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DISC Assessment: The Definitive Guide to DISC

Posted 3 months ago

As the world’s most popular behavioral assessment, DISC offers a simple solution with profound results. Learn how to identify the behavioral styles of others and adapt your communication to increase sales, assemble teams, target new hires, develop “rockstar” leaders, and more.

Why choose DISC over the any of the numerous other assessments that are available?

  • DISC is simple, practical and easy to learn and remember
  • DISC not only helps you understand your own needs-based behaviors, emotions and fears, it also helps you to identify those same things in others. In this way, we are able to understand how to communicate effectively with people, no matter their style blend.
  • DISC recognizes that people change over time and in specific situations, and relationships rather than putting you in a particular “box” for life
  • Always look into the validity and reliability of any assessment; DISC has a long history of strong performance in both

Chapter 1 – The Four DISC Behavioral Styles

This DISC behavioral assessment measures and provides insight into four primary behavioral tendencies and emotions. It explores how these come together in a personal blend of style to create our DISC style.

THE FOUR DISC BEHAVIORAL STYLES – Overview of Behaviors

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Decisive actions and decisions
  • Likes control; dislikes inaction
  • Prefers maximum freedom to manage self and others
  • Cool, independent, and competitive
  • Low tolerance for feelings, attitudes, and advice of others
  • Works quickly and impressively alone
  • Good management skills

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Spontaneous actions and decisions
  • Likes involvement/engagement/fun
  • Dislikes being alone
  • May exaggerate and generalize
  • Tends to dream and gets other caught up in dreams
  • Jumps from one activity to another
  • Works quickly and excitedly with others
  • Seeks acceptance and acknowledgment, social approval
  • Good persuasive skills

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Slow to act and make decisions
  • Likes close, personal relationships
  • Dislikes interpersonal conflict
  • Supports and actively listens to others
  • Struggles with specific goal setting and self-direction
  • Has excellent ability to gain support from others and give support to others
  • Works deliberately and cohesively with others
  • Seeks security and belonging in all interactions
  • Good counseling skills

Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

  • Takes cautious action and makes careful decisions
  • Likes organization and structure
  • Dislikes involvement, prefers to work independently
  • Asks many questions about specific details to gather all information
  • Prefers objective, task-oriented, intellectual work environment
  • Wants to be right, so can be overly-reliant on data collection
  • Works slowly and precisely
  • Good problem-solving skills

STRENGTHSTHE FOUR DISC BEHAVIORAL STYLES

Dominance – High “D” Style

Dominance Styles often prefer strong, directive management and operational tendencies and work quickly and impressively by themselves. They try to shape their environments to overcome obstacles en route to their accomplishments. They demand maximum freedom to manage themselves and others, using their leadership skills to become winners. Additionally, Dominance Styles often have good directive and delegation skills. This matches their motivating need to have control over things. If they could delegate their exercise regimens or visits to the dentist’s office, they probably would.

These assertive types tend to appear cool, independent, and competitive. They opt for measurable results, including their personal worth, determined by individual track records. Of all the behavioral types, they like and initiate change the most. Some symbolize this personality type with a lion – a leader, an authority. At the least, they may have the inner desire to be #1, the star, or the chief.



Influence – High “I” Style

The Influence Style’s primary strengths are their enthusiasm, persuasiveness, and friendliness. They are idea people who can get others caught up in their dreams. With great persuasion, they influence others and shape their environments by building alliances to accomplish results. Then they seek nods and comments of approval and recognition for those results. If compliments don’t come, Influence Styles may invent their own. “Well, Harry, I just feel like patting myself on the back today for a job well done!” They are stimulating, talkative, and communicative. Often, this style is associated with a dolphin -playful, sociable, and talkative.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

An American icon, Mr. Rogers, was a classic example of a low-keyed, sincere, Steadiness Style. He visited millions of homes each day via TV for decades, with the same routine and endearing, heartfelt connection with his viewers. People still reminisce about his soothing voice and comforting delivery. His manner had a unique way of adding a sense of stability, calmness, and reassurance to everyone, regardless of age.

Like Mr. Rogers, other Steadiness Styles also naturally are easy to get along with, preferring stable relationships that don’t jeopardize anyone, especially themselves. The Steadiness Style may be represented by the koala with its accompanying slower, Steadiness pace, relaxed disposition, and appearance of approachability and warmth. These styles tend to plan diligently and follow through completely, helping them to routinely plug along with predictability and avoid surprises.

Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

Conscientiousness Style’s strengths include accuracy, dependability, independence, clarification, follow-through, and organization. They often focus on expectations (e.g., policies, processes, and procedures) and outcomes. They want to know how things work so they can evaluate how correctly and efficiently they function. Pictured as a fox, the Conscientiousness Style can be guarded, resourceful, and careful. Because they need to be right, they prefer checking processes themselves to be sure things are accurate and precise.

CHALLENGESTHE FOUR DISC BEHAVIORAL STYLES

All styles have many powerful and positive characteristics, but all styles have traits that are not as positive and can create limitations to effectiveness and our relationships.

Dominance – High “D” Style

Some Dominance Style traits that may have an adverse effect include stubbornness, impatience, and lack of compassion. Naturally preferring to take control of others, they may have a low tolerance for the feelings, attitudes, and “inadequacies” of co-workers, subordinates, friends, families, and romantic interests.

Influence – High “I” Style

The I style’s natural weaknesses are too much involvement, impatience, being alone, and short attention spans which may cause them to become easily bored. When a little data comes in, Influence Styles tend to make sweeping generalizations. They may not check everything out, assuming someone else will do it or procrastinating because redoing something just isn’t exciting enough. When Influence Styles feel they don’t have enough stimulation and involvement, they may lose interest and look for something new again… and again… and again. When taken to an extreme, their behaviors can be seen as superficial, haphazard, erratic, and overly emotional.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

Steadiness styles have their own type of unique difficulties with speaking up, seeming to go along with others or any conditions, while inwardly, they may or may not agree. More assertive types might take advantage of this Steadiness style’s tendency to give in and avoid confrontation. Additionally, the Steadiness Style’s reluctance to express themselves can result in hurt feelings. But if they don’t express their feelings, others may never know. Their lack of assertiveness and expression can take a toll on this type’s health and well-being.

Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

The C style may suffer from a lack of moving forward and making decisions. A strong tendency toward perfectionism, when taken to an extreme, can result in “analysis paralysis,” delaying their ability to act quickly. These overly cautious traits may result in worry that the process isn’t progressing correctly or that the decision isn’t the right one, which further promotes their tendency to behave in a more critical, detached way.

GOALS – THE FOUR DISC BEHAVIORAL STYLES

Dominance – High “D” Style

Dominance Styles, driven by the inner need to lead and be in control, take charge of people and situations so they can reach their goals. Since their key need is achieving, they seek no-nonsense, bottom-line results. Their motto is: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” They want to win, so they may challenge people or rules. Similarly, the Dominance Styles also accept challenges, take authority, and go headfirst into solving problems.

Influence – High “I” Style

The “I” Style wants your admiration and thrives on acknowledgment, compliments, and applause. “It’s not just whether you win or lose… it’s how you look when you play the game.” Admiration and acceptance typically mean more to this type than to any other. If you don’t talk about them, they may spend considerable time talking about their favorite subject – themselves – to gain acceptance.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

The Steadiness Styles strive for security. Their goal is to maintain the stability they prefer in a constant, predictable environment. To them, while the unknown may be an intriguing concept, they prefer to stick with what they already know and have experienced. Risk is a nerve-wracking word to the Steadiness Style. They favor more measured actions, like keeping things as they have been and are, even if the present situation happens to be unpleasant.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

The Conscientiousness Styles concern themselves more with precise content than with congratulations. They prefer involvement with the performance of products and services under specific, and preferably controlled, conditions so the process and the results can be perfect. Since their primary concern is accuracy, human emotions may take a back seat with this type. After all, emotions are subjective and tend to distort objectivity.

FEARS – THE FOUR DISC BEHAVIORAL STYLES

Dominance – High “D” Style

Closely related to the Dominance Styles’ goals are their fears: falling into a routine, being taken advantage of or losing control, and looking “soft.” They may go to extremes to prevent those fears from materializing. They may act impatiently in ways others may not agree with, but they make things happen with great urgency.

Influence – High “I” Style

An Influence Style’s biggest fear is social rejection and lack of acceptance – whether from appearing uninvolved, unattractive, unsuccessful, or unacceptable to others. These frightening forms of personal denial threaten the Influence Style’s core need for approval and acknowledgment. Consequently, they may go to extremes to avoid embarrassment, lack of inclusion, or loss of social recognition and admiration.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

Related to the Steadiness Style’s goal of keeping things predictable and stable is an accompanying fear of sudden change and disorganization. Consequently, any disruption in their routine patterns can cause distress in the Steadiness Style. Fearing sudden changes, they are naturally concerned with what may happen as a result of being unprepared. A general worry is that the unknown may be even more unpleasant than the present. They need to think and plan for changes. Finding elements of consistency within those changes can help minimize their stress and identify specific assurances required to cope with such demands with grace and constancy.

Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

The Conscientiousness Style’s biggest fears stem from a desire for perfection and accuracy. The C style does not want to do anything or get anything wrong. Often responsible for subjectivity and errors, these thinkers fear uncontrolled emotions and irrational acts (in self and others) that relate to challenging their goals. This type strives to avoid mistakes at all costs.

