DISC Natural vs. Adapted Style in Salesmen – What’s the Difference Between Them?

When reading DISC profiles do you understand the difference between Natural and Adapted Styles?

Many managers using DISC are confused about this important area. Yet, it is critical, if you are going to get the real benefit from using DISC,  that you understand the difference.

Start with Natural Style

Advanced Hiring System clients always start with the Natural Style graph. It is the one on the right..


A good definition of Natural Style is “how the applicant sees themselves deep down inside — the natural applicant.”

Natural Style tends to be fixed and less subject to change. Most of us “are who we are.”

If Natural Style changes, it is as a result of a dramatic life event. (Birth of a child, death of a loved one, marriage, etc.)

Next, Go to the Adapted Style

The definition of the Adapted Style is “how the applicant sees themselves needing to behave in order to do the job effectively.”

If an applicant has been in sales, their Adapted Style reflects how they think good salespeople behave. If they have been in sales we weigh this more heavily than if the applicant has had no sales experience.

In other words, applicants who have not been in sales, who have weak looking Adapted Style graphs, can still be considered.

With inexperienced applicants we look more carefully at the Natural Style. Particularly, when looking at recent graduates, focus on Natural Style (because Adapted Style is not based on any “life experience.”)

Double Your Sales Hiring Success Rate

Our data shows that using DISC properly gets you a significant improvement in sales hiring effectiveness – when used correctly.

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