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How to use behavior profiles in communicating

Even with many good factors going for you – a good smile, firm handshake and speaking well about your content (whether it’s your business, your product, etc.) – knowing “DISC” helps you to customize your content to communicate better.

DISC is a behavior assessment tool centered around four personality traits: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness.

For example: You are with a High D personality, that is, one who is very direct. So, with this person, you don’t want to be a chatterbox, talking about every detail.

You want to be in overview mode with that person. If you know your content, you can do that. Get away from details and just hit the high points with this audience.

Or, say you’re talking to an accountant, a number cruncher. They tend to want to hear everything in order, and it has to be within the set rules.

So if you start talking broad overview, you’re going to scare that person. He’s never going to listen to you.

The bottom line is you are in business to do business. Your business at hand may actually be your company, but it also can mean any of life’s transitions, such as finding a new career or experiencing a personal loss.

You are not meeting with other people to become the world’s best communicator. Instead, you’re seeking to maximize every interpersonal encounter and to make a connection that will end up setting your reputation in a positive direction.

Therefore, it helps to keep four things in mind prior to going out into the world or making that important phone call. You must:

(1) Identify your audience.

(2) Identify your content.

(3) Practice your delivery.

(4) Know your goal for the meeting. (Do you want to get the job? Make the sale? Or …? Specify an objective, whenever possible.)

If you prepare, any nervousness — pen-clicking, shifting your feet, other nervous habits — will go away, guaranteed. Your reputation will then foster a comfortable feeling because people tend to feed off each other; you will project a feeling that puts the other person at ease.

If you are prepared, you should not get thrown off balance by another person. For example, even if you don’t know the audience but you’ve mastered the other three items on this checklist, you still will be fine.

With practice, over time, you’ll be able to identify who you’re talking to — in terms of their behavior style — probably better than they have.

To the best of your ability, have your goal plainly in mind, too. If you’re going for a job, be sure about the purpose when the time comes.

It’s often OK to say, “I would really like to work here. And I hope I’m in consideration.” Or, if you’re in a business setting and trying to sell a product, you can get the point across as simply as, “I really hope you buy our services because I’m positive I can help.”

Such commentaries are best tailored to specific behavior styles of people: For instance, after you’re done talking with your High D person, you can end with, “You know what? I really want this job.”

If it’s an accountant, you can say, “I really want this job because I have this skill, this skill, this skill — that you’re looking for.”

If it’s someone with a C (conscientiousness) personality, you can talk about family reasons.

You get the idea. It always boils down to identifying the audience to deliver content — with the goal in mind.

In this sense, a business encounter is like going into the doctor’s office for a specific purpose.

You know who the doctor is. You want to lose weight. And you want them to tell you how to lose weight because, “I want to lose 100 pounds.”

Audience; goal; identified outcome. In the end, you are going to get your preferred result.

Your reputation, to the extent it is based on how another person perceives you, may well depend on this ability to figure out what sort of person they are. If you are really unsure and can’t figure it out, you can ask questions that will require them to answer you, so you can ultimately identify who they are (in DISC terms).

Another value of DISC training is that in a situation where someone walks into a room and you’re immediately annoyed, it’s probably because that person is the opposite of you (again, in DISC terms).

Simply knowing this will help you employ communication tactics that will foster a rewarding outcome.

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