Chapter 2 – How To Identify DISC Styles

Identify DISC Behavioral Styles In-Person

Dominance – High “D” Style

AT THE OFFICE
When entering a Dominance Style’s office, the overall tone suggests authority and control. Their desks may be covered with projects and papers, stacked in neat piles. Both in- and out-baskets typically bulge with busywork. They tend to surround themselves with trophies, awards, and other evidence of personal achievement. Virtually everything about the place suggests hustle, bustle, formality, and power. This type often favors a large chair behind a massive authority structure, like a power desk. Besides non-verbally announcing, “I’m important,” the desk separates them from others, literally keeping them at a distance.

The walls may include diplomas, commendations, and other evidence of success. One wall may be covered with a large planning sheet or calendar. If Dominance Styles have family photos, they may hang behind them or someplace where they don’t readily see them. To this type, their offices are places of business, and the fewer distractions they have, the better.

HUSTLE, BUSTLE, AND BUSYWORK
Dominance Styles like constant activity, so you’ll seldom catch them idle. Between existing tasks, they are likely to pick up new ones. They perk up when competing and appear to thrive with a pressure cooker schedule. They often squeeze you onto their calendars and let you know that their time is limited, either by telling you outright or by showing you. Looking at a watch or clock, they frequently shift their gaze elsewhere, or make and take phone calls while you sit in their office.

They walk fast in pursuit of a tangible goal, so Dominance Styles may not notice people around them or may just hurriedly grunt something to acknowledge them. They often act both brisk and brusque without realizing it. When under stress, impatience emerges and they may push others aside to reach their goal – completing a report, getting served first, or running out the door to make an appointment. When pressure intensifies, Dominance Styles often rise to the occasion. Under time constraints, they may concede to impatience and rely on educated guesses or their hunches. The urgency of resolution is more important than accuracy.

POWER SYMBOLS
Dominance Styles tend to dress comfortably but in a way that shows their position or influence. They focus primarily on work results, so wardrobe tends to play a secondary role. They may be candidates for a time-saving personal shopper or tailor who can choose or measure outfits for them in the privacy of their own offices. Dominance Styles gravitate toward authority symbols, so they may wear navy blue or charcoal gray power suits.

Dominance Styles may like to let people know they’ve made it without having to tell anyone about it, so they often prefer possessions that emit success and authority messages – like a black or steel gray Mercedes or BMW. Someone once suggested that they’d buy a tank if they could.

Influence – High “I” Style

AT THE OFFICE
When you enter the working area of an Influence Style, you may recognize it immediately.  High Influence Styles may have a desk covered with paperwork, sometimes trailing it along the floor, too. They react to visual stimuli, so they like to have everything where they can see it. Consequently, their desks often look cluttered and disorganized. If anyone comments, “How do you find anything?” they like to say that they’re organized in their own way.

An Influence Style’s walls may showcase prestigious awards. They may be broad, liberal arts degrees, motivational or upbeat slogans, generalized personal comments, or stimulating posters. You may see notes posted and taped all over the place with little apparent forethought, rhyme, or reason. The overall decor reflects an open, airy, lively atmosphere that often reveals the personality of its occupant. Likewise, the furniture arrangement tends to indicate warmth, openness, and interaction. An Influence Style seldom sits behind a desk and talks. Instead, they often opt for comfortable, accessible seating, enabling getting to know people better. They prefer to sit next to others at a table or on a couch to see and hear better and get a feel for how people respond. This style talks a lot and shows emotion with both body language and speech.

FEELINGS TAKE PRIORITY
Influence Styles have a natural preference for talking and listening in feeling terms. Unconsciously, they may become uncomfortable when talking to a person who, instead, uses thinking words. (The opposite also is true). Statements that highlight emotions like, “I feel that we should have been consulted about moving our office,” or, “I feel good about what we’ve accomplished today,” tend to put this people-oriented type more at ease.

THEY LIKE GLITZ AND PIZZAZZ!
The way Influence Styles dress often relates to their need for recognition. Since they like others to notice them, they may dress in the latest style or something particularly eye-catching (sparkles!). The “look at me” Influence Styles like bright colors and unusual clothes that prompt others to compliment them. Many Influence Styles even prefer negative comments to none at all, getting the attention that is craved.

In an informal poll taken by Dr. Tony at his many seminars, red ranks number one with Influence Styles as their color choice for clothes or a sports car or convertible. They like glamour, flash, and excitement, and their purchases often express their preferences. Musical choices include fun, energizing songs that make people want to move.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

OFFICE MEMORABILIA
When you enter a Steadiness Style’s office, you’ll find conservatively framed personal slogans, group photos, serene landscapes and posters, and other personal items. Since they seek close relationships, there will likely be telltale family pictures and mementos, usually turned so they can view them from their desk chair. They often favor nostalgic memories of grounding experiences and relationships in an increasingly busy, impersonal, and high-tech world. These remembrances of a pleasant, uncomplicated past allow them to transform their offices into an environment of friendly warmth. They prefer to arrange seating in a side-by-side, more congenial, cooperative manner. No big power desks for them! If they do have one, though, they’ll typically come out from behind it to interact, opting for a more personal touch.

SERVICE CERTIFICATES
Their educational background often includes more specialized areas of attention and interest within their professions. You may also see certificates recognizing volunteer hours for various hands-on activities in their community. While other behavioral types may contribute in other ways, such as gifts or money, Steadiness Styles typically enjoy giving their time for causes about which they feel strongly. Besides the possibility of meeting more potential friends, this also helps satisfy their need to see for themselves: (1) what’s going on, (2) where they fit into the group effort, and (3) how they can contribute and support meaningful results.

STEADINESS STYLES ARE NATURAL LISTENERS
You can recognize Steadiness Styles by their natural listening patterns and slower, lower-key delivery in conversation. They are unlikely to interject and are much more likely to allow the conversation to pace itself naturally. Their questions may focus on concrete topics and experiences and will likely be comprehensive, deep, and thoughtful. They walk casually with a soft approachability, acknowledging others and sometimes getting sidetracked by chance encounters that present an opportunity to engage with others.

NOTHING TOO LOUD FOR THEM
Steadiness Styles dislike calling attention to themselves, so they tend to wear subdued colors and conservatively cut clothing, favoring conventional styles that don’t stand out too much. Their cars also reveal these preferences. They often like beige or light blue station wagons or vans, factory recommended tires, and in the best of all worlds – no horn. To Steadiness Styles, using a horn is like yelling at somebody. They also prefer their environments to be relaxing and comfortable, often with soft music, specialty lighting that is not too harsh, and an open-door that invites others into their space.

Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

AT THE OFFICE
Conscientiousness Styles often carry their organizational tendencies into their work environments. Visible clues that you are working with a C style include neat, highly organized desks with cleared tops so they can work unimpeded by clutter – clean and professional with everything in the appropriate place. Charts, graphs, exhibits, models, credentials, and job-related pictures are often placed neatly on their office walls or shelves. Conscientiousness Styles favor functional decor that will enable them to work more efficiently. They tend to keep most objects within reach, readily available when needed. Where appropriate, you may notice state-of-the-art technology to further enhance efficiency.

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS STYLES ASK PERTINENT QUESTIONS
People of few words, Conscientiousness Styles tend to ask pertinent questions instead of making statements. They typically speak more carefully and with less expression than the other types. They are likely to be slow to speak until they are confident that what they are sharing is completely accurate as well. Reluctant to reveal personal feelings, they often use thinking words (like the Dominance Style), as opposed to feeling words. “From what I’ve read, I think Product X may be better for our situation than Product Y because of its superior filtration system,” or, “I think that Jones is overreacting in this matter.”

FORMALITY IS MORE COMFORTABLE
Conscientiousness Styles are non-contact people who prefer the distance formality provides. This preference is reflected in the functional, but uninviting, arrangement of their desks and chairs, usually with the desks physically separating you and them. They generally are not fond of huggers and touchers and prefer a cool handshake or a brief phone call. When Conscientiousness Styles walk, they usually move slowly and methodically toward a known destination.

NOTICEABLY UNDERSTATED
Conscientiousness Styles tend to wear more conservative clothes, but with unique, often perfectly matched accessories. While the Influence Style may draw attention to herself with glitz and glitter, Conscientiousness Styles usually prefer a more understated, faultlessly groomed look, often in classic, muted tones.

They like expressions of individuality and creativity but within specific guidelines. Male Conscientiousness Styles with beards seem to prefer short, well-manicured ones. Hairstyles are likely to be neat and symmetrical. Since they may prefer exploring life’s complexities, Conscientiousness Styles may enjoy the intricacies of a specific kind of music or individual musical piece, whether jazz, classical, rock, etc. You may spot them driving well-built, practical cars that perform as expected and dependably, often in more conservative, understated, but less common colors.

Identify DISC Behavioral Styles On The Phone

Dominance – High “D” Style

When speaking on the phone to a Dominance Style, treat her the same way as an in-person contact. Think of the ABC’s: Keep it abridged, brief, and concise. Prepare your delivery with the bottom line in mind: “The trend in your industry is toward computer-generated graphics. The research we’ve conducted with other typesetters in your area indicates increased profits of 20 to 30% over two years. I’d like to meet with you for 10 minutes to show you the numbers and see if this concept interests you.”

THEY WASTE NO TIME
It’s not unusual for a Dominance Style to call someone and, without saying hello, launch right into the conversation. “You’ve got to be kidding; the shipment delay will kill us . . . by the way, this is Jack.” When other people can’t keep up with them, or misread their cues and language, they may view them as incompetent.

