This lesson continues our increased understanding of not just the four quadrants with which we are already familiar, rather an understanding how changing proximity (distance to a neighboring style) within a particular quadrant yields a result which identifies a separate, unique DiSC® style. Today’s focus is on the iS (Influence / Steady) style.
Where did this come from?
As the DiSC® has evolved and become totally computer based, the algorithms showed a much more robust capability to plot your “dot” very specifically within one of the four quadrants. (Our dot simply reminds us of our home base; where we feel most comfortable; our comfy t-shirt.) Research showed that the analysis and weighting of the results placed the same styles in various places within a given quadrant. Simply put, the result was different degrees of the same style and slightly differing preferences and priorities.
What’s in this for the learner?
This lesson will be helpful if you haven’t taken the DiSC®, don’t know your DiSC® style, OR if you are a style other than iS.
Note: Any style with two letters is called a “combined” style. Depending on the sequencing of the “combined” style letters, the first style is more prominent than the second style (eg. In the case of iS style, the i is the prominent style). As such, in the case of the “combined” iS style, much of the criteria (priorities, qualities, etc.) are reflective of the i (Influence) quadrant where it resides.
Quick summary of the iS style
Let’s start with what we know. We already know a couple basics about the iS style that reside within the Influence quadrant. This quadrant - including the iS style - has a PACE of Faster & Outspoken, combined with an AGREEABLENESS quotient of Accepting & Warm (people-focused). And, the brief list of (observable behaviors) descriptors still includes: Outgoing, Enthusiastic, Optimistic, High-spirited, & Lively. From our model, we also know that the iS style priorities differ slightly from the i and include Enthusiasm, Collaboration, & Support. As we proceed in this lesson, you’ll notice one or more of these priorities identified in our iS candidate. Refer to our blog titled, “EVERYTHING DiSC WORKPLACE® PROFILE - The 8 Priorities“ to understand more about the priorities associated with the DiSC® styles, specifically the iS.
The thrust of this lesson is around the priorities and qualities that tie those aforementioned descriptors together. Let’s begin by examining the iS priorities.
Priorities (listed around the circumference of the model) are the primary areas where people focus their energy depending on their DiSC® style. Everyone has at least three priorities; some have four to five. Having more than three is no better or worse. I’m sharing priorities from the Everything DiSC Workplace® Profile in this example. The Everything DiSC Workplace® priorities are unique to you and based on your results. Priorities simply help us understand how our style might be reflected in motivations and behaviors given real-life work scenarios. The important thing to remember is that when things get foggy (such as when stress or uncertainty appear) we seek the priorities associated with our style.
Priorities of the iS Style: (which are shared with the adjacent Si style)
- Enthusiasm – The iS appears charming and fun because of their high energy. They use their excitement to hook others and to create a lively environment. Some other styles just can’t handle their high-spirited approach.
- Collaboration – The iS works to team up with others as much as possible. They want everyone to feel included, and will spend time and energy getting people involved. Certain other styles are also eager to turn tasks into group projects.
- Support – The iS tends to be flexible and wants what is best for the group. They show concern for others struggles and offer unconditional support. Some other styles may think the iS approach is too softhearted.
Scales & Qualities
Next, we consider the qualities of the iS style. These are like core needs mentioned in previous articles, however are LESS unconscious and MORE at the surface near conscious, observable behavior. The qualities vary around the model and are represented in scales. The iS scale qualities are Positivity, Good Will, & Empathy.
Note: Due to the pairings of styles to form a particular scale, you will notice that these dual-letter designations are shared with their neighboring dual-letter mirror. For example, the iS/Si styles are physically paired together, and as such, they share style qualities. Same is true of the CS/SC proximity, the CD/DC proximity, and the Di/iD proximity. The result is eight DiSC® scales instead of 12 as expected. Thus, we have 12 DiSC® styles contained within 8 DiSC® scales. Though the iS and Si styles are separate and unique, you can consider the iS/Si styles as ONE scale when it comes to qualities. Let’s review the qualities of the iS/Si which include Positivity, Good Will, & Empathy.
