The Everything DiSC® Model has 12 styles, this blog focuses on “i” or influential style which is characterized as lively, enthusiastic. The two other “I” styles within the “i” segment of the Everything DiSC® Circumflex are iD and iS.
As a DiSC® Certified Coach for over ten years, I know how understanding this often highly interactive style can vastly improve related professional and personal relationships.
This post provides actionable tips on how to effectively collaborate, motivate, and build trust with the outgoing “i” style and shows you how to adapt your communication approach to align with their priorities like collaboration, positivity, and freedom of expression.
The following quote from Benjamin Franklin encapsulates the “i” personality spirit:
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
The DiSC “i” personality thrives on personal connection. They learn and communicate best when actively engaged and able to express ideas openly while avoiding constraints.
With their often bubbly, passionate nature, this style may seem like the easiest personality to work with; however, their disorganized, emotion-driven, and talkative tendencies may frustrate more reserved colleagues.
If you struggle to connect with the DiSC ‘i” personality, you’re not alone. A study by the American Psychological Association found that more introverted personality types (S, C, and sometimes D) often have difficulty interacting with extroverted, outbound “i” style communicators.
The good news is that you Incorporate the following tips into your communication approach and build better relationships with the “i”:
- Ask thoughtful questions to draw out their ideas and stories.
- Maintain a warm, casual tone.
- Allow time for relationship building.
- Keep conversations positive and focused.
- Provide encouragement and affirmation.
- Focus on possibilities rather than negatives.
With more understanding of what makes the “i” tick, you can collaborate in ways that feel more natural for both of you. Let’s explore each area further.
Ask Open-Ended Questions:
As extroverts, the DiSC “i” personality style thinks out loud. They unpack emotions and ideas through talking. This means you can get far more out of conversations by asking open-ended questions than sitting back and listening.
Incorporate prompts like:
- What inspired this idea?
- How do you envision us rolling this out?
- What’s your experience been with similar projects?
- How could we make this better?
Do not interrupt. Let them fully share stories and thoughts before responding to better understand their perspective while also making them feel heard.
Studies show that asking open-ended questions results in more meaningful conversations. Participants perceive the asker as warmer and more engaged. So, by listening more to the “i” style, you build rapport as well as gather useful insights.
Maintain a Warm, Casual Tone: With their upbeat attitude and high energy, “i” styles thrive in a warm, casual environment. They dislike rigid formalities and want conversations to feel natural and friendly.
Avoid being overly serious, technical, or hierarchical. Keep things light when appropriate with humor and enthusiasm. Ask about their weekend plans, family activities, or hobbies to find common ground at a personal level.
You may find small talk pointless, but it lays the groundwork for better trust with the “i” style. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that superficial small talk fosters deeper connections. Exchanging pleasantries before diving into business helps align you both interpersonally.
Allow Time for Relationship Building
While your style may drive toward efficiency and skip straight to tasks, the “i” needs personal connection first. Rushing into agendas and planning without taking time to bond will leave them feeling overlooked.
Make time for enthusiasm sharing and digressions that don’t directly involve core work. Avoid interrupting these tangents. While random, they also reveal useful context about motivations and personality.
You may worry about wasted time, but relationship-building leads to greater engagement and innovation. A study by Queens University found that socializing improved collaboration, morale, and knowledge sharing among coworkers.
Keep Conversations Positive and On Track
With their tendency to go off-topic, you may struggle to keep the “i” focused. Reign things back in diplomatically to ensure forward progress.
If they go on a tangent say, “That’s an interesting point. It reminds me of…” then redirect back to the key topic. Or politely interject with, “I want to hear more about that later. For now, let’s focus on…”
You’ll also need to brace for rapid topic shifting. Don’t get frustrated. Gently guide them through critical issues before following their lead to breezier subjects.
Above all, keep conversations positive. “i” styles dislike criticism, condescension or anything harshly negative. Frame suggestions as constructive improvements spoken with encouragement. Let them come to conclusions themselves through questions not directives.
Provide Encouragement and Affirmation
The “i” style craves encouragement and affirmation. They want to know their efforts are recognized and appreciated. This drives them to keep innovating and collaborating.
So make a habit of acknowledging their contributions both publicly and privately. Say things like:
“Thanks for bringing that creative idea to the table. It led to a great solution.”
“You did a phenomenal job engaging that client. Our partnership is stronger because of you.”
“I loved your presentation. Your energy and passion came through.”
A study published in the International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management found that positive feedback increased engagement, motivation, and performance. So recognize their talents sincerely and often.
Focus on Possibilities Over Negatives
Since the “i” is optimistic by nature; they dislike dwelling on problems or criticisms. They want to brainstorm exciting possibilities and the latest ideas.
So instead of pouring over what went wrong, refocus on potentials. Say things like “What can we do next time to prevent that issue?” or “What’s an innovative direction we could take things in the future?”
Channel their visionary side to develop solutions. Ask them directly, “If anything were possible, how would you ideally want this to turn out?” Then nurture those concepts with encouragement.
Adjusting your communication style takes effort. Being more inclusive of the “i” perspectives creates stronger teams, innovation, and rapport.
As you interact with the “i” style more, remember that they:
- Want to connect personally before diving into tasks.
- Thrive on encouragement and verbal affirmation.
- Prefer brainstorming big-picture ideas rather than specific details.
- Dislike criticism, rigidness, and impersonal conversations.
Keeping these priorities in mind helps “i” relationships to flourish.
Please let me know about your experiences connecting across personality styles in either the comments below or via email. What unique communication challenges have you faced? Are there strategies I’ve missed that have worked for you? Let us keep the conversation going.
At times the outgoing, talkative tendencies of the “I” style may frustrate other personality types. But they bring an infectious enthusiasm that every team needs when channeled positively.
By asking thoughtful questions, allowing time to build rapport, and focusing conversations on possibilities, you can learn from their passions while also aligning better interpersonally.
Adjusting your communication approach takes patience and practice. But the payoff is immense. You gain new insights and visions. Morale and engagement rise. Collaborations become more frictionless and fulfilling for everyone involved.
Most importantly, you expand your capacity to connect across the full spectrum of personalities. Those open, mutually understanding relationships make work – and life – far richer and more enjoyable for all.