DiSC® - Understanding the CS (Conscientious / Steady) Style

Posted by Bill Harshman on

CS Style

This lesson continues our increased understanding of not just the four quadrants with which we are already familiar, rather an understanding how changing proximity (distance to a neighboring style) within a particular quadrant yields a result which identifies a separate, unique DiSC® styleToday’s focus is on the CS (Conscientious / Steady) style. 


Where did this come from?

As the DiSC® has evolved and become totally computer based, the algorithms showed a much more robust capability to plot your “dot” very specifically within one of the four quadrants.  (Our dot simply reminds us of our home base; where we feel most comfortable; our comfy t-shirt.)  Research showed that the analysis and weighting of the results placed the same styles in various places within a given quadrant.  Simply put, the result was different degrees of the same style and slightly differing preferences and priorities.

What’s in this for the learner?

This lesson will be helpful if you haven’t taken the DiSC®, don’t know your DiSC® style, OR if you are a style other than CS

Note:  Any style with two letters is called a “combined” style.  Depending on the sequencing of the “combined” style letters, the first style is more prominent than the second style (e.g., In the case of CS style, the C is the prominent style).  As such, in the case of the “combined” CS style, much of the criteria (priorities, qualities, etc.) are reflective of the Conscientious quadrant where the CS style resides.

Quick summary of the CS style

Let’s start with what we know.  We already know a couple basics about the CS style that reside within the Conscientious quadrant.  This quadrant - including the CS, C, & CD styles - has a PACE of Cautious & Reflective, combined with an AGREEABLENESS quotient of Questioning & Skeptical (result-focused).  And, the brief list of (observable behaviors) descriptors still includes:  Analytical, Reserved, Precise, Private, & Systematic.  From our model, we also know that the CS style priorities differ slightly from those of the C & CD styles, and include Stability, Accuracy, & Support.  As we proceed in this lesson, you’ll notice one or more of these priorities identified in our CS candidate.  Refer to our blog titled, “EVERYTHING DiSC WORKPLACE® PROFILE - The 8 Priorities“ to understand more about the priorities associated with the DiSC® styles, specifically the CS.


The thrust of this lesson is around the priorities and qualities that tie those aforementioned descriptors together.  Let’s begin by examining the CS priorities. 

CS Style Priorities

CS Style 2

Priorities (listed around the circumference of the model) are the primary areas where people focus their energy depending on their DiSC® style.  Everyone has at least three priorities; some have four to five.  Having more than three is no better or worse.  I’m sharing priorities from the Everything DiSC Workplace® Profile in this example.  The Everything DiSC Workplace® priorities are unique to you and based on your results.  Priorities simply help us understand how our style might be reflected in motivations and behaviors given real-life work scenarios.  The important thing to remember is that when things get foggy (such as when stress or uncertainty appear) we seek the priorities associated with our style.


Priorities of the CS Style: (which are shared with the adjacent SC style)

  • Stability – The CS seeks to attain order and precision. They prefer to be well-prepared, and avoid risks or rapid changes.    
  • Accuracy – The CS prefer to refine their plans before acting. They most likely rely on data for objective decision-making.
  • Support – The CS is willing to help when their expertise is needed, and can be even-tempered and patient in those situations.


Scales & Qualities

Next, we consider the qualities of the CS style. These are like core needs mentioned in previous articles, however are LESS unconscious and MORE at the surface near conscious, observable behavior.  The qualities vary around the model and are represented in scales.  The CS scale qualities are Stability, Harm Avoidance, & Modesty.


Paired Styles

Note:  Due to the pairings of styles to form a particular scale, you will notice that these dual-letter designations are shared with their neighboring dual-letter mirror.  For example, the CS/SC styles are physically paired together, and as such, they share style qualities.  Same is true of the CD/DC proximity, the Di/iD proximity, and the Si/iS proximityThe result is eight DiSC® scales instead of 12 as expected.  Thus, we have 12 DiSC® styles contained within 8 DiSC® scales.  Though the CS and SC styles are separate and unique, you can consider the CS/SC styles as ONE scale when it comes to qualities.  Let’s review the qualities of the CS/SC which include Stability, Harm Avoidance, & Modesty.

