Creating Extraordinary Characters –– Part VI

Olivia de Haviland as Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind

Olivia de Haviland as Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind

What’s your main character’s personality type and how did you develop it? That’s what we’re looking at in this series. There are many different personality tools to evaluate both our own and our characters’ distinct personalities. DISC is a personality tool to help in corporate cultures, whether they be families, companies, or non-profit organizations. Click to Tweet #amwriting #characters

The “S” in DISC stands for “Steadiness.”

They are motivated by cooperation, opportunities to help, and sincere appreciation. People with this personality prioritize giving support, collaboration and maintaining stability. Their temperament is described as calm, patient, predictable, deliberate, stable, and consistent. However, they may be limited by being indecisive, overly accommodating and tendency to avoid change. On their down side, they may fear change, loss of stability, and offending others. But, they value loyalty, helping others, and security.

Everyone has goals. People with a high “S” do, too. Their goals in life include:

  • personal accomplishments
  • group acceptance
  • power through formal roles and positions of authority
  • maintenance of status quo and controlled environment

They will need to expend more energy to:

  • quickly adapt to change or unclear expectations
  • multitask
  • promote themselves
  • confront others

When communicating with the S style individuals, be personal and amiable, express your interest in them and what you expect from them, take time to provide clarification, be polite, and avoid being confrontational, overly aggressive or rude.

Melanie Wilkes-2High “S” people make good specialists. They are achievers. They’d make good agents––not sure whether they mean talent agents, real estate agents, literary agents, or what. Investigations are something they’d also excel in. Make your detective, private eye, or amateur a high S.

Who can you think of from literature who might be a high “S?” I can think of one high “S” in particular. Melanie Wilkes from Gone With the Wind. She had the sweetest nature, often playing peacemaker between Scarlett and Rhett. She was the one who finally got through to Rhett when he was wild with grief over losing his daughter.

My husband also exhibits many of these traits. I’m the hothead. He’s calm, stable, and somewhat predictable, but that’s a good thing in a husband. When he leads, he is very inclusive and humble.

If they’re leaders, their leadership styles are inclusive. They’ll rule with humility, and they’ll be affirming.

What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know. People with the S style place an emphasis on cooperating with others within existing circumstances to carry out the task. Click to Tweet #amwriting #characters

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