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Adapting to Other’s DISC Styles (The Platinum Rule)

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This is a Monday blog series; our regular coaching blog will be published on Thursday’s.

The previous blogs in this series explored DISC styles, interacting with each, their communication and goal setting in groups, and how they use influence, involve others, and set goals in groups.  Now look at how to adapt to each.

Adapting to the four styles

Dominance – High “D” Style

How should you treat Dominant Styles? Dominant Styles are very time-sensitive, so never waste their time. Be organized and prepared to work quickly. Get to the point and 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 recognizing their ideas, and subtly reassure them of their power and prestige. Let Dominant Styles call the shots. If you disagree, argue with facts rather than feelings. When 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.

Influence – High “I” Style

How should you treat Influence Styles? Influence Styles thrive on personal recognition, so pour it on when there is a reason. Support their ideas, goals, opinions, and dreams. Try not to argue with their pie-in-the-sky visions, get excited about them.

Influence 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.

Influence Styles are less reliable than others, so get all details and commitments in writing. Be clear and direct in your expectations of them. Give them incentives for performance, when possible, and check on them periodically to make sure they are on track.

With Influence Styles, in general, be interested in them.

Steadiness – High “S” Style

How should you treat Steady Styles? They want warm and fuzzy relationships. You have to earn their trust before they will let you in. Support their feelings and show interest in every facet of their lives. Take things slow; they are relationship-oriented, but slow-paced. You should talk in terms of feelings, not facts, which is the opposite of your strategy for Thinkers.

Steady Styles don’t want to ruffle feathers, so assure them that everyone around them will approve of their actions or decisions. Give them time to solicit the opinions of others. Never back a Relater 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.

Conscientious – High “C” Style

How should you adapt to Conscientious Styles? Conscientious Styles are time-disciplined, so be sensitive to their time. They need details, so give them data. They are task-oriented, so don’t expect to become their friend before doing business or working with them. That may develop later, but – unlike Influence Styles – it is not a prerequisite for Conscientious Styles.

Support Conscientious Styles in their organized, thoughtful approach to problems and tasks. Be systematic, logical, well-prepared, and exact with them. Give them time to make decisions and work on their own. In workgroups, do not expect them to be leaders or outspoken contributors, but you can rely on them to conduct research, crunch numbers, and develop methods for the group.

Conscientious Styles like to be complimented on their brainpower, so recognize their contributions with the appropriate terms (efficiency, etc.). If appropriate, set guidelines and exact due dates for Conscientious Styles. Allow them to talk in detail, as they are prone to do. If you ask a Conscientious Style what time it is, s/he may explain how a clock works.

With Conscientious Styles, in general, be thorough, well-prepared, detail-oriented, business-like, and patient.

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