Qualities of the iS/Si Styles:
- If you ask the iS, they will tell you they believe that life is and should be pleasant, and that they tend to assume the best of the world.
- Even during stress, they are confident that it’s only temporary. They are open and willing to “go with the flow.” They would rather bend than fight.
- They prefer the path of least resistance and tend to avoid tasks which threaten their positive outlook.
- Good Will
- The iS wants everyone to get along and thrive in a positive, harmonious environment where there is a sense of belonging and connection.
- Believing the best about people, they tend to give others the benefit of the doubt; to take what they say at face value. They won’t question sincerity and don’t guard their pride.
- The iS is driven to understand others, and as such are attentive to people’s feelings. Their ability to connect with people is very important in their life. They are about making sure others are happy and comfortable.
- They tend to feel uneasy when others are struggling, so will avoid being the source of any irritability or discomfort. They’ll overlook poor behavior rather than confront someone or provide honest feedback. This aspect can make it tough for the iS style to hold others accountable.
Where they differ
Up until now, I’ve referred to the neighboring iS/Si styles interchangeably in terms of the overlap of their priorities and their qualities, respectively. HOWEVER, it is important to remember that they ARE two different DiSC® styles. The unique placement of those dots on the DiSC® model is determined by the computer algorithms. I want to share some clarifying / identifying information to help make this distinction clear. The table shows that the two styles share only Priorities and Qualities, however differ in terms of their other criteria as determined where their respective dots fell within different quadrants on the DiSC model.
Outgoing, Enthusiastic, Optimistic, High-spirited, Lively
Even-tempered, Accommodating, Patient, Humble, Tactful
Enthusiasm, Collaboration, Support
Positivity, Good Will, Empathy
Acceptance, close relationships
Judges others by:
Ability to see good in others, warmth
Receptivity to others, approachability
Influences others by:
Showing empathy, being patient
Patience with others, indirect approaches
Kindness, personal connections
Takes criticism personally, avoids conflict
Avoids conflict, tries to make everyone happy
Pressuring others, being disliked
Being forced to pressure others, facing aggression
Would increase effectiveness through:
Acknowledging others’ flaws, confronting problems
Saying “no” if necessary, addressing issues
To some, these differences may seem very subtle, however lumping these two unique styles together as one is inappropriate and unfair. One of our Cornerstone Principles shows us that “Each and all 12 DiSC® styles are unique and equally valuable.”
So, that was a lot of new, detailed, complex information. What do I glean from that and how do I apply meaning to my daily life?
Consider this. There is an implication for leadership. The iS style get 360 feedback from their managers, direct reports, and peers which points to the lowest ratings when it comes to:
- speaking up about problems
- telling people when some sort of course is needed
Conversely, the iS style got their highest ratings when it comes to:
- being approachable
- maintaining solid, information relationships with everyone
- building cohesion, familiarity, & trust
Let’s also consider some of the assumptions operating within people having the iS style. If you are an iS, see which ones fit for you:
- It is awful to have someone upset with me
- I can show my value by helping people
- When I see others in need, I must help them
- I am responsible for other people’s happiness
- I must be accepted
- It is intolerable to have someone mad at me
The “So what?” is for the iS to consider how they would increase their effectiveness. At a glance, the iS is into friendship and working with others. This can come across as indirect and avoiding if overused. This lesson can help the iS to increase effectiveness by accepting and understanding their own style, then incorporating what they know about other styles toward improved communication.
I hope this overview increased your awareness, knowledge, and familiarity of DiSC®, especially the iS style. Whether your needs include Onboarding, Employee Engagement, Culture Change, Conflict Management, Team Building, or simply Communication, DiSC® is the research-based, proven, leading training solution. We have several Everything DiSC® assessments to help you craft individual and team solutions.
Our next lesson will discuss the Si (Steady/Influence) style.
As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DiSC® is understanding your and others’ styles and then using that knowledge for improved interactions.
If you would like a live, complimentary webinar (online) for your team or organization, or if you would like a PDF sample of any of the assessments listed above, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to purchase the DiSC®, visit DiSC® Classic or Everything DiSC® at our website. And, check out our products from The Ken Blanchard Companies as well.