Ever walk away from a face-to-face meeting or hang up after a phone conversation and think “wow, I felt ZERO connection to him/her”, or “I struggled to get 2 words in”, or just said “what a BLEEP”? As a business owner you need to be able to interact well with a variety of personality types. But sometimes, it is not all that simple. WHY? That is because we all have a variety of communication /personality styles, and our dominant style does not connect well with some of the other styles. Each of the styles have a continuum of characteristics that determine how we interact with other styles and if the 2 styles have characteristics on other ends of the continuum, good communication is challenging. Let us look at one of the leading personality profile assessments used by business, DISC.
The DiSC model of behavior was originally proposed by William Moulton Marston, a physiological psychologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard. DiSC is an acronym that stands for the four main personality profiles described in the model: (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness or stabilizing and (C)onscientiousness or cautious. The descriptions of the 4 personality types are:
We all have a mixture or the various personality types but one or two will be our dominant style. If you mainly fall on the left side (D or C) your general focus is on tasks. If on the right (I or S), you may be more focused on people and relationships. If your style is largely at the top of the circle (D or I), you probably tend to be more outgoing and open in your communication. If you are at the bottom side of the circle (C or S), you may be more reserved or laid back in style.
So, for example, if your dominant style is S (Stabilizing), largely more laid back and focused on people and their feelings and are trying to work with or communicate with a D (Dominance) personality type, who is much more outgoing and is highly focused on tasks, the interaction may be challenging. When you are trying to persuade or gain agreement from someone that has a dominant style significantly different than yours, it is important to recognize that, be patient with the other’s style and perhaps turn up your behaviors that better match their style to have more efficient interaction. No style is right or wrong, just maybe different from ours. We need to be flexible and use the traits of the various styles from time to time in order to communicate well with all styles.