Keys for Adapting Your Behavioral Style to Others
Earlier this week, I wrote a blog article entitled “Know your Style to Get Ahead. It discussed the 4 different behavioral styles. In case you missed it, you can read that article here. I’d like to build on that article now and share some tips for applying behavioral style knowledge to advance your career.
Although we can all use most of the styles, we tend to use 1-2 most frequently. The four styles recognized in the DiSC model for understanding human behavior are:
- Dominance: The results-oriented, quick decision maker
- Influence: The people-person, who loves to interact and has lots of enthusiasm
- Steadiness: The dependable, loyal team player
- Conscientious: The detail-oriented, analytical thinker
Leverage your Own Style’s Strengths
Remember that there’s no one best style. In fact, in any job, you probably need to use all of the styles at different times, depending on the situation. You might need to use one style when you are looking at detailed reports, another when you are leading a team, another when supporting other team members, and another when championing a new corporate initiative. In fact, the best teams are made up of the greatest diversity of styles. That’s because one person’s liability is another person’s strength.
So take full advantage of your behavioral style strengths. Know what they are and when to use them. Then learn to adapt your approach to the needs of the other styles when the situation requires.
How to Adapt to Other Behavioral Styles
The main thing to remember when adapting to other’s behavioral style is to be like them. Approach them in the manner they would approach you. Here are some quick tips that can help you:
- With the “D” style: Tell them the results you need, and let them figure out how to get it done. Don’t try to force your will on them, or micro-manage them. Don’t give long, detailed explanations. Focus on the bottom line in a quick, direct way.
- With the “I” style: Approach them in a personable, relaxed, upbeat manner. Don’t shower them with details or be too serious. Use humor. Let them know you like them and value them.
- With the “S” style: Approach them in a warm, but deliberate manner. Explain step-by-step methods for best getting things done. Let them know they can count on you. Follow-up when you say you will. Don’t change things just for the sake of change. Be as dependable with them as they would be with you.
- With the “C” style: Give them the details they need and ask for. Don’t be vague in response to their questions. Know what you’re talking about and be able to back it up with facts.
The Winning Edge
When you adapt your style to others, it will help you build much better bridges to them. They will respect your approach (because, after all, it’s like theirs). They will trust you more. They will think more highly of you.
In any competitive endeavor, this will give you a winning edge that others might not know about. After all, it’s not just what you know. It’s not just who you know. It’s how others think and feel about you that makes all the difference.
How to Learn More
Our live virtual "Interpersonal Skills" class will provide you with a DiSC profile to learn about your own style and teach you ways to adapt your approach to be most effective with other people. As a live online virtual class, it's easy to participate. All you need is access to the computer and a telephone. You can receive more information and review the class schedule below: