MBTI versus DISC – Smackdown!

We’ve been looking at the different types of assessments you might use and most recently have discussed MBTI and DISC.  While appearing similar, these assessments do have some important differences that you must be aware of before choosing between them.

  • DISC focuses on how a person behaves in and responds to a perceived environment, while MBTI determines a person’s emotional and intellectual preferences when approaching their environment.
  • DISC measures the intensity of the reaction, while MBTI measures how strongly one method of interacting is preferred over another.
  • MBTI assumes that the individual will respond the same way, regardless of their environment, while DISC refers to the response of an individual’s emotional reaction in a specific environment and assumes that depending on the environment, that behavior will change.
    • DISC looks at behavioral preferences, and the foundational assumption of the instrument is that an individual’s behavioral preference can change depending on context.  MBTI, by contrast, assesses an individual’s fundamental, innate orientation—how one is wired, so to speak.

We at Brighter Strategies like both – the value of MBTI is to understand how you are hard-wired, what your preferences are, and how to harness those preferences to achieve success. DISC looks at behavior in the workplace. While your MBTI doesn’t change (much/usually) your DISC score does. We think the MBTI is good for group dynamics of teams that know each other well where DISC is better suited for groups that are either not teams or are teams that don’t know each other that well.

As always, the right assessment depends on your needs, your context, and the desired outcome you are looking for.  In our next blog we will continue to explore other assessment options.  Do you have a favorite thus far?


One thought on “MBTI versus DISC – Smackdown!

  1. It’s great to see a comparison of DiSC and MBTI. And I agree both assessments can be of great value to an organization. Some other points about the pros of DiSC compared to MBTI are DiSC provides a common language for better communication; it is more intuitive and works well when you have limited time. DiSC also provides great follow-up with the Everything DiSC Comparison reports.

    And new research shows your DiSC Profile stays consistent with situations and over different ages. See a recent article written by Inscape Publishing’s research manager about age and your style. http://blog.everythingdisc.com/471/disc-styles-age/#more-471

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