On the telephone, it’s helpful to determine whether the person sends power signals. Dominance Styles want to pick the time and place to meet. They often speak in a sort of shorthand – concisely and pointedly, sometimes with few words – and sound cool, confident, and demanding. When Dominance Style Dennis phones, he says: “Janice? Dennis. Tony there?” Talking to him may feel like speaking to a machine or voice recognition system. The D style raises the concept of “brief and to-the-point” to another level. As commanding speakers who tend not to listen to others, they naturally want to direct the conversation toward their goals. Under stress, they can become defensive and aggressive, attacking others personally to show who’s in control. They dislike using touchy-feely, emotional terms, and prefer sensible thinking terminology. “I think we’ll implement this plan tomorrow,” or, “I think this discussion is over.”

Influence – High “I” Style

“What’s up?” or “What’s happening?” are the usual Influence Style opening lines. They are sometimes so animated that their gestures can be transmitted via the phone lines by their varied, emotional vocal inflections/intonations and their colorful choice of words that may tend toward exaggeration: “Really? That’s fantastic!” or “You have to be kidding me!” The phone can be a favorite toy that enables them to both prolong conversations and recharge themselves, especially when no one else is physically around. “I just called because I’m bored.” You may also detect background noise when you speak to individuals of this style. They sometimes put on the TV or radio just for the sound, visual stimulation, and activity. On the phone, Influence Styles speak rapidly and emotively. They are known to use “feeling” terms, rather than “thinking” terms like, “I feel that if we go through with this plan, the community will resent us as anti-environmentalists,” or, “I feel that I’ve contributed enough to this organization over the years to allow me to talk about this.”

SAY IT WITH FEELING
Typically, you’ll notice a wide range of vocal inflection and intonation and a tendency to want to know your reaction. The I style will ask, “Do you feel that way, too?” They liven up conversations with personal anecdotes and may keep you on the phone longer than you had anticipated. If you need to detach yourself from an extended monologue, try something like, “Well, Don, it’s been great talking with you. I’m really looking forward to our appointment on Monday!” If you say it with feeling, the Influence Style may already eagerly anticipate your meeting.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

“How are you?” or “I’m glad to hear from you again,” are typical Steadiness Style greetings. Like holiday ads from your favorite companies, their warmth can seem to transcend the limitations of the phone lines. Although they prefer more personal interactions with people, they will also settle for indirect contact – especially if the person is pleasant and non-threatening. They project this people-orientation easily, even by phone, and like to build a personal, first-name relationship with callers. Even if they don’t know you, they may say, ” Just call me Alice.” They may project a desire to know you personally or provide you with excellent service. They communicate with even vocal intonations to convey friendliness, comfort, and a sense of relaxation. Steadiness Styles tend to be naturals at listening to others’ ideas and feelings, whether on the phone or in person. They tend to be interested in the detailed, point-by-point description of what you did yesterday or the sequential pattern of how to complete a particular task. You’re probably talking to a high Steadiness Style if you notice warmth and genuine conversation, slower than average speech patterns, more moments of listening than of speaking, and references to actual, real-life experiences regarding either products or mutual acquaintances.

“I’LL CHECK ON THAT FOR YOU”
Steadiness Styles tend to express themselves in a somewhat tentative manner in both their face-to-face and telephone conversations. Even when confident with the answer, they will often attempt to get other perspectives before making a final decision. You’ll hear things like, “I’ll need to consult Mrs. Adams before I can make that decision,” or, “I’m not sure we can do that, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I find out.” As in other aspects of their lives, they often defer to the more human, proven way things have always been done. They typically feel more comfortable making decisions based on conferring with others rather than by themselves. “What do you think?”, “How do you feel?”, and “What do you recommend?” are all common questions this style will likely ask.

Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

“Good morning, Mr. Loomis. This is Jonathan Williams. You asked me to call back on Monday.” Formal greetings are one tip-off that you may be dealing with a Conscientiousness Style. Time-conscious individuals of this type often get to a task exactly when they say they will. Monday morning it is! In this example, the Conscientiousness Style also calls himself Jonathan, not Jon. Many people with this style call themselves by their given names, not by nicknames. It’s Elizabeth, Rebecca, Donald, and Peter, not Beth, Becca, Don, or Pete. Of course, there are exceptions; Jon may prove to be an effective and logical alternative for some Conscientiousness Styles, but this type seems less likely to tolerate what they perceive as “cute” nicknames, such as Jonny, Donny, or Becky. Remember, formality is more in alignment with this style.

“MAY I SPEAK WITH MR. HOLMES OR DR. BROTHERS?”
High C styles prefer brief, to-the-point telephone calls. Although they may not tell you, call them Mister or Ms. or Doctor, whatever their title happens to be, to build quick rapport. Conscientiousness Styles sometimes view jumping into a first-name basis as an invasion of privacy, so they deal with others more formally. If you think you’re talking to Sherlock Holmes or Bill Gates, chances are you’ve contacted a Conscientiousness Style. They typically hold their ground in stressful situations when they can maintain their position with concrete facts or evidence-based questions. They do this quietly and independently, by first avoiding others. Then they take on the problem in an orderly way, backed by research and relevant details.

“NEED TO KNOW” BASIS
They’re inclined to talk in structured, careful speech patterns, almost weighing their words as they say them. They tend to ask relevant questions and talk in a quiet, observant, and cautious way. Additionally, they may not volunteer much about their personal lives beyond the equivalent of name, rank, and serial number like, “I’m married with two children. We live in New York.” They prefer to keep the relationship formal, yet pleasant and business-like. Less can be more to a Conscientiousness Style – less conversation, less self-disclosure, and less verbal communication equal more comfort zone. Longer than average silences, especially when asked more private questions, may signal annoyance or reluctance. When this occurs, ask, “Am I getting too personal?” or “If I’m asking uncomfortable questions, could you let me know?” They may relax more if they think they have an out. Careful and correct, Conscientiousness Styles tend to express themselves in a somewhat tentative manner. “I’ll check on that and let you know tomorrow.” They may want to provide you with information so you can form your own conclusions. “I have a copy of the Governor’s report in my files. If I send it to you, perhaps you can find what you’re looking for.” Both of these approaches satisfy the Conscientiousness Styles’ need for caution and correctness. They may not want to get misquoted or, possibly, involved in the first place.

Identify DISC Behavioral Styles In Writing

Dominance – High “D” Style

EMAILS ARE BRIEF AND TO THE POINT
An email from a Dominance Style tends to be brief, dynamic, and to the point. They may mention highlights of conversations or materials, but they don’t belabor them. They may give specifics for your follow-through or raise questions they want answers to now. “The Mulvaney account needs to be reworked. I hear he’s got a new partner and a different address. Track him down and get the data we need so we can let him know that we’ve studied his account and we know our stuff.”

Even notes and cards take on abbreviated forms and may show little or no indication of feelings. “Todd, hope you’re doing well. I’m working hard.” It is common for Dominance Style to sign personal birthday and Christmas cards with no closing, not even “Sincerely,” but with just their names. Dominance Styles are task-focused, and perhaps in their efforts to get as many things accomplished as possible, tend to opt for brevity. Terms of endearment are rarely necessary.

Influence – High “I” Style

Emails, too, can reveal the Influence Style behind the correspondence. Often, this type overuses exclamation points, underlining, and bold highlighting. You can almost hear her emphasizing those picturesque adjectives and adverbs. Just as the Influence Style tends to speak in a stimulating, energetic way, so does she write. She may also throw in an image-provoking personal anecdote or reference to some mutually satisfying experience. “I’ll never forget our adventure on the freeway en route to Los Angeles – in rush hour, of course!” When she’s finished a letter or note, she may add a postscript (P.S.), a P.P.S., or even a P.P.P.S. It is highly likely you’ll see symbols and emoticons used, peppered throughout the narrative to lighten the language.

Remember, these tendencies may not as readily reveal themselves if the Influence Style has learned to tone down her natural flair while conducting business. And there’s always a possibility that an assistant cleans up her copy before sending it out, especially if the assistant is a more reserved, less animated behavioral type.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

In written correspondence, Steadiness Styles may send notes just to keep in touch or to let you know they’re thinking of you. Of the four personality types, this one is likely to send thank you notes for almost anything – inviting them to a party, driving them to the dry cleaners, or saving coupons for them. They may even send a thank you note to acknowledge your thank you note. Again, they are likely to organize their correspondence, writing as they do their other to do task lists – probably in sequential in-out order. Since they tend to write in a slower, more methodically paced manner, their work tends to follow a systematic outline pattern. You’ll likely always see the start of the message addressing how the other party is doing, “I hope this message finds you well and healthy.” There is as great a likelihood that they’ll end the message with an offer of support or provide an opportunity to connect, should it be helpful.

Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

Conscientiousness Styles typically send emails to clarify or explain. Consequently, the emails may become rather long and filled with data, and unlikely to have very much personal or emotional flair to the message. “I was struck by the similarities between the Noonan and Kilgary lawsuits.” But they may also be somewhat reserved or vague. “I’m researching a company’s file now that I can’t talk about.” Or the email may be on the short side with enclosures, citations, or references to specific information. Whether they prefer the long or short form, they usually concentrate on processing data. They like to cover their bases, so they are neither misinterpreted, incomplete, nor incorrect.

Like Dominance Styles, in the interest of time, they may sign personal cards with just their names or with individual mottos, like “In the spirit of growth, Jonathan Williams.” Even if you know them well, this type may include their surnames so there’s no mistaking who sent this card.

