring consideration using a 5-point Likert scale from Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, to Strongly Agree. Conceptual construction DISC instruments use four constructs. In DISCflex these four primary factors or measurement indicators are used to assess an individual’s personality and behavioral tendencies. The four primary DISC factors are D (dominance), I (influence), S (steadiness), and C (compliance).

The Dominance Factor is centered around a person’s need to be direct or to be directive. Elevated D behavioral patterns like giving instructions or orders, have no problem delivering commands, and definitely like things done their way. High Dominance Factor individuals love getting things accomplished and they strive for results. Some words that describe Dominance’s typical positive behavioral traits are: innovative, competitive, enterprising, strong, determined, visionary. Some words that describe Dominance’s typical negative behavioral traits are challenging, self-centered, arrogant, controlling.

The Influence Factor is centered around an individual’s ability to influence others, such as being persuasive enough to change someone’s mind, convince them into helping their team, or prevailing upon them to take on their product or service for the first time. The Influence Factor was originally labeled as “Inducement” by Dr. William Moulton Marston. Influence can be providing an incentive or being encouraging. Inducing or influencing others to do something they might not otherwise be inclined to do is the mark of an Influence Factor individual. Some words that describe Influence’s typical positive behavioral traits are: motivating, charismatic, upbeat, friendly, caring. Some words that describe Influence’s typical negative behavioral traits are: overly talkative, emotional, changeable, unpredictable, easily distracted, undependable, inconsistent.

The Steadiness Factor is centered around steadfastness, thoughtfulness, and the pace at which an individual typically likes to operate. Some of the traits inherent in the measurement of the Steadiness Factor are consistency, commitment, dedication, persistence, loyalty, dependability, strategic bent, in-depth thinking, as well as planning. The Steadiness Factor’s elevation addresses preference in time commitment. It also helps determine the velocity and stride of business initiatives. Some words that describe Steadiness’ typical positive behavioral traits are: consistent, thoughtful, reliable, calm, relaxed. Some words that describe Steadiness’ typical negative behavioral traits are rigid, reluctant to change, paralysis by analysis.

The Compliance Factor is centered around a person’s need for structure. This factor has dominion over things like policies, procedures, rules, laws, and detail orientation. To a large extent, the Compliance Factor measures the preferences in these areas: a degree of agreeableness or argumentativeness regarding expectations and rules, level of natural obedience to cultural norms, conformity to established standards, and observance of the protocol. Some words that describe Compliance’s typical positive behavioral traits are methodical, systematic, detail-oriented, precise, accurate, organized. Some words that describe Compliance’s typical negative behavioral traits are: painstaking, exacting, nitpicking, overly cautious regarding rules, do not take criticism well regarding work product.

Factor reporting an important component of DISCflex is a customized analysis report for each individual respondent. This report format is what is truly insightful. Based on a respondent’s self-reports of behavior the relative dominance of these four factors is calculated. The relative dominance of these scales is summarized on scales from 0 to 100 and graphed for visual interpretation. The Indaba Global research organization has grouped the various pattern possibilities into fifteen basic DISC patterns. These basic DISC patterns depict the peaks and valleys associated with the four primary DISC Factors. This report includes reflective activities for the individual respondent and provides guidance to selected eLearning options.

DISCflex Factors 

The DISCflex instrument and reports refer to D, I, S, and C as “factors.” These “factors” are a consistent set of behavior patterns that tend to cluster together. They are labeled by D, I, S, and C. Further in the DISCflex report, twelve “sub-factors” are identified using comparisons between the four “factors” (scales) constructed to measure the constructs. Because one of the statistical procedures utilized in assessment is generally referred to as “FACTOR ANALYSIS;” the term “factor” is used in both of these ways. The context will be helpful in determining meaning. The term scale is used to refer to the scales constructed from the theoretically defined structure of adding item responses assigned to a set of items (Davis & Klassen, 2012). 

