The social personality type, also known as an I-style, loves attention and interactions with people. They use people and communication skills to achieve success. Learn how the I-style can become more successful.
Meet Jake, the social personality type
Jake is an ideal social personality type and a very high I-style. He loves meeting, talking, socializing, and just being around people. Everyone clearly sees Jake is energized whenever he's interacting with people. Does he even spend time alone? Every morning Jake has his breakfast at the local coffee shop. He always reads his newspaper, but quickly glances up every time the door opens. As soon as a familiar face walks in he'd wave them over. He smiles at everyone to encourage interaction. Breakfast can take a long time since different people spend time with him.
Jake has probably never had a meal alone. His lunch always includes his co-workers, clients, or friends. He hosts frequent dinner parties. Other times, he'll simply invite himself over to friends’ homes. Jake is usually a very welcomed guest who arrives with a bottle of fine wine and lots of great conversation. Jake really loves telling stories. Everyone knows his stories are over the top. No one seems to mind however since they are almost always funny. Jake can deliver a punch line with perfect timing. He actually enjoys his stories the most and laughs the loudest. Jake tells entertaining stories and his laughter is contagious. Simply put, it's fun to be around Jake.
How Jake's social personality type gets him in trouble
All of the socializing takes up a lot of Jake’s time so he's always behind on his projects and commitments. Typically, Jake has an explanation for each “unexpected” delay. When taking a quick glance at his office, you'll question his reasons. His desk and all surfaces are covered with piles of papers, unopened mail, magazines, books, files and binders. Desk drawers and file cabinets are even worse. They are overly stuffed with papers and files. He is constantly fumbling through them to find things he needs at that moment.
He is the one who has to call his cell phone to try to locate it. The ring tone of 'Celebration' by the Kool and the Gang announces its presence under the “receipt stack”. There are dozens of pens everywhere as Jake often walks away with colleagues’ writing instruments. Jake's ability to accomplish anything seems like nothing short of a small miracle.
Jake is always overly optimistic about how long it will take him to be ready or how long it will take to drive somewhere. Hence, he is often late. His co-workers and even prospects and clients become frustrated and irritated. Showing up late was one thing, but add in his lack of being prepared and it was a recipe for trouble.
What Jake does well
What Jake lacks in organizational skills, he makes up with his ability to work with people. His genuine enthusiasm gets people excited about whatever Jake is working on or trying to promote. He makes even mundane things more stimulating and interesting. He excels at recruiting people to his projects so in the end he gets the support he needs to get it done. Jake is the worst about being on time. He is always moving on to the next "big" project. The next project always seems more exciting. In fact, most of his projects probably would never be completed without his ability to recruit efficient people to get it done.
Who is the social personality type?
You probably know at least one social personality type. They are I-styles. You know how fun they are to be around. They're outgoing, social, and talkative, and enjoy being the center of attention. I-styles like interacting and meeting new people. I-styles are energetic individuals who are animated, expressive and usually appear to be in a good, positive mood.
They are optimistic and tend to see the positive side of things. The glass is not just half-full, but overflowing! The social personality type gets a lot of energy and motivation from the opportunities to work and play with others. They are people magnets. I-styles attract and are attracted to people.
Fears of the social personality type
Fear of rejection often plays a big part of social personality type's behavior. I-styles want acceptance and to be liked by others. I-styles can react emotionally when ignored or people don't amply respond. They try solving the issue by finding ways to make the people like them. I-styles will try to engage the person by talking even more! Usually, the underlying reason for this is that I-styles’, like all of the four DISC-styles’, natural tendency is to expect the same kind of behavior from others as they would exhibit in a similar situation.
I-styles are genuinely happy and excited when meeting people. To them, it is a wonderful opportunity to make a new friend! But, when an individual meets an I-style and he does not demonstrate the same kind of excitement and eagerness, the I-style assumes that something must be wrong. A social personality type tries to fix this by increasing and over using his I-style behaviors. He believes he can make it “impossible” for the other person to not like him. Have you ever seen an introvert literally trapped into a corner by an excited I-style? The I-style gets more and more animated. He's trying his best to get more reaction from the introvert. Both are equally uncomfortable, but show it very differently.
Challenges to the social personality type
Details can be very painful for I-styles. I-styles feel drained of energy when it comes to detailed work. Detailed work typically means working alone for extended periods of time. Sometimes this results in careless mistakes or oversights. On other occasions, it results in creative procrastination to postpone the pain. Suddenly, other tasks take on an unexpected urgency or there are more important priorities requiring immediate attention. Coffee breaks may become more frequent and lunch breaks just a little longer. I-styles are eternal optimists: “It will all get done.”
Under pressure, this lack of focus on details is likely to become even more pronounced for I-styles. In situations when an I-style is under the gun, feeling pressure and stress, other people around him often perceive him as being disorganized and even frantic. The I-style transforms from his usual energetic self into a frenzied panic. Soon, however, it passes and we will see the familiar, big smile on his face.