Chapter 3 – Communication Strategies For Each DISC Style

How to listen to the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Listen to what they want to accomplish, how they are motivated and what they would like to change
  • Convey openness and acceptance of them
  • Read between the lines for what isn’t being said and clarify as succinctly as you can
  • Listen to their suggestions and let them direct toward goals/outcomes when possible
  • Appreciate and acknowledge them when possible
  • Maintain eye contact and don’t interrupt
  • Summarize their achievements and accomplishments

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Show you are interested in them, let them talk and be enthusiastic
  • Listen to their dreams and goals
  • Listen to their personal feelings and experiences
  • Give them your attention, time, and presence
  • Be sure to maintain eye contact when listening to them, engage with them
  • Provide positive feedback; compliment them, when appropriate
  • Match their energy, tone, and pace

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • S styles need patience and reassurance, provide encouragement as they speak in nods and active attentiveness
  • Be sensitive to their feelings and emotions
  • Listen to how something affects them and their relationships with others
  • Listen for the risk or changes they may want to avoid
  • Allow time for them to share; they are not likely to speak or respond quickly
  • Summarize what they said to show you understand
  • Listen for opportunities to provide positive feedback and appreciation

Conscientiousness – High “C” Style

  • Listen for ways to compliment them for their thoroughness and correctness, when appropriate
  • Listen to their concerns, reasoning, and suggestions
  • Listen for specific facts, data, and specifications that are important to them
  • Listen for ways they want to solve the problem and be open to their ideas
  • Listen for opportunities to tell them “why” and “how”
  • Allow time for them to process and share; do not expect them to respond quickly
  • Be sensitive to their need to do things themselves and that they may not show outward emotions

How to question the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Ask D’s what they want to accomplish, how they are currently motivated and what they would like to change
  • Clarify the purpose for asking questions
  • Stay focused on goals and objectives
  • Make questions practical, logical, and straightforward
  • Keep questions direct and to the point
  • Get to the point of the coaching session

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Get I’s talking about themselves and their interests
  • Establish personal relationships before asking questions about business
  • Ask about their aspirations and recognize their need to be valued and listened to
  • Ask about personal needs they want filled
  • Support their ideas
  • Gently keep them on topic

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Speak warmly and informally, asking open questions that draw them out
  • Show tact and sincerity in exploring their needs
  • Avoid confrontations and challenging questions
  • S’s may tell you what they think you want to hear
  • Allow time for S’s to open up and reveal their needs and concerns
  • Ask them whose assistance they may need

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Ask questions that reveal their expertise and knowledge
  • Ask logical, fact oriented, relevant questions
  • Phrase questions that require specific, accurate information to be shared
  • Focus questions on processes and efficiency
  • Ask questions that reveal a clear direction
  • Ask questions that show you are prepared for the coaching session

How to coach the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Talk in terms of bottom line and achievement
  • Zero in on results with quick benefit statements
  • Do the analysis and present solutions for them to approve or reject
  • Give them choices backed with enough data and analysis to make an intelligent decision
  • Use Feedback Questions to assist in clarifying the details and time frames
  • Use Acknowledge-Clarify-Respond when encountering resistance
  • Let them take the lead, when appropriate, but give them parameters

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Interact as you share your perspective with them; use Feedback Questions to engage them
  • Show that you are interested in them; let them talk and be enthusiastic
  • Illustrate your ideas and perspectives with stories and emotional descriptions that can relate to their interests
  • Use Feedback Questions to assist in summarizing details and direct these toward mutually agreeable objectives and action steps
  • Make suggestions that allow them to increase their prestige, image, or recognition

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Show how you will support and assist where required
  • Use Feedback Questions to assist in presenting new ideas in a non-threatening way
  • Clearly define their roles and goals plus include specific expectations of them
  • Explain why change may be necessary and how long the changes will take
  • Show the appropriate steps to follow
  • Use Acknowledge-Clarify-Respond when encountering resistance
  • Avoid rushing them and offer personal, concrete assurances

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Provide date to them in writing
  • Base your claims on facts, specifications and data
  • Allow them to think, inquire, and check before they make decisions
  • Use Feedback Questions to assist in providing explanations and rationale
  • Tell them the pros and cons and the complete story
  • Follow-through and deliver on what you promise
  • Use Acknowledge-Clarify-Respond when encountering resistance

How to praise the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Provide enough facts for them to feel comfortable, but don’t overwhelm
  • Focus praise on their accomplishments, results, and achievements
  • Ask them specifically how they like to receive praise
  • Get to the point
  • Give them your time and attention
  • Use Coaching Moments to “praise in the moment”

Influence – High “I” Style

  • I’s are concerned about what others think about them
  • Give positive recognition and reinforcement
  • Use specific praise, including people, when appropriate
  • Ask them how they like to receive praise
  • Be excited and enthusiastic
  • Make suggestions that allow them to look good
  • Give them your attention, time, and presence
  • Use Coaching Moments to praise “in the moment”

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Ask them how they like to receive praise
  • Take into consideration their motivation to seek security and please other people
  • Develop trust, friendship, and credibility at a relatively slow pace
  • Offer personal, concrete assurances
  • Communicate in a consistent manner on a regular basis; compliment progress
  • Use Coaching Moments to “praise in the moment”

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Don’t praise with too much enthusiasm
  • Ask them how they like to receive praise
  • Document why you are giving them praise
  • Don’t try to impress them
  • Match their low emotional tone
  • Use Coaching Moments to “praise in the moment”

How to challenge the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Challenge them to more realistically gauge risks
  • Help them to use more caution and deliberation before deciding
  • If appropriate, help them to more effectively follow rules and procedures
  • Encourage them to look for ways to recognize others and solicit their opinions and contributions
  • Ask them to give others the reasons for decisions
  • Help them to give more attention and respond to others’ emotions

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Help them to prioritize and organize
  • Encourage them to see tasks through to completion
  • Work to view people versus tasks more objectively
  • Help them to avoid overuse of giving and taking advice
  • Challenge them to keep track of details

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Work with them to develop shortcuts and eliminate unnecessary steps
  • Help them accept sincere praise and feel appreciated
  • Show them there is often more than one approach to take
  • Challenge them to develop an acceptance to some risks and changes
  • Encourage them to speak up and share their thoughts and feelings
  • Work with them to modify their inclination to always do what others tell them

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Ask them to share their knowledge and expertise with others
  • Develop a balance between sensitivity to people and task accomplishment
  • Encourage them not to take themselves “too seriously and critically”
  • Challenge them to develop priorities and not categorize most items as “high priority”
  • Help them to be transparent in sharing their plans for achieving their goals with you
  • Coach them on praising others, when appropriate

Leaving voicemails and sending emails

Dominance – High “D” Style

Leaving Voicemails for Dominant Styles:

  • Give your phone number at the beginning and end
  • Articulate clearly at a quicker rate of speech
  • Tell them exactly why you are calling
  • Tell them exactly what you want them to do
  • Let them know what to expect with the next step

Sample e-mail to a Dominant Style:
Robert,
I know you’re constantly looking for ways to increase efficiencies, leverage technology to your advantage, and gain a competitive advantage over your competition.
Click here to read a hard-hitting article that teaches how to leverage high-tech to create high-touch client relationships.
Success all ways,
Scott Zimmerman
The Cyrano Group

Influence – High “I” Style

Leaving Voicemails for Influence Styles:

  • Use a warm, expressive tone of voice
  • Give the impression that you are upbeat
  • Suggest a meeting where you can share ideas
  • If appropriate, give them your “private” number
  • Let them know the first meeting is exploratory

Sample e-mail to an Influence Style:
Dear Bob,
I know you’re big into sending out info that increases your top-of-mind awareness with your clients, prospects and colleagues. That’s what makes you so successful!
Check out this cool article that teaches how to leverage high-tech to stay in meaningful contact with hundreds of people.
Let me know what you think!
Best,
Scott

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Leaving Voicemails for Steady Styles:
  • Lean back in your chair and relax
  • Smile as you speak warmly at a measured rate
  • Sound personable; yet still professional
  • If possible, tell them who referred you
  • Thank them in advance for returning your call

Sample e-mail to a Steady Style:
Dear Robert,
I know you care deeply about keeping your clients, helping others and staying in contact with all your prospects.
I just found this article that teaches how to leverage high-tech to create high-touch client relationships and I wanted you to have the information, too.
Feel free to call me if you want to DISCuss this personally.
Warmly,
Scott

Conscientious – High “C” Style

Leaving Voicemails for Conscientious Styles:

  • Articulate clearly at a steady rate of speech
  • Remain cool, calm and professional
  • Tell them exactly why you are calling
  • Tell them exactly what you want them to do
  • Let them know what to expect with next step

Sample e-mail to a Conscientious Style:
Robert,
I just read a very informative article about how smart salespeople are systematizing every aspect of their client/prospect communication activities.
You may click here to read an article that teaches how to leverage high-tech to automate high-touch campaigns.
Toward your marketing success,
Scott Zimmerman
Managing Partner of TheCyranoGroup.com

Chapter 4 – DISC Styles In Group Settings

How the four styles communicate in groups

Each style communicates in ways so different that it’s no wonder misunderstandings occur.

Dominance – High “D” Style

Dominant Styles tend to communicate with short, task-oriented comments, particularly at the start of a meeting when they like to assume control and set the meeting in motion. More than the other styles, they’re concerned about having a clear agenda and setting the tone. They like to keep the discussion on track and on time.

They usually talk most at the beginning and end of meetings, perhaps losing interest in the middle. They also may jump into a discussion, bringing lots of energy and a sense of urgency. Then they may pull back, often in frustration with the failure to make rapid, tangible progress. Before long, they begin to call attention to how much time’s gone by. Soon, they’re pressing for closure and for concrete decisions.

