Understanding how behavioral preferences and priorities influence personal and workplace effectiveness of the ‘i’ Style.
By Mike Strong, Director/Founder.
In the previous article, the DiSC style of “D” or dominant was highlighted. If you are not a “D”, we gave suggestions for how to effectively engage with such people. Now we turn to another DiSC style known as “i” for being influential”. Maybe you will find that your style is closely related to an “i”. Great! We need someone like you on the team! If you are another personality, then we will provide you some tips on how to manage that relationship.
Foundational Principles of Applying Personality Profiles
Before we dig deeper let me remind you of some foundational principles we discussed in previous articles. They apply to all the profiles and personality types that will be discussed.
- Every person is a mixture of all the four different styles, they usually have strong preferences for 1-2 of the ways they relate to others.
- There are no innately good or bad styles. Each has its positive side and limitations.
- There is no one style that is superior to others. Some styles may be more suitable for certain situations or work conditions.
- An individual’s experiences, education, professional training, maturity, culture and self-awareness affect the way they express their styles.
Given these principle, let’s focus on the ‘i’ behavioral style. Such personalities assume that they are more powerful than the environment, yet perceive the environment as favorable in most situations they find themselves.
The ‘i’ – Influence Style
The key to understanding the ‘i’ style personality is understanding their basic assumptions. They generally assume that the environment is not only favorable but is suitable to serve their purposes and agenda. This leads them to freely immerse themselves and enjoy the people and the environment. So they accept everything and everyone around them and believe that the same will be reciprocated towards them.
For the ‘i’ style, enjoying the environment and exploring its goodness to the fullest is their purpose. For them people should be given the opportunity to enjoy the kind of bliss they do in anywhere they find themselves. So they always invite people to join them in their pleasant world. In their mind, the environment does need to change so their focus is to influence people positively and enjoy whatever comes their way whether it be a team meeting, project or completing a manual task. They tend to see all the good things in their situation and work to reshape other’s perception of the environment for the better to let them enjoy it too. Their way of shaping the environment is through influencing or persuading others.
These assumptions causes the ‘i’ to be upbeat and accepting of people and things. They are usually interested in making sure people around them are excited as they are about anything, anyone or any place. Their positive charge is very contagious and draws people into higher levels of enthusiasm. They believe their best contribution is to create a relaxed and cheerful space where everyone is comfortable and happy! They invest their time and efforts to ensure people view them and the environment in the most positive light possible.
Characteristics of the ‘i’ – Influence Style
The most prominent characteristics of the ‘I’ style is their bold, assertive, accepting and active nature. That approach has a significant impact on the people around them. We could describe them as relational catalysts because their style changes the atmosphere in the room when they arrive. Being an optimistic and cheerful person creates a comfortable environment where relationships are solidified and enhanced. The “i’s” are often free – spirited, bubbly and accommodating. You will notice that they generally talk in a fast paced manner and are active in word and deed. Anyone that has the ‘i’ style of behavior seeks a stellar social reputation so they can continue to influence and persuade others. Because of their outgoing nature, they are able to gain trust and respect from many different types of people that creates an air of confidence around them.
The ‘I’s are high – level, big picture personalities and masters at building alignment. Rallying people around a vision and figuring out how their individual efforts contribute to the big picture is second nature to the ‘I’ styles. They achieve results through people. Details and planning are not a strong suit. For them, if they can energize everybody, all the details will fall into place and the team will succeed: “where there is a happy people, everything is possible.”
Another characteristics of the ‘I’ style is their gregarious and expressive nature. They are very expressive and quick to offer praise and complement others. While they thrive on meeting new people and interacting with them, the actual task they are meant to accomplish may suffer. y may put so much focus on the people that the task will be They are also usually enthusiastic. As the name suggests, the influence styles are very persuasive, charismatic and charming. They are not shy to reveal what they feel, so they become the most successful communicators among the 4 DiSC styles.
