E-DISC Theory and History

One of the top three companies in the field today, Extended DISC International has spread to over 50 countries, with an annual growth rate of 20-50%. The Extended DISC System has been translated into 55 languages, including Te Reo and was used by over a million people in 2013.

Extended DISC has a basic assumption that there are no better or worse profiles.  There are just different profiles and we all have the ability to make ourselves better by identifying the strengths and opportunities in our profiles and by recognising our personalities’ strengths and weaknesses, by accepting their existence and by searching for new ways to capitalise on them.

Extended DISC® theory describes the person’s natural reaction mode or behavioural style in different situations. It gives the person a better ability to understand one’s own and others’ behaviour, to adjust one’s own behaviour to better suit the situation, to avoid unnecessary problems in communication and to point one’s life in the direction where he or she better succeeds and enjoys it most.

The Extended DISC System is designed to provide users with practical action plans to enhance individual, team and organisational performance. It provides customised and powerful reports on individuals, teams and organisations.

Extended DISC can be compared to a road map. If we do not know where we are, it is very difficult to reach our destination, simply knowing our current location is not much better if we do not have any idea in which direction to proceed. Maps provide us with a frame of reference to make intelligent decisions as to where we need to go and in the same way Extended DISC is a directional report that helps you to make plans and set goals to get you where you need to be.

Extended DISC provides us a framework to help us to make the necessary adjustments at the individual, team and organisational levels to achieve our objectives. The framework is easy to learn, to use, and it enhances performance.

The Extended DISC® System and Theory are based on certain graphical elements that make the different assessments work together. The basic elements are:

The Four Quadrant (4Q) Model
Extended DISC® Diamond
Extended DISC® Profiles
Extended DISC® Percentages

Link to Tool Related Theories

The Extended DISC® System is based on a psychological theory developed in the 1920’s. Carl G Jung created the foundations for the theory in his book The Psychological Types (Die Psychologische Typen). His ideas were based on defining two behavioural axes, sensation-intuition and thinking-feeling, and the four main behavioural traits that they composed. The work of Jung was further developed by William Moulton-Marston who defined a four dimensional behavioural map.

As a result, the four quadrant thinking of human behaviour was developed. It is still popular and is used in many management, sales and leadership training techniques. A few variations of the theory also exist that use, for example, eight or sixteen categories of behavioural styles. The over simplification of behaviour and its classifications have proven to be a weakness of these systems.

The original DISC reference framework was developed at the end of the 1940’s and the beginning of the 1950’s to eliminate these problems. It uses regression analysis to separate the combined four basic behavioural styles from each other and makes them into independent and even interdependent behavioural styles. This also makes it possible to have a framework of millions of human reaction modes that can be transformed by using different techniques into a smaller, more usable quantity.

The DISC profile has proven to be a very clear way of describing and analysing an individual’s natural reaction mode to the stimuli in the environment. The theory does not have any good/bad categories, making it a behavioural inventory, not a test that one can pass or fail.

Extended DISC was founded in 1994 by Jukka Sappinen, an MBA from the Helsinki School of Economics who spent his early professional years consulting clients in the use of psychological tools. A profound understanding of the gap between existing tools and corporate needs enabled Jukka to develop what his clients were looking for: an instrument that combines a range of valuable analyses, forming a simple, unified system that can be used to generate understandable, integrated information on an individual, team, or entire organisation.

Extended DISC System is not affiliated with any DISC assessment tools that have previously been available. It is an independent system and is only available through Extended DISC® International. The Extended DISC® System is the most advanced behavioural assessment system currently available.