7 Factors DISC Cannot Measure

Oct 28, 2015 | Categories: behaviors

People Dynamics Cannot be Fully Understood Through One Tool

There’s an old adage in business that states, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

So, imagine the reactions of fellow colleagues when you tell them you can actually measure the how of their actions and decision-making.

Knowledge of self is the biggest catalyst of self-transformation, and it’s through DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Compliance) that we can measure human activity through the prism of how.

Because DISC only measures how we prefer to act and communicate with others, as well as our decision-making capabilities, it has limitations in accurately painting a complete picture of someone.

In fact, DISC cannot accurately measure someone's:


  • Emotional intelligence (EQ): TTI’s validated EQ assessment measures the ability to sense and understand other people’s emotions in facilitating higher levels of collaboration and productivity.
  • Overall intelligence: While IQ tests exist to measure overall intelligence, these tests can be limiting in understanding what value one brings to the workplace. More to the point, DISC provides no framework to measure someone’s overall intelligence.

  • Driving Forces: While human behavior is observable, our driving forces — the “why” behind our decision-making processes — are not. TTI has a validated assessment that measures a person’s drivers based on Eduard Spranger’s model of human motivation. 

  • Education and training: While many employers use DISC during their selection process, it cannot measure a candidate’s credentials. Instead, employers must solicit a candidate’s resume and cover letter to understand these accomplishments. 

  • Experience: Employers typically base their hiring decisions on a candidate’s past experience, when in actuality it comes down to much more. As our own Bill J. Bonnstetter famously says: “If experience was the predictor of success, then there would be a lot more successful people in the world.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case — and DISC does not measure a person’s experience. 

  • Soft skills: Applied in conjunction with a job benchmark, an individual’s soft skills, or competencies, ensure they are properly matched to the job. Likewise, DISC does not measure someone’s amassing of workplace skills. TTI has as assessment that measures 25 job-related skills.

  • Acumen: You guessed it — DISC cannot glean insights or measure someone’s worldview/acumen. TTI uses a validated assessment, based on axiology, to gain a greater understanding of one’s dimensional balance.


As consultants, coaches and trainers, it’s important to recognize people dynamics cannot be fully understood through the prism of one tool.

While DISC can measure many things — and provide incredible insight into behavior styles — it’s important to pair it with other assessments to understand the whole person.

Visit TTIDISC.com to learn more about what DISC measures and how it can create high performing teams.

 download a free ebook on understanding behavioral styles through DISC

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Zach Colick

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