DiSC Interaction Between Styles: Steady (S) with Influence (i)

Posted by William Harshman on

In today’s blog, we look at someone with the primary style of S interacting with an individual whose primary style is i.  

S with i

As an S (Steady) style, you thrive on providing support, maintaining stability, and enjoying collaboration.  To you, others with the i (Influence) style may appear:

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

The S is motivated by opportunities to provide support, maintain an orderly environment, and collaborate.  They most likely prefer working in an environment where they are well-liked and can perform their job consistently.  NOTE:  When it comes to PACE and PRIORITY, the S has a reserved, more deliberate PACE dissimilar to that of the i.  (This difference may require what I call a little "stretching" (flex, adapt) from either or both parties.)  The i will probably admire the S’s ability to collaborate.  However, the S has a people-oriented and accepting PRIORITY which is similar to the i.    

As an S style, suppose you work with an i style.  That person seems to know everyone on a first-name basis, and usually has the “latest scoop.”  They are motivated by social recognition, group activities, and friendly relationships.  As an S style, you might find that you admire their spontaneity and flexible approach (collaboration).  However, with your S focus on support, collaboration, and group harmony, you may become frustrated by the i’s potential limitations of impulsiveness, lack of follow-through, and even disorganization.

The S may seem overly concerned with accommodating, avoiding change, and decision-making.  The i tends to be about taking action, fast-paced, and dynamic and may find it difficult to appreciate the S’s desire to be inclusive and seek group harmony over individual accomplishment.

HUMOR:  An S with a i on a Road Trip

The i gets in the car and says, “I’m looking forward to our adventure!  We’ll have a chance to chat and get to know each other better.  OH!  I’ve got some ideas to help you move forward on a couple projects you’re working on.  I can’t wait to share them with you.  A couple might involve changes to the way you’re approaching them.  Oh wait, I forgot my keys.”

The S gets in the car and says, “I’m so glad you invited me.  I’m excited to see the route you’ve planned for our trip. No rush on my part.  I love speed limits.  Oh, and I downloaded several songs to my phone so we won’t have to worry about radio reception.  Just let me know if you’d like some help driving or if you need something to drink or eat from the ice chest.  And, we should probably stop for gas when we get down to half tank . . . just to be safe.  We don’t want any surprises, you know.” 

The i thinks quietly . . . “I can’t wait to stop for lunch.  Oh, guess I should have checked the map AND the gas before we started.  No problem.  This will be fun.” 

As an S style, I hope this humorous scenario helps provide more insight into your style AND/OR the i styles in your world and provides a broader understanding as to “what makes for a successful interaction”.

So what?  Why is this important?  Because to an S, people with a i style may seem naïve, outgoing, talkative, overly social, and overly concerned with being in the spotlight.  By having a slightly deeper understanding about this nature of the i style, the S is better able to acknowledge, respect, and reflect behavior(s) which are more effective, support problem solving, and help deal with tension if/when it arrives.  This has significant implications to leadership, communication, organizational culture, diversity, and teamwork.

What have you learned about interaction with an “i” toward:

Being be more effective?

  • Let them know that you appreciate teamwork as much as they do
  • Speak up when you’re concerned about how plans affect other people
  • Recognize the value of their enthusiasm and high energy

Solving problems?

  • Temper your shared optimism by considering all potential issues
  • Show them that you’re open to creative solutions
  • Share your doubts rather than just “going along with their ideas to make them happy”

Managing tension?

  • Acknowledge everyone’s feelings, but don’t sidestep issues
  • Avoid concealing your own needs, as this can lead to your resentment
  • Let them know that working through the disagreement will improve the relationship

 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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