The tendencies and environmental preferences of the ‘i’ Style
If any of the above characteristics or the behavioral tendencies below are observable in an individual, such a person is most likely an ‘i’
An ‘i’ style personality is observed when they:
- Continuously contact people to make positive impressions.
- Seek opportunities for recognition, and public affirmation.
- Enjoy group activities within and outside of their job. They entertain people and create a motivational environment.
- Clearly articulate complex issues.
- Look at the bright side of every situation and try to encourage others to do the same.
- Seek freedom from details, regulations and supervision.
- Embrace opportunities to counsel and/or coach others.
The above observations are associated with a high level ‘i’ personality. Not all ‘i’ personalities perform at the highest level, as there are varying degrees of strengths practiced by individuals. One who has medium strength will exhibit these characteristics to a lesser degree and may rely on other personality characteristics from another ‘DiSC’ profile
Strengths and Limitations of the ‘i’ Style
Like everyone else, the ‘i’s like to succeed, so when they find something they do well (like charming, motivating, acting quickly, generating enthusiasm and excitement or persuading others), they often find as many opportunities as possible to use those abilities. They soon come to discover the strengths that are associated with their style, how these assets help them succeed, and they capitalize on them.
As a case example, let me introduce “Ian” (or Iantha) who is an ‘i’ that loves people, persuading and motivating them to be optimistic and act quickly towards a set goal. His gregarious, enthusiastic, positive and persuasive nature makes it easy for him to garner different and diverse set of people and rally them around a vision. People gravitate towards him because he is warm and makes them feel more important than they would have ever imagined. Ian becomes aware that he can leverage the strength of his personality to achieve good results and advance his social status so he begins using this strategy more frequently.
However, Ian sometimes notices that relying too much on this personality trait can actually hinder his progress over time (The overuse of one strength can become a limitation). For instance, Ian’s socialization and impulsive tendency and optimism may cause him to overlook the problems that others see. Ian could lose credibility if he glosses over difficult problems. Followers become less affected by his emotional appeals and tire of his over optimistic approach. Because Ian has a tendency to jump from one task to the other rather than deal with all the details, getting things completed to the final step is a challenge. Ian will need to learn to adjust his ways of working and engaging with others if he wants to be more effective and consistently successful.
Managing a person like Ian
Quite possibly you may know a person like Ian who is an important person in your work or home life. To manage that relationship, we have some “Strong Advice” to help you succeed with Valentine:
- When engaging with them, be friendly and casual. Try to reduce formal intensity and create a relaxed and warm atmosphere around you.
- Remember that people like Ian are very expressive. So give them opportunities to talk about their ideas.
- Feel free to provide suggestions on actions they could take. Make it clear your expectations clear to them. And do it a relaxed casual atmosphere.
- To make a convincing presentation, provide testimonials of people responding to your proposal/product/service. Since “I’s” are very people focused, they will be impressed by hearing how other people have responded.
- As their manager or boss, it is important to allow time for personal connection with them before proceeding with business.
- When you need to convey an important message, provide details in writing, not in your discussion with them.
- For motivation, explain benefits, especially concerning recognition. Showing them how the outcome of their actions enhances their social standing is an effective way to motivate them.
Did you recognize yourself in the ‘i’ style? If not, the next articles will define the ‘S’ and “C” styles. Or you can review the previous article on the ‘D’ style on the Strong Advice website. The purpose of this article is to help you in learning about others and how best to relate to them at the workplace. To learn more, we invite you to obtain your personalized DiSC profile report and schedule a session of personal coaching on how to apply these valuable insights about yourself (signup for our Coaching Solutions). There is also the option of registering for an upcoming workshop on our website (www.strongadvice.ae) where you can learn from other participants too. These “Strong Advice” sessions will assist you in unlocking the power of self-awareness and give you the keys to more effectively engage with others!
A Strong Advice staff member will respond promptly to any comments that you leave. We welcome your thoughts!
Mike Strong is the thought champion behind STRONG ADVICE. He servces as the Director of Leadership Development and has spent 30 years in the Middle East and currently… Read More