Changing your behaviors takes effort. However, you don't need to make huge or permanent changes; just brief, temporary adjustments. You'll need to push outside your comfort zone, but the payoff is tremendous.
We are most comfortable operating within our natural hard-wired style. However, our behavioral style doesn't work well in all situations. If you make appropriate adjustments to your style, then you will definitely be more successful in your daily interactions. In addition, you'll be surprised at how much easier it will be to achieve your goals when you are aware of your most successful behaviors. Your efforts will be more focused and you will achieve your goals much faster.
Consider the effort you put in when mapping out a road trip. Planning takes time, but it can get you to all the places you want to go much faster and easier. The planning concept also works great when it comes to setting and achieving goals. Take your planning to the next level by creating a strategic communication response plan and you will achieve your goal even sooner; leaving you with more time to succeed elsewhere!
If you're like most people, you're likely overestimating the amount of time and effort required for behavioral change. Some of you are thinking, "I don't have the patience to slow down," "I hate speaking in front of groups," "I will go crazy if I have to pay attention to every detail," or "being bossy or making decisions on my own make me uncomfortable". The key point is not to change who you fundamentally are; but to make an effort to modify your behavioral style for short periods of time. You can definitely modify your behavior for a brief period of time, right?
Brief Adjustments for the D-style Gets Results
Task-oriented D-styles prefer to work in a fast-paced environment. If you're one, then slowing down and focusing on details is often not natural to you. However, you don't have to completely slow down during an interaction. That's asking a lot! Instead, try slowing down for a minute, or even 30 seconds, when you're speaking with a reserved coworker.
A minute is just a brief moment in time, but your co-worker will more likely be engaged and receptive to what you want to say. Those extra seconds you took to modify your behavior in the interaction can get you to your goal quicker. You both win!
A Quick Adjustment for the I-style Makes Others Respond More Positively to You
As an I-style, you prefer to speak over listening and you focus on feelings. You may avoid difficult or unpleasant issues; preferring to focus on the positives. However, you may need to take on those challenging situations directly in order to move forward. Directness is required to hold others accountable. Simply saying, "It has to be turned in by 5 pm today. Make sure it gets done" takes less than a minute to say. Try it and others may respond even more positively to you!
Adjusting for the S-style to Makes Everyone Happy
As an S-style it may seem daunting when you think about behavioral changes. However, don't get overwhelmed; it's easier than you think. In addition, imagine how much easier it will be when you have a plan to follow and apply.
As an S-style you prefer to be amiable and considerate. Consider how you typically speak. Is there a way to rephrase your statements to be more assertive? The actual moment of being assertive will be brief. Try saying "I want to do this" instead of "whatever you think works best for me." It will require more energy, but takes less than a minute to say.
Adjusting for the C-style Cuts Down on Errors
If you're a C-style, take a brief moment of time and focus on being decisive. The actual moment of making a decision takes just a few seconds. Trust your gut and don't second guess. Practicing making decisions this way, will make it easier.
Don't let the process overwhelm you. It's less work than you may imagine; especially when you have a plan to follow. Remember, flexibility is key; there is no perfect plan. Give yourself room to make a few mistakes and adjustments along the way. In the end, you'll find the decisions you make are the most correct ones.
Take Your Next Step to Success
Communication is a critical skill to have. A huge part to effective communication is being able to modify your style with others. You can easily identify situations where the other person just didn't "get it". This often leads to frustration and lack of results. Remember, you do not need to change who you are. In fact, you shouldn't change who you are; you're simply modifying your communication style for brief, key moments of time within your interactions. Practice and self-awareness make it easier to learn how to adjust your behavior one minute at a time.