S Types


– Supportive / Steady / Stable –

I’ve joined a book club whose members have been getting together for years.  Their camaraderie lends itself to stimulating conversation.  This week a quote in the book led to a great discussion about taking on guilt when it isn’t necessary.

Our discussion reminded me of many conversations I’ve had with Supportive (S) Personalities.  They often comment, “I really care about people but sometimes it gets me in trouble.  People often share their problems with me.  Before I know what’s happening their problem becomes my problem – then I find I care more about solving it than they do, and then I start to feel guilty because I haven’t solved their problem!”

I respond by telling them they’re creating self-imposed and totally unnecessary feelings of guilt.  You can imagine, since they were probably seeking empathy, they’re initially shocked with my comment.  As I explain what’s going on related to DISC they begin to embrace my concept…..

An S is naturally:

  • Service-oriented
  • Team-oriented
  • Help-oriented
  • An empathetic listener
  • Excellent in a support role
  • Very caring about others

When someone comes to them with a problem it’s natural for an S to want to help resolve it.  Their confliction happens as they assume the other person is asking for their help, which is probably not the case…..

  • A D is probably looking for a new idea that will improve the solution they already have in mind.
  • An I simply wants to converse as they process best while talking.
  • The like-minded S may appreciate some help as they are wired to be part of a team.
  • A C would value logical input.  Nothing more.

As you can see, none of the conversations involving the D, the I or the C involve a request for the S to be part of the solution.  It is the S who takes ownership of the other person’s problem without being asked to do so.  They assume that’s what’s expected of them based upon the make-up of their Personality Style.  It’s so easy to transpose our Personality Style’s characteristics onto someone else.  As you can see from my example, this can lead to horrible assumptions regarding what is actually being requested.

This instance with the S repeats itself in a multitude of ways with all the Behavioral Styles.  Understanding our Personality differences can truly make life less complicated.

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