Many of you have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or DISC personality assessments.
After taking one or both you may be wondering which is better.
I’d like to suggest there may be a different way to approach both assessments. Rather than ask, “which is better” ask, “what do each have to offer?”
Here’s my high level review of what each has to offer.
What They Identify
DISC identifies predictable actions and personality traits within human behavior while the MBTI identifies personal preferences in human perception and judgement. So they both measure characteristics of your personality but they approach it in slightly different ways.
DISC measures self-reported observable behavior – or how you would act in a particular situation. The MBTI measures your core personality – how you are naturally wired regardless of your environment or circumstances.
The difference is subtle, but it is an important difference.
How user friendly is each assessment? Both can be taken manually or online so taking them is pretty easy. They both provide a multipage .pdf report that covers your specific personality.
Generally the DISC results are easier to comprehend right away, but they don’t get into the details of your personality. Whereas the MBTI results rely on having a small amount of knowledge of the theory the instrument is based on. Also it can be more difficult to remember your personality type six months later if you haven’t been reviewing it.
According to the MBTI manual, about 75% of people agree with their MBTI results.
About 2/3 of people come out the same if they retake the assessment. Of those people 93% have 3 out of the 4 personality dimensions the same. DISC is considered a very reliable and valid instrument as well. Although I don’t have a specific percentage, a very high percentage of people receive the same results if they take it more than once. For those of you who might be really into this stuff you can view the DISC validity and reliability report here.
Each of the assessment reports can provide additional information beyond just your personality results. DISC can provide you with a description of your general style and give it a name, such as Advisor, Developer, Persuader, etc. You can also get a list of historical and/or Biblical people who shared your personality.
The DISC report can provide you with a communication guide for your personality, both how you can communicate better and how others can communicate better with you. It can also include sections on how to navigate the workplace, your strengths in leadership, and types of careers your personality may enjoy.
The MBTI has multiple types of reports that can be provided that will be based on your personality type results. You can receive a basic report with just your results, a career report, communication style report, conflict style report, decision making style report, and a stress management report. Each of the reports has a different focus but they are all based on your personality type results.
The career report provides you with your personality type, your preferred work tasks, preferred work environment, and action steps you can take to enhance your career.
Also, this report provides information about how your type affects your career exploration and career development. It also provides a list about the types of jobs people with this type have reported enjoying and ranks them by their reported popularity among your type.
I really like both assessments. I like the DISC assessment because it’s easy to understand right away and you’re more likely to remember which style was your dominant style. I like the MBTI for it’s thorough explanation of the complexity of human personality. I find that each assessment can compliment the other and if possible I recommend taking both to get a full picture of your personality.
However, if I were forced to choose just one instrument to recommend I would choose the MBTI. I feel that it does a better job of providing a more detailed view of the complexity of our personalities.
I’ve experienced the transforming effect of the MBTI myself as well as observed others take action based on their results to make their careers and lives better.
Ultimately that’s the goal regardless of the assessment you use.
Question: Which one do you like better, the MBTI or DISC? Why?
(If you’re interested in taking the MBTI or DISC you can buy them here.)