Training Tip Tuesday: Not All Introverts Are the Same

During live coaching sessions, our members practice all DISC styles of communication so that they develop an ability to shift their own style and increase their ability to establish rapport with others. Understanding one’s own style is where we begin, followed by learning how to identify others’ styles, and then we develop the muscles necessary to deliver the same message in different styles. What we find during the gym sessions is that distinguishing between the Steady S and Compliant C styles is less nuanced than our members perceive it to be. Let’s compare and contrast these two styles.


Picture Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler from the Big Bang Theory.


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While they are both introverted, they are also very different, right?


A High S may be introverted, but is still people-oriented. They are concerned with others’ feelings and emotions and are always looking out for the well-being of the team. An S-style will smile and engage with you, but will listen to you before they speak. Beginning a conversation with personal comments will break the ice and lead to a more fruitful conversation.


On the other hand, a High C-style communicator is less apt to smile at you nor willingly engage in personal chit chat. They may appear rude or curt simply because they are not thinking about feelings or emotions. The length of a conversation with a C-style is determined by the data or information needed. No ice breaking (and definitely no physical touch!) needed!


While both styles are reluctant to change and conflict, their responses to each help to illustrate their mindsets.


An S-style will often nod in agreement, even if they do not agree. They can be seen as the peace-keeper and will avoid rocking the boat. They will tolerate conflict and wait for it to go away. Think of them burying it and hoping it doesn’t rise to the surface again.


The High C also tolerates conflict, but alternatively, they are not afraid to argue. They will not agree if they disagree. For this style, rocking the boat is especially important if something is not accurate. Remember, the C-style is motivated by procedures and data. They will work towards a resolution and may even plan for the problem to come back again.


Change is something both a C and an S-style avoid, though for different reasons. A Steady S-style is concerned with the impacts of the change, on them and their team. If there’s a logical reason for the change, they will accept it better as long as there is time to process and implement it. Abrupt changes do not allow time for preparation which conflicts with an S-style’s desire for harmony and security. Remember…S stands for Steady.


A Compliant style appears to be against change if they believe there is no data to support the change or things are not in order for it to be implemented. If the change can be implemented according to procedure and the existing framework is prepared for it, then the C-style tolerates change. Again, the C-style is more concerned with rules and supporting information and does not associate emotions to change. Reminder: the C stands for Compliant.


Let’s circle back to Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler. While neither character has actually taken a DISC Assessment, we use them to illustrate characteristics of communication and behavior styles. If the Big Bang Theory does not resonate with you, choose a show that does and analyze its characters. Here is the crash course in DISC Styles to help you along. And then, prepare yourself to speak to those characters. How do you need to modify your natural style to match theirs?


While recognizing the subtleties between two communication styles helps us to learn to distinguish between them, we at The Communication Gym believe the ultimate goal is for us to communicate in a manner that resonates with our conversation partner(s).

If you’re ready to work out your communication muscles with a coach in a supportive environment, contact us here.

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