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

Posted by Bill Harshman on

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

influence with steady

As an i (Influence) style, you thrive on Enthusiasm, Action, and Collaboration.  To you, others with the S (Steady) style may appear:

  • Supportive
  • Patient
  • Accommodating
  • Even-tempered
  • Humble
  • Tactful

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.  The S has a people-oriented and accepting PRIORITY which is similar to the i.    

As an i style, suppose you work with an S style.  That person seems calm and compliant, and is always patient and eager to help.  As an i style, you make bold decisions and you may find the S to be overly cautious.  The S style is more concerned with including everyone and less interested than is the i with recognition.

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 unique descriptors between 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 previous DiSC® assessment revealed that our two interacting individuals are i style and S 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.  Proximity is your placement to the neighboring style.  So, in our example, upon closer examination, we actually have an iD and an SC, respectively.  We refer to these 2-letter results as “blended styles”. 

iD style:  We know that the “pure” i style expresses enthusiasm, taking action, and encouraging collaboration.  However, the closer proximity to the D quadrant shows up as more focused on getting results and at the same time farther away from the people-oriented, accepting, and warm side of our original PRIORITY continuum.

SC styleWe know that the “pure” S style provides support, maintains stability, and enjoys collaboration.  However, the closer proximity to the C quadrant shows up as attaining consistent, accurate outcomes and effective solutions.  They may seem overly analytical at times (for a “pure” S style).

HUMOR:  An i with a S 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.  I sooooo want to hear about your cats.  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.  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.” 

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

As an i style, I hope this humorous scenario helps provide more insight into your style AND/OR the S 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 i, people with a S style may seem soft-spoken, trusting, indecisive, and unassertive.  By having a slightly deeper understanding about this nature of the S style, the i 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, and teamwork.

 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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