DISC Test: What is the Supportive or S Type?

6 min min read
Updated on August 17, 2021
by Sam Throness
DISC Test: What is the Supportive or S Type?

What are the four DISC personality types?

Here are the four DISC personality types and a brief description of each one:

D or Dominant: The dominant person is direct, forceful, strong-willed and proactive.

I or Inspiring: Inspiring: The inspiring person is enthusiastic, outgoing, ideas-oriented, and fun.

S or Supportive: Supportive: The supportive person is patient, diplomatic, flexible, and empathetic.

C or Conscientious: Conscientious: The conscientious person is detailed, accurate, thorough, and precise

What are the general characteristics of the Supportive person?

The supportive personality type is calm, stable, warm, loyal, and flexible to the needs of others. They are good listeners and are even-tempered. They like doing practical jobs, and often do the obvious jobs that others miss. Supportive people value trust strongly. Without trust, they see no basis for an ongoing relationship. Supportive people enjoy being part of a smaller team where they are more than just a number. They are empathetic and kind-hearted. In fact, they are so kind that sometimes their goodness can be taken advantage of.

What are the strengths of a Supportive person?

Supportive people have many strengths including:

  1. Flexibility: They do what’s required in a job, even when they’d prefer to do something else
  2. Dependability: Supportive people can be counted on to get things done and be reliable
  3. Harmony: Getting along with others and being part of a conflict-free environment are a priority to them
  4. Warmth: Personal relationships are important to them, and they respond warmly to relational overtures, and feeling the trust of others
  5. Listening: Supportive people enjoy listening and showing empathy to others
  6. Being good subordinate workers: They enjoy being part of a team and helping to support their leader

What are the weaknesses of a Supportive person?

Like every personality type, Supportive people have areas of weakness including:

  1. Conflict avoidance: Supportive people value harmony so much that they pursue ‘peace at any price.’ Many of the weaknesses of this personality style flow from this core trait
  2. Disliking change: The supportive person likes tomorrow to be much like today. They value security. So, they dislike change. They would prefer things to stay the same as they are and have a natural aversion to change.
  3. Passive aggressiveness: Because they have an aversion to conflict, they express dissatisfaction in ways other than face-to-face interactions.
  4. Holding grudges: Again, the Supportive person dislikes conflict, so may bury their feelings and nurse grudges from the past. They are slow to forget hurts and sleights, real or perceived.
  5. Not saying what they really think: If they believe that their opinions will cause conflict, they keep them to themselves. You may think you know what a Supportive person is thinking, but they may just be staying quiet to keep the peace.
  6. Feeling frozen in moments of stress. If they are going through extreme stress, the Supportive person may not know what to do next. They make become emotional and lash out at others that don’t deserve their anger. They will appreciate your help sorting through this process.

What are the greatest fears of a Supportive person?

A Supportive person’s greatest fear is to be involved in a significant conflict. Even when they are around a conflict that isn’t about them, they still feel spattered by it and take it home with them. They may think about, and feel upset by the conflict for days or weeks after it has occurred.

Their second fear is to cause offense to others. Often they will stay silent rather than risking a remark that may hurt someone’s feelings, or create disharmony on the team.

What is the perfect role for a Supportive person?

Supportive people enjoy working on a smaller team. They appreciate harmonious, conflict-free environments. Since appreciation means so much to them, they prefer seeing how they make a difference in someone’s life. Knowing that they’ve helped is very rewarding for them.

Getting practical jobs done is enjoyable to them. Working with their hands-on tangible jobs is satisfying to them. They also enjoy positions where they can develop closer relationships with co-workers.

Wherever they work, they appreciate stability, appreciation and harmony.

What to expect when working with a Supportive person

When working with a Supportive person, you can expect them to:

  1. Value trust: If trust is broken with a Supportive person, it takes a long time to rebuild.
  2. Lead an interior life. Supportive people have an inward-focussed personality. They think about things much more than they talk about them. If there is high trust in a relationship, they will open up and talk. If not, they won’t say much.
  3. Take time to process decisions. Supportive people don’t like being put on the spot for an answer. They want to take the time to process their thoughts and come up with a good decision.
  4. Dislike getting into conflict. This is their greatest fear, and they will think hard before stating opinions likely to cause disharmony
  5. Take time to adjust to change. They dislike change, and also know that change is part of life. They respond best to it if they have time to think it over, process it and adjust to it over time.
  6. Require alone time to recharge: If a Supportive person works with people throughout their day, they will enjoy the people and also feel drained by them. They need time to be alone and rejuvenate.

How do you be effective with an Inspiring person?

To be effective with a Supportive person:

  1. Build trust with them. Take time to get to know them on a personal level.
  2. Show them appreciation. Supportive people value appreciation more than they value money. If they feel valued in their role, they will stay for a long time.
  3. Give them a sense of security: Supportive people value knowing that their income will be stable, that they can count on the people around them, and that their position is secure.
  4. Allow them time to adjust to change: The more time they have to process decisions, the happier and more open to change they will be.
  5. Assist them in resolving conflict: If you know that a Supportive person is involved in a conflict with a co-worker, customer or family member, help them move past it. This may involve helping them process their emotions
  6. Show kindness and patience. Being heavy-handed with a Supportive person is not effective. Nor is being unkind, mean or manipulative. Instead, listen to them, give them honest feedback, and make it kind too.

Summary of the Inspiring personality type

In summary, the Supportive person is:

  • Reliable
  • Empathetic
  • Flexible
  • Loyal
  • Practical

In order for them to be more effective they need to:

  • Say what’s on their mind, even if it may cause disharmony
  • Practise forgiveness and not hold grudges. As the saying goes, “Bitterness is drinking poison hoping the other person will die!”
  • Be open to change
  • Increase the pace of work so they accomplish goals in a timely manner

Related Resources

Certificate in Leadership Fundamentals Starts at $499

Access to 10 of Getting People Right’s Flagship Courses:

  • Discovering and implementing core values
  • Enhancing your career through delegation
  • Building a one-page strategic business plan
  • Coaching based performance reviews
  • Using DISC Personality testing at work and home
  • Dealing with under performers
  • Learning the process to hire a-players
  • How to fire with minimum pain and drama
  • Objectively assessing your team
  • Building your personal annual plan
Start Learning Today