Understanding Personality Can Be Key
Sometimes soft skills are hard and understanding personality style can make the difference between success and failure in relationships. Here are some examples:
You are a supervisor of a small department and one person in particular… drives you insane. You just cannot understand how to communicate with her. Her attention to detail and interpersonal skills seem non-existent. She bosses everyone around…including you. What can you do to create a better and more effective working environment for everyone?
You are talking to a potential client and you know they need your product but you just can’t get through to them. You’ve listed the benefits, the cost and the phenomenal results they can expect. What’s the missing piece? What else could they possibly need to make a positive decision?
You are a fitness coach and you have a client who never follows through with the fitness program you’ve designed (okay, seriously… you have a lot of clients like that). They agree when you talk to them about it but at the next visit they just shrug and say they got busy. What can you do to help them reach their goal?
You are a trainer and you want to make sure your presentations are as engaging as possible to the entire audience. You’ve packed in a lot of valuable information and a few jokes to liven things up, but your audience still seems bored. What can you do to improve attention and retention of the information?
Why Understanding Basic Personality Styles Matters
As a certified DISC personality trainer, I see all the above challenging situations through the lens of personality style. Understanding the four basic personality styles and the blends can create an environment of not only tolerance but also acceptance. In addition, it can provide the tools you need to communicate effectively and get the job done. How does this make a difference?
First it helps you understand that people are wired differently. As one participant in a workshop told me, “Oh now I see. I always just thought they were a jerk, but now I see that it is more how they are wired.” It re-frames behavior so that you can then use different tools to deal with the behavior. Notice it doesn’t excuse rude or mean behavior, that’s not the point. But it does help you understand what is important to them and how you can talk their language.
How to Apply Personality Styles
For example a high D personality is: dominant, decisive, direct and determined. They are outgoing and task focused. This means that when you meet with them… they want the details of the project you are working on, not the details of what you did over the weekend. In addition, they are looking for results, so go ahead and present in that manner. If you make them search for the results in your presentation they will be frustrated and you may interpret it as bossy or rude. If you are supervising a high D personality, expecting them to naturally be warm and fuzzy toward you or co-workers is fruitless. Instead, give them the bottom line in terms what you expect their performance to be. You can be direct, decisive and determined and they will respond positively because that’s how they operate as well.
On the other hand if you are selling a product to a high I, they aren’t so concerned about the facts and results of the product. They want to know how it will add fun, excitement and status into their life. If it does none of those things (or at least you don’t address that) then you will have a hard time selling them. Help them get a clear image of how great they will look in that new car or the compliments and attention they will get when they are in shape and you’ll have a sale.
Got a client who appears very compliant, agrees with everything that you tell them but often doesn’t follow through? Probably an S personality style. They are people pleasers but don’t always actually complete the task at hand, especially if it is hard and takes a lot of effort. Half-way there is often good enough for them. Motivate them by creating a program that fits easily into their lifestyle and is not too demanding or stressful. Then give them a lot of support and approval along the way.
Finally, want to make your presentations appeal to all the personality styles in your audience? Surprisingly, you don’t need to add fancy effects to your PowerPoint. Instead make sure you are teaching to the four basic personality styles and their learning styles. Here’s a quick checklist:
D’s will want to know the bottom line and see the results. Challenge them with goals and fast action.
I’s will want to have fun and meet people. Design some interactive sections where they can talk to a group in an entertaining way.
S’s will want to relax and enjoy the time with a minimum of stress. Help them understand the purpose behind the material and how it can help them make their life easier and more productive and they will be your biggest supporters.
C’s will want to know all the details, the process and make sure that it provides good value. Give them a outline of the material and make sure everything is backed up with solid data.
Once you understand the different personality styles and incorporate them into your everyday conversations and tasks, you will find that you can easily and quickly speak in the language that your clients and co-workers understand.
Want to understand your personality style and improve communication with co-workers, family and friends?
Grab the basic DISC personality profile and a personal interpretation with me here:
Want to dive deep and gain an understanding of how you can improve your sales conversation through understanding personality styles? There is a separate assessment for that. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can provide that for you or your business.
Wow! Lynne’s expertise in personality styles, mindset and priority management is a powerful combination. The interactive and personalized format was engaging and gave me tools I can use and actions I can take right away. I am able to more clearly articulate what my business is (What do you do?) and who it serves (Who is your ideal client?), and I have come away with a system for building my business (How do I do it?) Erin Shaw
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