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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Rizopulos

Adapting your communication style – Does it matter?

Why should you consider using factoring

t is beneficial to effectively understand and learn to adapt to people you communicate with in general in life. I am sure that many marriages could be saved, and war avoided, just by learning to adapt the communication better.

Selling is all about conveying trust, and this is especially important in B2B sales with long-term customer relationships and different stake holders that you need to interact with, who will have influence or are decision makers in the buying decision. It is about creating “rapport” with the person in front of you, in a meeting or when making a presentation. What creates trust could be very different depending on the personality and communication style of the receiver of the information.

Efficient collaboration between departments, companies and cross-functional teams is increasingly important in this competitive world, and communicating effectively is crucial to avoid misunderstanding, friction, and sometimes, even conflicts.

”Rapport” is all about highlighting common interests and establishing a mutual feeling of friendliness. When people like each other – whether in business, friendship, or both – they tend to help each other.

So much (93 per cent) of the perception of your sincerity comes NOT from what you say, but how you say it and how you show an appreciation for the other person's thoughts and feelings, though language, tone and speed of voice etc.

How does it work, and what is it?

Well, by first understanding our own personality style, we can then relate it to others. There are a few base personality types that interact better with each other, and others which tend to constantly misunderstand each other. We all have parts of the different personality traits within us, since we are all human beings, but some are more dominant than others, and therefore more visible and guide our actions, communication, and to some extent what we value, or believe is important.

It is not a test. It is a self-assessment and the result describes a persons naturally reactions in different situations. It is a tool to observe and analyze behaviour.

Also known as Brain Response Style Inventory. It measures an individual’s natural and spontaneous response to outer stimuli.

Where does this come from?

Here are some interesting historic points about behaviour science, which has resulted in different personality assessments.

• The Greek Empodocles, 444 B.C. Believed that personality was impacted by the four external elements; fire, earth, air, and water.

• Another famous Greek, 400 B.C. Hippocrates claimed that it was also impacted by four internal factors; Choleric, (hot tempered) Sanguine, (Hopefulness) Phlegmatic (related to expression of emotions), and Melancholy (related to feelings)

• One of the most famous scientists in the field of behavior science analysis was Carl Gustav Jung, who 1921 said that personalities can be tied to the thought processes; Thinking, Feeling, Sensation, and Intuition.

• 1926 William Moulton-Marston created the concept of DISC analyses. He wrote the book ”Emotions of normal people” where instead of focusing on psychological disorders, claims that we all have normal variations in our personalities. We have all psychological motives and driving forces for our actions – but the incentives are different. His theory did identify our four primal dimensions in behavioural science, which are moulded by heredity, role models, and experiences.

• During 1940 – 1950 the original theory were developed further.

• There are today a number of universities around the world contributing to the behavioral science, which help to calibrate tools like Extended DISC.

How is it done?

Many of today’s behaviour assessments share these roots, but are managed by different companies, and therefore have a bit different angles. You can see similarities between DISC, Myers-Briggs, Thomas PPA, Belbin, and many others.

I am personally certified in Extended DISC, which I believe has many benefits. It is quite quick to fill in the self-assessment. You chose among 96 statements divided in blocks of four. Among these four statements, you decide which is the best fit describing you, and which is the least fit describing you. You ignore two of them. Later many of these answers are compared against each other and the result is calibrated further. It does not take more than 15 minutes to do it, but you would be surprised how accurate the outcome is. From this result it is possible to put it in context. You can produce reports for different working roles or professions, or even to make sure that you have a diversified team.

There is no better or worse profile. They are all needed, have different strengths, and are absolutely complementary. It is not uncommon that a dysfunctional board, or management team has too many similar profiles, which all think and act in a similar way. But this is just human behaviour. We tend to hire people that are similar to ourselves. I am using this tool for many reasons with my customers. Management teams, sales teams, cross-functional teams, working groups etc. The main purpose is to create awareness of their own personality style and to learn about how to adapt to others. So just doing the assessment and presenting the result is not enough. I put it in context through a training workshop with examples, communication tips and how to use this knowledge. If you are interested to find out more, or maybe even want to do this at your company, your department, or even in your sports team, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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