The GRIP model

The GRIP model:
An application of the DISC personality profiling system
By Andy Pan

More often than not, the GRIP model has been used as part of a debrief session after the conduct of activities such as Blindfold Squares and Key Punch. Incidentally, this same model, which proposes four elements every successful team should possess or work on, can be used as an apt illustration of the DISC personality profiling system. How? First of all let us review the characteristics of the four personality styles.

1) D (Direct and Decisive)

. Strong-Willed
Goal – oriented
Challenges status quo


2) I (Influencing)

. Charismatic
Good Sense of Humor
People – oriented

3) S (Steady and Stable)

. Diplomatic
Seeks stability

4) C (Compliant)

. Schedule – oriented
Of high standards

And now, a brief description of the GRIP model.

G oal

1) What the team wants to achieve
The big picture
Long or short term goals
Minor or major goals
Realistic but yet challenging
6) Quantifiable

R oles
1) Determination of individual responsibilities in the team
2) Efficient allocation of resources so as to avoid duplication

I nterpersonal relations / I nteraction
1) Positive and professional relationships among team members
Establishment of trust and inter–dependence

P rocess
1) Step-by-step procedures en-route to meeting the goal(s)
Development of key indicators that can measure if the set goal(s) can still be met
The detailed plan

I guess, by now, some of us would have had an “eureka” moment.

I did.

So how can the GRIP model represent and illustrate the four DISC personality styles?


Naturally, a high D person would be most comfortable with goal-setting since Ds are, generally, goal and task-oriented. They are visionaries who have the ability to determine the team’s goals with ease. Thus, you would trust Ds to decide and inspire a shared vision with the team.

What about a high I person? You’ve guessed it! Interpersonal relations! Being a warm, friendly and people-oriented person, an I would, most likely, trigger any relationship-building activity. The last thing an I would want in a team is a lack of interaction among members.

A high S individual pursues security and stability. Thus, with a determination of roles and responsibilities, a S would feel more secure when he knows that he is playing an important role in the team. Responsibilities form an integral part of a S’s work life. In fact, you can trust a S in the team to perform efficiently and responsibly in any role assigned.

Last but not least, a high C individual would be concerned with the details of the plan – the processes and procedures that need to be put in place in order to achieve the team’s goal(s). Cs complement Ds as they work out the finer points to support the overall goal. In fact, being conscientious and schedule-oriented, Cs would excel in creating and following processes as they leave no stone unturned.

Hence, it goes to reinforce the fact that all the personality styles are unique and complementary. It is no coincidence that the GRIP framework is needed to ensure team success and at the same time, able to allow a natural fit for each of the personality styles in each of its element. No style is stronger or weaker than another, because each personality leverages on the strength and complements the weakness of another. An ideal team would be one with a good mix of all the DISC personality styles, working on all the GRIP elements in sync with each of their styles. Like they say….no individual is perfect but as a team we can be perfect.