DISCflex Sub-factors

Sub-factor reporting The DISCflex instrument identifies associated sub-factors that are important for an in-depth assessment of behavior. DISC Sub-factors™ are used when describing the relationship between two identified factors of the DISCflex profile. When comparing the two factors, their pairing is referred to as a DISC Sub-factor™. There are twelve possible combinations or pairings which connect the four factors on the DISCflex ™ profile. The sub-factor pairings that preside over an individual’s behavioral tendencies can easily provide a deeper understanding of behavior preferences. Understanding of other people’s factors and sub-factors opens dialogue and, most essentially, can assist in building a foundation of respect and tolerance for how others communicate and operate.

It is vital to understand that sub-factors are experience and perception-based – people will strive to be as efficient, independent, or cooperative as they are currently know-how. Being efficient might mean something different from one person to the next. Understanding this as one examines one’s own behavior and that of others is crucial to forming good relationships and building appreciation for other people’s talents and what they bring to the table. An individual’s behavior is the public expression of the patterns of DISC Factors.

Let us look at an example of how this might play out. If an individual has a highly elevated Dominance with a much lower Compliance score, they will have a behavioral tendency to be regulated by the subfactor called Independence. But remember, individuals, express being independent in different ways. It could mean that the person will forge a path on their own and never ask for assistance. It could be that they choose to be independent only of certain people – of their parents for example. Or it could mean that they equate independence solely with financial or decision making independence. What one needs to remember is that people will only exhibit that behavior which they equate with the DISC Sub-factors™ – AS THEY KNOW IT TO BE.

Once one realizes the importance of perception and experience have on the sub-factors, one can start to understand why there are so many different personalities in the world. The Independence Sub-factor literally holds a plethora of different personalities, as do all the other sub-factors. As is illustrated and evidenced in the above and below sections of this paper, there seems to be a strong correlation to the DISCflex instrument and Emotional Intelligence (EI) based on all of this evidence between the subfactors of the DISCflex instrument and the elements known as EI as will be emphasized below. So it follows in the chart below that if an individual has a highly elevated Dominance with a much lower Steadiness score, they will have a behavioral tendency to be regulated by the subfactor called Self-motivation. If an individual has a highly elevated Influence with a much lower Steadiness score, they will have a behavioral tendency to be regulated by the subfactor called Enthusiasm and so on.  

DISCflex Team Behavior Report

The DISC algorithms generate a unique overview of every team selected in an organization according to their DISC scores. A leader can choose to swap out different people and see the impact this will have prior to making organizational changes – whether swapping out an unlimited number of team members or any team leader. The team leader can immediately see the result on a Team’s Governing Behavior (TGB) and performance without making costly mistakes or having unintended catastrophic organizational consequences. In particular, the Team Affinity Diagram shows (in a quick snapshot of the makeup of your team) the behavioral strengths and gaps within a team. Additionally, the consolidation of the individual team member’s scores and Team Percentages provides a unique insight into what types of behavior patterns members of the team have and what they will typically do in team situations.

Understanding behavioral preferences will enhance a person’s team experience. When a team leader knows the general behavioral tendencies of each individual team member, they can adjust their influencing and communication approach. They can deliver messages that resonate appropriately. The leader will also better understand where the other person is coming from when that person responds. Additionally, the team leader will be aware of how that team member prefers to carry out their responsibilities. This is particularly important if the leader and team member are polar opposites in terms of behavior or if the team member has a typical behavioral tendency that would inhibit their compliance with the team goals that could severely impact team functions and dynamics. As an example, High S types prefer having time to respond thoughtfully prior to making a comment, whereby many High Is like to verbalize their thoughts aloud as they work through them. High Ds speak in shorter, bullet point like sentences, while High C’s will ask questions about established rules and guidelines. Expecting all team members to be the same in communication styles is not reality. Matching and understanding the message to the receiver just makes sense. Team leaders (with the advantage of having the team members’ behavior profile at their fingertips) can enhance communication by situationally adjusting their verbiage towards each team member’s behavioral pattern.

