The four DISC factors provide a useful way of summarising a profile. For a full interpretation of a profile shape, DISC provides a useful technique for quickly extracting even more sophisticated information from a graph. This technique is known as 'sub-trait analysis'.
'Sub-traits' describe the relationships between different pairs of factors within a single profile graph. Because there are twelve possible pairs of DISC factors (D and I, D and S, D and C, and so on), there are twelve corresponding sub-traits. Each of these pairs of factors is given a meaningful name to help relate it to some particular style of behaviour.
As an example, take the sub-trait 'Efficiency', which describes the relationship between Dominance and Influence. Sub-traits are typically described in shorthand with a slash ('/') sign, so 'D/I' (pronounced 'D over I') describes the sub-trait of Efficiency. In this guide, we have represented this relationship graphically, as shown in the example on the left.
To measure the amount of a sub-trait in a particular profile, look at the relationship between the two factors it describes. In the example shown on the left, Dominance is very high, while Influence is low. This means that this profile contains high levels of Efficiency (we say 'D is over I'). If the opposite were the case (high Influence and low Dominance, or 'I over D') Efficiency would be very low in the profile. In this case, the profile would describe a 'Friendly' individual (see descriptions below).
As we said, there are twelve possible combinations of factors in a DISC graph, each with its own attendant sub-trait. Click the name of any of the sub-traits in the list below for a description of the type of behaviour to which it relates. Remember that any given profile can contain more than one sub-trait - as well as Efficiency, for example, the illustrated profile above also contains 'Self-motivation' (D/S) and 'Independence' (D/C).
Sub-traits with high Dominance
Sub-traits with high Influence
Sub-traits with high Steadiness
Sub-traits with high Compliance