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Fundamentals of Sales Management: For the Newly Appointed Sales Manager by Matthew Schwartz

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The Origins of DISC Theory

In 1928, the psychologist Dr. William M. Marston wrote a book called Emotions of Normal People. The title creates an immediate question: What is “normal”? According to Marston, “normal” did not refer to typical psychological processes, societal norms, or mores. Instead, “normal” referred to an individual’s own environment. For example, if you are in your ordinary or typical environment for a particular situation, Marston considers you to be “normal.” In his book he identified what he called “primary emotions,” of which he highlighted four and he talked about their associated behaviors.

DISC theory got its start from some of Marston’s work. The theory contends that four patterns in people emerge due to a combination ...

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