Thu | Dec 13, 2018

Trevor Smith | Potential disciplinary pitfalls - Pt 2

Published:Sunday | May 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Trevor Smith


Last week, we addressed potential pitfalls when disciplining individuals with a preference for D-Style behaviour. [Ref:]

Today, we identify potential pitfalls when disciplining children and adults with a preference for I-Style behaviour. Access a quick reference guide to identifying and relating to the different styles here:



Characteristics of I-style individuals


Outgoing/people-oriented; interconnected; innovative; involved; impulsive; inspirational.




Living harmoniously is essential to individuals with a preference for I-Style behaviour. Angry confrontations are not on their agenda. They really would like for all encounters to be represented by a smiley-faced icon.

One result of this mindset is a tendency to take an airy light-heartedness into disciplinary discussions. This is intended to mask their discomfort with being in a truly awkward situation. Also, there is the desire to reduce the tension and level of upset of the other party.

Consequently, they may actually give a joke or make statements that are not connected to the situation.

This can annoy the individual who wants to focus attention on carrying out the disciplinary action. A frequent comment is, 'This is serious. This is not a joke.'

Appreciating their discomfort and genuine desire to please could help you to adjust your tone and choice of words to better achieve your objectives without damaging the relationship.




Individuals who favour I-Style behaviour are not keen to engage in D-Style pushback and the mounting of a strong defence. They would prefer to quickly return to a more pleasant state of affairs.

From that perspective, there is greater readiness to commit to compliance or to fix the problem. "Yes. I understand. I'll do as you say." "OK. I'll sort it out. Leave it to me."

That should have a nice ring in your ears. Your intervention is having the desired effect!

Unfortunately, a little voice in your head reminds you that you have been here before. Also, the speed with which the commitment is offered might make you wonder how genuine it is.

Yah. Sometimes, even though the promise is genuine in the moment and there is every intention to remain in good graces by complying, the I-Style individual could be deflected by new developments.

Their desire to please and keen interest in life's unfolding events could result in them going back on their commitment. A compelling call comes in and they respond to it.