The I Personality Type
Understanding the I-personality
I-personalities are confident people who are fun to be around. These individuals love social settings and love connecting with others, especially new people, because a wide social network, or knowing a lot of people, makes them happy. They get excited to explore fresh ideas and begin new projects, and are likely to bounce around between what they are working on.
I's are known to be warm and welcoming, and they have a sincere interest in the feelings of others. Their openness and social awareness is considered charming to those who interact with them and they will never shy away from being the center of attention.
Communicating with an I-personality
The I-personality wants to get to know the person they are interacting with and will often start by asking personal questions in order to feel a connection and increase rapport, especially in new situations. Those interacting with an I-personality should expect friendly, engaging conversation littered with banter and lots of facial expressions and hand gestures. The I-personality is extremely casual, loves to joke around, and can be uncomfortable in situations that call for formality or hushed voices. Loosen up when talking to the I’s.
I-personalities are motivated by social recognition. This is important to note when providing an I-personality with feedback because they need to feel that their skills and value is noticed. Start the feedback discussion by focusing on some good attributes so I’s know you are paying attention and don’t only head negative criticism, whey they can easily interpret as pessimism. I’s hate negativity and will actively avoid the topic or push back on what they hear if they don’t feel that important personal connection with the person they are talking to.
Ideal Roles / Your Effectiveness
I-personalities like to be the center of attention, are social and talkative. This is the trifecta of leadership qualities and and the “I” in I-personality can often be translated to Instigator or Influencer. I-personalities love to brainstorm and talk about ideas but are rarely the executors in the group. I’s that understand this quality and build teams around more analytical, detail-oriented personalities are always the most effective. Otherwise, the I-personality can have a tendency to bounce from one project to another, overlook crucial information, and drive the more analytical personalities a little crazy.
The I-personality works hard to maintain a positive environment and ensure a strong team dynamic, one where their teammates feel heard, included, and cared for. While and I-personality is often assertive and less filtered with expressive, they are also very perceptive and can be sensitive to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. I’s like everyone to be involved and feel included.
The biggest motivation for I-personalities is social recognition. They fear rejection and loss of approval. Additionally, I-personalities are extremely social and are energized when they can initiate change in a creative, fast-paced work environment. If an I-personality looks like they are struggling, shine the spotlight on them, say something positive in a public way, and let them be the center of attention. They will cheer up quickly.
The I-personality feeds off the positivity they try to project and will similarly lose energy if they perceive strong negativity or pessimism. I’s also hate to be held to rigid schedules and will avoid routine, detailed tasks they view as mundane. Similarly, the I-personality will lose energy and feel stressed if they begin to feel isolated or lonely. They need social energy to really thrive.
I-personalities are extroverted, which means when they need to re-energize, they often seek out social situations. Put simply, they need to have fun with their friends. Don’t expect an I-personality to go home after a long, stressful day. The I’s will want to unwind at happy hour, a group fitness class or anywhere with a large group of people shaking off the stress of the work day.
I-personalities are warm, friendly, outgoing people who love to talk. That means that you can approach I’s pretty much whenever you feel like it and risk little annoyance. The fact is, I-personalities welcome all people to walk up and start talking, even perfect strangers.
I’s like to verbalize their thoughts, ideas and feelings and will relish the chance to talk about them at any time. Don’t worry about interrupting an I-personality. Your biggest challenge is going to be keeping the conversation on topic as the I-personality can often change the subject quickly and go off on a tangent.
Communicating with an I-personality
Be prepared to talk with the I-personalities. They love to find personal connections and will be a little offended if someone isn’t as open and excited as they are. I’s prefer casual conversation and will use lots of hand gestures and visual aids to get their point across. The I’s will talk so much that it’s a great idea to follow up a business meeting in writing to lay out the action items and important bullet points so they don’t forget what was said.
When providing instructions to an I-personality, focus on the big picture and don’t go into too much detail. I’s like to use their creativity to solve problems and the best way to encourage their success is to give them a few suggestions and let them figure out their best solution. Set clear, realistic goals, allow them to ask all of their questions, and set a deadline to make sure the I-personality stays on task.
Provide your feedback in a casual setting. I’s will immediately challenge anyone that tries to use intimidation to gain authority. The I-personality is more likely to engage in a feedback discussion if it’s framed as a question or concern.
Ask questions such as:
- What do you think of the situation?
- Do you think you could have done anything differently?
- I’s wear their heart on their sleeve and tend to process by thinking out loud so give them time to ask questions once the feedback has been provided.
Use informal greetings and expressive, friendly language when writing to an I-personality. Try to make a connection with I’s, even via email. Using punctuation to emphasize your enthusiasm and even an emoji or two will encourage a response more quickly.
I’s are social people. They thrive on feeling included and will use their extroverted, engaging personalities to work any room and win friends. I’s radiate enthusiasm and their excitement for new challenges and big ideas tends to encourage the same response from those around them. They are natural leaders who possess excellent verbal and communication skills but can be a bit scattered if they don’t focus on one thing at a time. If you have an I-personality on the team you can always count on them to organize the social outings for your office. They love to have fun and will look at their work as another expression of their creativity.
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