The DISC’s of Business

I think all these business tips being shared on LinkedIn are great – 10 tips for a great landing page, 5 easy steps toward financial freedom, etc. however, I think it is equally important to pay close attention to some business “nuances” that I have become reacquainted with recently. As business people we often take for granted the very important aspects of effective communication, and that is understanding clearly the personality “style” of the person with whom you are communicating. I recently encountered this issue and like the wack on the head shown in the V8 commercial, after a not so favorable outcome with our business dealings, realized I misread my client’s personality style. My bad. And I paid the price. So, as a refresher, there are four basic personality styles. And there are a plethlora of acronyms for them but I’ll stick with the one that I am most familiar with…DISC. Does it sound familiar? The “D” and “I” personalities are both extroverted, the “C” and the “S” are more reserved. D stands for “direct”. These people are very blunt, direct, competitive, risk-takers, and they are strong willed. You do NOT want to interrupt them, or feed them a lot of “fluff”, nor do you, in the name of all things holy, want to give them too many details! The “I” personality stands for “influencer”. As this implies, these people are persuasive, chatty, sociable, spontaneous and impulsive. You do not want to give them too much detail, rather give them the big picture and do your best to smile a lot. “C” is the “compliant” personality. They are logical, systematic, quiet, precise, analytical, and they do not express emotions. They are careful, formal and disciplined. You do not want to hold back information from them, nor do you want to pressure them. They need time to process. And finally, the “S” personality. “S” stands for “steady”. They are calm, laid back, caring, amiable, modest, trustworthy,  patient, great listeners and indecisive. Do not break promises with them and don’t pressure them for immediate action. They too need time to make decisions. In the business situation mentioned above, with the “not so good” outcome, I gave my client a detailed schematic of our project plan with lots of images and details so they had the exact picture of what we were proposing. I also included 3 options and spelled out carefully how each was different from the next leaving her to assess the many aspects of the opportunity. I had communicated with her as if she was a C. Alas she was really a D. My detailed explanations and multiple options just complicated what to her should have been a simple solution. Looking back, had I paid more attention to her personality style and delivered my communication back to her in the way that her particular style prefers, the outcome would have likely been much better. What ended up happening is that she felt that I wasn’t listening. So, my purpose in writing this is to share some of my current business life learnings and share them so they may in some way benefit you and yours!

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