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Enneagram vs Myers-Briggs (MBTI) vs DISC Personality Assessments - HRDQ

Enneagram vs Myers-Briggs (MBTI) vs DISC Personality Assessments

Personality assessments are fantastic tools for increasing self-awareness, identifying individual strengths and weaknesses, and understanding how we interact with one another. The Enneagram, Myers-Briggs (MBTI), and DISC personality assessments are the three most well-known and accepted personality assessments today, but it’s important to know how they vary from one another. They each have a different purpose and use unique measures that guide their results.

The HRDQ Style Suite is a collection of personality work style assessments and training tools that shed light on key aspects of organizational life. Explore the Style Suite today!

What is the Enneagram Personality Assessment?

The Enneagram personality assessment determines personality type by identifying an individual’s primary motivator through one of three core values:

  • The head
  • The heart
  • The mind

There are nine categorizations of personalities, and each contains a different mixture of the use of one’s head, heart, and mind. The personality types are described holistically, providing you a general overview as to their defining characteristics.

What the Enneagram ultimately tells us is which of these motivators or core values shape our worldview, guide our behaviors, and influence how we interact with those around us. The theory is that the primary core values we’ve learned through nurture—not nature—explain why we act the way we do.

What is the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Personality Assessment?

The Myers-Briggs personality assessment determines personality type by identifying an individual’s preferences in four categories:

  • How they interact with the world. People either lean towards Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E)
  • How they process information. People either lean towards Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
  • How they make decisions. People either lean towards Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  • How they require structure. People either lean towards Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

There are sixteen categorizations of personality, each containing a different lettering combination that indicates their preferences (e.g. ENFJ, ISTJ). The results are formatted as an analytical review of each individual letter you receive, showing how your preferences work from multiple perspectives and in a variety of situations.

The Myers-Briggs personality assessment boils personalities down to a matter of our preferences. It does not measure traits, ability, or character. Ultimately, the results describe a person’s nature. Hence, the theory suggests that it is a person’s nature that guides our interactions and perception of the world.

What is the DISC Personality Assessment?

The DISC personality assessment determines personality type by identifying an individual’s behavioral expression of emotions, which falls into four main styles:

  • Dominance (D). Those who embody this style focus on bottom-line results, are motivated by competition, and exude confidence.
  • Influence (I). Those who embody this style are open individuals that value relationships and emphasize persuading and influencing others.
  • Steadiness (S). Those who embody this style are very dependable individuals that value sincerity and cooperation.
  • Conscientiousness (C). Those who embody this style focus largely on competency, accuracy, quality, and expertise.

The results will reveal where you fall in relation to the four styles of behavioral expression, including which is most prominent in your personality. Every individual is a combination of each style. In general, the styles represent the fundamental differences between individuals.

The goal of the DISC personality assessment is to outline the ways that you are most likely to react in certain situations. The theory suggests that the way we respond to the world is a combination of nature and nurture. We are fundamentally wired to react in a certain way, but we adjust and adapt to our environment as needed.

Also note that this particular test was designed for use specifically within organizations and businesses.

Summarizing the Differences

As you can see, each test varies in terms of:

  • What it uses to measure personality
  • What the results actually reveal
  • The underlying theories on nature vs nature that serve as the basis for the assessment

Understanding these variations is crucial for finding the answers you’re looking for by taking a personality assessment.

More Personality Assessments from HRDQ

We hope you understand the difference between the Enneagram, Myers-Briggs (MBTI), and DISC personality assessments. If you’re looking for personality assessment tools that can help improve your team, explore our full collection in the HRDQ Style Suite. Whether you’d like to focus on specific soft skills or work to improve your team as a whole, our virtual library has everything you need to allow your team members to thrive in the workplace.

Explore the HRDQ Style Suite

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.