My supervisor is a high I—the inspiring, influencing one in the office. He wants to be everyone’s friend—and he tends to get upset if he is not seen as such. In every situation, he must be the center of attention and the life of the party—he’s fun-loving and outgoing and always telling an interesting story. He just wants everyone to like him. Once when I said something that upset him, he thought about it for hours before confronting me. Then when he did confront me, he used his words and emotions to convey himself, hurting me with his words in the process. However, knowing he’s an I and how he thinks, I made the intelligent decision to apologize for how I might have come across—and as a final offering, I asked him if he and I were “okay.” I did the latter because I know that for him, being “liked” by me was far more important than any apology. He forgot the situation almost instantly.
Everyone knows that high I’s in their lives: the life of the party, the salesman, the emotional one who wants to be well-liked and popular. Their basic motivation is recognition—so most people definitely know who they are! But here are a few things to remember about the high I personality profile:
- I’s stand out in a crowd, mostly because they love people….They want to be popular and look good and be known as fun-loving and outgoing. People like to be around them because of their ability to inspire others with their energetic personality and exciting attitude. My supervisor is the first person to organize a happy hour and ask you how your weekend was. He’s not making small-talk—he is genuinely interested in people’s lives and what’s going on with them. He can strike up a conversation with anyone—because I’s become friends with everyone they meet! The other personality profiles could learn a lot about forming relationships and improving their people skills from the I’s.
- …and sometimes they stand out because they are seeking recognition and attention. They don’t just want to stand out—many times, they need to stand out. This need for attention and approval from others is excessive in your high I’s. In addition, their need for attention may cause time management problems. My supervisor never wants to spend too much time in his office, looking at a computer screen—he wants to be in the middle of the action! He wanders around the office numerous times a day searching for personal interaction—to share an anecdote, tell a story, or just check in with everyone. However, this need for personal attention often results in having to take work home with him or rushed work to meet deadlines.
- In conflict, I’s are very compromising. Wanting to be liked, needing to please others, and being motivated by recognition means that high I’s only want peace in conflict situations. They try to avoid conflict if at all possible. But mostly, they don’t want anyone to dislike them, so they are more prone to make the easy choice instead of the right one. I have watched my supervisor struggle with this many times over the past year. What I’s need to remember about conflict is that “I” is the middle letter in the word “pride”—in other words, that they should not let their ego and people pleasing deter them for standing up for what is right. Don’t worry about being popular, worry about doing the right thing.
Influencing others can be a great asset or a great flaw in high I’s. They should focus on using their people skills to create peaceful environments, whether at home or at work—but not for the sake of pleasing others. If I’s can focus less on their desire for attention, they can focus more on being natural leaders who inspire and motivate others to be their best!
Do you know a high I? What’s your favorite thing about him or her?