More about the "C" (Conscientious) Style - Stress & Motivation

Posted by Bill Harshman on

In this series of blogs, you have learned increasingly more about the four styles of DISC (Dominant, Influence, Steady, and Conscientious).  Now that we have the basics of PACE & PRIORITY behind us, I’d like to dive a little deeper into each styles’ Stressors and Motivators.  Today’s deeper dive blog is about the “C” (Conscientious). We know that the “C” is a deliberate, moderate, more reserved PACE combined with a more task-oriented PRIORITY.  I’d also like to add some other descriptors to enhance your understanding of the general “C” style:  analytical, reserved, precise, private, systematic, thoughtful, and questioning.  Along those lines, “C’s” are about 1) ensuring accuracy, 2) maintaining stability, and 3) challenging assumptions.  Their motto:  “Do it Right”.

Stress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Motivation

Conscientious stressor motivator

Let’s consider things that cause motivation in people’s lives.  “C’s” enjoy situations which allow them to use their expertise or gain knowledge while paying attention to quality.  They focus task performance through completion to their high standards.  As such, they may relate well to the “S” who seeks consistency and process.  They tend to check their own (and others) work before being satisfied.

Think for a moment about the things that cause stress in peoples’ lives.  Different people may find different aspects of their lives (especially work) stressful.  Because the “C” tends to focus on follow-through and restraint, they may find it particularly frustrating when they are forced to deal with rapid changes or quick forward progress.

Factors generating the “C’s” stress can include:

  • Feeling pressured making decisions without data
  • Experiencing / Sensing a loss of their credibility
  • Admitting need for help from others

When pushed or stressed, people with the “C” style may seem introverted, dive deeper into the data, and/or become withdrawn.

Factors affecting the “C’s” motivation include:

  • Analyzing options rationally and separating emotions from facts
  • Taking time to make an informed choice, and avoiding quick or risky decisions
  • Following streamlined or productive methods of task completion
  • Openly questioning ideas and pointing out flaws that others may have missed
  • Adhering to compliance and propriety practices


When one needs to be more effective with people who have the “C” style, consider the following strategies:

  • Tell them the “why” and the “how”
  • Provide reasoning, data, and documentation
  • Provide them time to verify
  • Come to meetings prepared

I hope this helps provide more insight into you OR the “C’s” in your world and provides a broader understanding as to “what makes them tick”.  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 complimentary webinar (online) for your team or organization, please send an email to  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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