This entry is part of a series on the DiSC profile. If you’d like to see the whole series, you can do a search for DiSC on this blog.
The i’s great strength is influencing people and motivating groups. They’re the ones that work the entire reoom, building as many relationships as they can and giving focused attention to individuals. They will focus in on one person for a short time, and that person is the most important person in the world… until they move on to the next person. Often funny and personable, an i is great to have at parties. If you need someone to help you get people on board with a plan, i’s are great at that. They love the opportunity to influence others and the social recognition that brings, especially in group settings. They’re especially attuned to the overall emotional climate.
With the many strengths of i’s come some liabilities, especially if someone is a pure i and doesn’t have a D, S, or C that’s above midline. (Often with the DiSC, people have a primary and a secondary letter, creating a combination.) Pure i’s have trouble concentrating on a task, appearing to have ADD even if they don’t. They’re looking for the next exciting thing, so focused on the fun that they don’t want to slow down to look at the facts. i’s are glass-half-full kind of people, and details bore them. However, there are some details that can be fatal if overlooked. i’s need help staying focuses and seeking out the facts. They need help refraining from making quick, emotional decisions, but rather finding a solid rationale for decisions.
So if you’re an i, how do you interact with other types? When working with D’s, keep in mind that they’re looking for results. There was once a high i church planter who was leading a training for a bunch of D church planters. He started with a relational game, which the D’s tolerated. (D’s usually recognize that some of that stuff is important, even if we don’t like it.) The trainer then followed with a second relational game. Now there were verbal protests, with some Ds sitting out and not participating. Believe it or not, the i trainer then went into a third relational game, at which point some church planters started packing up their things to go home, saying, “If you’re going to waste our time, we might as well not be here.” If you’re an i working with D’s, you’ve got to get right to the point: show how the relational game is going to help them plant their churches more effectively.
When you’re working with an S, realize that your tendency to want to meet a lot of people gives the S the impression that you’re a mile wide and an inch deep. Also recognize that your quickness bothers the S because they take more time to process things than you do. In both cases, slow down and build the relationship. With another i, keep in mind that your desire for visibility and influence can cause tension if it interferes with their desire to influence. Ask yourself whether the stage is large enough for two spotlights, and make sure they have enough space to do what they do well. What drives C’s crazy is your lack of attention to details and pure impulsiveness. Pay attention to the details as much as you can, and validate their importance. Slow down enough to address a C’s questions.
As you work with each of these people, consider how you can address the tensions they feel and give them what they need in order to move forward. That’s the best way to get them on board and create a positive working environment for everyone.