Influence – High “I” Style

Influence Styles, by contrast, communicate more frequently and more evenly throughout a meeting. Their comments are more likely to include jokes and to cover a range of topics so wide that the Influence Style may appear to be hopping all over the place.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

Steady Styles seem generally interested in discussions throughout the whole meeting. They may ask many questions, trying to understand others’ points of view or what follow-through will be expected. They naturally act as synthesizers, go-betweens, or translators, by saying things like, “Now, if I understand what Jane and Tom meant, it’s that the next step is to….” or “To get back to Samantha’s comment, it seems that her idea dovetails nicely with what Bob mentioned a few minutes ago.”

Conscientious – High “C” Style

On the other hand, Conscientious Styles usually just quietly observe until they fully grasp an issue and have figured out in some detail what they want to say and if they’ll feel comfortable saying it. They often begin by asking a few, well-chosen questions. Then, if the climate seems receptive, they’ll build up to a longer statement on what they believe is the answer.

How the four styles set goals in groups

The different styles often have different goals in mind. Even the number of objectives can differ.

Dominance – High “D” Style

Dominant Styles prefer to focus on one specific goal. Ideally, it involves an action that’s also efficient, productive, and cheap.

Influence – High “I” Style

Influence Styles, by contrast, may have many loosely defined objectives and those may change in the course of the process. If there’s a consistent theme to the Influence Styles’ goal-setting, it’s getting the job done by being nimble, by changing as much or as often as needed.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

Steady Styles tend to favor multiple goals. If they must choose just one, it’d be one that opens opportunities for themselves and others to work well together. So, for example, they might favor dividing the problem into parts and then assigning sub-groups to handle each part.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

Quite to the contrary, Conscientious Styles, like Dominant Styles, strongly prefer a single goal for the group. Conscientious Styles especially like goals that put the greatest emphasis on accuracy or quality – say, deciding to produce the best item, rather than one of lesser quality which might be made quicker or more cheaply. Conscientious Styles also favor goals that promote the growth of something – size, profit, efficiency, customer satisfaction, or anything that can be reflected in an upward trend line.

How the four styles use influence in groups

The different styles try to sway, or influence, the group in different ways. This can become critical because every group at an early stage wrestles with the issue of who’s going to wield power.

Dominance – High “D” Style

Dominant Styles like to influence others by structuring agendas, tasks, and assignments and, if relevant, use their formal position as leverage (“As general manager for the past 18 years, I’ve seen these situations develop, and I think….”)

Influence – High “I” Style

Influence Styles are more inclined to use flattery or compliments to win over the group and get its members to feel good as a team. They’ll often use humor to defuse tension or conflict. They try to avoid a hard line that’ll lose them acceptance or recognition by the group.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

Steady Styles, whether they’re anointed leaders or not, often take on the role of keeping the process moving along. They’ll elaborate on what others say and encourage everyone to have their say. They seek to exert influence indirectly by keeping things mellow and moving.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

Information and logic are the tools of Conscientious Styles. They like to furnish information that, directly or indirectly, suggests their expertise and experience. (“Remember, I was one of those who came up with the original plan. The rationale at that time was clear, and I think what we want to do here is….”) They’re the most likely to focus on the “rightness,” or logic, of a solution, rather than spend a lot of time debating who’s personally helped or hindered by it.

How the four styles involve others in groups

Working in a group, by definition, means involving others. But the four styles vary in why and how enthusiastically they embrace others.

Dominance – High “D” Style

Generally, groups put together by Dominant Styles will be smaller and have shorter meetings than those set up by people with other styles. Often, the Dominant Style will want the group to make some key decisions on key issues, and then delegate the rest of the work to individuals or subcommittees.

Influence – High “I” Style

Influence Styles are more inclined to favor groups for groups’ sake. They like others to be involved in the give-and-take. Not everyone who’s put on a committee by an Influence Style will have a logical role there but, in the Influence Styles’s mind, that person is further seasoning for the soup, if not necessarily a main ingredient.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

Steady Styles also are innately attracted to groups. However, instead of using meetings for presentation of reports, they prefer to work toward consensus as they collect information from many sources.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

Conscientious Styles, too, involve others in groups to get information from a wide variety of sources. However, Conscientious Styles are generally less comfortable operating in groups. So they prefer to have much of the group work done behind the scenes by sub-groups or individuals. The Conscientious Style especially likes to be the only one who knows how all the parts of the group’s task puzzle fit together.

How the four styles make decisions in groups

The four styles differ in their approach to group work because they tend to make decisions differently.

Dominance – High “D” Style

In a meeting run by Dominant Styles, decisions are more likely to be made unilaterally by the Dominant Styles, or he or she will call for a vote. Dominant Styles like voting because it’s clean, quick, and decisive. It keeps debating to a minimum. Also, it’s harder to argue that a vote is unfair and closure is clearly attained. Next topic!

A problem with voting – though the Dominant Styles rarely see it as a problem – is that there are winners and losers.

Influence – High “I” Style

Influence Styles, being more people-oriented, try to work out compromises that reduce resentment and smooth over differences. Influence Styles want to downplay group divisions. So they’re not big on voting.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

Steady Styles also prefer decisions by consensus. They’d like to see the majority of the group be on the bus. So actions tend to be worked and reworked until almost all are in agreement.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

Conscientious Styles crave “rational” decisions. Optimally, the decision won’t be made as much as it will be dictated by the facts and logic of the situation, including the key players required to make it work. Conscientious Styles like to list pros and cons of issues – sometimes even weighing the options numerically – to reach the “correct” decision. The process, they believe, will make obvious the best course of action.

Chapter 5 – Adapting To Other’s DISC Styles (The Platinum Rule)

Adapting to the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

How should you treat Dominant Styles? Dominant Styles are very time-sensitive, so never waste their time. Be organized and prepared to work quickly. Get to the point and give them bottom-line information and options, with probabilities of success, if relevant. Give them written details to read at their leisure.

Dominant Styles are goal-oriented, so appeal to their sense of accomplishment. Stroke their egos by recognizing their ideas, and subtly reassure them of their power and prestige. Let Dominant Styles call the shots. If you disagree, argue with facts rather than feelings. When in groups, allow them to have their say because they are not the type who will take a back-seat to others.

With Dominant Styles, in general, be efficient and competent.

Influence – High “I” Style

How should you treat Influence Styles? Influence Styles thrive on personal recognition, so pour it on when there is a reason. Support their ideas, goals, opinions, and dreams. Try not to argue with their pie-in-the-sky visions, get excited about them.

Influence Styles are social-butterflies, so be ready to flutter around with them. A strong presence, stimulating and entertaining conversation, jokes, and liveliness will win them over. They are people-oriented, so give them time to socialize. Avoid rushing into tasks.

Influence Styles are less reliable than others, so get all details and commitments in writing. Be clear and direct in your expectations of them. Give them incentives for performance, when possible, and check on them periodically to make sure they are on track.

With Influence Styles, in general, be interested in them.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

How should you treat Steady Styles? They want warm and fuzzy relationships. You have to earn their trust before they will let you in. Support their feelings and show interest in every facet of their lives. Take things slow; they are relationship-oriented, but slow-paced. You should talk in terms of feelings, not facts, which is the opposite of your strategy for Thinkers.

Steady Styles don’t want to ruffle feathers, so assure them that everyone around them will approve of their actions or decisions. Give them time to solicit the opinions of others. Never back a Relater into a corner. It is far more effective to apply warmth to get this chicken out of its egg than to crack the shell with a hammer.

With Steady Styles, in general, be non-threatening and sincere.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

How should you adapt to Conscientious Styles? Conscientious Styles are time-disciplined, so be sensitive to their time. They need details, so give them data. They are task-oriented, so don’t expect to become their friend before doing business or working with them. That may develop later, but – unlike Influence Styles – it is not a prerequisite for Conscientious Styles.

Support Conscientious Styles in their organized, thoughtful approach to problems and tasks. Be systematic, logical, well-prepared, and exact with them. Give them time to make decisions and work on their own. In workgroups, do not expect them to be leaders or outspoken contributors, but you can rely on them to conduct research, crunch numbers, and develop methods for the group.

Conscientious Styles like to be complimented on their brain-power, so recognize their contributions with the appropriate terms (efficiency, etc.). If appropriate, set guidelines and exact due dates for Conscientious Styles. Allow them to talk in detail, as they are prone to do. If you ask a Conscientious Style what time it is, s/he may explain how a clock works.

With Conscientious Styles, in general, be thorough, well-prepared, detail-oriented, business-like, and patient.

Adapting your communication style

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Listen to their suggestions, their course of action, and the results they are considering.
  • Find areas where you already agree.
  • Work backward toward gaining agreement on the results you both want and are willing to either mutually or independently allow the other to achieve: “Sarah, this format will give you the freedom to develop your branch your way and still allow Vern and Ellen to structure theirs another way… without sacrificing time or morale.”

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Listen to their personal feelings and experiences.
  • Their style requires open and responsive interaction with others, preferably in a manner of congenial and unhurried conversation (like that between long-time friends): “Just between you and me, Chris, I feel very uneasy about Jill and Howard handling this account by themselves.”

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Be ready to do more talking than listening; they do not feel comfortable when the limelight is focused on them.
  • Clarify any key agenda items with them.
  • Stay organized and move forward steadily (but slowly) as you check to make sure they understand and accept what is being said: “Did you want me to stick around the office at a particular time each day in case you need to telephone me for emergency questions on this account, or do you want me to call you?”

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Be well organized and clear in your communications.
  • They search for logical conclusions.
  • Ask your questions in a more discreet, non-judgmental manner to elicit the points, objectives, or assurances C’s want: “Lenny, I’m not trying to pressure you, but are you not interested in the auditor’s position, or in any position?”

