Whitepaper: Interpersonal Skills Training Comparison

SOCIAL STYLE Rated More Effective than Other Training Programs


Colorado State University researchers conducted a study comparing three popular interpersonal skills training programs. While participants enjoyed all of the trainings, they found SOCIAL STYLE® was easier to learn and apply than MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) and DiSC. The results of the study are published in this whitepaper and were originally published in the Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture. The authors of the article and leaders of the research team were Kurt Kraiger, Ph.D., Colorado State University and Stephen Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., University of the Rockies. The article is titled An Empirical evaluation of three popular training programs to improve interpersonal skills.

The study compares three popular interpersonal skills training programs for measuring and understanding one’s interpersonal style: Inscape’s DiSC model, TRACOM Group’s SOCIAL STYLE Model, and Consulting Psychologist Press‘s Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The facilitators found that while participants in each program held positive reactions to training; participants in the SOCIAL STYLE training scored significantly higher than did participants in the DiSC and MBTI programs on a learning measure; and participants in the SOCIAL STYLE training scored significantly higher than did participants in the DiSC and MBTI programs on two measures of participants’ skill at analyzing and responding to the interpersonal behaviors of others.

Colorado State University conducted a research study in conjunction with Regis Learning Solutions that compared the effectiveness of interpersonal skills training programs from three popular providers: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® model from CPP, Inc., the DiSC® model from Inscape Publishing, and the SOCIAL STYLE™ Model from the TRACOM™ Group.

Outcomes of the Study

This study evaluated the training programs on three measures:

1 – Reactions
Participants of all three programs perceived their training positively.

2 – Learning
SOCIAL STYLE program participants retained 34% more information than MBTI participants and 18% more than DiSC participants. The results demonstrate that the SOCIAL STYLE Model and program materials are easier to grasp and make more intuitive sense to the learners than MBTI or DiSC.

3 – Behavior
SOCIAL STYLE program participants were able to correctly identify style or type of others almost four times better than MBTI participants and almost 1.5 times better than DiSC participants.
SOCIAL STYLE participants scored considerably higher in their ability to appropriately work with other types or styles.

The results indicate that employees who participated in SOCIAL STYLE training were far better able to put what they learned into practice than those who took either DiSC or MBTI training.