You think you are crystal clear in what you said. Then you get a reaction like, “Wait, what? I don’t understand what you are saying or why!” and you are confused and likely annoyed or even upset. And it likely has happened before. Or you have been speaking with someone and they are not communicating effectively with you which leaves you disconnected at best.

Is it you or is it them?

Most likely it is simply a communication style conflict. We all have preferred ways of being communicated with and often they don’t gel with each other’s styles. Personally, we often just say, “They aren’t my type of person,” and we generally do not have a close relationship with them. Professionally, this communication style conflict results in misunderstandings, and can even be the cause of people being unhappy at work, less than great sales numbers, poor performance and even people leaving their jobs.

For example, I was researching a purchase of a water softening system for my home. The salesperson was giving me a tremendous amount of detailed information. I told him that I just needed him to answer my bottom line questions and save all the details. He would not do that, and I left the conversation and did not buy from him. He lost a high-ticket sale due to his inability to adapt his communication style to that of his buyer. This is a common experience, and most people are not aware and don’t tell the salesperson how they want to be communicated with, which results in lower than possible sales results.

If you learn your own preferred communication style and learn how to ‘read’ through observation others’ preferred communication style, you will markedly increase results. Not only sales results, but all results.

We communicate with each other numerous times a day and it is frequently off the mark. Imagine if you knew how to speak to someone to have them be more effective…would that make a difference for you?

Obviously, yes. I want to share with you about the core preferred communication styles, also known as behavioral styles, or DISC. DISC is an observable ‘language’ based on the work of William Moulston Marton’s work. It is the universal language of how you do what you do and what communication style you prefer, and has been validated by numerous studies.

When you know yourself, can read others’ styles, and adapt to their style, it is very powerful and empowering.

The basics of the styles are: D is for dominance and measures how you deal with problems and challenges. People with a high/dominant D prefer bottom line communication and generally move fast with confidence. Slow, detail-oriented methodical type communication can be frustrating for them.

I is for Influencing and measures how you influence people. People with a high/dominant I love to talk, are generally very expressive and friendly, very optimistic, and the life of the party. They like you to connect personally and be very positive and appreciate acknowledgement.

S is for Steadiness and measures how you prefer pace. Someone who is S dominant prefers a slower methodical approach and does not do well with sudden and unexplained change. They like everyone to get along and thus have a distaste for conflict.

C is for Compliance and measures how you deal with rules and procedures. With C as a dominant style, they prefer a lot of data and validation for what you are saying to them and do not cater well to overly friendly needless banter.

There is much more to say about the styles, but that gives you a brief overview. With that, if a dominant D prefers bottom line communication and is speaking to a dominant S style who is going through a slow methodical presentation, can you see how that would be frustrating? However, if someone with a high D knew he/she was speaking to someone who is S dominant, they could adapt, and both could leave the conversation with whatever needed to be accomplished and with the experience of both parties being more satisfied.

That is what learning the language of DISC and adapting is all about – win/win!

If you are interested in learning more, reach out to me at janet@janetzaretsky.com.