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Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.

(FROMM, 1947)

The Maxwell Method of DISC Report aims to help individuals identify their personal strengths and capitalize on their talents to make them more effective individuals. In identifying one’s own and others’ innate abilities, attributes, weaknesses, and fears, the report helps people communicate better and work together more effectively. The report is a result of a strategic alliance between The John Maxwell Team and the Institute of Motivational Living (IML), the publisher of the DISC Personality System. The Maxwell Method DISC Report and other Maxwell Method DISC reports use the components of the DISC Personality System and the DISC methodology. The concept of the DISC is based on William Marston’s theories, which postulate that people basically possess one or more of four different personality styles:

  • Dominance – this describes someone who is direct, decisive, a problem-solver, a risk-taker and a self- starter

  • Influence – this describes someone who is enthusiastic, trusting, optimistic, persuasive, talkative, impulsive and emotional

  • Steadiness – this describes someone who is a good listener, team player, possessive, steady, predictable, understanding and friendly

  • Compliance – this describes someone who is accurate, analytical, conscientious, careful, precise, meticulous and systematic.

    Research has shown that behavioral characteristics can be grouped together in these four major divisions called personality styles. People with similar styles tend to exhibit behaviors in ways common to that style. Most individuals have a primary and secondary style but share these four styles in varying degrees of intensity. To date, IML has assessed more than a million persons using the DISC and has trained more than 450,000 using this instrument.

    This supplement is designed to accompany the MAXWELL METHOD DISC CERTIFICATION TRAINING: Introduction to Behavioral Analysis training and provides background information supporting the use of the DISC Personality instrument in a variety of settings. In line with William Marston’s and IML’s emphasis on accessibility and application, this manual is written in a format that is easy to read and understand, providing practical information on using the DISC as an assessment, training and personal development tool.

  • Uses of the Assessment

    The Maxwell Method DISC Report is a quick self-report personality instrument that takes less than 10 minutes to complete. It consists of 24 questions, each with four descriptions. A person chooses which is ‘Most’ and which is ‘Least’ descriptive of themselves. Instructions are provided on how to self-score the instrument. Graphs are used to plot the results and show the profile of the person. The Introduction to Behavioral Analysis provides more useful information on how to interpret the results of the assessment.

    The Maxwell Method DISC Report can be used in organizational development, leadership development, training, team building, career planning, executive coaching, and conflict resolution. It can also be used, with prudence, in hiring situations. Given that hiring involves making a decision about people, there are a number of precautions that need to be taken, including:

    • that there is an understanding of the limitations of the assessment and what the assessment measures,

    • that the DISC profile is used in conjunction with other considerations of ability, qualifications, experience,

      reference checks, interviews and other suitable measures of fit with the job

    • that the DISC profile is used to generate hypotheses about the person that are checked via a behavioral


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