Understanding the "C" Style

Posted by Bill Harshman on

This is the 4th in a series of individual blogs increasing your understanding of the four DISC styles – ONE at a time.  Our focus here is on the “C” style which stands for Conscientiousness.   Before we begin, let’s remember the rules:  There is no perfect style AND everybody has some degree of all 4 styles: Dominant, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness.


As referenced in a previous blog, your DISC style is determined by two aspects:  PACE & PRIORITY.  The model above helps explain this important concept.  Simply put, DISC helps you decode the needs, preferences, and priorities of people.  The spectrum for the aspect of PACE goes from one end consisting of descriptors such as faster-paced, active, assertive, and bold.  The other end of the PACE spectrum consists of descriptors such as smoother-paced, deliberate, thoughtful, moderate, calm, and careful.

The other aspect of PRIORITY consists of one end of a spectrum including people-oriented, accepting, receptive, and agreeable.  The other end of the PRIORITY spectrum consists of task-oriented, questioning, logic-focused, and challenging.  Where you lie on these two aspects of PACE & PRIORITY helps determine (decode) a person’s DISC style.

When we look at someone with a strong “C” style, we see that they are moderately-paced (dissimilar to a “D” or an “I”), and task-oriented (dissimilar to a “S” or a “I”).  The above chart shows clearly where they are placed in the 4-quadrant DISC model.  Other words which help you understand the high “C” style include, but are not limited to:  accurate, analytical, exacting, factual, precise, logical.  The “C” style has a core theme of having to analyze, to step back and think, with rationality and objectivity (i.e., analytical).  This C tendency is driven by a couple other core needs:  1) strong need for safety and security, and 2) to be beyond reproach (i.e., defensible/justifiable actions). Similar to the D, the C has a desire for control of factors over their own fate, and not rely on potentially unreliable people or processes.

If you have a higher/stronger “C” style (Conscientiousness), you are motivated by Correctness, Procedure, Accuracy:

Strengths as a co-worker may include:

  • Well-prepared for meetings, and expect the same of others
  • Consistency with predictable pace to complete complex projects
  • Maintain objectivity in emotional situations

Limitations MAY include:

  • Perfectionist
  • Frustration with disorganization; possibly cynical
  • Unreasonable expectation of others

Improve effectiveness by:

  • Accepting criticism
  • Seeking balance between people-orientation and task-orientation
  • In a disagreement, challenge with tact
  • Increase eye contact
  • Take time to develop a relationship


As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DISC is understanding your and others’ styles, 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 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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