Everybody Has a Personal Communication Style
Having at least a basic understanding of your own style is very important to building better relationships in your personal and professional life. You may find yourself in situations where someone’s communication style clashes with your own, leading to conflict in the workplace. Alternatively, you may have a communication style that other people find difficult to understand, which means that you could struggle to get your message across.
“Good communication opens doors… and poor communication closes them. Communication is the single most important key to success in the workplace. If you can’t communicate with confidence and credibility, you may get passed over for promotions, have a difficult time relating to coworkers and colleagues, and bear the brunt of misunderstandings and mistakes.” Fred Pryor Seminars – Professional Communication: What Message Are You Sending
Using DiSC to Understand Communication Styles
What Is a Communication Style?
The first thing you must learn about is what a communication or conversation style actually is. DiSC is the most frequently used tool to identify and understand individual communication styles. When you become knowledgeable about your unique communication style, you can show those around you how to effectively relate to you, which opens doors instead of closes them. You will also learn how to identify the communication style of others and how to adapt your unique style to effectively relate to other individuals’ unique styles. Awareness of your communication style when relating to others can help build strong relationships and help you get what you want in life without causing unnecessary conflict with others.
“A communication style (also known as conversational style) is the way in which we share information with others through language. Although we all like to think we’re saying exactly what we mean, that’s not always the case, especially when we’re talking to someone who uses a communication style very different from our own.” Are We Talking the Same Language? How Communication Styles Can Affect Relationships by Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D.
The differences in communication styles are believed to be due to genetic inheritance, life experiences, personality, and cultural/social make up.
There are various styles that exist, such as the Dominance, influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. These are also known under different names, some of which focus more on styles than on personality.
There are four basic styles with the main differentiating factors being pace, priorities and tendencies.
The first style is Dominance, which demonstrates high assertiveness and fast-paced. These people tend to speak in tones that are very decisive and focus strongly on the bottom line of any situation. They tend to be driven, focused, question the status quo and are quick to make decisions and solve problems. They desire an environment that gives them power and authority, prestige and challenge and freedom from controls and supervision. This style generally correlates with the controller personality.
“The bossy controller communicator wants the facts. So, conduct a smooth-flowing business meeting with the controller by getting to the point. Very task-oriented, she can appear insensitive to the people around her. The controller’s No. 1 priority is to get things done. Waste no time with chitchat. She wants the bottom line — not the details.”
Four Effective Styles of Communication in the Workplace by Malinda Zellman, Demand Media
Next, there is the influence style. This person is both highly expressive and fast-paced. They are animated and can persuade people to join their way of thinking. They tend to create a motivational environment and generate enthusiasm. They enjoy participating in groups and view people and situations with optimism. They desire an environment that gives them freedom of expression and recognition, group activities outside of the job, and opportunities to verbalize. This style correlates with the promoter, who is happy to have long conversations and likes to get quite personal in terms of asking about members of the family, personal lives and so on.
Then, there is the Steadiness style. These have low assertiveness and are slower-paced. They are good listeners and when they do talk, they do so in a very supportive way. They tend to perform in a consistent, predictable manner, enjoy helping others, show loyalty, are patient and prefer stability. They desire an environment that maintains the status quo, includes predictable routines, sincere appreciation for their contributions and includes identification with a group, and will avoid conflict. It is believed that the majority of people fall in this category. This style correlates with the supporter style often appearing quite cool, calm and focused on balance and happiness.
Finally, there is the Conscientiousness style. These people are low in their assertiveness and slower-paced. They focus on facts and details, which absolutely rule their lives. They tend to think analytically weighing all the pros and cons, use logic and a systematic approach to situations, are diplomatic with others, have high standards and check for accuracy. They prefer an environment that provides clearly defined performance expectations, values quality and accuracy, has a reserved business-like atmosphere and any opportunity to demonstrate their expertise. They desire to have control over those factors that affect their performance and recognition for specific skills and accomplishments. This style correlates with the analyzer, who loves facts and figures and doesn’t move away from these. They believe that if something is based on scientific or statistical figures, it immediately becomes fact, regardless of personal feelings.
DiSC Profiles lay the foundation to self-awareness. People who are self-aware and self-manage are capable of becoming peak performers.