(S)upport Your Local Supportives – DISC Trait Series

Part 4 of a 6 Part Series on the DISC Personality Profile System[/highlighted_

The Story

Karen was an awesome team-player. Not only did she complete her work on time but was constantly looking for others to help. Her tried and trued methods of accomplishing her job allowed her to start her day with the knowledge that she would be done by the end of it. Nothing much riled her feathers and she was probably my nicest team member. Until the day we switched from PC to Mac. Then, the Dark Side began to take over.

Even though the rest of her coworkers embraced the change with excitement, Karen struggled with the idea of change. Her routine was blown sky-high and fear crept in and began to motivate her in ways unknown to her and strange to the rest of us. She became extremely critical of the new system and was worried much of the time. Even personal training didn’t seem to help. It’s as if someone was attacking her physically. She become judgmental of the coworkers that embraced it the most and slowed the team down by using the old system most of the time.

It got to a point where she seemed like she was taken over by body-snatchers. This was not the person I knew who was the most helpful. Once I finally realized what was going on, I brought her in for a crucial conversation. I knew she was a natural at avoiding conflict, so I needed to create a safe environment for her to be able to discuss the problem. After about an hour she came to understand her fears and was willing to embrace them—whatever that meant! I gave her a hug (sorry, big business can’t do that today though S types need hugs often!) and promised to help her personally get the new technology. It took a while, but things got back to normal. She became the new system’s biggest advocate. All is well in Lake Wobegon.

The Profile

You’re an ‘S’—Supportive—stable, steady, sweet, status quo, shy. You like routine, harmony, teamwork, and things to stay the same. You love to be accepted and sticking with what works. You emphasize achieving stability and accomplishing tasks by cooperating with others. You will show patience and loyalty and you’re a good listener. You’re motivated by infrequent change, stability, sincere appreciation and cooperation.

Keep in mind as you read this—and when you read any DISC assessment—that you are a blend of DISC personality types—not just a total ‘S’ (or total whatever trait). You will have some of all the DISC traits at differing degrees—some might be minimal or some off the charts.

Your strengths include being calm, dependable, easygoing, trustworthy, efficient, practical, conservative, diplomatic, and humorous. Under control, you are relaxed, reliable, cooperative, single-minded, steadfast, softhearted, systematic, and amiable.

In other people you will notice patience, calmness, desire for teamwork, and a methodical approach, kindness, caring, patience, understanding, and gentleness.

You like peace, helping others, friendly environments, finishing the job. You don’t like insensitivity, surprises, intense conversation, sarcasm, being pushed, and misunderstandings. You’re a hardworking team-player.


When you’re out of control, you lack initiative, are dependent, used by others, indecisive, uncommunicative, inflexible, resistant to change, easily manipulated, slow, and resentful. You also have an over willingness to give and you put your personal needs last.

The How

To be your best, you need to deal well with your fears and limitations. One of the biggest limitations is change. You do not like change. So you need to learn to accept change and be a lot more flexible when you can. Set up systems to notice when you are being inflexible. Tell your team that as an S you are wired to not like change. Ask them to challenge you in love and help you work toward it. Read some good books on change. My favorites are:

Also, here is a list of the top best selling books on Amazom.com on change.

You can be easily be crushed by D type personalities that don’t check their personality. Remember that D types are not mean on purpose, they’re wired that way. Actually, it’s not mean, just ubder focused and they hate wasting time. They want to accomplish now, now, NOW! You tend toward consistency and to work methodically, and more slowly. Sometimes to them, it looks like laziness. You also tend more toward accuracy over speed. Take D types with a grain of salt. Fortunately, patience is more of a strength with you.

You also don’t speak up enough. You hold your thoughts and are more easily duped or sucker punched. Align with I types who can speak up for you if necessary, but learn to communicate and connect well. Another great book for anyone and everyone (and this means you who are reading these words now) is Crucial Communications by Joseph Grenny et. al. A fabulous book on communicating when it’s very difficult.

Learning to be more assertive is important. It’s not good to let people walk over you—not good for you or them. Unlike popular belief, you don’t have to be mean to be honest. Practice speaking the truth in love. Resist the temptation to hold in all feelings until you pop and say things you shouldn’t making the situation worse. Being gently honest will help you help others as well which is what you live for! Again, Crucial Communications will help you be more assertive, too.

How To Spot The S’s For The Rest Of Us

Look and listen. S’s are more quiet than the rest of us; though C’s are, too. Although they are people oriented, they are also reserved and indirect. They keep their emotions in check, so you only see the level side of them. This doesn’t mean they are not passionate—they just don’t wear their emotions like I’s do naturally or D’s to in aggressiveness.

S’s speak slowly at avery comfortable pace—they are very conversational and they will concentrate on you while conversing. As well as being methodical speakers, they are good listeners. So if someone is pay attention to you and comfortable conversing with you at the same time, they are possibly an S or a C.

S’s have a tendency to follow, not lead, and they enjoy working in small groups or with one other person. They love to help the team in anyway they can and are happy to take on a task when asked or even when a general question to the team is asked.

All in all, those who act in these ways are Supportives and are a great asset to your team in the right positions. Putting the right person in the right seat on the bus—as Jim Collins, author of Good to Great would sayis paramount for a happy team and more productive business. S types make good artists, chefs, child care workers, counselors, CSRs, department heads, diplomats, flight attendants, funeral directors, HR directors, librarians, managers, nurses, painters, pharmacists, pastors, planners, real estate agents, school teachers, secretaries, social workers, supervisors, technicians, veterinarians, wait staff. Naturally, this list isn’t exhaustive but just to give you a gist and let you tie in with other jobs and careers that well suit S personalities.

The Takeaway

At work, surround yourself with strong personalities (in order), D, I, and C types—people that are strong leaders. Your tendency is to follow and you need to be working with people who can lead strongly. But find a place where people know how to lead—not just be strong-headed.  Learn to accept change and build systems to help you speak up when you have good things to add. The three of John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership that will help the most:

  • THE LAW OF ADDITION—Leaders Add Value by Serving Others—(This will help you understand you!)
  • THE LAW OF TIMING—When To Lead Is Just As Important As What To Do And Where To Go
  • THE LAW OF PRIORITIES—Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment

And I need to add one more

  • THE LAW OF INFLUENCE—The True Measure of Leadership Is Influence Nothing More, Nothing Less

You are the backbone of accomplishment and support for your team. Work hard at communicating well with those over and under you. Be the Peacemaker and help connect others for better communication between all. Learn to speak the hard things when necessary and be willing to change when necessary. You are a vital asset to the company and your friends. Don’t lose sight of that. You can appear like a wallflower—don’t be mistaken for one. Be curious and ask questions to make sure you understand what the real goals are. Do not be passive. Be active in everything you say and do!

Being an ‘S’ who likes to follow more than lead, doesn’t mean you aren’t a leader—we are all leaders, at the very least of our selves. S’s can learn very well how to lead. Understanding risk and surrounding yourself with task oriented assistants and managers allows you to get things done while you keep the focus on people orientation.

Up Next: DISC Personality Profile ‘C’—the Conscientious type!

Want to get your UNIQUE profile assessment and learn how to work/live/sell better with others?  DISC Personality Profile assessment and 50 page report here. It will change your life and the way you look at yourself and others.

Photo credit: h3sean.com