i Styles Keep it Lively!

People communicate differently based on their styles and preferences. And taking the Everything DiSC Workplace® assessment is an important first step to help you better understand why you find you really click with some teammates while you have to work harder to connect with others. For example, consider the lively i styles, or those who have Influence as their primary style (including the iS style, with Steadiness, and the iD style, with Dominance).

These valuable contributors bring a much-needed balance and perspective to any team, department, or the organization as a whole. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Your high-energy colleagues with the i style bring tremendous Enthusiasm and optimism to their work and to their relationships. They are the cheerleaders who naturally encourage team spirit, who get others excited about their goals and ideas. Approaching nearly every situation with a positive and upbeat attitude, they assume that others act with the best of intentions. Open and expressive of their own opinions and emotions, they also tend to be open and accepting of new people and ideas, too.


  • Placing a high value on Collaboration, i styles prefer projects where they can work closely with others—bringing more fun to the work and, they believe, delivering better outcomes. Friendly and outgoing, they are motivated by any opportunity to meet people they don’t know, connect strangers with others whom they might not otherwise have ever met, and inspire everyone to do their best.


  • Similar to their D-style co-workers, i-style contributors may also like excitement and prefer a fast-paced work environment. Energized by innovation and working toward groundbreaking solutions, they strive to take Action. These are your teammates and colleagues that want to hit the ground running. And with their high-spirited approach to projects and people, it is their ability to initiate and make quick decisions that can keep the group moving forward.

Watch an i style in action.

Co-workers, bosses, direct reports, and others no doubt admire their i-style colleagues most for their excitement, optimism, high energy, and their ability to create a spirit of community to achieve the best outcomes possible. Like all styles, however, people who tend to the i style can have their limitations. They may be reluctant to give negative feedback even when their valuable insight might contribute positively to the team’s success. Because of their own outgoing and friendly nature, others may be offended by what they perceive as an i style’s intrusion into their personal space. And some may perceive the brainstorming sessions they lead to be disorganized and simply an endless discussion of blue-sky possibilities.

Using the Everything DiSC model, you’ll learn that your i-style co-workers tend to be more open to new people and ideas, yet also may be seen as overly optimistic and emotional.  Here are a few tips to consider when interacting with someone with an i-style.

  • Ask them about their family, children, etc., and be prepared to talk about yours
  • Talk in terms of people and stories
  • Use lots of examples
  • Provide the assurance of safety to receive honest feedback
  • Keep things moving and work together for early wins

Keep in mind the priorities that shape the workplace experience of your i-style colleagues—Action, Enthusiasm, and Collaboration—to help strengthen your working relationships. Listen to their ideas. Minimize details. And if you are an i, there are always plenty of opportunities to learn more about ways that you can relate more effectively to other styles.

Watch an i style in action.


Gwen Voelpel

Gwen Voelpel has 20 years of experience in coaching and mentoring leaders at all levels of organizations. She has an undergraduate degree in communications, a graduate degree in public administration, and has served as an executive leader in several organizations. Gwen is an accredited Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team and Everything DiSC Workplace Facilitator and a Certified Master in Training for The Leadership Challenge.