How does Facet5 compare with DISC?

Article author
Rachel Scriven
  • Updated


Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash


Practitioners have asked us this one a few times, often when having conversations with new clients who are currently using DISC or have experienced it in the past. 

Here are some elements you might find helpful if needing to have a similar conversation or prep for a pitch.


Ask don't tell

When it comes to why someone should use Facet5 over DISC -  always speak from your personal experience first and foremost. Be honest about why YOU like using Facet5 personally and be curious,  rather than dismissive, about the why someone is interested in a different tool. What is their experience? 

Beyond that, 4 key differentiators are…

1. Facet5 is a Big 5 tool

The Big 5 is how most psychologists measure and test personality. This is based on decades of research about how people describe one another and themselves, suggesting there are 5 core traits of personality. 

Why 5? Any more and it becomes too complex to apply. Any less and you're definitely missing something or bundling 2 Factors in together. Facet5 is based on statistical factor analysis, while according to Wikipedia, a totally unbiased source, “DISC is a pseudo-scientific behaviour self-assessment tool. …. and has not been shown to have any scientific validity".

2. We are trait based

Facet5 doesn’t put people into neat personality “types" which put you in a box at one end or another, because that's not the reality of how personalities show up. Instead everyone is along a continuum with most people in the middle. So it won't tell you that you are an extravert or an introvert —  Facet5 places you along a scale from 1-10, with subfactor scores to add greater nuance and understanding. 

Being trait based is also ESSENTIAL for self-awareness, as it lets you easily see and understand your personality in relation to others. This is really key. Just having a label or ‘type’ tells you something about you, but doesn't show your position along a spectrum, and how close or far you are to others you work with or people in general. A big big part of healthy self awareness is not just knowing yourself but how others see you through the eyes of their personality.

People deserve to know the value of trait based tools. If they don't use Facet5, beg them to at least swap to a trait based tool if nothing else!  

3. We use Emotionality as a lens to understand the rest of the Profile

Emotionality is positioned very uniquely in Facet5, and for those with especially high or low scores it's often the “a-ha moment” -  since it plays a crucial role in how the rest of the profile shows up. Even if someone is midrange, it can help them understand others better. Facet5 is unique in how we position and apply Emotionality, as a lens through which to see the rest of the profile. That's a key differentiator when comparing us with any other tool.

4. Facet5 is a measure of personality – not an “assessment”

We strive to be development focused, with strengths, growth and potential as the core purpose of measuring personality, not assessment. This is also why we use natural language, so people have a common ground framework for talking about their personality together. It’s not about experts judging and extrapolating. It’s about equipping individuals with ways to describe themselves, what they bring, what they might struggle with, and what they need to be at their best.

My own personal experience …

DISC lands really well for people where 1 colour dominates, because it gives them a simple clarity they can quickly identify with. We all like it when we feel belonging to a club or tribe that resonates with us, and types do this really well. But what I love about Facet5 is that it recognises a dominant style at both ends of the scale, not just high. A “Low” Energy (1-2) is just as strong a preference and style as High (9-10). Only talking about personality in terms of dominance loses this really key point. With Facet5 I can really embrace and value the strengths of my Low Will and Low Energy, because it shows up as being consultative, calm and reflective. It's not just a "lack of" colour which I could feel with a tool like DISC.

Ask other competitors

Naturally, when you're singing the merits and joys of Facet5, you might seem a little biased. That's why it's also great to share perspectives from our worthy rivals, who also have strong views on DISC and similar assessments out there. 

Here is one from Gallup with some useful comparison:

And another from Hogan:

We couldn't agree more.

Since DISC isn’t overseen by one company or person, anyone could create a DISC-based assessment and call it legitimate.


Ultimately it really depends who is behind the tool, as well as the tool itself. Especially where a tool is “Free”, we would caution heavily about their motives and what they do with your data to make their money.



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