Comparing DISC & MBTI

Posted by Bill Harshman on

I'm often asked which is better, DISC or MBTI?  I've worked with both for years and have seen powerful results from each.  I'm a fan of the DISC primarily because of its simplicity, ease of remembering, and short length.  I can usually ask someone if they remember their DISC style, and in most cases they reflect back on the 4 dominant behavior types and go from there.  However, not so easy for the MBTI.  They struggle with the 16, 4-letter personality types and corresponding interpretations.  Mind you, I've defended the MBTI throughout my career depending on the audience.  In fact, I've facilitated interventions which began with the DISC, continued with the MBTI, and then wove the results together.  

Summary:

* MBTI is an indicator of how people process internally.

* DISC is an indicator of how personality translates to (observable) behavior.

* DISC is about understanding self and others.

* MBTI is about understanding self.

Here's my simple car analogy when asked about DISC versus MBTI.  Let's say you are choosing between a Lexus Sedan and a Volkswagen Beetle.  Some might laugh.  However, EACH is ideal for it's respective, appropriate, intended use.  One is a luxury car that comes with all the bells, whistles, high cost, and requires special technicians to repair problems.  The other is about function, less frills, easy to repair, and much lower cost.  One better than the other?  Not really.  Which one suits your needs is the better one, objectively speaking.

Any assessment tool that helps you understand yourself, while providing information about others is an incredible resource.  I just wish I had been introduced to this in high school.    

Here is an interesting, short TED Talk about how personality tests work . . . 

                                                           

 

 


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