Qualities of the CS/SC Styles:

  • Stability
  1. If you ask the CS, they will tell you that chaos and uncertainty are generally uncomfortable for them. They take a cautious approach to change and prefer to maintain the status quo.  They have a better sense of what to expect and this allows them to trust that their persistent, conscientious efforts will pay off. 
  2. The SC may maintain a level of comfort by surrounding themselves with predictable routines and steady relationships. A lot of their energy can be spent trying to secure this comfort zone to make it a safe, stable place.  IF this is challenged, it can be particularly draining and stressful.
  • Harm Avoidance
  1. The CS wants to scan their environment and consider all the variables before they act.
  2. The CS wants to absorb all information. As such, they may be reluctant to change or moving forward due to the impossibility to predict all the different implications.   
  3. The CS wants to avoid failure. As such, they may hesitate to jump into a task they believe is beyond their skill, or keep unconventional ideas to themselves to avoid criticism.
  • Modesty
  1. The CS tends to be content with stable work that they know well, often willing to work behind the scenes. Modestly, they don’t tend to self-promote, causing their contributions and talents to sometimes go unnoticed.
  2. When the CS must deal with forceful people, they may quietly question whether their opinions are worthwhile. They prefer to have a rock-solid case before asserting their perspective.  Should they be shown a crack in their argument, they may back down without much fight.


Where the CS and SC styles differ

Up until now, I’ve referred to the neighboring CS/SC styles interchangeably in terms of the overlap of their priorities and their qualities, respectively.  HOWEVER, it is important to remember that they ARE two different DiSC® styles.  The unique placement of those dots on the DiSC® model is determined by the computer algorithms.  I want to share some clarifying / identifying information to help make this distinction clear.  The table shows that the two styles share Priorities and Qualities, however differ in terms of their other criteria as determined where their respective dots fell within different quadrants on the DiSC® model. 


CS Style

SC Style


Analytical, Reserved, Precise, Private, Systematic

Even-tempered, Accommodating, Patient, Humble, Tactful


Stability, Accuracy, Support


Stability, Harm Avoidance, Modesty


Stability, reliable outcomes

Calm environment, fixed objectives, steady progress

Judges others by:

Precise standards, orderly methods

Reliability, realistic outlook, even temperament

Influences others by:

Practicality, attention to detail

Diplomacy, self-control, consistency


Traditional methods, sense of caution

Willingness to let others lead, humility

Under pressure:

Withdraws, becomes hesitant

Becomes inflexible, hinders spontaneity, complies


Emotionally charged situations, ambiguity

Time pressure, uncertainty, chaos

Would increase effectiveness through:

Showing flexibility, being decisive, showing urgency

Initiating change, speaking up


To some, these differences may seem very subtle, however lumping these two unique styles together as one is inaccurate.  One of our Cornerstone Principles shows us that “Each and all 12 DiSC® styles are unique and equally valuable.”


So What?

So, that was a lot of new, detailed, complex information.  What do I glean from that and how do I apply meaning to my daily life?

CS wordcloud

Consider this.  There is an implication for leadership.  The CS style get 360 feedback from their managers, direct reports, and peers which points to the lowest ratings when it comes to:

  • Speaking or acting authoritatively
  • Managing up for their teams
  • Pushing for change through resistance
  • Tackling problems in a timely manner


Conversely, the CS style got their highest ratings when it comes to:

  • Being receptive to other people’s needs
  • Maintaining composure during stress
  • Being diplomatic
  • Open to input
  • Facilitating dialogue


    Let’s also consider some of the assumptions operating within people having the CS style.  If you are an CS, see which ones fit for you:

    • I should never be the source of someone else’s unhappiness
    • I must maintain my credibility
    • I’m half pretending that I know what I’m doing
    • If things are not completely stable, things are wrong


    The “So what?” is for the CS to consider how they would increase their effectiveness.  At a glance, the CS tends to be more moderate in nature, leaning toward middle-of-the-road approaches.  They describe themselves using words like peaceful, calm or serene.  However, there is less of a tendency for them to get bored with routing compared to other styles.  This can be a challenge for the CS when major change is facing an organization.  This lesson can help the CS to increase effectiveness by accepting and understanding their own style, then incorporating what they know about other styles toward improved communication.

    I hope this overview increased your awareness, knowledge, and familiarity of DiSC®, especially the CS style.  Whether your needs include Onboarding, Employee Engagement, Culture Change, Conflict Management, Team Building, or simply Communication, DiSC® is the research-based, proven, leading training solution. We have several Everything DiSC® assessments to help you craft individual and team solutions:

    Profiles Suite 


    What’s next?

    ED Model with P-A_CD

    Our next lesson will discuss the CD (Conscientious / Dominant) style. 

    As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DiSC® is understanding your and others’ styles and then using that knowledge for improved interactions.

    If you would like a live, complimentary webinar (online) for your team or organization, or if you would like a PDF sample of any of the assessments listed above, please send an email to info@traininglocation.com.  If you’d like to purchase the DiSC®, visit  DiSC® Classic or Everything DiSC® at our website.  And, check out our products from The Ken Blanchard Companies as well.

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