Lillian D Bjorseth
Ever notice how comfortable you feel with certain people? You
can say and do what you want,and communication flows smoothly. Then,
there are those OTHER people. The ones whose footsteps in the hallway
make the hair on the back of your neck bristle as you put on your
armor for the battle that will ensue. It seems as if no matter what
you say or how you say it, good communication doesnï¿½t happen. Your
message is distorted, and you feel frustrated, misunderstood and
even angry. One of the major reasons for this common workplace phenomenon
is peopleï¿½s different behavioral style. You can be naturally conflictive
when you behave naturally!
Thereï¿½s hope. Behavioral experts have made it relatively easy
to understand why people act and react the way to do. And, once
you better understand yourself and others, you can modify your behavior
in different situations since people like to be dealt with in their
style. It will help you make the sale, improve teamwork, manage
better, reduce conflict and improve communication. These principles
have been espoused since Greek mythology and furthered by people
like Hippocrates, Carl Jung and William Marston.
The four major behavior patterns are dominance, influencing,
steadiness and conscientiousness (DISC). Each of us is a combination
of all four, but almost everyone finds at least one or two of the
styles most comfortable.
Dominant styles are easy to detect. They sport a strong handshake,
steady eye contact and exhibit a confidence that may overwhelm less
powerful people. They prosper by solving challenges ï¿½ and often
are a challenge for others. They donï¿½t get ulcers; they are carriers.
They are risk takers and thrive as CEOs of their own companies and
big corporations. To get along better, provide brief, direct answers.
Stick to business and the results they desire. Ask ï¿½whatï¿½ questions.
Influencers are natural networkers. They are still working the
room, hallways and parking lots long after most people have left.
Usually, people talk at 160 words a minute. High ï¿½Isï¿½ comfortably
speak at 400 words a minutes, with gusts up to 700 words. They are
spontaneous and change plans at a momentï¿½s notice. This can result
in piles of papers on their floors and desks, the top of which they
havenï¿½t seen since they got it. They thrive in sales, public relations
and other jobs that ï¿½deal with people.ï¿½ Provide a favorable, friendly
environment and let them verbalize about people, ideas, the weather
and on and on. Supply testimonials, as they want to know ï¿½whoï¿½ is
using your products and services and attending your After-Hours.
Focus on building relationships!
Steady people are just as their moniker indicates: Amicable,
calm, soothing, sincere, loyal and the consummate team player. They
are so nice ï¿½ dogs come up and pet them! They are most comfortable
when everyone gets along, thus, the most disappointed when conflict
arises. They often climb into their shell, hoping the disagreements
will disappear. They are by far the best listeners and often are
cornered by the natural networkers! Provide a sincere, personal
and agreeable environment. Focus on answers to ï¿½howï¿½ questions.
Assure them you will personally follow up.
Conscientious people are analytical, quality control people who
make sure things are done right. Usually, they think they can do
it ï¿½most right.ï¿½ As managers, they have sticky fingers and micro-manage.
They seem to have computers in their heads and compare what is said
to their database. If it fits, they keep it; if not, they discard
it. This process (and they spent a lot of time processing), takes
time and, therefore, they are the least verbal. Prepare your case
in advance and logically present pros and cons. Help them see the
ï¿½whys.ï¿½ Be prepared to provide lengthy explanations ï¿½ and leave
the small talk behind.
Understanding your personal preference(s) and those of others
will help you improve your bottom line results.
Lillian is called a networking expert by the Chicago Tribune
and the business networking authority by the Association Forum
of Chicagoland. She helps entrepreneurs through Fortune 100
employee improve business development, business networking &
communication skills. Author of Breakthrough Networking: Building
Relationships That Work & other products. Top graduate of
University of Missouri School of Journalism.