Simply put, behavioral styles reflect how we are wired and how we, of course, behave. The good thing about behavior is that you can temporarily adapt it whenever you need to in order to match another person’s style. It’s like a stereo synthesizer where the levers on the volume, base, treble, etc. can be moved up and down for your listening pleasure. If you are mostly bass but the person you are working with is not, you can lower your bass for a few minutes to have an effective conversation and raise it back up as you exit their office.
Each person has a dominant and secondary style that can be determined by observing their outward behavior.
There are four behavioral styles: Dominance (Go-Getter), Influence (Promoter), Steadiness (Nurturer), and Conscientiousness (Examiner), commonly referred to as DISC™ styles.
When you fine tune your observation skills, you’ll begin to notice the pace at which someone goes through life and if their attention is more focused towards people or tasks. Do they talk, walk, or eat fast or slow? Do they care about others’ weekend, family, or life or are they more task or goal oriented?
Once you observe these behaviors, you can determine the style you are encountering. Then you can begin to understand how to best communicate with that person.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- (D) Go-Getter = Fast Pace / Task Oriented
- Promoter = Fast Pace / People Oriented
- (S) Nurturer = Slow Pace / People Oriented
- (C) Examiner = Slow Pace / Task Oriented
Go-Getter - You want to be direct and fast paced with your conversation. They don’t really care about what you did at the family picnic, but they want to hear that you completed a project.
Promoter - Ask them about their friends and family, compliment them on their bold wardrobe and make them laugh any time you can. Talk faster or you may lose them.
Nurturer - Cares about you and those close to them. Be genuine with a Nurturer or they will dismiss you as being disingenuous. Don’t make sudden changes and expect them to be happy about it.
Examiner - All about precision and lists. Prove that you are the best at what you do and back it up with data…they LOVE data. They are slow to make a decision so give a deadline and they will research up to the last minute.
Knowing someone’s style makes it easier to effectively interact with that style in order to positively impact the relationship. So, remember that person that makes you crazy down the hall? It’s very possible that their style is the opposite of yours.
LABCAST: Be sure to attend Patty Kreamer's Lab Manager Academy webinar, "I'm OK... You're a Complete Mystery!" on July 8, or afterward at www.labmanager.com/behavioralstyle to watch the archived video.