Situational Leadership® and DiSC®: Managing the “High i” (INFLUENCE)

When you attend a Situational Leadership® training session, you learn that leadership styles are neither “good” nor “bad.” In large part your degree of success as a leader is a function of the person you are attempting to influence, the task that needs to be accomplished and your ability to effectively execute the leadership style with the highest probability of success.

When you attend DiSC® training you learn that human behavior is a product of how people perceive and respond to their environment. You get a DiSC® profile based on your DiSC® assessment that provides validated insight into why you behave the way you behave. Beyond that, it provides you with valuable insight into why others behave the way they do.

Since leadership is both a complicated and thoughtful endeavor, it stands to reason that leaders will benefit from the ability to integrate tools like Situational Leadership® and DiSC®. In that regard, imagine you are a Situational Leader with a task that needs to be accomplished through a follower whose DiSC® profile suggests they are a “high i” (INFLUENCE: bold and accepting). What behaviors would a “high i” tend to exhibit at each of the four levels of Performance Readiness®, and what should you (as the leader) consider doing and not doing as you execute each of the four leadership styles?

DiSC® Style—INFLUENCE Performance Readiness® Cues and Leadership Style Responses


  • R1—Unable but Insecure or Unwilling
    • InsecureNoticeably intimidated by the prospect of letting others down
    • UnwillingUncharacteristically reserved and indifferent
  • S1High Task/Low Relationship Behavior
    • DOCommand attention and direct focus to the task at hand; respond to questions seeking clarity on next steps; closely supervise and recognize any positive migration on task performance
    • DON’TBe afraid to usher in short-term discomfort in service of creating movement in the right direction


  • R2Unable and Confident/Willing
    • High energy becomes a source of contagious enthusiasm for others
  • S2High Task/High Relationship Behavior
    • DOCommunicate progress of the team at large; entertain questions and encourage discussion after guidance on the task has been provided; demonstrate interest in progress and provide praise
    • DON’TIgnore or miss an opportunity to openly recognize effort, improvement or results achieved


  • R3Able but Insecure or Unwilling
    • InsecureImpulsively manufactures unrealistic outcomes; prefers “talking things through” to actually “doing them”
    • UnwillingReluctant, unresponsive and noticeably apathetic
  • S3High Relationship/Low Task Behavior
    • DOAsk questions to uncover the root cause of the anxiety, insecurity or lack of motivation; bring conversation back to actions they will take and the timeframe in which they will take them; listen intently and document
    • DON’TFeel the need to rush the conversation or dismiss the narrative being shared; feel the need to agree with the perspective being shared


  • R4Able and Confident/Willing
    • Lively, outgoing and passionate; encourages others to follow suit
  • S4Low Relationship/Low Task
    • DOProvide them with a platform to be an ambassador of performance; provide an opportunity for them to actively mentor others; follow up and reinforce success regularly
    • DON’TThink periodic recognition and appreciation for something they have mastered ever gets old