The S style personality profile, also known as Steadiness or S type, is one of the four basic DISC types that originate from William Marston's DISC Model. S Styles make up approximately 30% of the worldwide population.
Key characteristics of an S style personality
S styles are calm, modest, and laid back. These are the team builders of the world. They care about everyone else, in some cases, to the extent of their own expense. S styles tend to be patient listeners, trustworthy, and persistent. They are balanced between tasks and people. S styles are reliable and stable with an emphasis on cooperating with whoever is in charge to carry out tasks.
S styles are:
Communication of an S style personality
S personality types tend to speak calmly and warm-heartedly. They are great instructors but prefer to listen more than they talk. S styles tend to be the ones not speaking in a group situation, as they are more comfortable in one-on-one communication. They like to create trust and rapport during interactions and are happy talking about topics that they have mastered.
S styles usually ask 'how' questions like:
- 'How are we going to do this?'
- 'How do you feel about that?'
When communicating with S Style individuals, slow down and explain in detail. Demonstrate the advantages to their team and people close to them.
How to work with an S style personality
Meeting with an S Style
Meetings should have a prepared agenda and be done in person. S styles are very comfortable with small talk, so be prepared to slow down and allow the small talk to happen. S styles are not comfortable asking questions in a group setting. Ensure you follow-up to make their voice heard.
Emailing an S Style
Emails should be warm, sincere, and expressive. Try to adopt a friendly tone and open your email with the line "I hope this finds you well." Write relatively long emails with a few paragraphs and convey the message clearly and thoroughly. End your email with "sincerely", "all the best, or "best wishes."
Providing an S Style with Feedback
Feedback should be given in private, thoughtfully explained and delivered with empathy. Be gentle and take your time to explain the reason for the feedback. Show them how the changes will positively impact their wider team.
Delegating to S Styles
If you're delegating to an S style, take your time. Go over the expected tasks and outcomes a couple of times, allowing them time to process and ask questions. Focus on the benefits for the team because S's are all about people.
Motivating S Styles
Genuine appreciation and acceptance by others drive the S styles. Time is a significant motivator of the S types. Do not put pressure on them, while they can hide it well, S styles can get frustrated by others' impatience. Instead, allow them time without interruption to adjust to a situation.
Managing S Styles
As manager of an S style, you must win their trust first. To maintain it, keep your promises, show the right attitude towards work, and treat them as a personality rather than just a means of producing results. Give them plenty of space to adjust to changes and listen to them while they speak.
Remote work is most suited to your S Style workers, especially if they are working at home with friends or family. Ensure you offer them enough support to cope with the change in working environments.
S Style Leaders
Supporting leaders are comfortable in maintaining routines and in general, tend to be stable and service-orientated. They prefer “small teams” as they have a very participative approach to their leadership. Because this type of leader is so patient, they also have a great ability to guide, teach and develop their people.
What does an S style personality contribute to a team?
For an S Style, it is imperative to be part of one team. They look for security, the feeling of being a part of something, continuity and trust. They give a lot to the group they belong to, being one of the "workhorses" in the team. S styles try to see all sides of the situation and create an inclusive atmosphere. They ensure tasks are completed and support others to complete their work.
What are the strengths of an S type personality?
S styles are very attentive to the needs and concerns of other people, and they like to praise and encourage others. S styles can stay on task for long periods and produce a meaningful contribution to the organisation. S types can present themself in a calm and controlled manner, using the ability to concentrate as a means to listen and learn.
These strengths come easily and naturally to S personality types:
- Working systematically
- Making small improvements
- Developing routines
- Takes the team into account
- Won't make hasty decisions
- Listens to everyone
What are the potential weaknesses in an S type personality?
S styles need stability and security and, therefore, need help with changes. They may be too willing to help out and at times are taken advantage of by others. S styles can be too slow, stuck on the status quo, indecisive, stubborn and even quietly resentful. S types are not always direct when communicating and avoid giving feedback to others who may need it.
- Hold on firmly to traditions
- Doesn't react or make decisions quickly
- Makes small changes only
- May fall into a non-developing routine
Typical careers for an S style personality
S styles tend to thrive in predictable, calm, and cooperative environments. They are comfortable with consistent and stable work. They want their work to be meaningful and have a more significant contribution to the organisation while operating in their area of expertise.
Jobs best suited to S behaviours are:
- Social Worker
- Medical Practitioner
- Physical Therapist
- Human Resources 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.
S style celebrity personalities
- Princess Diana (British Royal Family Member)
- Mother Teresa (Roman Catholic Nun and Missionary)
- Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)
- Nicole Kidman (Actress)
- Michelle Obama (wife of former US President)
- Gandhi (Writer and Social Activist)
What about the other DISC styles?
D personality styles are risk-takers, decisive and results-oriented. They move fast and complete tasks quickly.
C personality are logical, analytical and correct. They are task-focused and get things done accurately.