Use the DISC Assessment to Identify Behavior Type
Your business contacts (customers and colleagues) are all different, and you interact with them differently. But they also have various ways of behaving and additional communication needs.
There’s the client who answers “OK” when you send them a long email, but there’s also the one who has to tell you about their weekend kayaking before talking about work.
Working on being more service-minded means knowing how to adapt to different behavior types.
Let’s now look at behavior types using the DISC model :
D for dominance.
I for influence.
S for steadiness.
C for conscientiousness.
As you can see in the diagram below, the DISC model also looks at people's preferences on two scales: task-focused versus people-focused and fast-paced versus moderate-paced.
Each behavior-type fits into a different quadrant in the matrix.
Those with high dominance thrive in a fast-paced work environment and are often very focused on getting things done.
Those with high influence also thrive in a fast-paced environment, but value building alliances and human interaction.
Those with high steadiness enjoy working in a slower, more predictable environment and communicate with ease.
Those with high conscientiousness also enjoy a slower work-environment, but value quality and accuracy.
I’ve listed some more qualities characteristic of each behavior-type.
Can you also tell we have been using the same colors each behavior type?
Practice Identifying Different Behavior Types
How would someone who is red (high dominance) answer this question: "How do you feel about a challenge?"
“I love a challenge. I seek them out and go for it!” This reaction shows that there is some red in the person’s profile.
“I prefer to be a bit more cautious.” This reaction shows that there isn’t much red in the person’s profile.
How would someone who is yellow (high influence) answer this question: "What are your feelings about interacting with and convincing people?"
“I like to interact with people and convince them.” This reaction shows that there is some yellow in the person’s profile.
“I’m a bit of a lone wolf. I’m quite skeptical of people.” This reaction shows that there isn’t much yellow in the person’s profile.
How would someone who is green (high steadiness) answer this question: "What are your feelings about having to work at changing speeds?"
“I like to take my time and progress methodically.” This reaction shows that there is some green in the person’s profile.
“I love the pressure and having to multitask.” This reaction shows that there isn’t much green in the person’s profile.
How would someone who is blue (high conscientiousness) answer this question: "What are your feelings about other people making the rules?"
“I like following the rules and putting together specific action plans to meet the objective.” This reaction shows that there is some blue in the person’s profile.
“I prefer to take a risk and create my own framework.” This reaction shows that there isn’t much blue in the person’s profile.
Over to you now!
Open up your workbook and answer the following three questions:
You: which of the profiles are you most comfortable with? You can use the four questions from the start of this chapter to help you (and don’t forget that we are a unique mix; we just have stronger tendencies towards some of the colors over others).
Your friends and family: amongst your friends and family, who is more red, yellow, green, or blue?
Your business contacts: choose five regular business contacts; where would you position them in different profiles? Why?
Adapt to different DISC-profiles
Now that you can more easily identify different profiles, you need to learn how to adapt to these different behaviors.
With someone who is red (high dominance):
Use instantaneous means of communication, such as texts or phone calls for this type of person. Make sure your messages are short and to the point.
With someone who is yellow (high influence):
Call this type of person more often than not and take the time out of your day to talk about whatever the other person wants to chat about.
With someone who is green (high steadiness):
Write emails or leave phone messages for this type of person. Speak to them about your long-term business projects and their team.
With someone who is blue (high conscientiousness):
Use emails to write to this type of person with precision, structuring your ideas, and highlighting the progress made using statistics.
The red profile needs a challenge:
Give them enough space so that they feel like they’re making the decisions.
The yellow profile needs recognition:
Show them that you value them and keep in touch with them regularly.
The green profile needs to feel useful:
Show them that their work is useful for you, their team, and the rest of their company.
The blue profile needs a set framework:
Reassure them that you’re aware of the framework and the rules and show them that you’re capable of following the rules.
Over to You Now!
Going back to your five business contacts listed above, how can you adapt your communication to their profiles and needs? Fill out the table in your workbook!
The DISC approach helps structure your approach to dealing with your different behavioral styles (as well as becoming more aware of your own styles).
Everyone displays an array of behaviors that can be identified using one or several colors depending on how often the behavior occurs. These colors refer to both the observed behavior and the person’s needs.
Adapting to another person’s behavior means identifying your own style of communication and modifying it accordingly.
After looking at the level of intimacy in your relationships, you can use the DISC method to analyze behavior. You have learned how to analyze both the relationship you have with others and their behaviors. To complete your analysis arsenal, let’s move on and look more closely at personal motivators.