Know Your Behavioral Style to Get Ahead

Posted by Susan Cullen on September 8, 2010

Know Your Behavioral Style to Get AheadDo you ever wonder what makes some people seem to almost magically advance their careers forward while others, with similar backgrounds, go unnoticed?  What makes them so special?  How can you discover what gives them the hidden edge?

We hear it said that “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, right?  But that’s only part of the truth.  It’s really about the way you connect with who you know.   This is true if you are desire to move ahead in your current job, if you are looking for your next career move, or even during a job interview.

About Behavioral Styles

We know that there are some people we just “click” with and others we don’t.  What we don’t always remember, however, is that each of us approach the world differently and have different behavioral style tendencies.  There’s one hidden truth that winners excel at:  They are masterful communicators and adapt their approach to the needs of the other person.

For example, if we were to go to any other country that didn’t speak English, we would be crazy to expect them all to learn to speak English just because we were visiting there!  It just wouldn’t happen.   We would get frustrated, they would get frustrated, and neither of us would understand each other.

 But, if instead, we learned to speak their language when we were visiting their country, we would be able to communicate and connect with them much more easily.  It doesn’t mean we would give up our native tongue (English).  It just means we are willing to adapt our approach in order to most effectively engage with them.  Adapting our behavioral styles is the same way.  It’s one of the highest signs of respect to be willing to put the other person’s behavioral style needs first.  And it can give you a hidden edge to accomplish your own career goals.

There are 4 different behavioral styles.  While we can each use all four of them, we will tend to use 1-2 most frequently.  The four styles are:

  • Dominance
  • Influence
  • Steadiness
  • Conscientious

This behavioral style model is frequently referred to as DISC, because of the first letter of each style.  Below please find descriptions of each style.  As you review them, ask yourself which one(s) you think best describe you. 

The Dominance Style (D)

People demonstrating the “D” style thrive on the challenge of accomplishing results and tend to be quick decision makers.  They don’t wait to be given authority; they take it.   They like being in control.  They are primarily interested in the bottom line and the big picture.  They could care less about all those details!  They hate feeling micro-managed and work best when they are free from lots of supervision.   They’re not afraid to try something new if it will get results.    They seek an environment that includes power, authority, prestige, challenge, opportunity, scope, freedom and variety.

The Influence Style (I)

People demonstrating the “I” style are often thought of as “People-People”.  They prefer to be around others and tend to be very enthusiastic and entertaining.   They enjoy contacting people, making a favorable impression, speaking articulately, creating a motivational environment and participating in groups.  They seek an environment that includes social recognition, freedom of expression, group activities, freedom from control and detail, coaching and counseling skills, and positive interactions with others.

The Steadiness Style (S)

Those demonstrating the “S” Style take a much more deliberate approach and don’t like frequent change.   They are patient and loyal.  They have a real desire to be of service and help others.  They are also very good at calming people when they get upset or during a conflict.  They seek an environment that includes security, predictability, minimal work infringement on home life, sincere appreciation, identification with a group, and minimal conflict. 

The Conscientious Style (C)

The “C” style of behavior tends to focus on details.  In fact, they pick up the tiniest, most minute items that others miss and keep the non-detailed people out of trouble!   Unless quality will be improved, this style doesn’t like sudden or abrupt changes.  They tend to be very systematic, critical thinkers.   They seek an environment with a focus on quality, accuracy and access to the latest up-to-date information.

Use Your Behavioral Style Talents

When you learn to identify your own style, you will be better able to recognize your unique style strengths.  As you use these strengths, your  sense of accomplishment improves… and rightly so.  So embrace your strengths and use them!

Learn More
Download our free white paper on "The Winning Edge: Hidden DISCoveries That Set You Apart". This will provide you with additional information to understand your behavioral style and that of others to communicate better.

Created on 07/11/12 at 10:46:11

Topics: Personality Styles

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