Approximately 80 percent of employees feel stressed at work and it’s an obstacle to creativity and productivity. Individuals experiencing workplace stress typically produce lower-quality work and have higher rates of absenteeism. Knowing how to reduce each person’s stress triggers is an important part of managing a team. 

If you’re managing a team and worried about their stress levels, the DISC personality assessment is a good place to start. The DISC system identifies four main behavioral styles – Drive, Influence, Support and Clarity. When used in the workplace, it can give valuable insights into what each style needs to zap stress to perform at their highest potential.   

Drive style: Offer competition to beat stress 

People with a Drive style tend to be dominant, ambitious and competitive in the workplace. They chase their goals and won’t shy away from voicing their opinions. 

Strengths of the Drive behavioral style  

  • Taking action instead of procrastinating
  • Embracing challenges and challenging others
  • Being driven to succeed 
  • Being outgoing and confident 
  • Focusing on the bigger picture 

Biggest stress triggers

Feeling restricted in the workplace is a common stress trigger for those with a Drive style. Since Drivers want control over situations and like to focus on the big picture, they don’t want to be weighed down by negative details or obstacles. 

How to motivate Drive styles

Competition keeps Drive types stimulated. As an employer, you can help your Drive types by finding opportunities for challenges and friendly competition in the workplace. It’s also good to keep them stimulated with new creative projects. Drive styles hate getting stuck in a boring routine as this zaps their productivity.  

This behavioral style thrives in problem-solving situations. So, if your team is experiencing a problem, letting D-types find solutions to it will give them the freedom and fulfillment they thrive on in the workplace.

When managing people with Drive styles, ensure you give them clear goals and end points as they don’t like dealing with confusion or uncertainty. It’s also good to encourage them to reach out to you with their thoughts or opinions to ensure they feel heard. When you do this, they’ll be encouraged to succeed. 

Influence style: De-stress through teamwork 

People with the Influence style feel motivated to connect with others. They’re the people on a team who will form strong bonds with others and they create a productive, engaging environment. When performing at their best, Influence styles are rays of sunshine: they’re passionate and energetic.  

Strengths of the Influence behavioral style

  • Brainstorming ideas 
  • Focusing on innovation 
  • Displaying excellent communication 
  • Building motivation in the team 
  • Having a strong network 

Biggest stress triggers

Since Influence behavioral types try to connect with others, they can become people pleasers. If they experience rejection from others, whether from someone on their team or their employer, this can stress them out. 

Influence behavioral styles also feel stressed and lack motivation in the workplace if they’re not given enough social recognition. This is because they thrive on positive interactions with and validation from others. Tight deadlines can also stress the I-type as they have a habit of taking on too many projects and may struggle to follow through on their commitments.  

How to motivate Influence styles 

Influence styles are motivated by status and approval, so it’s important to compliment and praise them when they achieve their goals. People with this behavioral style love to work with others, so team projects will appeal to them.

Allow them to take the lead sometimes, such as by making them a group leader on certain tasks. Creative projects motivate them, so think out of the box for tasks that enable them to use their creativity. 

Support style: Motivate through praise and help to carry the load

People with a Support style remain calm in the face of challenges. These are the employees who go with the flow without rocking the boat. They’re patient when working with others or in problem-solving difficult situations. You want these employees to deal with difficult customers because they don’t engage in conflict. You can rely on them no matter what. 

Strengths of the Support behavioral style

  • Self-driven and motivated to succeed
  • Encouraging other team members to achieve shared goals 
  • Easy to work with, which makes others want to be paired with them on tasks 
  • Skilled at diffusing tense or conflict-ridden situations 

Biggest stress triggers 

Since people with Support behavioral styles work hard and push themselves to succeed, they feel stressed when their efforts go unnoticed. They try to avoid conflict at all costs, which can sometimes cause them to put others’ needs ahead of their own. The result? They risk feeling resentment or getting burned out by always pushing themselves over the limit. 

Other things that stress out the Support personality are if their work environment is hostile or lacks organization. They want a calm, organized space that doesn’t interfere with them getting their job done. 

How to motivate Support styles

Support styles need to be seen in the workplace, so give them praise where praise is due. 

Avoid changing their project suddenly or cultivating a frenzied work environment, as both can cause them to feel stressed. If they’ve been working on a task for the last week, the worst thing to do is suddenly assign them to something else. 

Try to notice when the S-personality on your team is pushing themselves too hard so you can assist them, such as by assigning other people to help them carry their load.  

Clarity style: Keep things calm and organized

The Clarity style prefers working alone over working in a team. People with this style are self-motivated, so they don’t need others to encourage them to meet their deadlines. High standards of quality and correctness are important to the C-style personality and they work meticulously with great attention to detail. 

Strengths of the Clarity behavioral style

  • Highly organized, both regarding their thoughts and workspace
  • Logical thinkers with a focus on using facts 
  • Great at conducting research 
  • Attentive to detail and see things others might miss
  • Skilled at using facts and data to provide high-quality work

Biggest stress triggers 

People with a Clarity style tend to become stressed when faced with emotions. They might try to conceal their feelings instead of speaking up, making them feel stressed or negative about their workplace. 

Since they want to dive into projects and ensure there aren’t any inaccuracies or obstacles, they must have enough time for projects in order to perform at their best. This behavioral style doesn’t do well with short deadlines that are sprung on them. 

C-styles struggle with dealing with their own and others’ emotions in the workplace. Being forced to work with someone who’s highly emotional can cause them to feel overwhelmed.

How to motivate Clarity styles 

People with Clarity behavioral styles need clear, concise messages and instructions, so avoid throwing out random ideas. It’s also good to be clear about your expectations. Ideally, use facts, figures, dates and deadlines to help them understand what you want them to achieve.

To help a C-personality type de-stress, acknowledge their meticulous work without showing too much emotion. It’s good to give them their own space and be mindful about who you pair them with on tasks so they can thrive. 

Giulia Thompson

Giulia Thompson is an Italian-South African freelance writer and editor with several years of experience in print and online media. She lives in a small town in South Africa with her husband and three cats. She loves reading, writing, and watching thrillers. As an Enneagram Type 4, she’s creative and loves surrounding herself with beauty.