Adapting your leadership style when you are the:

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Allow others to do things without excessive or untimely interference.
  • Participate in the group without expecting always to be in command.
  • Modify your tendency to give orders.
  • Enlist others’ input and support through participative, collaborative actions.
  • Praise and give credit for jobs well done.
  • Let colleagues and employees know that you realize it is only natural that you and others will make mistakes.
  • When delegating, give some authority along with the responsibility.

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Improve your follow-through efforts.
  • Monitor socializing to keep it in balance with other aspects of business and life.
  • Write things down and work from a list, so you will know what to do and when to do it.
  • Prioritize activities and focus on tasks in their order of importance.
  • Become more organized and orderly in the way you do things.
  • Get the less appealing tasks of the day over with early in the day.
  • Pay attention to your time management.
  • Check to make sure you are on course with known tasks or goals.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Stretch by taking on a bit more (or different) duties beyond your comfort level.
  • Increase the verbalization of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Speed up your actions by getting into some projects more quickly.
  • Desensitize yourselves somewhat, so that you are not negatively affected by your colleagues’ feelings to the point of affecting your own performance.
  • Learn to adapt more quickly to either changes or refinements of existing practices.
  • Bolster your assertiveness techniques.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Modify criticism (whether spoken or unspoken) of others’ work.
  • Check less often, or only check the critical things (as opposed to everything), allowing the flow of the process to continue.
  • Ease up on controlling emotions; engage in more water cooler interaction.
  • Accept the fact that you can have high standards without expecting perfection.
  • Occasionally confront a colleague (or boss) with whom you disagree, instead of avoiding or ignoring them (and doing what you want to do, anyway).
  • Tone down the tendency to OVER-prepare.

Adapting your leadership style to help people when they are the:

Dominance – High “D” Style – Help Them

  • More realistically gauge risks.
  • Exercise more caution and deliberation before making decisions and coming to conclusions.
  • Follow pertinent rules, regulations and expectations
  • Recognize and solicit others’ contributions, both as individuals and within a group.
  • Tell others the reasons for decisions.
  • Cultivate more attention and responsiveness to emotions.

Influence – High “I” Style – Help Them

  • Prioritize and organize.
  • See tasks through to completion.
  • View people and tasks more objectively.
  • Avoid overuse of giving and taking advice (which can result in lack of focus on tasks).
  • Write things down.
  • Do the unpleasant, as well as the fun things.
  • Focus on what is important now.
  • Avoid procrastination and/or hoping others will do things for them.
  • Practice and perfect, when appropriate.

Steadiness – High “S” Style – Help Them

  • Utilize shortcuts; discard unnecessary steps.
  • Track their growth.
  • Avoid doing things the same way.
  • Focus on the goal without attending to other thoughts or feelings.
  • Realize tasks have more than one approach.
  • Become more open to risks and changes.
  • Feel sincerely appreciated.
  • Speak up; voice their thoughts and feelings.
  • Modify the tendency to do what others tell them.

Conscientious – High “C” Style – Help Them

  • Share their knowledge and expertise.
  • Stand up for themselves with the people they prefer to avoid.
  • Shoot for realistic deadlines.
  • View people and tasks less seriously and critically.
  • Balance their lives with both interaction and tasks.
  • Keep on course with tasks, with less checking.
  • Maintain high expectations for high priority items, not necessarily everything.

Adapting to other styles – Quick Guide

Use the following suggestions to help you adapt to other people’s behavioral styles when you are dealing with customers.

NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT:
Dominant Styles: What it does / By when / What it costs
Influence Styles: How it enhances their status and visibility
Steady Styles: How it will affect their personal circumstances
Conscientious Styles: How they can justify it logically / How it works

DO IT WITH:
Dominant Styles: Conviction
Influence Styles: Flair
Steady Styles: Warmth
Conscientious Styles: Accuracy

SAVE THEM:
Dominant Styles: Time
Influence Styles: Effort
Steady Styles: Conflict
Conscientious Styles: Embarrassment

TO FACILITATE DECISION-MAKING PROVIDE:
Dominant Styles: Options with supporting analysis
Influence Styles: Testimonials and incentives
Steady Styles: Personal service and assurances
Conscientious Styles: Data and documentation

LIKES YOU TO BE:
Dominant Styles: To the point
Influence Styles: Stimulating
Steady Styles: Pleasant
Conscientious Styles: Precise

SUPPORT THEIR:
Dominant Styles: Goals
Influence Styles: Ideas
Steady Styles: Feelings
Conscientious Styles: Procedures

CREATE THIS ENVIRONMENT:
Dominant Styles: Businesslike
Influence Styles: Enthusiastic
Steady Styles: Personal
Conscientious Styles: Serious

MAINTAIN THIS PACE:
Dominant Styles: Fast/decisive
Influence Styles: Fast/spontaneous
Steady Styles: Slow/relaxed
Conscientious Styles: Slow/systematic

FOCUS ON THIS PRIORITY:
Dominant Styles: The task/The results
Influence Styles: The relationship/Interaction
Steady Styles: The relationship/Communication
Conscientious Styles: The task/The process

AT PLAY BE:
Dominant Styles: Competitive and aggressive
Influence Styles: Spontaneous and playful
Steady Styles: Casual and cooperative
Conscientious Styles: Structured/Play by the rules

USE TIME TO:
D
ominant Styles: Act efficiently
Influence Styles: Enjoy the interaction
Steady Styles: Develop the relationship
Conscientious Styles: Ensure accuracy

WRITE THIS WAY:
Dominant Styles: Short and to the point
Influence Styles: Informal and dramatic
Steady Styles: Warm and friendly
Conscientious Styles: Detailed and precise

ON THE TELEPHONE BE:
Dominant Styles: Short and to the point
Influence Styles: Conversational and playful
Steady Styles: Warm and pleasant
Conscientious Styles: Businesslike and precise

Chapter 6 – DISC Styles At Work

How to develop the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Focus on the big picture.
  • Cover basic steps/ high points quickly.
  • Show them the simplest, fastest route to get them to their stated destination.
  • Tell them what is to be done by when.
  • Help them find shortcuts Connect concept with their highest value.

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Release information in chunks.
  • Skip details and boring material.
  • Get them involved kinesthetically.
  • Let them show you what they are learning.
  • Be slow to criticize and quick to praise.
  • Let them teach a concept to others.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Use one-on-one, hands-on instruction.
  • Start at the beginning & end at the end.
  • Let them observe others before trying.
  • Provide a step-by-step list of procedures or a working timetable/ schedule.
  • Allow plenty of repetition for their actions to become second nature and more routine.
  • Use a pleasant and patient approach in small group settings.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Point out the most important things to remember first.
  • Demonstrate in an efficient, logical manner, stressing the purpose of each step.
  • Proceed slowly, stopping at key places to check for their understanding.
  • Ask for possible input, especially regarding potential refinements.
  • Build up to the big picture.

Helping people reach decisions

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • D’s tend to make autonomous, no-nonsense decisions.
  • If the decision will help them meet their goals, they go for it; if not, they say no.
  • One of the few times they put off reaching a conclusion is when it takes too much time/ effort to do the homework to determine the best alternative.
  • Prevent this procrastination by simply providing a brief analysis of each option.

Influence – High “I” Style

  • They want to avoid discussions of complex, negative-sounding, messy problems.
  • Frame suggestions in a positive light.
  • They are open to your suggestions-as long as they allow them to look and feel good and don’t require a lot of difficult, follow-up, detail work, or long-term commitments. “You know just about everybody, George. Since we need to get $350 in pledges by the end of February, why not go ahead and wrap up all your calls by Friday? Then you can relax a lot more next week.”

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Deal with only one subject or situation at a time, one step at a time.
  • Before moving on to other items, make sure they are ready, willing, and able to do so.
  • Remain calm and relaxed.
  • Encourage them to share their suggestions as to how the decision might be made in a way that is likely to add even more stability to the current conditions: “Would you mind writing down a schedule of your office’s activities so I can write my proposal without missing anything?”

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Confirm they are open to discussing the problem or decision.
  • If they are not ready, either set a definite time that’s better for both of you or explore their concern in even pursuing this subject.
  • Give them time and space to think clearly.
  • When the situation is being explored, review your impression of the process: “My understanding is you’d like to think it over and figure out what time commitment you’d be able to make to the group. When may I call you about your decision?”

Motivating the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Lead with the big picture.
  • Provide them with options and clearly describe the probabilities of success in achieving goals.
  • Allow them the opportunity to make choices.
  • Set boundaries, but let them take charge.

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Provide “special” incentives to inspire them to go the whole nine yards.
  • Show them how they can look good in the eyes of others.
  • Create short-term contests that do not require long-term commitment.
  • Reward them in front of others.
  • Let them speak about their achievements.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Show how their work benefits others.
  • Show how the outcome will provide security for their family.
  • Connect their individual work to the benefit of the whole team.
  • Get them to see how their follow-through links to a greater good.
  • Show how it can strengthen their relationships with others.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Appeal to their need for accuracy and logic.
  • Keep your approach clear, clean and procedural.
  • Better yet, provide illustration and documentation.
  • Avoid exaggeration and vagueness.
  • Show them how this is the best available current option.

Complimenting the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Mention their achievements, upward mobility, and leadership potential.
  • Omit personal comments and focus on their track record: “Jones, you’ve exceeded our company goals every month for the past year and have put in more hours than anybody but the top officials here. The CEO has his eye on you for an upcoming VP slot.”

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Pay direct personal compliments to them when legitimately deserved.
  • Mention their charm, friendliness, creative ideas, persuasiveness, and/or appearance (or better yet, all of the above).
  • They willingly accept “general praise”: “We are so lucky to have you with us, Dee. You’re a real gem.”

