Suits DISC styles

“Suits” gained a degree of popularity and won several awards during its original run from 2011-2019 on the USA Network. Now the show is experiencing a resurgence in popularity since Netflix began streaming the series in 2023. 

The show revolves around the legal world and the characters’ interactions within a high-stakes law firm. The characters in the show exhibit a variety of personality traits and communication styles, which if we look closely, can help us better understand the DISC frameworks. 

Here’s how some of the main characters from “Suits” might align with DISC styles:

Dominant-Harvey Specter:

Harvey is confident, assertive, and tends to take charge in high-pressure situations. He’s focused on winning and being in control, often to a fault. Harvey boasts about his legal “record” throughout the series run. In fact, on several occasions, Harvey is depicted as having a blind spot due to his hyper-competitiveness and unwillingness to admit defeat. Harvey’s other chief aspiration is to be a named partner at the law firm, which reflects his desire for recognition and authority.

Inspiring-Donna Paulsen:

Harvey’s secretary, Donna, typifies the “I” style in the DISC framework. It’s Donna’s ability to connect with others emotionally and use her charm to handle various situations that showcases this trait (and makes her such a valuable asset in an organization heavily populated with “D” personalities). 

Despite being Harvey’s personal secretary, Donna”s sociability and ability to connect with everyone in the firm endears her to everyone in the firm. Donna can also talk people into various actions or decisions by appealing to their emotions and desires. Donna is also viewed as a confidente, counselor and general source of information by fellow assistants, associates, and other partners. Most telling is Harvey’s deference to her skills and how well the two work together. 

Supportive-Louis Litt:

While Louis spends much of the show angling for recognition and wanting to be perceived as a “D,” his true “self” always shows out. In spite of all his posturing, Louis ultimately values stability and seeks harmony in his relationships. While many of his decisions and actions trigger conflict, it’s the respect and acceptance of his peers (and even the associates) that’s ultimately important to him. And when it comes to the really important cases, Louis is usually the one Harvey and Jessica (the managing partner) calls “off the bench” to save the day.

Cautious- Mike Ross:

Given Mike’s secret, it’s understandable that he might be a little cautious, but you might say the trait “suits” Mike perfectly. Mike’s attention to detail, analytical thinking, and dedication to his work highlight his cautious traits.

Mike is known for his exceptional memory and ability to retain vast amounts of information. He pays close attention to details, which serves him well in his role as a legal associate, where precision and accuracy are crucial. Mike also has a strong analytical mind and is capable of thinking critically to solve complex problems. He often uses his intelligence to find creative solutions to challenging legal issues.

All of this make’s Mike the ideal associate to work alongside Harvey. 

Each of us has our own unique communication style, our natural preference for how we prefer to communicate. This phenomenon is expressed through the DISC model. In this series of posts, we take characters from popular culture (television, movies, history, etc.) and analyze where we think they fall on the DISC spectrum. We hope these posts will help you better understand the DISC model. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Feel free to share and comment on our social media channels with your own interpretations as well as suggestions for other pop culture icons we can look at through the DISC lens.

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