The S Personality Type

Understanding the S-personality

General

S-personalities are calm, collected people who choose their words carefully. They are patient, kind, and thoughtful people, rarely speaking out of turn or without intent in pretty much everything they do. They are gentle and open to new people and new surroundings, though they will need some time to adapt before opening up and showing their truly warm spirit.

Communicating with an S-personality

Start any conversation with an S-personality in a friendly, personal way, even in business settings. S’s tend to be a little reserved and are leery of people that are too direct and use short, clipped tones or language. Be warm and use welcoming facial expressions when talking and give them time to process and respond.

Giving Feedback

An S-personality will withdraw or become passive aggressive if feel threatened, confronted or isolated from the group. Don’t ever try to give feedback publicly. The S-personality is less likely to shut down and seem unresponsive if there is any way to give them notice before a feedback conversation. Try to cover positive areas first and deliver negative feedback in a reassuring way. Working with them on long term goals and providing concrete examples of success is a great way to encourage the S-personality to be more productive.

Ideal Roles

S’s are inclined to listen to- and encourage the people that surround them. S’s nurture close relationships and like structure and routine. They shy away from rapid change and a fast-paced culture and are therefore less inclined to naturally seek leadership positions. When they are in a position of authority, the S-personality will work very hard to ensure the office reflects the harmony and balance they value so highly.

Team Dynamics

S-personalities prefer to participate as supporting team members and usually do not seek leadership roles unprompted. S’s often need to be encouraged to express themselves and give their opinions. They love structure, guidelines and rules when working on a project because they like to have a concrete process. S’s process information carefully, with intention, and are likely to resent any fast changes or decisions.

Motivators

S-personalities are motivated by recognition but prefer to have deep, personal connections and therefore won’t be thrilled if publicly congratulated. They do not like being the center of attention. S’s seek balance and harmony in every aspect of their lives and tend to follow a rigid schedule or routine. They can be workhorses and possess the ability to happily work through seemingly tedious tasks for long stretches of time.

Stressors

S-personalities operate on emotion and feelings of isolation, fast pace, quick change and conflict will cause them to shut down. They can react to stress by acting cold, falsely claiming they are fine, using passive aggressive behavior and withdrawing from the group.

Re-charging

S-personalities might be some of the more social people you know but when they need to re-charge, they often do so alone. They need time to do nothing and process, especially if they are stressed or feeling exhausted by conflict. S’s need to figure out how to slow the world down for a bit in order to regain their energy.

Approaching

S-personalities are open and friendly. They aren’t likely to walk up to a stranger, so it’s up to new connections to strike up conversation. S’s feel connected when people ask them about themselves, especially if those people are new. Start any conversation with an S-personality in a personable way and try to avoid being overly blunt.

Interrupting

S-personalities tend to work diligently and although they are amiable people, they tend to go “head’s down” as they work through their tasks. If you have to interrupt their workflow, try not to do so to announce changes or present new ideas. The S-personality prefers to plan those kinds of meetings so they can prepare adequately. If you need to interrupt, make sure you do so casually and don’t make a big deal out of whatever it is you feel needs to be communicated at that moment.

Communicating with an S-personality

General

When you communicate with an S-personality, keep a level tone and try not to add too much inflection to your voice. Ask questions to keep them in engaged and allow for plenty of time for a thoughtful response. S-personalities might be a little reserved at times and they can come across as shy. Try to build a personal connection, even in business situations, by asking easy questions before getting to the main point of the conversation.

Giving Instructions

S-personalities don’t operate well with vague, big ideas or too many possibilities. When giving S-personalities instructions, provide them with exact steps to work through. Most S’s prefer to work through on task at a time and know exactly what needs to be done. They don’t need a lot of context but will ask for the rules and guidelines before getting to work. Make sure to have the entire project planned out so the S-personality can follow your instructions to the letter.

Giving Feedback

Offer concrete feedback and be specific in why you wanted to talk about any specific issue. If possible, give some notice to the S-personality what you want to discuss and why and offer some reassurance that the conversation will ultimately have a positive outcome and lead to a more stable process or environment.

Ask questions such as:

  • Do you see a better process for improvement?
  • How can I support you?
  • S’s can be emotional, and if that happens, gently offer to end the conversation and re-visit a little later in order to give them to fully process the conversation.
Email

Use formal language when emailing an S-personality, especially if you are a new or business acquaintance. Start with a formal greeting and give some context around who you are before getting to the point of your email. If possible, point out common connections and try your best to avoid slang or abbreviations. Always include a call-to-action when writing to S’s so they know what you’d like them to do next.

Summary

S-personalities are the steady diplomats, seemingly reserved when in fact their biggest motivator is acceptance. They are friendly, warm and gentle and they will work hard to ensure everyone in their lives feels supported and secure. S’s like structure and routine helps them feel secure and provides the balance they need to thrive in the workplace. Above all else, S’s are intuitive to other’s feelings and will know if anyone is being insincere. Always be honest and avoid being vague when interacting with an S-personality. They will appreciate your honesty.

Ideal Roles
  • Nurse
  • Social Worker
  • Customer Service Rep
  • Psychologist
  • Teacher