Today’s blog is the fourth in the series on personality styles. Understanding that I’m me, you’re you, but together we can make a big impact on your referrability. Often times we have trouble coming to we part and often it is related to a disconnect with our personal style. Before you jump up and say,” I’m not going to change my style,” just be open to adapting and relating a bit more to build rapport.
I tend to be Driven, Contemplative, Results Oriented and Focused and I need a plan before I make a decision. This means in the DISC model I am a D/C blend. The reality is that I lean slightly toward the Contemplative style. The most challenging behavior style for me to relate to is the I: the Inspiring, fun-loving life of the party people. I always stand out from the crowd. They tend to wear bright clothes, drive sporty cars and live life in the fast lane. When they want to decompress or recover from a rough day, they want to be around people. They think, “ Where is the party?” I think, “ Where can I hide?” I am eternally grateful for them because they make sure the rest of us get along. I will share a couple of short stories relating to some of my challenges with this style.
Story 1: Target
I am at Target with my family: my wife, Kimberly, my teenage son, Christian, and my youngest, Peyton. Just to set this up, Christian and I are similar in personality style as are Peyton and Kimberly. So we walk in and almost immediately Kim sees somebody she wants to talk to. Not knowing them is no obstacle for her, she walks right up and strikes up a conversation. Christian looks and me and says, “ Oh no, Mom is talking to strangers again,” and we both slink down an aisle hoping not to be seen or embarrassed by the encounter. By the way, Peyton is tagging right along with Kim in the conversation. Very funny!
The lesson for me is to be more open to opportunities and more open to random conversation. The biggie for Networking: take my friends with me to events. I am a little shy and I don’t like to approach people I do not know so I take outgoing people along so they can introduce me. Taking your friends to events is a very profitable strategy as it dramatically expands your sphere of influence.
Story 2: I run from the Huggers and Kissers
We all know them; maybe you are one. Years ago I attended a conference with many Europeans, who unbeknownst to me love to hug and give you a little kiss on the cheek when they see you. Of course, many Americans do too. This type of greeting is incredibly uncomfortable for me. I had always assumed that it was my Mamaws’ (my Grandmother) slobber kisses as I was growing up that gave me this version, but, as I learned about personality styles, I realized this was not the case. Instead, it was a trait of my behavior. I like intimacy but only with people, I am really close to.
The lesson for me is to suck it up, go in strong and give that big hug. Why? For many people, this is a very powerful way to connect and build rapport. Is comfortable for me? Sure, but it is not about me, it is about us.
I have worked very hard over the years learning this material. I have read many books, taken many classes, and I have become a DISC certified instructor. Why? It is part of my personal journey to learn more, become more approachable and more referable. Understanding DISC is a great way to speed up the rapport building process which, of course, accelerates the referral process. It is another step toward business finding me instead of me having to chase it down.