I Types


– Influence / Inspiring / Involved –

My husband has a Harley.  On weekend mornings we love to go exploring on the bike, often stopping somewhere for breakfast.  We wear our leather Harley jackets and boots for protection.  I think we look pretty stylish and not at all intimidating but this weekend there were some 70 and 80 year old youngsters in a packed restaurant on the other side of the mountain whose stares said otherwise!  When Dave leaned over and whispered “Ok, champ, pick us a safe booth”, I knew he felt it also.

There appeared to be only one server who was handling the entire room with ease.  She made her way toward us, stopping for a quick word at each booth.  We saw her nod in our direction more than once.  When she arrived at our table and took our order her demeanor was that of a Mama Bear.

Call me crazy, but I love the challenge of diffusing an unfriendly situation by applying what I know about DISC.  First, I needed to determine her Personality Style.  What had I observed about Mama Bear?

She was very fast-paced when she moved and when she spoke.  That narrowed my choice to either a D (Dominant) or an I (Influence) as they are the fast-paced Personalities.  How to tell the difference?

The appearance of a D is normally conservative.  The I leans toward contemporary, fun, and a flair with accessories.  Our server had 4 earrings, 3 necklaces, a bright jeweled watch and very colorful, patterned nail polish.  Her hair was short and brown with bright blond spikes.  I was certain Mama Bear was an I.

The next step?  People want to feel comfortable with others.  It was important I speak to her in the language of an I:  fast-paced, fun and with warmth.  The greatest fear of an I is a fear of not being liked or accepted so it was important she know I accepted her.  When she returned I said, “There’s one VERY important thing I need to know.”  She turned.  I smiled, looked her in the eye and asked “What is your name?”  After a brief hesitation she returned my smile and said “Sue”.

“Well, Sue”, I said, and briefly told her of our ride over the mountain seeking a restaurant with nice people and a great breakfast.  I delivered our tale in the language of an I – fast, warm, personal and fun.  As Mama Bear Sue enjoyed our conversation she relaxed.  We’re sure she shared our story as evidenced by the nods and smiles we got as she made her next round with her customers.

I’m sure Dave and I will return to what we now affectionately call “The Bear Den”.  We look forward to seeing how Mama Sue and her cubs welcome us the next time.

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