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Mention their teamwork and dependability.
  • Comment on how others regard them, how well they get along with co-workers, and how important their relationship-building efforts have been to the company.
  • Effusiveness can arouse their suspicions, so stick to praising what they have done rather than personal attributes.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Mention their efficiency, thought processes, organization, persistence, and accuracy.
  • Do not mix personal and professional comments unless you know them very well.
  • One C told us: “Compliments don’t mean much to me. But I do like genuine, heartfelt appreciation once in a while.”
  • Keep praise simple and concise.

Counseling the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Stick to the facts.
  • Draw them out by talking about the desired results; then DISCuss their concerns.
  • Focus on tasks more than feelings.
  • Ask them how they would solve problems: “Anne, we’ve heard comments that need to be addressed. It seems some of your employees do not feel appreciated for the extra hours they have been putting in for you. They have worked 14-hour days to beat your deadline. How do you think we can bolster their morale?”

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Give them ample opportunity to talk about whatever may be bothering them.
  • Pay attention to both facts and feelings, but put your primary emphasis on their feelings.
  • Involve them by asking how they could solve a challenge or problem.
  • Sometimes, just airing their feelings and thoughts relieves tension for I’s.
  • Talking allows them to get something off their chests and can even become an end in itself since their energy is largely influenced by the quality of their relationships.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Understand the emotional side of their situation by drawing them out through questioning and listening
  • They are disrupted by change and the unknown.
  • Reduce their fears by showing how specific changes will benefit them and others: “Barbara, moving to Dallas will be an adjustment for all of us at first, but 80% of our staff has agreed to go. The company will move you and your family, sell your house, and give you a 10% bonus for loyal service.”

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Draw them out by asking, “How would you…?” questions about problems.
  • They express thoughts indirectly, so persist in your attempts to get them to talk.
  • They need to plan for change so they can identify and bring under control any key considerations that have to be addressed.
  • When possible, allow them to investigate possible repercussions, especially at the beginning stages. That way they will become more comfortable with possible changes.

Correcting the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Describe what results are desired.
  • Show the gap between actual and desired.
  • Clearly suggest the needed improvement and establish a time to get back to you: “We need to streamline communication so that one hand knows what the other is doing. Last month, we had two separate divisions calling on the same CEO for corporate donations. I want you to work up a plan to keep everybody informed of who’s working on what so we do not duplicate our efforts. Get back to me by the end of the week.”

Influence – High “I” Style

  • They avoid facing problems and if pressure persists, may walk away from the problem.
  • Sometimes stress manifests itself in animated panic. “I can’t talk now, Hal. It’s really hit the fan this time!”
  • Let them specifically know the challenge and define the behaviors to solve the problem.
  • Confirm the mutually agreeable action plan (in writing) to prevent future problems.
  • Use positive, optimistic questions and phrases: “How’d you like to increase your sales to your normal range and beyond?”

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Reassure them that you only want to correct a specific behavior, not them personally
  • They tend to take things personally, so remove the “something is wrong with you barrier” as quickly as possible
  • Point out in a non-threatening way what they are already doing right while also emphasizing what needs changing: “Norma, I admire your persistence, but we have to add more details to the proposal before we send it out. For example…”

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Show them how to get a job done and they will master and modify it to suit their needs.
  • Specify the exact behavior that is indicated and how you would like to see it changed.
  • Mutually agree on checkpoints and timeframes.
  • Allow them to save face, as they fear being wrong. “Nelson, you produce excellent work and always hit your deadlines. Our new software platform will help you to be even more efficient. I’d you to take a training course to get up to speed quickly…”

Delegating to the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Give them the bottom line and then let them do their thing.
  • So that they can be more efficient, give them parameters, guidelines, and deadlines.
  • Example: “We need to get that mall built a month sooner or we’ll lose our shirts. Fourteen tenants are threatening to bail out of their contracts if we do not open in time for the holidays. Don’t spend more than another $30,000, keep everything legal and out of the newspapers, and get back to me by Monday morning.”

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Receive clear agreements; set up checkpoints/times to avoid long stretches with no progress reports.
  • I’s are often concept people who come up with plenty of ideas, but not necessarily the means of carrying them out, so steer them toward ways of assuring the implementation of those ideas.
  • Example: “Olivia, this proposal for the King Company looks good so far, but how about including more direct benefits for each employee. Marian has surveys filled out by each employee. Get together with her, bounce some ideas around, and then include more essential information about the eight or so key people in your proposal. Add some extra plus points on the others…12 pages in all. In this manner, you should do the job very well. Moreover, Olivia, thanks for making the extra effort on this project. It’s really important to all of us.”

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • S’s may be reluctant to ask others to do their own share of the work, so make a personal appeal to their loyalty and sense of sportsmanship.
  • Example: “Al, you’re an example for this company of genuine cooperative spirit. Your staff wants to please you, so by giving everyone in your department just 10 of those names to call, you can all reach the goal together by noon tomorrow. Otherwise, you’ll probably have a lot more difficulty reaching all those people by the target date.” Give them the task, state the deadlines that need to be met, and explain why it is important to do it that way. “I’ll need 500 copies of these summaries typed and collated by 5 p.m. today. Mr. Jeffries is getting back from New York two days early and he wants them by tomorrow morning.”

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Take time to answer the most critical questions about structure and/or guidance they require in a specific situation. The more they understand the details, the more likely they will be to complete the task properly.
  • Be sure to establish deadlines.
  • Example: “Angela, the court date on the Mortimer case has been moved up to Monday, so we have to respond by speeding things up a bit. It will proceed almost as efficiently as if you researched everything by yourself if we enlist two associates to work under your direction on tasks you delegate to them and then review. Before getting started, do you have any preferences on the who’s or how to’s of this process that you think are essential to check with me at this time?”

Acknowledging the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • When it is appropriate to reward or reinforce their behavior, focus on how pleased you are with their results.
  • Mention how glad you are to be a part of the process working with them to make things better for both of you through cooperation.

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Focus on how glad you are they have succeeded in finding a pleasant solution to their concern or objective.
  • Show you appreciate them for their openness and willingness to respond to you in a way that allows everyone to end up feeling good about the results.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Focus on how you sincerely appreciate their willingness to make things good for everyone
  • Approach matters in a systematic, low-keyed, and understanding manner, and reinforce the importance of them sharing their ideas.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Focus on your realization of how difficult it can be for them to attempt to meet the high personal standards they set for themselves.
  • Cite specific and appropriate examples that prove the point.

Chapter 7 – Building & Maintaining Rapport With DISC Styles

Building rapport during initial contact – how to connect with:

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • “D’s” want to know the bottom line.
  • Just give them enough information to satisfy their need to know about overall performance.
  • They do not want you to waste their time giving them a bolt-by-bolt description of your product, presenting a long list of testimonials from satisfied clients, or getting too chummy with them – always remember that they are Direct and Guarded.
  • When you write, call, or meet a “D”, do it in a formal, businesslike manner. Get right to the point. Focus quickly on the task.
  • Refer to bottom-line results, increased efficiency, saved time, return on investment, profits, and so on. In other words, tell him what’s in it for him.
  • If you plan to sell something or present a proposal to a “D”, take care to be well organized, time-conscious, efficient, and businesslike.
  • They do not want to make friends with you; they want to get something out of you if they think you have something of value to offer

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Remember that they are Direct and Open.
  • When you meet an “I”, shake hands firmly, introduce yourself with confidence, and immediately show personal interest.
  • Let him set the pace and direction of the conversation.
  • Be an especially attentive listener with “I’s”.
  • Give them positive feedback to let them know that you understand and can relate to their visions, ideas, and feelings.
  • Tell humorous or unusual stories about yourself, to win their heart.
  • Allow them to feel comfortable by listening to their stories, even to the point of talking about topics that may stray from the subject.
  • Since “I’s” typically enjoy talking about themselves, ask questions about them, but be prepared for lengthy answers. Plan to have as many meetings as necessary to build the relationship and gather information.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • “S’s” are Indirect and Open. However, keep the relationship businesslike until they warm up to you.
  • They are concerned with maintaining stability; they want to know step-by-step procedures that are likely to meet their need for details and logical action plans.
  • Organize your presentation: list specifics, show sequences, and provide data.
  • Treat them with honesty, sincerity, and personal attentiveness.
  • Listen patiently to their stories, ideas and answers.
  • Express your appreciation for their steadiness, dependability, and cooperativeness.
  • Present yourself to be non-threatening, pleasant, friendly, but still professional.
  • Develop trust, credibility, and friendship at a relatively slow, informal pace.
  • Communicate with them in a consistent manner on a regular basis… especially at the outset

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • “C’s” don’t care much about social interaction (beyond common courtesy and standard pleasantries), so get to the point.
  • Avoid making small talk, except to initially establish your credibility.
  • Speak slowly, calmly, and economize on words.
  • “C’s” are precision-oriented people who want to do their jobs in the best possible manner.
  • Build your credibility by thinking with your head, not your emotions.
  • Before meeting, provide them with a brief overview of the agenda and length of the meeting, so they know what to expect.
  • Show them logical proof from reliable sources that accurately document your quality, record of accomplishment, and value.
  • “C’s” tend to be naturally suspicious of those who talk themselves up.

Maintaining rapport in the exploring stage –
how to explore with:

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • To head off the “D’s” impatience before it surfaces, keep your conversations interesting by alternately asking questions and offering relevant information.
  • “D’s” need to view the meeting as purposeful, so they want to understand where your questions are leading.
  • When asking a “D” question, make them as practical and logical as possible. Aim questions at the heart of the issue and ask them in a straightforward manner.
  • Only request information that is unavailable elsewhere.
  • When gathering information, ask questions showing you have done your homework about their desired results and current efforts.
  • Be sure to make queries that allow him to talk about his business goals.
  • Gear your exploring toward saving D’s time and energy.

