Hello! I’m an Extrovert: The i Style

Most of us know if we are extroverted or introverted, right? Sometimes we are a blend of both (ambivert), and most often, a quick interaction with someone can give you an idea of where they fall on the continuum. In terms of DiSC styles, what we can say with relative certainty is that people with the ‘i’ style avre not only outgoing, but typically extroverted as well. People with the i style thrive on 4 main things, what might be called psychological needs: 1. Connection, 2. Expression, 3. Stimulation, 4. To be wanted. On the flip side, what they fear most is being ignored or dismissed; to not be wanted or needed. While people with the i style tend to have no filter, and be unafraid to launch into conversation, this does not mean that they are immune to feeling any kind of regret. Over-analyzing after the fact is typical of the i style because they fear they may have done or said something in the moment that could damage a connection with someone else.

People with the i style tend to flourish in settings that require them to use their natural ability to connect and socialize with others. Situations where building relationships is key, such as networking, are often viewed as high strengths for i’s as they come across to others as sincere, that they care about people and are not trying to ‘use’ them. The challenge for i’s is that because connection and feeling wanted are natural tendencies for them, it is easy for them to feel responsible for getting other people to socialize, take on blame that isn’t theirs simply because someone is expressing fault or anger outwardly, and they tend to buy into the driving assumption that they should never be the source of someone else’s unhappiness.

In a team setting this can be problematic, for example, if someone presents a bad idea, the i style would feel conflicted about dismissing their idea out of hand. In an effort to preserve someone’s feelings, they may hedge their response, searching for a redeeming quality in their idea simple to preserve the person’s feelings. This however, causes communication to become muddy, the bad idea is not rejected right away, and time is wasted while the team sorts out if they are buying into it or not.

Further, this idea of being wanted is a need that is deeply emotional. It isn’t something that most people would be able to admit that they agree with, but for some of us, maybe even a lot of us, regardless of our style, this can be a deep emotional need. For the i style, feeling needed and wanted plays into their desire to always ben in the loop, to be constantly connecting with people and being welcomed into a creative process, but, it can be taken very personal when you are not welcomed in, or someone does not want to connect with you or collaborate. This feeling of rejection can be very hurtful, but it is important to remember that it isn’t always personal. You might be working with a C style who likes to work alone, is quiet, and doesn’t value connection in the same way you do. They have other priorities or needs. They are literally on the opposite side of the circumplex, and so may not realize how their desire to push for their own needs might affect your own.

People with the i style are also not immune to stereotypes; the assumptions made by others about their style. D’s are assumed to be arrogant and pushy, C’s closed off and preferring to work alone, S’s being wishy-washy and people-pleasing. The i’s are assumed to be highly distractible, and always chasing something new and shiny. While they are always eager to collaborate on a new project or give buy-in to a new idea, this doesn’t mean that stereotypes about them are accurate. It is important with every style to see the person behind it, and to not assume that a shallow, often, negative assumption about someone is accurate simply because of their style. Every team can function well regardless of the styles involved, and i’s are as integral to any team as all other styles. When playing to their strengths, i’s are often seen as outstanding leaders, who show genuine care and compassion for their team, taking the time to connect with them and showing enthusiasm for new projects and ideas. If i’s can keep in mind that they are not responsible for socialization of teams or groups, and that they cannot be responsible for other’s emotions, they are more likely to succeed, and not get in their own way.

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