DiSC Types as Explorers

One thing you’ll quickly learn as an rp intern is the importance of DiSC profiles in the redpepper office. If you aren’t a personality test-fiend like me, the DiSC is a personality assessment that defines your workplace habits: your strengths, what motivates you, how you like to communicate, and areas of growth (if you’re curious, you can take a short free version here). And more importantly, DiSC profiles also tell you exactly how your fellow coworkers like to work for maximum productivity. There are four types: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness; and each person’s profile is one trait or a combination of two. (Example: I am a DC, so my primary trait is dominance, and secondary is conscientiousness). However, it’s not a one size fits all equation, most people display elements of all the styles depending on the situation.

This super useful diagnostic tool is an important part of redpepper’s culture that I partially attribute to redpepper’s harmony within the office (other contributing factors: the abundance of pups frolicking around, unlimited high-quality coffee, and also the fact that rp is a collection of super intelligent, driven, and kind humans). To give you a better sense of the DiSC types in alignment with our explorer archetype intern class theme, here are the four different DiSC types as famous explorers!

D: Dominance

D types are natural-born leaders of the pack. They are direct, strong-willed, driven, determined, and self-confident. Dominance types drive high-level work at a quick pace, and value action, immediate results, personal freedom, and rising to meet a new challenge.

  • Strengths: loves a challenge, takes action, drives results, self-starter, decisive.
  • Areas of growth: work on cultivating patience, sensitivity, and focusing more on the details.
  • What motivates a D: new challenges, competition, and success.
  • When communicating with a D: they prefer to keep chit chat to a minimum and stay focused on the task at hand. Speak confidently, be brief, clear, and to the point.

The D type as an explorer is: Reinhold Messner!

Messner is a perfect example of the D type because he clearly loves a challenge – he climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8,000 meter mountains (affectionately known as the “death zone” mountains) and then because that wasn’t enough, solo-climbed Mt. Everest (29,029 feet) without oxygen and was the first person to reach the summit alone. The infamous mountaineer explorer has accomplished these feats due to classic D type qualities: Messner was highly driven, self-motivated, and results-oriented (the man is so determined that he lost six toes in a climb. Yeah). Though most D types aren’t living the same extreme lifestyle, Messner’s strong will and love of a challenge represent Dominance DiSC types all around.

I: Influence

I types are the people you will find in the center of the party (or really any social event, even a dull Monday morning meeting). They are magnetic, enthusiastic, social animals, and love shaping their environment through influencing others. They strive to be recognized and valued in their social circles.

  • Strengths: warm, trusting, optimistic, social, creative, enthusiastic.
  • Areas of growth: work on follow through, organization, and staying focused.
  • What motivates an I: relationships, social recognition, and group activities.
  • When communicating with an I: be engaging, spend some time chatting before focusing on the task at hand, and speak positively. Show interest in what they’re saying and don’t focus too much on the details.

The I type as an explorer is: Jacques Cousteau!

Cousteau, modern day undersea ocean explorer, represents the I type due to his insanely influential work in a number of areas: he was a naval officer, underwater explorer, photographer, conservationist, filmmaker, author, researcher, and inventor of the Aqua-Lung. Cousteau has left a huge impact in a number of different creative spaces spaces and changed the world by capturing the public’s imagination. Clearly, his creativity in many areas and enthusiasm for his work greatly influenced the world around him, which is exactly what makes I types tick.

S: Steadiness

S types are the members of your team that you can always count on to come through. They’re friendly, warm, and loyal (not unlike Stella, our resident golden retriever in the office). Their predictability and understanding natures establish peace and harmony in offices everywhere. S types enjoy working with others to accomplish a goal together, and highly value loyalty and dependability in others.

  • Strengths: loyal, team player, steady, understanding, predictable, friendly.
  • Areas of growth: work on embracing change, letting go of grudges, and establishing priorities.
  • What motivates an S: loyalty, security, and dependability.
  • When communicating with an S: give them time to think and react to what you are saying. Go slow and explain in detail. Focus on building trust and maintaining security, especially for the people close to them.

The S type as an explorer is: Sacagawea!

Sacagawea is a perfect example of an S in action. She was the ultimate team player as she led two helpless men (Lewis and Clark) across the US to explore the Louisiana Territory. They truly could not have done it without Sacagawea’s steady guidance and team-player mindset. She guided them thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific and helped establish some friendly bonds between Native Americans and settlers. Sacagawea’s dependability, loyalty, and warm guidance characterizes the very best of the Steadiness type.

C: Conscientiousness

C’s are the deep thinkers and data scientists of the group. They love logic, precision, being analytical, systems, and knowledge. They work methodically and thoroughly in all their work. Conscientious types are our detail and data-minded team members that keep the rest of us in shape, on track, and focused on accuracy.

  • Strengths: analytical, conscientious, fact-finder, precise, even-tempered, thorough.
  • Areas of growth: letting go of boundaries, focusing on the big picture instead of the details, standing your ground.
  • What motivates a C: logic, high quality work, getting the details right.
  • When communicating with a C: answer all of their questions and give them time to process. Carefully explain using data and logic-backed facts. Work through the details with them and provide information ahead of time in writing.

The C type as an explorer is: Neil Armstrong!

The first American space explorer is a perfect personification of the C type. The guy was an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, and astronaut (oh, and he had the casual accomplishment of being the first man on the moon). His affinity for data (quantum physics anyone?) and detail-focus work style (because the details are pretty important when you are traveling in SPACE) make Neil an (inter)stellar example of the Conscientious DiSC type.

So how do explorers, personality tests, and interning at redpepper all relate you might ask?

Personal growth is a huge part of being an intern at redpepper. You will learn so so much - even if you tried to resist it (not that you would ever do that). You’ll learn practical on-the-job knowledge within your chosen department, get an up close and personal view of crazy busy/crazy exciting agency life, and probably most importantly: you will also be actively encouraged to be the best version of yourself. Inspiration to grow is in virtually every aspect of redpepper life, from alignment shares about mindfulness, from the company-wide #topic-growth and #inspiration Slack channels, from Tim the CEO’s book recommendations, and from multiple daily conversations around the office. Inspiration and encouragement to grow personally and professionally are ingrained within every element of rp life, which is a huge reason why we all love it here so much.

And this is where the DiSC comes in. This tool isn’t intended to label people or put them in boxes. Its real purpose is to help people identify their strengths, their passions, and areas that they can grow in. It wants to help you be better – improve at what you already own and identify areas that could be even better. The assessment also benefits the people you work with by providing them with a road map of how to work best with you, which benefits not only you but also your coworkers and your entire organization. The DiSC is an incredible tool for professional development, if you approach it as a learning manual rather than a label. The DiSC can help aid your personal development by identifying where you can grow and what you already excel at. And as our fearless leader Tim once said, “To be a star, one must know thyself.”


Rachel Perry, rp Marketing intern, Cedar Rapids, IA