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Managing Behavioral Styles

To broaden my understanding of people, I've spent time studying social styles and responses to conflict. I've also taken a great interest in Myers Briggs Personality Types. However, for the workplace, the DISC model might be one of the best tools for determining styles of behavior and how your employees work best.

by Ann Liu
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As a manager in the organization - have you ever experienced a situation when you try your best to motivate someone but he or she seems not care? Have you ever experienced a situation where no matter how hard you work; you find your management style seems only work with a few people but misses the mark with others?

Every employee has his or her own behavior and working style, how to handle the differences in among of them is a challenge.

To achieve your objective, the first thing you need to do is to know the fact and understand the reality - You really cannot motivate another person.

You perhaps can do something to get your employees get motivated in the short term, but to really get it works in the long term; employees need to change their own behavior and style, which can only come from within.

In addition, you may think, creating an environment where can stimulate people to change and become self-motivated is a good way to go. Yes, it works well in the short term, but still, it can't help you that much in the long term if you don't use proper tool to assist you.

To achieve people effectiveness and create a high performing team, the key you need is to understand different styles of behavior and what each style needs. DISC behaviors-based model is what you need.

DISC is a model that has been used by more than 40 million people worldwide, and it has been translated into more than 17 languages. The intension of this behaviors-based model is to help you understand and learn about different styles among people.

Understand, everyone has bit of his or her own behavior style, a primary as well as a secondary of behavior. In the DISC model, you will find there are four main styles of behavior, which includes dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance.

Following are some information about this four behavior styles. Hope you find it helpful in terms of making your people profitable.

Dominance - Employees with a high "D" style of behavior have a need for results and achievement. They are direct, self-starter, fast-paced, result-oriented and not always very patient.

To manage employees who are high "D" type, you need to give them a challenge, a stretch goal or additional responsibility to get them excited. At the same time you need to focus on giving them as much control as possible over their environment, and reward them for the results they achieve.

Influence - Employees with a high "I" style of behavior have a need for social recognition and competence. They are typically talkative, friendly, communicative, positive, and influential and not always the best at following through with the details.

To manage employees who are high "I" type, you need to give these people an opportunity to have influence over decisions and involve them in the key discussions and ask for their input. If possible, give them a project they can be passionate about, and provide opportunities for them to let them shine.

Steadiness - Employees with a high "S" style have a need for acceptance and stability. They are dependable, kind, steady, amiable, cooperative, good listener, systematic and deliberate. They want to have time to develop their "systems" and get a sense of order to their environment.

To manage employees who are high "S" type, you need to provide these individuals with a very clear idea of what you want, along with the necessary support and coaching to address their questions and concerns. Take your time to build a personal relationship with them and at the same time be sincere with them.

Compliance - Employees with a high "C" style have a need for accuracy and correctness. They are precise, logical, perfectionist, accurate, careful, and compliant; sometimes they are their own worst enemies due to their self-critical nature. And they are those people that set high standards for themselves, and expect others to do the same.

To manage employees who are high "C" type, you need to give them the general framework for what you want, at the same time, give them the freedom and time to do their own analysis. Be prepared to address their tough questions, and give them the opportunity to express their concerns about the project.

Those with high "C" type individuals often have thought through potential pitfalls that no one else will have discovered. So reward them for the good job they do, but be specific and brief in your praise.

Speaking of human beings, obviously, we are much more complicated than the four styles of DISC described above. But this above can be the instrument in terms of help you understand how to create an environment where others are self-motivated.

In the business world, the competition becomes more and more intense nowadays, every organization wants talented individuals work for them, so the war for talent of course becomes more pronounced as well.

So to build a loyal, effective and engaged team, you must do everything you can to achieve it.

Therefore, understanding employees' style differences and incorporating your management strategies together with it can really help you in the process of hiring and retaining key employees.

Finally, as a manager, you should work hard in terms of understanding what makes your employees tick, let them know you appreciation towards to their strengths, encourage and reward personal accountability, and let your employees feel a sense of pride, involvement and contribution.

As long as you use the right tools and get on track to the right direction, to achieve the objective of increases job satisfaction and retention just time matter.