Do you remember your mom telling you as a child, “Treat others the way you want to be treated?”
This rule is partly true. Every person wants to be treated with respect.
However, instead of treating others the way you want to be treated, treat others the way they want to be treated.
Otherwise, your relationship with your business partners may develop resentment and reduced trust.
As we grow older, our relationships may become more complex. Having a business partner can be that way, especially if you are married, related, or living together.
Using behavioral styles, you can deepen relationships and increase trust while working to resolve a disagreement.
Misunderstanding what someone is saying can be a danger. Misunderstanding will often make a bad situation way worse and can even end a relationship. (Burnt Bridge). Strive to understand the pace, style, and language that a person uses. It is easier to resolve an issue when you adapt to their style.
Confrontation equals stress and when people are stressed in any sort of conflict, there is stress on both sides. Normally, people will revert to their natural behavioral style when stress is involved, working against someone else’s behavioral styles.
So how can we do better? Prepare ahead of time what you want to say, taking into consideration the other person’s behavioral style.
Consider the pace, tone of your voice, and the words you will speak, very carefully to make them feel as comfortable as possible. If they feel comfortable, they will be more op to seeing your side and feelings so that a solution can be found.
You must remember, each behavioral style has a different set of strengths, areas to improve, and motivations. Start with their pace, which will either be direct (faster) or indirect (more moderate).
With direct people, be direct, and avoid getting caught in too much detail, get straight to the point. For indirect people who need more space, give them time to think and respond.
If you know a person’s behavioral style, then you will know how to adapt quickly.
Here are some suggestions on how to work with each behavioral style, which altogether is known as DISC.
People who are high in Dominance are fine with confrontation and they do not fear difficult conversations. They greatly prefer bringing conflicts out into the open and you will do better to avoid waiting too long to address a conflict. They will be blunt and to-the-point.
Here is how I would address this problem with a Dominant person. This is best done with strong eye contact and without hesitation. For those of us who are indirect, practice in front of a mirror.
Avoid accusations or fluff. I direct them to the problem itself. One great thing about Dominant and conflict is that they don’t hold grudges. If there is a mistake, acknowledge it, fix it, and move on.
People who are high in Influence want to be liked. A feeling of rejection is intolerable to them, so it’s important to get to the root of a conflict rather than cut them off. Start with a positive approach.
Share a sincere compliment, tell anecdotes, remain friendly, and even use humor. You’ll step up the pace and use some eye contact (softer, but still direct). Most of all, smile!
Use uplifting words and focus on the positive. There’s no need for excuses or common ground here. Be direct with a smile and offer to follow-up. That makes it easier for them.
People high in Steadiness value harmony and peacemaking. They are usually tuned into a conflict, or quickly become tuned in. They will want to quickly find common ground, so start with an agreement, especially around their personal values (such as family, or community).
Avoid confronting them directly, and definitely avoid accusations. They will keep the peace by agreeing with you, and then avoid taking further action because it’s not right for them.
I find a common ground by suggesting that maybe there was a miscommunication. I give them an opt-out, no hard feelings, and then offer to provide further detail if they want to continue.
A failed task is uncommon for someone who is high in Conscientious. In the unlikely chance that you have a conflict with them, they will also be the hardest style with which to come to a resolution.
Avoid any criticism of someone high in Conscientious. It’s an attack on their knowledge and their preparedness, which is really an attack on how they are wired. It is like calling someone high in Dominance, “wrong”.
Focus on miscommunication, technology, or a system that broke down. By taking this tack, we can then improve the process so it doesn’t happen again.
Mastering Communications Styles
Would you like to get better at motivating others, resolving conflicts, and deepen your business relationships with ease?
Schedule a complimentary Discovery Session with Cory Nott.