It seems that the larger a corporation gets, the more difficult it is to implement an effective communication structure. Whether within departments or across departmental lines, communication methods must be at their peak for organizations to perform at an optimal level. Implementing a simple change can make all the difference in reaching the point of performance you desire.
Each person has a preferred style of giving and receiving information. The lack of understanding of these styles often causes delays, misconceptions and even conflict. Discovering the differences, and working within their boundaries, greatly helps in smoothing the flow of communication.
The DISC Behavioral Model offers exceptional insights into your communication style. Consider briefly the four core styles and some key characteristics of each preferred communication method.
DISC is an acronym for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.
Dominance – Those who fall into the Dominance category are most likely managers and corporate officers. Some descriptors of this style include: driving, demanding, aggressive, pioneering and competitive. They are goal driven and enjoy a personal challenge. When communicating with this style observe the following:
Be direct, brief and to the point.
Focus on the task and stick to business.
Take a results-oriented, logical approach.
Identify opportunities or challenges.
Provide a win/win situation.
Do not touch. Keep your distance.
When you receive communication from someone who is high in Dominance, it could appear short, un-detailed, overpowering, intimidating, insensitive to feelings, or lacking in patience. You may need to ask for additional information as Dominance types often communicate in short bursts.
If you think you fall into the Dominance category, you would help the communication process by improving you listening skills, being more patient, toning down directness and asking more
Influence – The primary corporate vocations for those high in Influence are sales and customer service. Charismatic, inspiring, optimistic, outgoing and animated describe these types. They are driven by their desire to socialize with people. Those who are high in Influence prefer the following when being communicated with:
Allow time to socialize.
Lighten up and don’t be afraid to have fun.
Ask for feelings and opinions.
Involve them in brainstorming.
They have a felt need to verbalize. They also lack attention to detail, appear superficial, have poor follow-through and can appear manipulative. Influencers most likely will talk “around” a subject until they are able to make their point. You may find yourself exercising a lot of patience with Influencers.
If you are an Influencer, do the following to help improve your communication with others: Listen to real needs, be more organized and be specific in direction and praise.
Steadiness – Those whose core communication style is Steadiness will most likely be found in positions such as trainer, marketer or administrative assistant. They are often described as: adaptable, systematic, unhurried, predictable and consistent. Their needs-driven behavior is accommodation and they also possess a need to be of help to others. When you communicate with someone high in Steadiness, you’ll want to:
Draw out their opinion.
Provide a logical approach to the facts.
Relax and allow time for discussion.
Show how a solution would benefit them.
Clearly define all areas.
Involve them in the planning stage.
When you receive communication from someone with a core Steadiness style, it may appear non-emotional, indecisive, too direct and lacking in assertiveness. It may also seem as though they are providing an enormous amount of detail.
Are you a Steadiness type? Then you could improve your assertiveness skills, stop taking on other’s problems and embrace change to help with communication.
Compliance – People high in Compliance are often found in the vocations of accounting and engineering. These are the “rule followers”. They can be depicted as: painstaking, wary, meticulous, quality-conscious and perfectionist. Their two primary driving forces are following the rules and complying with their own high standards. When you communicate with the Compliance style, it is necessary to:
Use data and facts.
Examine the argument from all sides.
Keep on the task, don’t socialize.
Disagree with the facts, not the person.
Focus on quality.
Avoid “new” solutions and stick with proven ideas.
Do not touch.
Allow them time to think.
When receiving information from someone high in Compliance, it could seem “excessive”. They tend to appear as a perfectionist, aloof, too rule focused, critical and slow to proceed. Bear with them. They must process the information before being able to communicate their ideas.
If you feel you fall into the Compliance style, consider improving your patience, building more rapport, allowing more “gray area” and being more accepting of differences.
By keeping these four styles in mind when you approach and converse with others in your organization, you will be able to better offer your information in a way the receiver will readily absorb it thus making your communication more effective and productive.
For additional information about the DISC Behavioral Model and how it can help your organization in the areas of communication, sales, goal setting, team performance, job placement and conflict resolution, contact Kathi Graham-Leviss of XB Consulting today. Also ask about specific workshops and assessments that would be of value to you and your team.