The impact of adapting behavior and communication styles for your business
To be successful, win sales, and get others to follow you, it’s important to learn as much as you can about people and their styles. The concept of reading and adapting to human behavioral styles has been around for thousands of years. More importantly, for decades, it has helped sales professionals in every industry sell more business, recruit qualified prospects, and build profitable relationships that last a lifetime. Below are the simple steps you can take that will help you reach more customers.
Step 1: Know yourself. Acknowledging your communication behaviors that can drive others crazy is the best place to start. Are you so focused on business that some feel you don’t have a personal side? Perhaps you respond to emails so quickly that you don’t notice typos? Are you so engrossed in the details that it seems like things just don’t get done? Perhaps you don’t want to upset the status quo, so you accede to the preferences of others, possibly making it seem like you can’t take a stand. Knowing the impact your communication style has on others allows you to control and adapt behaviors to meet the needs of those with whom you are communicating. In other words, be easy to listen to!
Step 2: MeetOthers. Most people have been raised to be educated. Therefore, out of courtesy some people may adapt to the styles of others, thus creating a false sense of approval in communication. Using a four quadrant model called DiSC; You can ask some simple questions about another person’s observable behaviors. Start looking at different dimensions by drawing a vertical line down the middle of a sheet of paper and another horizontal line down the middle of the first line. Label the introvert and extrovert sides. Label the top using tasks and people. Then ask yourself, “Is the person fast-paced, outspoken, louder, and a natural storyteller” or “Is the person moderately paced, reserved, quieter, and a natural questioner?” Then ask if this person prefers to work alone or with others. This should help you determine which direction on your grid the other person’s compass is pointing. If pointing to the left, this person naturally gravitates toward tasks and can work very independently. If the compass points to the right, the person may feel more comfortable working in groups or in a collaborative environment because this person is very people-oriented.
Step 3: Adapt Communications. What does all this mean for you, your managers, your team members or your sales reps? People are wired differently, which means they are driven and motivated differently. Below are the DiSC styles along with some helpful tips for working with the different styles.
Introducing the four DiSC styles:
- D: The model implies that someone who is fast-paced, a natural storyteller, and comfortable in counting or delegating tasks is called a D-style, meaning very dominant, determined, and direct.
- I: Someone who is fast-paced, a natural storyteller, but more often tells things about people, like stories and jokes, is an I style, because they are so influential, inspiring, and interactive. They love to be a part of everything and they don’t like the details.
- S – Someone who has a moderate pace and questions naturally has an S or steady style. They are very stable, they like safety and security. As questioners, S people will ask about you, your family, and your weekend. They don’t like risk, but they are loyal and make great team players.
- C – Finally, if you find that there is someone who also asks but asks about tasks or details. This person has a C style, meaning conscientious, careful, and cautious. They ask for the details: the process, past performance, and the next logical step.
Tips for working with various DiSC styles:
- Working with Style D: You have to be a bit more direct and to the point, be on time and not take up too much of their time. Show them what’s in it for them and emphasize the bottom line as a result of what you’re asking them to do. They are motivated by challenge. When making a decision, give them a simple choice of “Option A” or “Option B.”
- Working with the I-style: If you are working or selling with the I-style, you should be prepared for small talk and look for an opportunity to transition into the business at hand without cutting them off. They like stories and pictures. They are motivated by the challenge and love the public recognition when they win. In other words, they like the stage and the plaque on the wall.
- Work with the S style: You should emphasize how your work or decision can positively impact the people around you. Point out facts that emphasize the safety of your product, company or service and identify how you will support and serve them.
- Working with the C style: C wrote the carpenters rule: measure twice, cut once. They need a lot of facts and data to move forward with you. They don’t like small talk and are motivated by quality. You need to be extremely organized in your approach – show actual past performance and give them all the research they need before making decisions.
There are many tools you can use to learn about others. DiSC style tips were shared because there is statistical evidence that this model works to improve communication. The idea of reading and adapting to human behavioral styles is not a new concept. It has been shown to help sales reps and managers who know how to recognize and adapt to other styles succeed.
After reading the above, you should have a better idea of how knowing, understanding, and adapting to behavioral styles helps you and your business succeed. Success, better communication, and increased productivity will come from learning as much as you can about the people you want to work with.