Relating To I-Style Behaviour: Frustration Or Satisfaction?

Fiancée: You promised me faithfully. I am so mad. I don't know what to do with you… wow - this is so nice of you! Come and give me a hug.

That scenario is a recurring occurrence in the classical I-Style experience.

A textbook analysis of pure I-Style Behaviour in the Jungian DISC Framework would reveal the capacity to deliver extraordinary results and satisfaction. At the same time, this is tied to not always complying with expectations and a tendency to step outside the box.

Consequently, team members with a preference for I-Style Behaviour can present a challenge to their Team Leaders. This behavioural style is widely misunderstood and is even looked on unfavourably in some organizations.


I-Style (Extended DISC)Image courtesy of Extended DISC Intl.



A feature of I-Style Behaviour is the capacity to see things from another perspective. This is often manifested in the generation of innovative insights and solutions.

This creativity is highly valued especially at this time when resilience and the ability to introduce "disruptive" products and services can determine the very survival of an organization.

As a result, organizations with a future-readiness mindset work to create a culture in which I-Style thinking is embraced and encouraged.

Others hold a different view.



The basic philosophy under a compliance-focused regime is that if we allow I-Style team members the latitude that they seem to need, how will that affect the rest of the team?

And what if every team member felt they could play on the edges of compliance and write their own script for discharging their responsibilities?

Depending on your philosophy you might endorse these concerns and hop on the rollercoaster of trying to find the delicate balance of reining in the team member with an I-Style preference while hoping that they will once again deliver something outstanding.

[NOTE: Do not link I-Style behaviour to disruptive elements in the workplace. The underpinning mindset is result-driven with a strong desire for harmonious collaboration. Their timing might be off, they tend to overcommit, and they may want to experiment with others approaches to getting the desired results. That is the root of the challenges.]



Many team leaders and their organizations opt for a rule-based operating environment.

Across the board compliance with systems and rules is often underpinned by micro-management and extensive reporting.

Team members with a preference for I-Style Behaviour feel stifled in that kind of environment and are challenged to function effectively.

There may be frequent issues with team leaders which run counter to the I-Style desire for harmonious relationships.

The usual outcome is a high level of turnover and low retention of these otherwise treasured team members.



Another anomaly is the tendency to confine team members with a preference for I-Style Behaviour to certain career opportunities.

I have been asked numerous times in workshops if an individual with an I-Style preference can be the CEO.

There seems to be consensus around "putting them in Public Relations" and maybe Sales as “they like to talk”.

A brilliant young lady who was a genius at designing Audits was challenged to break into the upper echelons of her Audit firm, notably because of her dislike for the tedious task of checking and signing off on Audits.



For me, it is a matter of education. I have found that there is considerable ignorance and misunderstanding related to behavioural preferences.

One issue is the tendency to use random events to form fixed ideas about behavioural styles without any attempt to understand the philosophy that is embraced in the behavioural style. 

There is also the failure to appreciate that our behaviour is a blend of different styles. You can't use an individual as the template for understanding any of the styles.

Frankly, I have cleared up much of the confusion and made a difference to the performance and dynamics of teams.

Maybe we can make a difference to yours. Let's have a conversation!