DISC Feel like you’re surrounded by idiots?

Feel like you’re surrounded by idiots?

By Melissa

Photo by Darren Halstead

A far away friend recently recommended the book, Surrounded by Idiots, during one of our overdue catch-ups, which included a chat about workplace relationships and what has helped her understand her colleagues better. Written by Thomas Erikson, the book aims to help you understand how people function and why we often struggle to connect with them by assessing their personalities using the DISC method.

DISC method? I hadn’t heard of it either.

Originally proposed by William Moulton Marston in 1928, the DISC model is based on four patterns of behaviour – (D)ominance, (I)nfluence, (S)teadiness and (C)onscientiousness. (Side note: Marston was not only Harvard educated with a PhD in Psychology, he also created an early version of the polygraph machine and created the Wonder Woman character. *Cough* overachiever.)

We use each of the four patterns of behaviour on a daily basis. One behaviour isn’t preferable to another – the model simply guides you in identifying which pattern you are most drawn to, i.e. your comfort zone (I do love being here). Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to understand and interact with others more effectively.

We Pomegranites tried one of the free online assessments to see what we could learn about each other and used the below insights to chat through our results:

The four behaviour patterns


Direct, driven, assertive, independent, adventurous and decisive

  • Temperament: confident, takes charge, can be opinionated or blunt, it’s clear where they stand on an issue.
  • Communication: efficient, views things broadly and isn’t focussed on the details, doesn’t like small talk.


Enthusiastic, charming, engaging, creative and approachable

  • Temperament: outgoing, energetic, interacts positively, shares thoughts and feelings, excellent communication skills, good leader.
  • Communication: expressive, enjoys social conversation in personal and professional settings, loves to collaborate, shies away from on-the-spot decision making.


Stable, supportive, patient and methodical

  • Temperament: calm, kind, thoughtful, positive attitude, can be open to new people but needs time to adapt, works steadily, resists change and conflict.
  • Communication: soft spoken, can come across as formal (particularly in writing), builds trust through meaningful conversation, responds well to friendly language and a warm approach.


Analytical, accurate, structured, cautious and purposeful

  • Temperament: reserved, independent, makes connections through common interests and in-depth discussions, good at problem-solving.
  • Communication: objective, can appear pessimistic due to analytical nature, somewhat distant until prompted by like-mindedness, avoids small talk.

Go on, try one of the available assessments with your team (those in the Steadiness zone might resist at first), and use the above insights as a guide in starting the conversation around the different personality types. You never know, you might find it helps you to raise self-awareness and improves teamwork.