DiSC® - Interaction Between Styles: C (Conscientious) with i (Influence)

Posted by William Harshman on

In today’s blog, we look at someone with the primary style of C (Conscientious) interacting with an individual whose primary style is I (Influence).

C with i   C with i2

As a C (Conscientious) style, you thrive on ensuring accuracy, maintaining stability, and challenging assumptions.  The C style is motivated by opportunities to use expertise or gain knowledge combined with attention to quality.  To you, others with the i (Influence) style may appear:

  • Outgoing
  • Social
  • Optimistic
  • High-spirited
  • Lively
  • Talkative

The i is motivated by social recognition, group activities, and friendly relationships.  NOTE:  We see from the overlaid PACE & PRIORITY grid above, the i has a faster & more outspoken PACE versus the cautious & reflective PACE of the C.  Also, the C and the i are on opposite ends of the horizontal PRIORITY continuum.  This might help you visualize (and be open to) the similarities and differences between the C and the i and what increased awareness might be helpful for successful interactions.

As a C, suppose you work with an i.  To you, that i style seems outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited, and lively.  The i is usually upbeat and excited about new possibilities and meeting new people.  However, with your C focus on ensuring accuracy, maintaining stability, and challenging assumptions, you may become frustrated by the i’s abbreviated thinking process, organization level, and expressiveness.

To the C, the i may seem more concerned with expressing enthusiasm, taking action, and encouraging collaboration.  While the C is focused precision and analysis, the i is charming, sociable, and talkative.

This has been our understanding with our long-time, 4-quadrant model.  Let’s take one more step toward deeper, broader understanding of DiSC® and interactions.  As you see from the Everything DiSC® model above, where you lie within a given DiSC® quadrant provides further, unique descriptors for the 12 styles.  Mind you, these 12 styles are built from the original 4-quadrant model with which you are probably familiar.  So, it’s not like learning a new language.  You are simply adding some new “words” to your existing vocabulary. 

Interaction example:  Our DiSC® assessment revealed that our two interacting individuals are the C and the i style, respectively.  As we learned in a previous blog, your actual, specific Everything DiSC® style is determined by two aspects; inclination and proximity.  Simply put, inclination is your location near or away from the center of the circular model.  You might think of this as intensity.  The closer to the center, the less intense (slight) and the closer to the outer circle, the higher the intensity (strong).  Proximity is your placement to the neighboring style.  So, in our example, upon closer examination, let’s assume that we actually have a (strong) CD with close proximity to neighboring D style and a (strong) i (with equal proximity to the neighboring D and S quadrants.  We refer to this 2-letter result as “blended styles”.  So, in short, we have “strong” CD and a “strong” i.

Strong CD:  We know that the “pure” C style will probably take a logical, objective approach to ensure work accuracy.  You tend to be quite systematic, and may enjoy creating standards that help establish or improve efficiency.  Your desire to maintain control and stability may cause you to become annoyed when people don’t adhere to accepted rules and guidelines.  The C style tends to be quite cautious, wants to avoid mistakes, and you may be particularly hard on yourself for being wrong.  Our strong CD has a dot closer to the outside edge which means they will have to expend MORE energy to stretch to behaviors outside their style.  People with the CD style may come across as skeptical and determined in their focus on making sure things get done correctly. Most likely, they won’t accept ideas without asking a lot of questions, and they like to uncover problems that could affect results.

Strong i:  We know that the “pure” i style puts a high priority on enthusiasm and tend to maintain an upbeat attitude. They get excited about new possibilities, and they may be very expressive when communicating their ideas.  In addition, they are action-oriented, so they often focus on making quick progress toward exciting solutions. Since they tend to be fast-paced, they may be eager to get going without spending a lot of time considering the consequences.

DiSC® Humor:  CD with i Road Trip:

The CD gets in the car and says (without a greeting), “I brought the map . . . hardcopy AND digital.  My GPS continually recalculates if any issues arise so we can keep moving.  Buckle up.  No riders without seat belts.  No need to stop on the way since we HAVE to be there by 2PM and no detours planned.  I’d prefer to not have the radio on as it’s distracting.  I’ll just check the map one more time before we begin.  Shut the door.  We’re already 2 minutes late on departure time.”

The i thinks quietly . . . “I can’t wait to stop for lunch.  Oh, I should have packed something to eat.  Darn!.  No problem.  We can play the alphabet game.  This will be fun.” 

As a C, I hope this humorous exchange provides more insight into your style AND/OR the “i’s” in your world and provides a broader understanding as to “what makes for successful interaction.” 

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, please send an email to info@traininglocation.com.  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.

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