How to deal with an Influencing Boss

I remember when I first came to Asia, how do I deal with a Boss from a culture different to mine. I struggled for a while until i first came into contact with DISC. I quickly saw it was a way to cut through my cultural bias and enable me to understand the behaviours of both my new colleagues and bosses.


In the second of four articles, I’ll help by enabling you to tell the archetype styles, and give you an idea of how you are able to deal with them, by understanding their behaviour preferences. Part two- dealing with, communicating with, working with a Influential  Boss, as they are enthusiastic and motivated by “the experience.”

High I’s are Identified by These Easy to Read Traits

Communication             Fast, emotional, exciting and often entertaining

Motivated by                     Influencing others

Orientation                       People oriented, rather than project oriented

Main Priority                   People

Wants                                   To work with and be with other people

Basic Weakness             Not listening effectively

Key Strength                     Good verbally

Turn Off                              Can become too emotional

Work Pace                         Fast and often unorganized

Emotion                              Optimism

Wants others                    To be spontaneous and have fun

When confronted            Attempt to sell others, then acquiesce


When communicating with an INFLUENCING style:

  • Let them do most of the talking.
  • Be certain to ask how they “feel” about issues.
  • Help them focus on being objective.

Factors that tend to create tension or dissatisfaction with High I’s:

  • Others dominating the conversation.
  • Using too many details.
  • Not being warm or fuzzy enough.


How an “I” Boss Gives Assignments:

  • Spontaneous.
  • Informal.
  • Animated
  • No timeframe.
  • Unstructured.
  • Fast paced.
  • Focus is on generating ideas, building alliances.


“Hi Jan, how’s it going? (Chats for a while)…..I’m concerned. We’ve reduced the sales for Richland Development for the last three quarters. I like working with them and want to find a way to definitely increase our working relationships with them. Let’s meet for coffee and see how we can make this happen.”

 How to Respond to Assignments from “I” Boss:

  • Express your pleasure at hearing from them.
  • Validate their feelings.
  • Let them know you’re looking forward to working with them to solve the “opportunity”.


“Great to hear! You’re right! We had such a strong client relationship and something must be amiss. I like the idea of meeting for coffee and brainstorming ideas. I’ll bet we can figure things out and regain traction with Richland.”


Extra Tips…

Your Boss is an “I” & You Are a “D” Let them talk. Build on their ideas.

Your Boss is an “I” & You Are an “I”  Let them talk more than you.

Your Boss is an “I” & You Are an “S”  Listen & tactfully refocus conversation as needed.

Your Boss is an “I” & You Are a “C”  Offer to research resources for their ideas.