Conclusions from the Study 

n summary, DISCflex continues to build on a long tradition of multiple DISC instruments that have established the value and validity of this model for considering behavior patterns. The validity of the construction of DISCflex was monitored, tested, and confirmed by experts with years of experience in use of the DISC model. The items, scales, and structure of DISCflex are confirmed as reliable. The scales of DISCflex are confirmed as being related in agreement with the concepts of the model. DISCflex, when used as recommended for individual growth and for the purpose of recommended eLearning and other associated activities, can serve as a valid and reliable measure. DISCflex is NOT intended for comparison among individuals and is not intended for the purpose of evaluation or job promotion (Davis& Klassen, 2012, p.18). Davis (2012 [personal training interview]), stated that this instrument should not be used to label people or put them into a specific category. People can be wrongly hired and put into jobs for long periods of time incorrectly if their performance were to be judged based purely on these profiles which would not be fair. The rest of this study will attempt to demonstrate how it is possible however to make connections to the use of all of these concepts and principles and job performance as well as job satisfaction. 

How do DISC Assessments and Emotional Intelligence Relate?

The goal of the DISCflex Leadership Assessment and Report is to provide the person with an understanding of how their natural behavior pattern affects their behavioral choices. It also provides them with a “language of behavior [which relates to the well-known area of EI]” to use as they develop themselves and others. Below you will find the components of the program as they relate to emotional intelligence. The assessment questions relate to various situations and emotions that a leader deals with while at work. Once a leader completes a DISCflex Leadership assessment, the system generates a personalized report based on the choices made. The process of reading through the leader’s DISC report allows them to become self-aware of how they behave based on their self-perception. This relates directly to the self-awareness category of emotional intelligence.

he DISCflex program does allow the leader to have others take a short survey on them and provides them with info on how other people view their behaviors (Third Party inputs). The individual is able to categorize the other people’s perceptions into three perceptual lenses – co-workers, family, and others. This relates to the empathy category of emotional intelligence as the leader is better able to better understand how others view them.

The DISC Report is designed to help the leader flex and morph your behaviors so that you can become a “chameleon on a rainbow” and adapt to any situation. The program groups categories of behaviors into four quadrants and labels them as individual DISC factors. The leader’s personal results indicate how often the governing behavior is displayed and the report and eLearning help the leader self-regulate and build the ability to adapt and flex those behaviors. We see that this relates to emotional intelligence as a whole as going through the DISC program allows leaders to work on self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and building social skills.

When looking at someone’s DISC report they are provided with a DISC pattern, individual factor scores, and sub-factor scores. The DISC pattern gives a broad overview of easily identifying a leader’s governing behaviors. When one peels back the onion and examines individual factor scores and the variances between each factor, then they are able to study the person’s whole behavioral makeup. The factors and sub-factors scores provide metrics and a language around how you are able to look at someone’s ability to build emotional intelligence. Below you will find each factor as it relates to emotional intelligence. 


The dominance factor relates to self-control, motivation, and leadership capabilities. The higher someone’s dominance factor level is they will display the DISC sub-factors of independence, self-motivation, and efficiency. Lower levels will show cooperativeness, patience, and friendliness. As the leader dials up and down their dominance levels, they will be able to control and motivate themselves. They will also be able to take charge and lead others. Just as important, they will understand how to modulate their need for control to go into a service-based mindset or follower role when required.


The influence factor relates to developing social skills, influencing and persuading other people, and is looked at as how well a leader communicates. As a person displays an elevated level of influence they will display friendliness, enthusiasm, and self-confidence. Lower levels will show efficiency, thoughtfulness, and accuracy. As the leader dials up and down their influence factor, they will be able to adapt to different social settings enabling them to communicate effectively, persuade others, and collaborate as a team. Equally important, the leader understands that this factor needs to be “dialed down” whenever the situation requires a less emotional approach or when more communication will not “fix” the problem.


The steadiness factor relates to logical thinking and building relationships. A leader with an elevated steadiness factor displays patience, thoughtfulness, and persistence. Whereas, a leader with a lower level of steadiness will show self-motivation, enthusiasm, and sensitivity. When dialing up and down the steadiness factors the person is able to gain other’s trust by building bonds, adapt to change and create group synergies.


