Responding to the "S" Style - Steady

Posted by Bill Harshman on

Sometimes we are left speechless after interactions with others.  It might be the information being shared; however, it is often the tone of the message that puts us off.  Being familiar with the DISC styles will help you be able to respond and keep communication moving forward, whether in person, by phone, text, or email.  Understanding yourself better is the first step to becoming more effective when working with others.  For illustration’s sake, we will assume the specific style being discussed is that person’s PRIMARY (high) style.  Today’s blog is dedicated to the primary style of “S” or Steady.

In previous blogs, we learned about our TWO basic aspects of the DISC styles:  Pace & Priority.  The Steady (S) style has a moderate / deliberate PACE and tends to be reserved and modest.  Other descriptors might include systematic, accommodating, patient, and stable.  The S’s PRIORITY is people-oriented (versus task-oriented) and prefers stability and cooperation.

Let me share a simple exchange.  A high “S” is approaching an elevator with a few other riders.  The “S” politely lets others step into the elevator first, then discreetly goes to the back of the elevator, finding one remaining space.  That’s the “S” being relaxed, indirect, calm, and people oriented. 

Similar scenario, however, this time the “S” is approaching the closing elevator.  As they calmly approach, the doors now have closed.  The “S” is neither surprised or disappointed.  They patiently press the button for the next elevator.     

Don’t let the simplicity of this scenario fool you.  The same awareness applies to other types of communication (phone, face-to-face, text, or email).

The following are examples of “S” communication and the appropriate response:

  • S: Opens with a personal, sincere greeting.  Even, methodical pace with a friendly, soft-spoken tone.  Response:  Be collaborative and supportive of them maintaining a predictable, orderly environment.  Accept their offer to help out when they can. 
  • S: Handshake is usually solid, and friendly.  They have direct eye contact, however not intense.  They exhibit minimal gestures.  Response:  Mirror the calm, patient, and sincere gesture and look for opportunities to earn their trust.
  • S: Emails (and texts) are noticeably friendly, organized, and productive.  Their message is clear, complete, inclusive, and polite.  Response:  Include acknowledgments, but not overly praising.  S’s appreciate a well-organized response.

Regardless of the communication type, it’s important to understand that S’s prefer stability, support, and collaboration.  They do better without sudden change.  You will serve S’s best by offering acceptance, friendship, and cooperation.

As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DISC is understanding your and others’ styles and then using that knowledge for improved interactions.


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