Ivy (Interactive)

Genius of the Supportive Style

This is the 3rd of a four-part series on The Hidden Genius of Style. When conducting Taking Flight with DISC training, we discuss the hidden genius that each DISC style possesses. This remarkable ability comes so naturally to each style that they may barely notice it, yet this genius plays a major role in their own success. It’s also a skill that none of the other styles possess at the genius level. Next up, the genius of S.

There’s an exercise in our Taking Flight With DISC corporate training programs where we ask each style groups a question: When do you know that you are right? For Conscientious styles the answer is obvious: The facts confirm it. If C’s do not have enough data to conclusively determine what is right, they will likely wait until more information is available before reaching a final conclusion. How do I’s know that they’re right? When it feels right. I’s often have the ability to intuitively size up a situation and see its potential. They feel it first, and then work backwards into the facts to reinforce their perspective. How do D’s know they’re right? In our sessions, the answer is often volunteered by the other groups to great laughter: “D’s are born right!” Indeed, Dominant styles are naturally confident that they are right and they’re willing to take on anyone to defend it. For D’s it’s not personal, they just believe in themselves and do not feel the need to apologize if others lack the same self assuredness.

For Supportive styles, the question is a little different: Do you need to be right? Almost always, S’s in our programs, say, “No.” S’s are far more interested in the group arriving at consensus decisions than in being personally ‘right’. And this is the S’s hidden genius.

S’s bring people together. They are willing to give credit to others if it benefits the team and the organization. They don’t tend need or even like being in the spotlight. So when a group is strategizing its course of action, S’s make sure that everyone is OK with where things are going. And when they are not, S’s work privately to create buy-in and support.

If a leader does not have the need to be right, then he or she is likely to create an environment where others have the opportunity to put forward their best thinking. Not having their own particular agenda to sell enables S’s to serve as peace brokers that are trusted by those on every side of a contentious issue. S’s intuitively understand that the group will deliver their best results when competing issues are heard, respected, and harmonized. S’s embody these powerful leadership traits that, when properly utilized, can guide a team to peak performance.


Daniel Silvert