The compliance factor relates to organization and structure as it measures an individual’s accountability and conscientiousness. A leader with a high compliance factor score can display cooperativeness, accuracy, and sensitivity. Whereas, a leader with a low compliance score can display independence, self-confidence, and persistence. When dialing up and down your compliance scores you will be able to adapt to the task at hand. Leaders with higher compliance scores are often referred to as “permission-askers”; and those with lower Compliance Factor levels are seen as “permission-takers”.

Once a leader goes through and understands their personal behavioral tendencies by reading about their DISC factor and sub-factors, the report is designed to coach the leader through various sub-topics on how to flex their behaviors. The DISCflex Leadership Report looks at the work environment, change, decision making, performance management, etc. DISCflex also offers an eLearning program as a way to study any information such as DISC patterns, DISC factors, and DISC Sub-factors so that the leader can improve how you manage themselves and identify these behaviors in other people. The goal is to build a strong foundation of behavioral competence and the ability to manage your behaviors depending on the task or situation. As you manage your behaviors and adjust to the situation you are in, you will automatically be managing the emotions that go along with them (Fryer, 2016). 

Emotional Intelligence and Job Performance

Richard Boyatzis was one of the thought leaders who worked with the original thinkers who put all of the pieces together from a psychological and cognitive standpoint that ultimately came to be Emotional Intelligence (EI) from the very beginning around 1970 and he stated that:

When you look at any of the competencies models that I or anyone else has done, when you validate them against performance, not just according to the mythology, you become amazed at how 80-90 percent of the competencies are not cognitive. For any top executive or leadership role there are never more than two competencies that come out in the cognitive area as distinguishing outstanding performance. Those tend to be systems thinking and pattern recognition. All the rest are what we call emotional intelligence. (Wheeler & Hall, 2003, p. 66)

Since that time people like Howard Gardner (1983) have come up with concepts such as multiple intelligences which included a series of seven intelligences, two of which made up Intellectual Quotient (IQ) and two made up Emotional Quotient (EQ) or otherwise known as and referred to here as EI. The two competencies referred to in the above Boyatzis quote dealing with cognitive skills consist of logical, mathematical and linguistic types of intelligence and they would be related to IQ. The two that relate to EQ or EI, in this case, would be intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. The others Gardner (1983) had in his framework were naturalist intelligence, spatial intelligence and physical intelligence which are not really part of this discussion. So if there is anything to the statement Boyatzis made above then it holds true that 80 to 90 percent of leadership competencies are related to emotional intelligence.

Shooshtarian, Ameli, & Aminilari (2013) conducted a very informative empirical study entitled, “The Effect of Labor’s Emotional Intelligence on Their Job Satisfaction, Job Performance, and Commitment”. This study was done in Iran and included a population of almost 300 people that did questionnaires related to the use of emotional intelligence in the workplace and job performance as well as job satisfaction and commitment as the title of the study would imply. What they found was an alignment with many previously done studies by many prolific researchers in the field of EI such as Wong & Law (2002), Goleman (1995), Copper & Sawaf (1997), and Shimazu, Shimazu & Odahara (2004) and others. That alignment was found using statistical analysis with findings of significant relationships between EI and job performance and job satisfaction but no significance between EI and job commitment. As for the commitment, we will not spend much time on that aspect of the study. Suffice it to say that the reason behind the lack of significance is that people who are high in EI skillsets are high in self-confidence and have the ability to move around and transfer jobs if they choose to do so and therefore, their commitment is less as a result according to the findings. They may be in higher demand as well due to the fact that they can function at higher levels using their EI skillsets.

The results of the Shooshtarian, et al, (2013) study indicated the significant relationship between EI and job performance, specifically in the areas of self-motivation and awareness, self-regulation and relating to another person’s experience or while introducing new ideas in a situation or team setting. The research findings are consistent with Wong & Law (2002), Goleman (1995) and Salovey & Mayer (1997) results. It would seem employees with higher EI are more aware and skillful at using their influence as it relates to their emotion on their behavior leading to desired outcomes. People with higher levels of EI also tend to have higher levels of self-confidence and therefore tend to progress faster in the organization and can reduce conflict among people in the workgroups they lead.

