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Managing Behavioral Styles

When you deal with people, you have to be sure that ‘one size does not fit all’. Everyone is different, with his or her own personality as well as behavioral styles that need to be recognized and dealt with accordingly. It is quite important for any manager to be aware of the various behavioral styles and adopt various appropriate strategies to handle a host of interpersonal styles and situations. When people work under stressful and demanding situations, it is necessary to keep them motivated and manage their individual styles and responses, without which it becomes almost impossible to achieve desired results from the team.

One of the best-known and accepted models of behavioral styles is called the DISC, which essentially delineates primary styles of behavior as below:

1. Dominance (D): These are strong willed and direct, determined people. People who show traits of dominance are quite action oriented, who like to get things done and be go-getters. Such people would like to make positive changes in situations as required. People who are dominant like to be in charge of their situation and as a manager, you would do well to get them to take action and also reward them appropriately for their performance. You need to display decisive behavior yourself too, so that you can earn their respect and realize that such people could display streaks of impatience.

2. Influence (I): As the term implies, these people would like to exert influence over and be in control of social situations. Social standing and respect is extremely important for people who have the influencing behavioral style. When dealing with them, you need to show deference to their views (of course when warranted) and ensure that they have the opportunity to work in teams. These people are quite outgoing and love human interaction, which is a trait that has to be recognized.

3. Steadiness (S): These are people who love stability, control and a systematic approach. Such people are quite cooperative by nature. Some of them may dislike disorder, unruliness and lots of fast pace changes. With people who have steadiness as their behavioral style, you need to be patient, listen to them, provide support and time for them to function in a systematic and orderly fashion.

4. Conscientiousness (C): These are people who are concerned with quality, accuracy as well as error free operations. Such people also have the ability to think through and come up with situations as well as possibilities that others may not have envisaged. Such people need to be given the freedom to have their questions answered and an environment that has high concern for quality as they will not allow sloppy work.

The first step to managing behavioral styles is to make the effort to understand various styles and adapt your managerial style accordingly.

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