Influence – High “I” Style

  • “I’s” get bored quickly when they’re not talking about themselves.
  • Strike a balance between listening to their life’s stories and gathering the information you need to be an effective sales consultant.
  • When asking business questions, keep them brief. If you can, work these exploratory questions in with social questions.
  • The better your relationship with an “I” is, the more willing he’ll be to cooperate and talk about the task at hand.
  • “I’s” can be so open they may tell you their fondest hopes and aspirations. If you can demonstrate how your product or service can get them closer to their dreams, they may become so excited about your product, and you, that they’re likely to sell you and your products and services to everyone else in their organization.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • “S’s” can be excellent interviewees, so talk warmly and informally and ask gentle, open questions that draw them out (especially around sensitive areas).
  • Show tact and sincerity in exploring their needs.
  • If they do not have a good feeling about your product, company, or even you, they are not likely to take the chance of hurting your feelings by telling you so.
  • They want to avoid confrontations, even minor ones. So “S’s” may tell you what they think you want to hear, rather than what they really think.
  • They may not you about their dissatisfaction with your competitors. Even though this is exactly what you want to hear, the “S” may be hesitant about saying anything negative about them.
  • Allow for plenty of time (possibly multiple meetings) for “S’s” to open up to you and reveal their innermost desires and pains.
  • The more time you spend with an “S” exploring, the higher the odds you’ll be landing them as a customer.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • “C’s” don’t care much about social interaction (beyond common courtesy and standard pleasantries), so get to the point.
  • “C’s” often like to answer questions that reveal their expertise, so they can be very good interviewees.
  • As long as you ask logical, fact-oriented, relevant questions, they will enjoy speaking with you.
  • Phrase your questions to help them give you the right information.
  • Ask open and closed questions that investigate their knowledge, systems, objectives and objections.
  • Make your own answers short and crisp.
  • If you do not know the answer to something, do not fake it. Tell them you’ll get the answer for them by a certain time, and then do it.

Maintaining rapport in the collaborating stage – how to collaborate with:

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • Your presentation must be geared toward the “D’s” priorities.
  • Gear your presentation toward how they can become more successful, save time, generate results, and make life easier and more efficient; you’ll get their attention.
  • Zero in on the bottom line with quick benefit statements.
  • They want you to do the analysis and lay it out for them to approve or reject.
  • “D’s” like rapid, concise analyses of their needs and your solutions.
  • “D’s” like being in control, so give them choices backed with enough data and analysis to allow them to make an intelligent decision.
  • Then, be quiet and let them make their decision. If you speak or interrupt while they are buying, you will dramatically decrease the odds of making this sale.

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Show how your product would increase the “I’s” prestige, image, or recognition.
  • Talk about the favorable impact or consequences your suggestions will have in making their working relationships more enjoyable.
  • Give them incentives for completing tasks by stressing how their contribution will benefit others and evoke positive responses from them.
  • Presentations need impact for people with short attention spans, so involve as many senses as possible.
  • Show them how your solution will save them effort and make them look good.
  • Back up your claims with testimonials from well-known people or high-profile corporations.
  • Name satisfied acquaintances they know and admire.
  • Sprinkle in “visualizing future ownership” questions, such as: “If you were already running this software, how would you use it?”

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Show how your product or service will stabilize, simplify, or support the “S’s” procedures and relationships.
  • Clearly define their roles and goals in your suggestions, and include specific expectations of them in your plan.
  • Present new ideas in a non-threatening way.
  • Provide them time to adjust to changes in operating procedures and relationships.
  • When change becomes necessary, tell them why. Explain how long the changes will take and any interim alterations of the current conditions.
  • Design your message to impart a sense of stability and security.
  • “S’s” like to be shown the appropriate steps to follow, so share those with them.
  • Involve them by asking their opinions and encourage them to give you feedback.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Emphasize accuracy, value, quality, and reliability.
  • They dislike talk not backed up by evidence.
  • Describe a process will produce the results they seek.
  • Elicit specific feedback by asking, “So far, what are your reactions?” or “Do you have any questions that you’d like me to clear up?”
  • Present your solution that shows them they’ll be correct in making the purchase.
  • Base your claims on facts, specifications, and data that relate specifically to their needs.
  • “C’s” are cost-conscious; increase their perceived value with facts and ROI data.
  • “C’s” are the most likely to see the drawbacks, so point out the obvious negatives before they do. Let them assess the relative trade-offs when choosing between competing (yet imperfect) products or services.

Maintaining rapport in the confirming stage –
how to confirm with:

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • With “D’s”, you come right out and ask if they are interested. A “D” will often tell you “yes” or “no”.
  • You can easily lose the attention and/or interest of a “D” by presenting your information too slowly or by spending too much time DISCussing minute details.
  • When you draw up a commitment letter, don’t spend too much time on points the “D” may not care about.
  • Present them with options and probable outcomes. “D’s” like to balance quality with cost considerations, so offer options with supporting evidence and leave the final decision to them.
  • We have found that it is effective to present a “D” with two or three options. Provide a short summation of each option, along with your recommendation of each.
  • While the “D” is reviewing your proposal, don’t interrupt them. The odds are high that they will find an option that appeals to them and closing the deal themselves.

Influence – High “I” Style

  • Show how your product would increase the “I’s” prestige, image, or recognition.
  • Be open and ask, “Where do we go from here?” or “What’s our next step?”
  • If they like something, they buy it on the spot (all other things being equal).
  • You may have to slow them down because they also tend to overbuy and/or buy before weighing all the ramifications; behaviors that both of you may live to regret.
  • “I’s” dislike paperwork and details so they are likely to hesitate, and even procrastinate, when it comes to spending the time required on a contract.
  • Have a written agreement prepared due to their tendency to be unclear about procedures, responsibilities, and expectations.
  • Make sure that you agree on the specifics in writing or, later on, you can almost bet on some degree of misunderstanding and/or disappointment.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • “S’s” are slower, deductive decision-makers who listen to the opinions of others and take the time to solicit those opinions before deciding. So, make a specific action plan and provide personal guidance, direction, or assurance as required for pursuing the safest, most practical course to follow. Arm them with literature, case studies, and any documentation available, because they’ll be “selling” your proposal to others within their organization.
  • When you do reach an agreement, carefully explore any potential areas of misunderstanding or dissatisfaction.
  • “S’s” like guarantees that new actions will involve a minimum risk, so offer assurances and support.
  • Try not to rush them, but do provide gentle, helpful nudges to help them decide (when needed).
  • Involve them by personalizing the plan and showing how it will directly benefit them and others.
  • When asking for a commitment, guide them toward a choice if they seem indecisive.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Emphasize accuracy, value, quality, and reliability.
  • Provide logical options with appropriate documentation and time to analyze their options.
  • They’re uncomfortable with snap decisions and when they say they will think about it, they mean it!
  • If pressured by people or excessive demands, they may use “I’ll think about it,” as a stalling tactic.
  • “C’s” are educated, logical, comparative “shoppers.” Know your competition so you can point out your advantages relative to the competition in a factual, professional way. Mention your company’s strengths as you suggest questions they may want to ask your competitors that will allow them to do a comparative cost-benefit analysis of the options and solutions.
  • Be willing to explore the subject of a conditional, “pilot program” as a way of reducing their risk.

Maintaining rapport in the assuring stage –
how to assure:

Dominance – High “D” Style

  • “D’s” usually do not look for personal relationships at work due to their focus on accomplishing tasks.
  • With “D’s,” do not rely on past sales to ensure future purchases. Follow up to find out if they have any complaints or problems with your product. If they do have complaints, address them immediately.
  • Impress upon your customer your intent to stand behind your product or service.
  • Stress that you will follow-up without taking much of their time.
  • You may also want to offer a money-back guarantee.
  • Whatever the promise, make sure you deliver everything you offer!

Influence – High “I” Style

  • “I’s” frequently buy before they’re sold which may lead to buyers’ remorse.
  • “I’s” can benefit from ongoing reminders that they have made the right decision.
  • Reinforce their decision by giving plenty of assistance immediately after the sale.
  • Be certain they actually use your product or they may get frustrated from incorrect usage and either put it away or return it for a refund.
  • Since they mingle with so many people, you can even ask “I’s” if they’d be willing to share their glowing testimonials about you and your product with others.
  • If they are feeling smart for using your product or service, most “I’s” will give you more referrals than the other three styles combined!

Steadiness – High “S” Style

  • Follow-up consistently with an “S”.
  • Give them your personal guarantee that you will remain in touch, keep things running smoothly, and be available on an “as needed” basis.
  • “S’s” like to think they have a special relationship with you; that you are more than just another business acquaintance; they prefer a continuing, predictable relationship.
  • Give them your cell number, along with an invitation to call you any time with any concern. They will rarely use it, but will feel secure knowing it’s available to them.
  • They dislike one-time deals, so follow up to maintain your relationship.
  • Impersonal, computerized follow-up is not very appealing to “S’s”, so continue building your relationship with low-key, personalized attention, and assistance.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

  • Set a specific timetable for when and how you will measure success with the “C”. Continue proving your reliability, quality, and value.
  • Make yourself available for follow-up on customer satisfaction and ask for specific feedback on the product or service performance record.
  • If you have tips for improved usage or user shortcuts, email them to your “C” customers.
  • You should also ask for their ideas and opinions about how to improve your products and/or services.
  • When they offer you their suggestions, get back to them about how your company is incorporating their ideas into upgrades into future upgrades, revisions, or new products.