What's your behavioural style?

21 October 2010

When you're running a business, it soon becomes clear that not everyone responds the same way to opportunities, stresses and issues. Understanding your own behavioural profile as well as learning how to respond to the behavioural styles of your customers and staff can go a long way to breaking down communication barriers.

What's a behavioural style?

The DISC model was defined by William Moulton-Marston as a four-dimensional behaviour map: Direct, Influencing, Stabilising and Conscientious. Each of these dimensions are also characterised as extroverted (Direct and Influencing) or introverted (Stabilising and conscientious), and form the foundation of a behavioural profile.

Just about everyone has a 'default' setting which can change depending on whether we're stressed, relaxed, confronted or comforted.

There are no wrong or right characteristics, and most people are capable of adopting other characteristics when they need to. Think about the jobs you avoid doing or have to force yourself to do – chances are these jobs are inconsistent with your behaviour type and take a whole lot more energy than those jobs that are consistent with your natural behaviour style.

The graph below shows the typical traits of the DISC model:

Working with different behaviour profiles

Regardless of who you are, there's little doubt that you'll come across a range of behavioural profiles – whether it's your colleagues, employees, contacts or customers.

Conflict or harmony between different styles of behaviour is heavily dependent on how well we understand our own behaviour and needs, whilst also recognising or learning how other people need to work with you, your company and your products. It can mean the difference between a strong, successful and viable relationship and the alternative - one that goes nowhere.

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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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