Tony Robbins DISC Test: How does it compare to Wiley’s Everything DiSC?

Tony Robbins is one of the most known self-help gurus. Through his work, many businesses leaders and individuals have learned about DISC. He has promoted DISC as a way to help anyone grow their career.

So, we had to find out for ourselves how Tony Robbins’ DISC Test compares to the leading DISC based assessment, Everything DiSC®.

Bar Graphs and Circle Graphs: What's the difference?

The most noticeable difference between Everything DiSC and Tony Robbins’ DISC how a person receives their style. Tony Robbins DISC shows an individual their style based on a bar graph. By comparison, Everything DiSC shows a person their style on a circle graph

Tony Robbins DISC

Tony Robbins DiSC Test

Tony Robbins DISC shows users two bar graphs: Adapted Style and Natural Style

Everything DiSC

Everything DiSC Map

Everything DiSC shows a person their DiSC Style as a dot on a circle graph:

So, how can one DISC Test show someone’s DISC Style as two bar graphs and another as a dot on a graph?

The answer (and mis-understanding) lies in the history of DISC.

While the theory of DISC was formulated in the 1920s by William Moulton Marston, it wouldn’t be until the 1970s that first DISC assessment was created to measure a person’s behavior. A researcher, named John Geir at the University of Minnesota, took Marston’s theory and used to as a basis for his behavioral assessment.

Geier’s paper and pencil DISC test was called the Personal Profile System (a version of this test is still sold today!). The test asked participants 28 forced-choice questions, and provided three different graphs to show a person their Personality Style.

Graph I was considered a person’s Public Self (Adapted Style). Graph II was thought to be a person’s Natural Self (Natural Style). Graph III was a combination of Graph I and II or a person’s ‘Overall DiSC Style‘.

The interpretation at the time was Graph I showed the world who we wanted to be, and Graph II was who we actually were (potentially because it showed our less-desirable characteristics).

Geier’s Personal Profile System was very successful.

Many other publishing companies began to copy the model and create their own DISC assessments that uses the two-graph model, including, Tony Robbins’ DISC Test.

Geier’s company went through a number of names and ownerships, and it is now owned by John Wiley & Sons (the publisher of Everything DiSC).

DiSC Classic 3-Graphs

In 2009, Wiley moved away from the 2-graph model entirely and they now only invest their resources in the Everything DiSC circular model. As they made this transition, Wiley wanted to determine if there was any validity to the 2-graph model and if we had two distinct personalities. To better understand the two-graphs, Wiley conducted two separate studies.

In both studies, they asked participants to complete a DiSC Classic 2.0 assessment which provided a person with a standard line-graph DISC Style which is similar to what is used on Tony Robbins DISC assessment. Then, the participants responded to a series of 20 adjectives and rate how much those adjectives describe themselves.

In the first study, participants were asked to rate themselves based on how they felt others saw them. These results were compared to their Graph I on their DiSC Classic 2.0 report.

If Graph I was our public self, the self assigned adjectives should match to the same adjectives on their DiSC Classic Graph I report.

The opposite, however, was found. The words didn’t match at all.

What do Graphs 1 & 2 Really Mean?

Read the Full Study

In the second study, the respondents were asked to recall a recent time when they were under a lot of stress and pressure at work. They were asked to rate how well the list of adjectives described them in those moments.

This part of the study measured to see what we believed our ‘true’ or natural self when we are under pressure.

Again, the participants’ self-rated adjectives didn’t match with their DiSC Classic 2.0 Graph II scale scores.

Based on this study, DiSC Theory doesn’t support that we have ‘two identities’ that are determined by a particular situation.

DiSC as a Learning System

Everything DiSC was designed to be used specifically in training that matches the application that is helping to teach.

The Everything DiSC Workplace Profile first tests participants on eight DiSC scales versus the standard four. A learner receives one of the following DiSC Personality Types: D, iD/Di, i, iS/Si, S, SC/CS, C, CD/DC. Then, the respondent is finds out their Workplace Priorities. 

With this report, learners can go through a standardize training that brings their reports to life. The training materials are available for organizations to use on their own. The power of these materials, is that is gets individuals and teams to practice using DiSC.

After all, a theory is only as useful when it is applied.

Surprisingly, Tony Robbins’ DISC assessment wasn’t created by the Tony Robbins’ organization.

The assessment is published by Assessments 24×7. Tony Robbins’ DiSC test also includes the Motivators assessment which is based off the research of Dr. Eduard Spranger and Gordon Allport. While these two assessments will help a person identify their behavioral styles, an assessment alone won’t help us in how we approach our work or relationships.

Marston’s goal, when he developed D.I.S.C. theory was to understand if a person could be identified based on their behavior.

Today, Everything DiSC uses that same theory as a way for people to understand those they work with, do business with, or simply interact with. 

If you are looking to simply identify your DiSC style, Tony Robbins DISC is one place to start. However, if you are looking to learn and improve your daily relationships Everything DiSC will provide those insights.