The I Style profile, also known as Influence or I type, is one of the four basic DISC types that originate from William Marston's DISC Model.
I Styles make up approximately 29% of the worldwide population.
Key characteristics of an I style personality
I personality styles are sociable, optimistic and lively. They are people-oriented, spontaneous, energetic and enthusiastic. I styles tend to be positive and good at influencing others. They are very talkative and like to interact with others. I styles love to meet new people, they are a classic example of 'six degrees of separation' and seem to know everyone. Social acceptance is very important for I-styles – they like to be liked.
I styles are:
Communication of an I Style personality
I styles talk about people and positive subjects. They tend to avoid negative issues and are not always direct in their approach to communication. They are very comfortable sharing how they feel. I styles love to tell stories, often waving their hands in front of you saying 'you'll never believe what happened to me today!' They use a lot of inflection and tonal variation. They pause. They're dramatic in their speech patterns.
I styles usually ask 'who' questions like:
- 'Who else is involved?'
- 'Who else uses this?'
When communicating with I Style individuals, approach them informally. Focus on feelings and emotions, be positive, move quickly, but spend time chatting.
How to work with an I style personality
Meeting with an I Style
I styles love informal meetings over coffee. Approach them casually, and say "hey, can we have a chat?" Meetings should happen in-person when possible, without a rigid plan. When engaging with an I style in a formal meeting, consider using colourful and creative presentations. A visual illustration will help them stay engaged and retain essential information.
Emailing an I Style
Emails should be casual and personal. I styles typically include smiley faces in their emails. Keep to one or two paragraphs and where possible, pick up the phone and call an I style. They much prefer talking rather than communicating via the written word.
Providing an I Style with Feedback
Feedback should be focused a high level and delivered with encouragement. Concentrate on how their work affects their popularity and prestige and how it affects how other people see them. Explain to them how others will view their work positively or negatively.
Delegating to I Styles
Delegate work in an informal way, have a 'chat' about a new project that's coming up and work through it together. Avoid specific step‐by-step instructions. Help them prioritise because they're people-focused, not task‐focused.
Motivating I Styles
I personalities are driven by social recognition, group activities and relationships. They love to be praised, publicly or privately. They fear becoming rejected, so being sidelined on a project can be demotivating for them. Provide lots of positive assurance.
Managing I Styles
I styles prefer upbeat and positive environments. They believe work should be fun, lively, and pleasant, so help them make it accordingly. Give them room to move about and meet new people and provide encouragement.
I Styles like to be around people and are the most likely to struggle with working remotely. Ensure you keep in touch with your I style people with messaging apps such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. Just don't be surprised by the amount of chatter coming through these channels.
I Style Leaders
An I style leader is more informal and social. Informal leaders are great at creating a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for their people. They will often lead through being a friend to their followers. They are a 'people' leader, so they want and need a lot of contact with people.
What does an I style personality contribute to a team?
I styles help main a pleasant atmosphere within the team. They want to find compromises and the positive side of issues. Influencing types are interactive individuals who shake up their environment by bringing others into a working partnership with one another. They know what they want, align everyone together to get it done.
I profile types increase a sense of togetherness and help bring meaning to the work they are completing. I type people want to belong to many groups, or better, doesn't want to be excluded from any team.
What are the strengths of an I type personality?
I styles bring a high level of energy and fun to any situation. They are comfortable in social situations and interact with others openly and honestly. They offer lots of assurance and encouragement when developing others. I styles like to see the best in others and accept their faults.
I personality types formulate creative solutions to problems and facilitate discussion and openness. They become excited by possibilities if others are onboard with their ideas.
These strengths come easily and naturally to I personality types:
- Maintaining a positive atmosphere
- Encourages, motivates and excites
- Lots of people contact
- Keeps up the team spirit
- Takes care of people-relations
What are the potential weaknesses in an I type personality?
I styles can be overly talkative, they tend not to stop and listen when having a conversation. Instead, they are thinking about what to say next. I styles can be very emotional and take things too personally. Influencing types can often be inattentive to details. They tend to over-promise because they are so optimistic and are eager to be popular. Others may perceive I type people as somewhat careless, impulsive and lacking follow-up.
- May over emphasise atmosphere and people
- Doesn't effectively analyse when they are required to concentrate
- May delay the difficult decisions
- Rely too much on people
Typical careers for an I style personality
I styles are best suited to careers with interpersonal connections and varied activities. They work well in job roles that require creative solutions and lots of contact with people.
Jobs best suited to I behaviours are:
- Graphic Designer
- Radio/TV Presenter
- Public Relations Specialist
- Training Manager
- Product Development Manager
It's important to note that your DISC personality type does not limit your career opportunities in any way. It simply helps you understand what behaviours will take energy and which come naturally to you.
I style celebrity personalities
Steve Irwin (TV Personality)
- Jim Carrey (Actor)
- Hamish and Andy (Radio Personalities)
- Han Solo (Star Wars)
- Bill Clinton (US Former President)
- Eddie Murphy (Actor)
What about the other DISC styles?
D personality styles are risk-takers, decisive and results-oriented. They move fast and complete tasks quickly.