When you communicate, do you do it with style? Before you begin wondering whether you are stylish enough, may I explain. In our training programs we use a popular behavior style profile called DISC, an acronym representing four styles or communication preferences. A person can take a self-assessment that results in a personalized profile. I like this particular workplace profile because it allows one to better diagnose one’s own natural style and how to adapt or flex to others who may be different from us.
For instance, because of my natural style, I prefer high level information and broad strokes vs. specific details. While this may work well in certain situations, when I am working with others who prefer specific details, I need to flex or adapt to that preference and perhaps do more research before conversing with them. An intuitive approach may turn off this person and lack credibility. Rather than judge the detail-seeker to be better or worse than my approach, I think about it in terms of being different and offering me an opportunity to adapt and learn how to be more effective.
The natural inclination of most people is to wish that others would be more like them. While it is easier to communicate with somebody who is similar to us, it is not always the most advantageous for an organization. For example, I know my writing would not have nearly the same high quality without my editor. She is able to polish an article in a way that would take me more time and probably not come out as well. All important writing has to go through her scrutiny before publishing. Since my editor is extremely detail oriented, together we complete a whole. I call her my “power partner.” Separately each of us is not as good a writer as we are together. I don’t always know what is missing and she may not always see the big picture.
Although we are often drawn to those who have similar styles to our own, it is important to remove our blind spots about our shortcomings at work and identify our “power partners.” These “others” are often different from us and not natural allies, yet we can all probably identify someone who “fills in our blanks” and adds value to our work product.
Next month on October 1st and 2nd Next Turn will be offering a DISC certification program in San Francisco at NCHRA (Northern California Human Resource Association) headquarters. After you complete this practical program, you can train and share with others the great advantage of “reading” people and communicating with them in the way it makes most sense to them and is most effective in the workplace.
Many of my clients have seen the value of having a culture of employees who can identify natural strengths, adapt to others, and discover “power partners.” Please join us for this two-day program so that your trainers, Human Resource professionals, appropriate consultants, or team members gain expert skills to bring this valuable DISC communication tool into your organization! All are welcome!