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Posted 8 years ago
<![CDATA[Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Please Understand Me, The Platinum Rule®, and numerous other books talk about the differences in people. Just a few of these differences include regional differences, racial differences, personality differences, ethnic differences, gender differences, and generational differences. The importance of these differences to each and every one of us in the workplace is growing more and more important. Look at all the articles on generational differences: Fortune Magazine previously predicted that in the near future more than 50% of all new jobs in American would be filled by immigrants. Adaptability is your ability to understand and appreciate these differences and your ability to effectively manage relationships with different people. It consists of flexibility, which is your willingness to change, and versatility, which is your ability to change and your ability to do the right thing at the right time with the right people. For the past 40+ years, I have been researching, writing and speaking on adaptability, specifically as it relates to behavioral differences. Imagine a Baby Boomer trying to manage someone right out of college, managing that person from a Baby Boomer point of view. That’s not a pretty picture! We need to make an effort to know why people are different and were they are coming from. That is what the whole concept of empathy is. Empathy is simply trying to see things from another person’s point of view. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. That is what adaptability is - truly practicing empathy. Not just seeing things from the other person point of view, but also treating them from their point of view. We have all heard of the Golden Rule and many people aspire to live by it, especially when it comes to values, ethics and consideration. However, The Golden Rule implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the same way that you would like to be treated. An addition to the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule®: "Treat others the way they want to be treated." Ah hah! What a difference. The Platinum Rule shifts from "this is what I want, so I'll give everyone the same thing" to "let me first understand what they want and then I'll give it to them." A Modern Model for Chemistry The goal of The Platinum Rule is personal chemistry and productive relationships. You do not have to change your personality. You do not have to roll over and submit to others. You simply have to understand what drives people and recognize your options for dealing with them. The Platinum Rule divides behavioral preferences into four basic styles: The Dominant Style, Influencing Style, Steady Style, and Conscientious Style. Everyone possesses the qualities of each style to various degrees and everyone has a dominant style. For the sake of simplicity, this blog will focus only on dominant styles.
Dominant Styles Dominant Styles are driven by two governing needs: to control and achieve. Dominant Styles are goal-oriented go-getters who are most comfortable when they are in charge of people and situations. They want to accomplish many things—now—so they focus on no-nonsense approaches to bottom-line results. Dominant Styles seek expedience and are not afraid to bend the rules. They figure it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. Dominant Styles accept challenges, take authority, and plunge head first into solving problems. They are fast-paced, task-oriented, and work quickly and impressively by themselves, which means they become annoyed with delays. Dominant Styles are driven and dominating, which can make them stubborn, impatient, and insensitive to others. Dominant Styles are so focused that they forget to take the time to smell the roses.
Influencing Styles Influencing Styles are friendly, enthusiastic “party-animals” who like to be where the action is. They thrive on the admiration, acknowledgment, and compliments that come with being in the limelight. The Influencing Style’s primary strengths are enthusiasm, charm, persuasiveness, and warmth. They are idea-people and dreamers who excel at getting others excited about their vision. They are eternal optimists with an abundance of charisma. These qualities help them influence people and build alliances to accomplish their goals. Influencing Styles do have their weaknesses: impatience, an aversion to being alone, and a short attention span. Influencing Styles are risk-takers who base many of their decisions on intuition, which is not inherently bad. Influencing Styles are not inclined to verify information; they are more likely to assume someone else will do it.
Conscientious Styles Conscientious Styles are analytical, persistent, systematic people who enjoy problem solving. Conscientious Styles are detail-oriented, which makes them more concerned with content than style. Conscientious Styles are task-oriented people who enjoy perfecting processes and working toward tangible results. They are always in control of their emotions and may become uncomfortable around people who very out-going, e.g., Influencing Styles. Conscientious Styles have high expectations of themselves and others, which can make them over-critical. Their tendency toward perfectionism—taken to an extreme—can cause “paralysis by over-analysis.” Conscientious Styles are slow and deliberate decision-makers. They do research, make comparisons, determine risks, calculate margins of error, and then take action. Conscientious Styles become irritated by surprises and glitches, hence their cautious decision-making. Conscientious Styles are also skeptical, so they like to see promises in writing.
Steady Styles Steady Styles are warm and nurturing individuals. They are the most people-oriented of the four styles. Steady Styles are excellent listeners, devoted friends, and loyal employees. Their relaxed disposition makes them approachable and warm. They develop strong networks of people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. Steady Styles are excellent team players. Steady Styles are risk-aversive. In fact, Steady Styles may tolerate unpleasant environments rather than risk change. They like the status quo and become distressed when disruptions are severe. When faced with change, they think it through, plan, and accept it into their world. Steady Styles—more than the other types—strive to maintain personal composure, stability, and balance. In the office, Steady Styles are courteous, friendly, and willing to share responsibilities. They are good planners, persistent workers, and good with follow-through. Steady Styles go along with other seven when they do not agree because they do not want to rock the boat. Steady Styles are slow decision-makers for several reasons: 1) their need for security; 2) their need to avoid risk; 3) their desire to include others in the decision-making process.
Adapting To Dominant Styles Dominant Styles are very time-sensitive, so never waste their time. Be organized and get to the point. 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 supporting their ideas, and acknowledge their power and prestige. Let Dominant Styles call the shots. If you disagree, argue with facts, not feelings. 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.
Adapting To Influencing Styles Influencing Styles thrive on personal recognition, so pour it on sincerely. Support their ideas, goals, opinions, and dreams. Try not to argue with their pie-in-the-sky visions; get excited about them. Influencing 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. With Influencing Styles, in general, be interested in them.
Adapting To Conscientious Styles Conscientious Styles are time-disciplined, so be sensitive to their time. They need details, so give them data. Support Conscientious Styles in their organized, thoughtful approach to problem solving. Be systematic, logical, well prepared, and exact with them. Give them time to make decisions and work independently. Allow them to talk in detail. In work groups, do not expect Conscientious Styles to be leaders or outspoken contributors, but do rely on them to conduct research, crunch numbers, and perform detailed footwork for the group. If appropriate, set guidelines and exact deadlines. Conscientious Styles like to be complimented on their brainpower, so recognize their contributions accordingly. With Conscientious Styles, in general, be thorough, well prepared, detail-oriented, business-like, and patient.
Adapting To Steady Styles Steady Styles are relationship-oriented, want warm and fuzzy relationships, so take things slow, earn their trust, support their feelings, and show sincere interest. Talk in terms of feelings, not facts, which is the opposite of the strategy for Conscientious Styles. Steady Styles do not want to ruffle feathers. They want to be assured that everyone will approve of them and their decisions. Give them time to solicit co-workers’ opinions. Never back a Steady Style 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.
Dr. Tony Alessandra earned his PhD in marketing (1976) and has authored 30+ books and 100+ audio/video programs. He was inducted into the NSA Speakers Hall of Fame (1985) & Top Sales World’s Hall of Fame (2010). He is also the CEO of Assessments24x7, a company that equips coaches, consultants and companies with dozens of assessments (DISC, Motivators, HVP, etc.) from one, easy-to-use automated online account. Interested in one of these assessment accounts? To receive more info, fill out THIS FORM.