As a career coach and business coach, I work with all types of individuals. Some are incredibly direct and assertive. Others are more coolly analytical. Some are quite friendly and relationship-oriented. Still others are laid back and mellow. Being able to assess a client’s, behavior style is critically important for me to be able to make sure I can get through to and help my client. At FocalPoint, I use a methodology called DISC, which has been around for decades, that enables me to quickly and simply “read” someone’s style, and react and adapt accordingly.
But how can you use the same methodology to improve your communications and increase the odds that you will land that “Perfect Job”? The first step is recognizing your own style and knowing what your default patterns are. Then, you can start to pinpoint key characteristics in the people with whom you interact, which will enable you to place them at ease and focus on what information will be important to share with your potential employer.
The reason that I start all career coaching engagements with a behavioral assessment, and specifically a DISC behavioral assessment, is that we are all wired differently — we all communicate differently, we all think differently, and we have different priorities. But ultimately, there are four main styles, labelled “D”, “I”, “S”, and “C”, hence the “DISC” acronym. Some of us are very Direct, some of us are more Influencers, some of us appreciate Steadiness, and some of us are Compliance and analytical oriented. Depending on what behavior style you are, you’re looking at the world through a different filter. Your style dictates how you tend to communicate, as well as how you tend to interpret signals from others.
So, in order for me to be a good career coach, I need to know how I’m going to get through to you, and how you’re wired. But more importantly, when I debrief clients on their style, I spend only about half of the time helping them understand their own behavior style, and what their strengths and what their potential pitfalls are. The other half is focused on the question ‘how do we apply this to others in a real-world business sense’? ‘How do I speed-read what somebody else’s behavior style is so that I can tailor my communications to be a better fit for what they’re looking for, and the way they need to process communications’? What a great tool to have at your disposal when you are in an interview situation.
In my business coaching practice, I have personally witnessed powerful breakthrough communication with the DISC assessment tool. While the assessment itself is a quick and simple process to complete, the debrief and actions to put in place can drive significant results breakthroughs. Upon reviewing an assessment, I work with my client on integration strategies to improve their communication results. There’s a process behind it, which is what I love, because it all just makes sense.
Let’s walk through the four main styles of the DISC methodology.
We are all truly combinations of all four styles, but we do tend to gravitate towards one area where we’re most comfortable. That’s kind of our default. So, if your “D” dimension is highest, that means you’re more about dominance. You kind of like to dominate a conversation. You’re pretty assertive. You like to get in there and tend to like to control the flow of a conversation. You’re very, very down to business, very, very on task and task-oriented. The world needs to understand that and address you as such if they want to be persuasive and influential with you.
Influencer style, the “I”, is all about the relationship, and all about creating that personal comfort level first before we get into business. So, someone with a high “I” orientation would certainly want to talk with you a little bit about “the ball game” (or something) before you get down to business, even if just briefly, to create some kind of a personal rapport before launching headlong into business.
Going around the horn to the “S” dimension, Steadiness, these are people that are also warm, but a little bit quieter, a little bit more laid back. (I don’t want to use the word ‘introverted’, because that really takes you to a very different type of assessment. But this is someone who is not necessarily going to be the initiator of a conversation. Someone who needs to be drawn out.) S-types value steadiness. They value stability. They don’t like to be rushed into decisions. You’ll turn them off quickly if you give them a hard sell.
Lastly, “C” stands for Compliance. They are incredibly analytical. They are data driven, to an extreme. They want to see facts and figures on just about everything. They don’t mind getting deep into the detail, and they want you to prove it to them. Don’t make an assertion that you’re not willing to go back and prove. If you do they’re going to ask you for proof. Obviously, the strategy, that would be ideal for one of these types might be the polar opposite of what some of the others are looking for.
If you want to be effective and persuasive in communication, you need to be able to identify and adapt to their style, not expect them to adapt to you. Give them the message in their style not yours. If you do not 75% of the population is speaking a different language and your message will not get through.
About the Author
With more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales, management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Career/Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your business effectively.
Driven by his passion and ability to help you communicate more effectively, Greg will give you tools you need to formulate and deliver a clear, sharp, focused message that will allow you to land the “PERFECT JOB” and “PERFECT CAREER” Greg’s 3 step process will take you from confused and unsure to focused and confident in less than 10 days
Ready to begin finding the way to make you a better communicator so you can land The Perfect Job? Let’s get the conversation started. Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today! 724 612 2290