The study showed a relationship between age, education and job performance as well. This is significant because it has been discovered that there is a connection between age and levels of EI. One discovery made by Boyatzis (2003) was that people under the age of 28 or 29 were much less likely to engage in EI types of learning and skill attainment. As for education, people who attain higher levels of education are more likely to have higher levels of EI as well by having gone through that higher education process and gaining that maturity that goes along with that successful mental growth and development process. Therefore, they are also likely to have higher levels of job performance.

“Emotional Intelligence is defined as ‘the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate between them, and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions’” (Shooshtarian, et al, 2013, p. 7). So, in conclusion, this study found that this ability includes the interaction of feelings and subsequent behaviors that people have and their ability to recognize and adapt to situations in their work and personal lives to become more effective and efficient and to perform better on purpose and by design. There are significant relationships between EI, job satisfaction and performance and so employees with higher levels of EI skills will be able to appraise, control and regulate their emotions leading to more influence on behavior and outcomes of the situations they are in. These research findings are consistent with Wong &Law (2002), Goleman (1995), Sy, Tram and O’Hara (2006), and Law &Wong (2008) results. 


This is a model that is designed to make a difference in organizations around the globe incorporating the proven concepts of the DISCflex Leadership instrument measuring personality types and how to “morph” those types to adapt and align with other leaders in order to work better together in order to better achieve organizational goals thus leading to better achieving alignment of organizational and individual goals, performance, and job satisfaction for employees.

Collect Baseline Data on Leadership/Team Performance Current State:

When doing any type of intervention any consultant and their client would want to collect baseline data. This would involve working with the leaders involved and gathering evidence related to the overall performance in the work area in question-related to the leadership and the teams involved as well as overall job satisfaction using typical data collection methods. Since the correlation has been established and demonstrated to exist between the DISCflex Leadership instrument, the morphing process, emotional intelligence, and job performance, one can assume that when these skills are mastered, emotional intelligence is also being mastered. The job and team performance in question would be periodically reevaluated along the way at intervals agreed upon by the team and the consultant. Any necessary adjustments would be made in the morphing process as is deemed necessary by all involved.

Take DISCflex Leadership/Team Report Instrument

The instrument is an integral element to all of this, much like its predecessor the DISC profile, this instrument introduces the idea of morphing behaviors and that will take practice as is required later in this model. Once the results of the instrument are discovered the real process of improvement can begin. There is a DISCflex Leadership instrument and a DISCflex Team Report that are involved here to give the Teams and their Leaders the necessary information to move forward and make adjustments. 

Study Results and Train

The next logical thing to do is to study the outcomes of the instruments and figure out what to do next. Look at the patterns from the profile determine what is says about you and your team. Does it resonate with you or not? If not, ask yourself some questions about where your head was at when you answered the questions. Given that the instrument has very good validation, you could have been thinking of other situations other than work when you answered the forced ranking statements. Also, at this point, there can be a case made for how this model and this instrument relate to emotional intelligence skills in the workplace and how those can be measured along with and relate to increased leadership performance as well as employee job satisfaction and performance. All the skill sets need to be flushed out and conceptualized for practice and practiced until all parties are comfortable with new behaviors.

Others Review You with DISCflex Leadership/Team Instrument 

The DISCflex Leadership instrument has the option to have as many others as desired do a review on the leader in question and rank that leader according to how they see and perceive them. This can be very worthwhile to open dialogue and engage all parties in further deepening the understanding of how and when to morph your behaviors and to help the person morphing to get feedback from the person receiving the morphing on how well they are doing. What better place to get this feedback than from the source? If all are both in on it together then it makes things much easier. Everyone can keep each other in check so to speak. It is one of the greatest benefits the DISCflex Leadership instrument has to offer other than the morphing idea itself for personal and team development. 

Improve Morphing Skills

When morphing you are consciously changing and shape-shifting your behaviors to align with the other behaviors with which you are dealing. The question one must ask when evaluating an interaction one is having is, “Are my behavior patterns helping or hurting this situation and should I be adjusting to make this work?”. First of all, you must understand the entire spectrum of behaviors and what it would look and feel like for you to shift into those behaviors. So you ask yourself the question, “How would I behave and what kinds of things would I say if I were in an I behavior as opposed to my normal D behavior?” and so on. “What would my non-verbal body language look and feel like if I were doing the same?”. If you think this is easy, think again. It is quite natural and has taken years of practice to be the way we are and if it not working for us, then we need to work hard to morph when necessary.

Now does this mean we always need to morph in all situations? The answer is no, only on the occasion when we find it is important and necessary to save a relationship for some reason. The other side of this would be that if you are naturally good at this without any of this intervention then you can help the facilitator coach the rest of the group that is not. The majority of people you work with are not very likely to be this way and some will be very hard to not only convince they need this but to convince them to change their behaviors as well. This ultimately has to come from within over time and the good news is, that with practice, it will become part of your natural way of being. So the challenge is to convince people this is worth the time and effort to engage in and make it happen for them and the organization they are involved in.

Continuous Morphing with All Involved Back and Forth

In alignment with the above statement, all involved are morphing with each other and therefore, all work together to help each other get it right. If the people closest to each other know each other’s profiles and meet to discuss these areas they need to work on and have been trained on over time they will refine these skills and become quite good at working with each other which will spill over into better work relationships, higher job satisfaction and better job performance as has been demonstrated to be empirically proven by scientific study above in this paper. There is a strong correlation linking all of this together. Once all people who have done this long enough over time and know what it takes to get this done can then repeat it with others wherever they go for the rest of their adult lives. This not only can work in the workplace but in personal lives as well. Who can argue with that?

Taking DISCflex Leadership Instrument/Team Reports + Application of Morphing = EI & LTP Continuously Monitor EI/LTP™

We come back to the items of importance for executives that sponsor these activities. As anyone who has been involved with any change project involving people knows, it takes time and long term investment. It also takes top-down role modeling and the belief that this is the right thing to do with words and actions. It will take baseline measurement and re-measurement of the leadership and team performance and if all the research is correct as has been presented in this paper/case, the results should most certainly be positive in the short term and more so over time. This also has a trickle-down effect on the employees which can also be seen with measurements. There is also an associated Workforce Environmental Enrichment Model (WEEM)™ Model for the workforce along the same lines using the DISCflex and Team Report instruments. 

Move to New Areas/Teams as Needed

Typically, areas most in need are used as areas where pilot studies are run. In organizations that matter, industrial-organizational research such as this is always conducted. Once the leadership is convinced that the pilot is working, it is taken to the next logical place that needs the model and so on until the whole organization changes and morphs if you will and the bottom line improves. This will also spill over into improved customer service as a satisfied employee will give good customer service as well but that is the topic of another paper. 

The Vision

The vision that would accompany this model would follow. To partner with passionate leaders that desire to have the insight around and practice what it takes to bring people together to achieve the most that can be achieved with any given group of people or team in any given situation for any worthwhile purpose.


In conclusion, there is an absolute correlation between the DISCflex instrument and the earlier version of the DISC profile which has been validated and proven reliable for more than 50 years. All of this stems from work done by the early Greeks going back to Hippocrates dating back to 400 B.C. Given that history and credibility, there is something brewing here that is significant. The significance is further carried forth in this paper tying the DISCflex to the realm of emotional intelligence which came about almost 50 years ago with such thought leaders as Richard Boyatzis who began his career as a Cognitive Psychologist and ended up working with greats like Edward Schein and Erik Erickson studying areas like competencies and how do people change. Boyatzis in 1967 he wrote the book entitled “How do People Change?” started the movement toward a massive inquiry into emotional intelligence. Many empirical studies (cited and referenced here) have been done showing the relationship between successful leadership and the use of emotional intelligence skills which leads to one’s performance. Lastly, in this work, there is empirical evidence of a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and job satisfaction and performance. Hence, one can logically draw the conclusion that if DISCflex develops emotional intelligence then it also leads one to a place of higher job satisfaction and job performance. “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” ― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.


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