Ok, maybe this won’t help you make millions, but it will completely transform every single one of your relationships, leading to a crazy amount of success in all areas of your life. In the last few posts, I have focused on understanding your own behavior style and identifying the styles of others. Now it’s time to put your skills to work.
Once you’ve identified someone’s style, you may flex and adapt your style to improve communication and results. This is where most people get hung up: “Why should I have to change who I am for them? Why don’t they have to change?”
It goes back to the question: Is your goal to be right or get it right? If you are truly trying to get it right, while it might require more work on your part, modifying the way you present the message is often the only way to achieve the desired result.
Should you always have to be the one to modify? It doesn’t matter. If your goal is to get it right, you only have control over what you do and how well you do it. Flexing and adapting to others requires more than skill, it requires patience and a willingness to come out of your comfort zone.
Flexing for Drivers
With Drivers, avoid statements that start with “I feel”, “You always”, “You never”, and “I wish you would”. Drivers prefer to be approached logically, and they are more concerned with the result and outcome than how you feel.
Give Drivers a sense of control by offering a couple of options that you can live with, and let them choose.
A Driver’s most valuable commodity is time, so respect it. Match their level of socialization. If you ask how they’re doing, and they respond with, “fine”, don’t go into a whole lot of detail if they return the question.
Finally, follow the Driver’s 3B philosophy: Be bright. Be brief. Be gone.
Flexing for Expressives
Expressives thrive in environments that are friendly, light-hearted, and fun. They are more emotional and appreciate being able to share humor and receive positive feedback. Take time to build relationships with them.
Expressives have a tendency to lose focus in discussions. I lovingly refer to it as chasing bunnies, which can be frustrating for others. One minute they are highly focused, the next “SQUIRREL!!!” They typically realize they do this, so it’s alright to gently point them back to the issue at hand.
In a business setting, rather than getting frustrated at the Expressive’s need to socialize, plan for it, and schedule an extra 5 or 10 minutes before or after your meeting for small talk.
Flexing for Amiables
Take time to build relationships with Amiables (just like you would with Expressives). Slow down, provide reassurance, and avoid confrontation. Amiables need time to process, so give them time to think without placing pressure or demands.
If you want an Amiable to contribute at a meeting or discussion involving several other people, send questions in advance to give them time to think and process.
Avoid calling Amiables out in public (they don’t like to be embarrassed), and respect their need for privacy. Amiables won’t necessarily tell you if you have said or done something to upset them, so pay attention to their non-verbal communication.
Flexing for Analyticals
Analyticals need to question and understand things, so don’t take it personally when they challenge information. Analyticals are goal and result oriented, so it is best to approach them in a direct, straight-forward way.
Analyticals prefer to have time to process and think about things before making decisions. To ensure deadlines are met, set realistic milestones along the way and ensure progress is being made.
If you are meeting with an Analytical, take time to think of questions they may ask ahead of time so that you are prepared.
Remember, one size does not fit all. Take time to identify someone’s style and communicate in a way they will be most receptive. As my mom says, you can’t please all of the people all the time, but you can please most of the people most of the time. While you might not become an instant millionaire, the sky’s the limit with your success.