Some of you may remember a television game show called “The Dating Game” where contestants hoped to meet the person of their dreams.
Only catch was they had to make decisions about which person to choose for their date even before seeing the person. Each contestant had a set of questions he/she wanted to ask to help to make the right choice. For example, “what is your favorite sports activity?” or “what type of boyfriend/girlfriend are you looking for?” However, since there were three bachelors/bachelorettes to choose from site unseen, a contestant could only ask a few questions to each of them. Consequently, the questions needed to be revealing for there to be a good match.
In our lives we frequently need to make decisions about other people – and how to best interact with them – without ever having an opportunity to meet them face-to-face. Traditionally interactions were more about meetings, lunches, golf tee times, and the all important handshake. In this current day and age of technology we find that many relationships are established and maintained through the phone, emails, and even social media. How do we get the best out of these connections?
The DISC model, with its four main styles, is a tool that makes it easier to identify the styles of others so that you may then make the most effective adjustments to yours.
While it is a skill that takes some practice, it is easy to learn.
As you become more familiar with the DISC-styles, you will find some people are easy to identify even without meeting them face-to-face. You will quickly think to yourself, “She is a D-style” or “He is an S-style.” Typically, these individuals are predominantly one DISC-style and can be identified quickly. While we understand someone’s style is never a sole reason to make decisions about someone, it can certainly help us to support your decisions about how to modify your behavior to have more successful interactions with others.
Other people are more difficult to read. They seem to possess many DISC traits.
In your interactions there are some question you can ask yourself even if you are not actually meeting in person:
- What does person tend to talk about ? - The bottom line, accomplishments, family, people, data and facts, or nothing at all
- How does he/she say it? – Type of words ( “I” vs. “We”), type of questions (e.g. “what?”, “why?”), descriptive, or economical in choice of words
- How is his/her tonality? – Speaks with enthusiasm, emotional, monotone, or assertive
- Does he/she talk more than listen?
- Is he/she talkative, emotional, friendly, formal or direct?
- Does the/she tend to use sentences that “ask” or “tell” you to do something?
You will discover that asking these questions and observing behaviors will become second nature and the DISC model simply helps you to do it. Soon you will be able to identify behaviors without thinking. You begin to look for patterns behaviors that will increase your confidence that you are accurately identifying someone’s DISC-style.
What if you were a contestant on “The Dating Game” and the hosts says after five minutes your time is up and you have to choose a bachelor? What if the person of your dreams was sitting in one of those three chairs? What if you had not asked the right questions?
Luckily we’re not on “The Dating Game” and usually not forced to make an important decision based on just a few questions.
In our lives, we never want to let the top potential people or opportunities get away. Using the DISC model can be one of your easiest and most effective tools to making those important decisions. If we ask ourselves the right questions, the answers can help us make the best choices.