Effective Strategies to Manage a Highly Interpersonal Leader

The I type, or Influencer can seem the most outgoing and extroverted of the four leadership behaviors detailed in the DISC assessment. On the contrary, high-I employees are charismatic, friendly, and social, but that doesn’t mean managing them is always accessible. Here’s what you need to know to manage a highly interpersonal leader.

a photo of a laughing woman that depicts a highly interpersonal manager

Identifying a High-I Colleague

The DISC behavioral assessment has four leadership styles: Dominant, Influencing or Interpersonal, Steady, and Conscientious. The following traits can usually identify a colleague with a high score in the I column:

  • Charming
  • Confident
  • Convincing
  • Enthusiastic
  • Inspiring
  • Optimistic
  • Persuasive
  • Sociable
  • Trusting

High-Interpersonal teammates need social relationships and a friendly environment at work. They’re very optimistic and trust quickly. They fear being left out or facing social rejection.

How to Manage a Highly Interpersonal Leader

If you want to manage a high-I leader, you need to see beneath the cheerful surface of the needs and motivations. Below are some familiar drivers of high-I employees and how you can best meet them where they’re at.

  • They’re concerned with approval and appearances. Instead, show your high-I employees that you admire and like them.
  • They seek enthusiastic people and situations. Therefore, when talking to them, remain optimistic and provide an upbeat work environment when possible.
  • They are emotional thinkers. You should support their feelings and let them know you understand their feelings.
  • They want to know the general expectations. So avoid bombarding them with too many details and instead focus on the big picture.
  • They need involvement and contact with others. So interact and participate with them when you can, and ensure they have opportunities for teamwork.
  • They like changes and innovations. So allow them to vary their routine; avoid requiring long-term repetition.
  • They want others to notice them. It would help if you made it a point to give them personal compliments for their hard work.
  • They often need help getting organized. Walk through their organization process together to look for areas of improvement.
  • They look for action and stimulation. Keep a quick, lively pace. These employees thrive when new projects come up.
  • They surround themselves with optimism. You should support their ideas and try not to poke holes in their big ideas; show them your positive side.
  • They want feedback that they “look good.” It would help to mention their accomplishments, progress, and other things you genuinely appreciate.

High-I personalities can struggle with prioritizing tasks, a significant leadership weakness. To best manage a highly interpersonal leader, focus on helping them prioritize and stay organized. Regular check-ins and concrete benchmarks can help them see tasks through to completion. In addition, clear, written communication will help them manage their workflow and remain on track.

Are you interested in putting the DISC assessment to work for your business? Want to talk more about how to manage a highly interpersonal leader? I have administered and debriefed over 3,000 pre-hire behavioral profiles for my clients. Click here if you would like to learn more about a fast and affordable way to assess and understand candidate talents and opportunities.

Coach Dave

Dave Schoenbeck
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