I'm an "S"

Wendy Johnson

I’m an S. If I had started out with “I’m a B” you’d know right away what I meant, right? But “I’m an S”? That one requires a bit of an explanation. The S I’m referring to is “steadiness” from the DiSC profile. Simply put, DiSC is a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication.

A few months ago liquidfish employees each took an online assessment followed by a day of DiSC Immersion with Learning Unlimited. Here we learned about each DiSC style and, most importantly, our own.

When I learned that I was an S, I was not surprised at all. And if you know me well, you won’t be surprised either. An S is someone that typically:

  • Appreciates cooperation
  • Is motivated by opportunities to help
  • Maintains stability
  • Is dependable
  • Values loyalty, helping others and security
  • Can be indecisive

Personally, I’m fairly cautious and calm. I take time to make decisions (which drives some people crazy!), but I’m tremendously loyal and dependable—two things I’m very proud of. S’s are typically good listeners, predictable, and slow to (and sometimes resist) change.

If you’re an S, you might vary a bit in these areas, but these are things that I find to be true in my own life. But, as with most things in life, there are two sides to every story. A few things that stress an S out include:

  • Quick decisions
  • Sharing opinions (without proper research)
  • Engaging in conflict
  • Argumentative people
  • Saying no (because of their desire to help and please others)

After taking the DiSC Assessment and participating in DiSC Immersion, it’s very clear to me that I need to be more flexible in several areas. I know I am slow to change and occasionally have to be dragged towards change kicking and screaming (not literally, folks). If I have to enter into conflict with someone or feel verbally attacked, you can guarantee my stomach is in knots and I will be the more passive one in the situation. I know I need to improve in these areas (and believe me, sometimes I don’t mind conflict), but overall, it’s not something I seek out or am comfortable dealing with.

I also need to be more outspoken. When in meetings, I tend to sit back and take it all in. I’m definitely processing everything internally, but I’m sure others think I’ve tuned out completely. I am working on being more outspoken and opinionated.

If you work with an S—or someone you think is an S—here are a few things you need to know:

  • They care. S’s are truly caring people and are fiercely loyal. Please don’t take advantage of them!
  • They need a good word. No, S’s don’t want you to hang a banner on the side of your building praising their good work, but a sincere email to them? That will go a long, long way.
  • They have great ideas. Just because an S doesn’t speak up in every meeting or isn’t the first person to blurt out an idea doesn’t mean they aren’t smart, capable, or creative. They need some time—give it to them.
  • They don’t say no. Many times S’s will say yes to every project or request, because they want to collaborate and truly don’t mind helping. Problems arise, however, when the S is overwhelmed. Eventually they will have to do something to take some things off their plate—and they may have a momentary freakout in order to get there.

If you’re not sure if you work with an S, or any other style, you can start by people-reading. By observing/interacting with someone, you can (somewhat closely) determine their DiSC style, which can greatly help with communication and the overall work environment. Start by asking, “Is this person fast-paced or more slow and steady?" Then ask, "Are they questioning and skeptical or more accepting?”

Answering these two questions will put them into one of four categories:

  • Fast-paced and questioning (D)
  • Fast-paced and accepting (i)
  • Slow/steady and accepting (S)
  • Slow/steady and questioning (C)

From here, you can hopefully discover your style and research other styles, which will help you understand yourself and your coworkers, and will help you to communicate more effectively.

Learn more at DiSCUnlimited.com