The Influencer or I personality type in the DISC personality system is the ultimate people person – engaged, motivational and enthusiastic. They thrive in environments where they can work with others to come up with creative solutions, and they get their energy from teaching others and learning from them.
Because of this, I-Types can be described as group-motivated. They are experts at communicating, and aspirational in their professional, personal and creative goals. These types dream big...but they’re not always so focused when forced to knuckle down and do the isolated, detailed work that turns their big ideas into concrete action plans.
Here are a few tips and tricks for I-Types to balance lofty ideas with realistic plans that will help them actually get there.
Never work alone
I-Types really benefit from bouncing ideas off other people and coming up with creative solutions. Group environments that allow for collective success and out-of-the-box thinking help them to be their best selves, but that’s not the only reason for I-types to find a good team composed of people they can trust.
Other DISC personality types are helpful for balancing an I-Type’s exciting and sometimes overly optimistic dreams. Clarity Types, for instance, are excellent allies when you need a dose of realism and a well-planned route toward a goal.
You genuinely care about the skills and experiences other people bring to the table. Having the right team can provide the harmony between dreaming big and planning smart.
Plan long term
Big ideas are great. It’s important to think about how you might evolve and grow, whether that’s professionally, personally, or socially. But big change doesn’t happen overnight. Grand plans are a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to plan to be in it for the long haul.
What do you want to achieve and by when? What smaller goals do you need to meet in order to stay on track toward your big ones? What can you do this month, this week, and today to make moves in the right direction?
The outline and plans will change but having them will help to keep you on a realistic path and moving in the right direction.
Find fun and creative systems for progress
I-Types like communication and freedom from control. It’s part of what makes you such a good motivator and leader, but it can also sometimes get you into trouble. A complete lack of structure or rules can make it challenging to accomplish your goals and you may find that you’re thinking too big, or getting distracted by others, to actually get anything done.
But just because something operates within the system doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and interesting. Look for ways to lean into new forms of communication, ways of doing things and unique perspectives without going too far out of the guidelines. Your creative approach will get you far, but you’ll still actually be able to get work done.
Think about the collective good
DISC I-Types are motivated by fairness and equality and the individual. You care about others a lot and what is the best for the group, whether that’s a small circle of friends or the world at large. It makes sense to allow yourself to remain driven by these goals of goodness and helping others, even if you’re helping by keeping them enthusiastic and motivated.
Your goals are often so big because you have a big heart and want to help improve the world where you can. That’s great. But remember that you won’t be able to make concrete change if you’re always pushing for something too big and unattainable. Focus on the good that can be accomplished in the short-term while also keeping the big picture in mind.
Manage time, but don’t fight it
Time management can be a bit of an Achilles heel for I-Type personalities. They’re often so excited and enthusiastic that they get swept away in the new and interesting and lose track of deadlines and requirements.
There are many ways to develop a time management approach that will work with your individual needs and goals. So, play around and try to find what that is. Maybe you focus on each task for a certain amount of time and then take a break for the fun stuff. Maybe you have a calendar on your desk or alerts on your phone. Some people work better in the morning and some at night.
Explore your time management options and systems and add that little extra structure in your day-to-day. You might be surprised by how much more you accomplish.
Focus on follow through
Follow-through is somewhat related to time management and a few of the other challenges that I-Type personalities face. Because you have lofty goals and plans, you can sometimes get wrapped up in the draw of what’s next without completing the project you’re currently working on.
Always planning the next step is important, but you also need to remember that big victories are made up of small accomplishments. When you drop the ball on projects, meetings, or correspondences, you weaken your chances of filling in all the necessary puzzle pieces to achieve those big dreams. And you can’t always rely on your natural charisma to get you out of a hole!
If it helps, think of each small assignment and goal as taking you one step closer to the big one. Following through on the small stuff is the only way the big stuff will ever work.
Take a breath
Allow yourself a moment. In fact, insist upon it. I-Type personalities are excitable and motivated and tend to move very quickly. This can be a useful skill in many fields, but the flip side of it is impulsiveness, which means projects get missed and opportunities get jumped on without enough forethought.
There’s no shame in having passion and energy; the trick is simply to find a little balance. Take a breath before you make big decisions or move on from completed projects. This will allow you the time you need to ensure you’re making the right choice and also that everything is done right.
Always double-check your work
With impulsiveness, you often submit projects before they’re truly completed, simply for the chance to move onto the next exciting thing. As mentioned above, this might lead to sloppy work or incomplete assignments. When you’re slowing down and taking your breath to ensure that you’re not jumping too fast, you also want to take the time to properly check over your work.
If you can, walk away for a moment, focus your attention on something else, and then come back. This might lead you to discover something you could improve upon or edit, but it will also help you turn in or showcase your best, most polished work, which is all part of achieving the big dream.
Be proud, seek balance
DISC I-Types should be proud of their big dreams and ambitions. They have the skills and interests that can help to change professional and personal environments for the better. They’re always helpful, motivating, and working to improve themselves. With that, comes the need for balance and patience. The more you focus on achievable, concrete goals today, the easier it will be for you to reach all those big ideas and grand plans in the future.