Different situations call for different styles of leadership. While many people associate “D” and “I” personalities with strong leadership skills, “S” and “C” styles can also take the reins. For “D’s” and “I’s,” falling under the leadership of another personality style can be difficult. To deal with potential conflicts, leaders of all personality styles must learn how to manage the strong forces of the “dominant” and “influential” personalities, while “D’s” and “I’s” must learn to harness their own natural leadership tendencies.
The Role of a “D” Style as Follower
“D’s” are bold and daring, seizing opportunities and seeking challenges regularly. Despite their dominant, decisive, and direct personalities, “D” personalities aren’t always in charge. They must learn how to follow leaders of all personality types.
“D’s” have some limitations to overcome as followers. For example, they can intimidate and seem impatient to others, especially when they become more concerned with results than people. A “D” needs to recognize the social implications of their actions, even in a work-related setting.
On the positive side, “D’s” can become efficient followers when they have short-term goals to achieve. They appreciate task-oriented leadership, so “D” styles should ask for tasks when they feel they aren’t being properly utilized. Their self-reliant nature allows for an intense focus on goals and overcoming obstacles, even when a manager assigns a heavy workload or multiple projects.
“D’s” respond well under pressure, and they can make big decisions quickly. In fact, putting a “D” on a team with other types of personalities will encourage the rest of the group to arrive at a decision quicker.
“D’s” will speak up when something is wrong, but when they are working with leaders who are also “D’s,” this personality can seem competitive. When interacting with leaders who are “S’s” and “C’s,” they may see them as passive. This often creates a sense of conflict when those “S” and “C” styles are managers. “D’s” must learn to accept a leadership style that may appear passive to outsiders.
Developing realistic expectations is crucial for becoming a strong follower. “D’s” work better with leaders who provide direct answers and get to the point, but they must also understand that not all leaders communicate this way.
Finally, a “D” will thrive during times of change or crisis thanks to their strong instincts. Leaders should consider that the “D’s” on their teams are the ones who will remain calm in stressful situations. Delegating tasks to “D’s” is a great way to get through difficult transitions.
The Role of an “I” Style as Follower
“I’s” are natural leaders thanks to their motivational skills and ability to inspire others with their charisma. An “I” likes to focus on creativity and positivity without going much into the details. When an “I” is forced into the position of a follower, they must learn how to embrace changes they may not agree with.
“I’s” become good followers when they utilize their engagement and personal relationships. Managers who want an “I” to respect them should dole out praise, encouragement, and positive recognition. Since “I’s” are persuasive and motivational, they also can be influenced by persuasion and charisma. “I” personalities be concerned about making other people happy, but perhaps not necessarily about reaching the company’s goals. Incorporating personal relationships with goals can change this.
As a leader, take advantage of the fact that an “I” is an instinctive communicator to motivate the team. In fact, “I” styles work well with others. Leaders should use “I’s” as facilitators for group communication. Additionally, they make good spokespeople because “I’s” enjoy the limelight and benefit from speaking up.
Leaders can also help “I’s” become followers by finding opportunities for them to help and motivate others. For example, they can become good followers by participating in brainstorming sessions. Unfortunately, “I’s” are not the best at following through, but they are quick to provide input. One challenge for “I” personality styles is to learn how to listen better, as this is a great way to improve their influence in these sessions.
Managers who want to break up monotony for their “I’s” should focus on avoiding strict routine. In fact, “I’s” are great for those times managers need somebody to make spontaneous decisions. Assigning new tasks to an “I” is a fruitful effort.
Ultimately, “I’s” respond well to leaders who are fair, socially involved, and recognizing of the abilities and skills of others. Managers who provide social recognition will experience fewer issues with “I’s.”
Training for Leadership
Of course, learning to be a fantastic leader also involves learning how to follow. Tools are available to help individuals with each personality style harness their skills to become the best leaders and followers possible. PeopleKeys’ Leadership PowerPoint Training is an excellent tool to use for leadership development and providing DISC understanding to your teams and clients as a way for all personality styles to become great leaders.