Follow-up can also be a challenge for I-styles. I-styles are adverse to details and tend to get more excited about new tasks, projects and opportunities. The previous ones may have lost some of the initial appeal and the new one is, well, new. It grabs more of the mindshare some of the things may simply be forgotten. Successful I-styles frequently have created and use some type of follow-up system to help them keep on track. They have recognized without such system that they are continually starting new initiatives without completing the previous ones.
Social personality type career preferences
I-styles prefer to work in environments where there is a lot of variety and many chances to interact with others. I-styles become exhausted if they have to spend a lot of time working alone or on detailed tasks. They want to be involved with others and thrive on flexibility. Not surprisingly, many I-styles can be found in sales, marketing, public relations, and various customer service roles. Also, many trainers and facilitators are I-styles. I styles are comfortable blending personal time with work time. They value flexibility in rules and schedules. Hence, I-styles thrive in companies that offer flexibility and variety.
Social personality type asks the "Who?" questions
Obviously, as successful people we ask all questions, but we find that the social personality type prefers to ask questions focusing on people and relationship. I-styles find relationships and working with others highly motivating. Hence, I-styles ask the “who?” questions. Who is going to be at the meeting? Who is in this with me or who should I talk to about it?
Social personality type workplace impact
If you are a social personality type, we have some good news for you. The percentage of the I-style population is growing. The I-style is 26% of the global population. In the United States, 32% of the population is I-style. In Canada, the percentage is even higher at 33%. One reasons the number of I-styles is growing is that more and more of the younger generation are I-styles.
The increase of the I-style population is already having a significant impact on organizations and how they need to attract, motivate and engage, and keep I-style employees. Managing Millennials and Millennials managing is a topic that companies must address. Check out our article and webinar on Managing Millennials. I-styles are not looking for 30+ year careers at one company, and they demand a different type of work environment. Organizations that are analyzing their employees’ styles data are making a lot smarter and successful decisions with their most valuable asset: their employees.
Social personality type career choices
Predictably, I-styles tend to make career choices that increases opportunities to interact with people. Also, I-styles prefer job environments that offer a lot of variety. I-styles aren't interested in a lot of detailed tasks or doing things alone. As a result, I-styles find themselves attracted to fields like marketing, public relations, sales, and training. Industries such as hospitality and tourism and retails sales are popular with I-styles as well.
A social personality type can make changes to be even more successful
If you are an I-style, you may be thinking: “What can you do to further your success?” Again, the most general advice is to learn to understand all of the DISC-styles, identify your own style and create a keen self-awareness, learn to identify styles’ of others and to adjust your style to the other person(s) or situation. That is fine and well but what about the specifics?
Don't overuse your strengths!
You need to pay close attention to not overusing your strengths. When you find new projects and opportunities, remember to complete the existing ones first. Learn to follow-up. This may sound too basic and simple, but this is critical. Let me say this again: learn to follow-up! If you complete your tasks and projects, then you'll find much better success. This does not mean you have to do everything by yourself. Use your strengths to motivate others about issues and ideas. Use those skills to get help. Delegate. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not hesitate to tell others what you want them to do. When you complete what you started, people respect and like you more.
I-styles becoming more organized
Use technology to help you to follow-up. There is no shortage of software programs and devices to organize your calendar, get reminders, and synchronize it all with your smart phone. Most importantly, actually use the technology when you need to. Have you ever spent an afternoon or even an entire day organizing your calendar, to-do-list, and office? Does it leave you feeling great after what you just accomplished? Then only a few days later you realized you were not really using your calendar and to-do-list and even your office looked a bit disorganized again? The thrill of feeling organized soon fades, doesn’t it? It is easy to revert to old habits.
Discipline takes practice!
Practice discipline. Trust me, you will really reap the benefits with this one! Learn to focus more on one thing, and on one person, at a time. This is especially true when you are interacting with S- and C-styles. They prefer to focus on one issue at a time. When you do not, they get uncomfortable. Also, they may perceive you as “flaky” and may even incorrectly associate your behavior as incompetence. When others see you concentrate, they correlate it with higher ability and competence. The same applies to your interactions with others. When you focus more on one person at a time, the connection you create is more significant and meaningful. Also, you come across as more sincere and genuine.
Since you are fairly talkative, focus on really listening to others. Don't think about what you're going to say next, but hear what they are saying. When you actively listen, you let the other person know you think what they say – and who they are – is important. There is no better way to make other people like you and trust you. We do not like to be ignored when we have something to say!
Learn to say no!
Finally, learn when to say “no” to people and new commitments. The end result is you tend to over-commit and not be able to follow through. Focus more on making the right decisions rather than on being liked and not rejecting others. When you hear the word “no” don't feel rejected. Remember to mirror the same behavior with others. When you do not follow through, people may learn not to be able to count on you and their trust in you wavers. It is OK to tell others “no”. Saying "no" is better than saying "yes" especially when it comes to something you can't finish. Others respect it and, as an social personality type, you can say “no” with a smile better than anyone.