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What's Your Behaviour Style?

Interpersonal conflict is one of the major causes of staff turnover. Determining your behaviour style, and of others you work with, will help you build stronger relationships in all aspects of your career and personal life. And it will set you on the right path to not becoming a statistic.

According to Breakthrough Networking author Lillian D. Bjorseth, there are four major behaviour

Dominant | Influencer | Steady | Conscientious (DISC)

Which one are you?

(D) Dominant (dauntless) styles are easy to detect.

They sport a strong handshake, steady eye contact and exhibit a confidence that may overwhelm less powerful people. They prosper by solving challenges and often are a challenge for others. They don’t get ulcers; they are carriers. They are risk takers and thrive as CEOs of their own companies and big corporations.

Tips to get along better with dominant personalities:
  • Provide brief, direct answers.
  • Stick to business and the results they desire.
  • Ask “what” questions.

(I) Influencers (indefatigable) types are natural networkers.

Influencers love networking, working the room, hallways and parking lots long after most people have left.

Usually, people talk at 160 words a minute. People who rank highly on the "Influencer" scale comfortably speak at 400 words a minutes! Often they can’t remember what people do because they gave them such little time to talk.

They are spontaneous and change plans at a moment’s notice. This can result in piles of papers on their floors and desks, the top of which they haven’t seen since they got it. They definitely need help with time management and organizational skills.

They thrive in sales, public relations and other jobs that “deal with people.”

Tips to get along better with influencer personalities:
  • Provide a favourable, friendly environment and let them verbalize about people, ideas, the weather and on and on.
  • Supply testimonials, as they want to know “who” is using your products and services and attending your after-hours workshop on building relationships!

(S) Steady (supportive) people are just as their moniker indicates.

Amicable, calm, soothing, sincere, loyal and the consummate team player. They are so nice dogs come up and pet them!

They are most comfortable when everyone gets along, thus, the most disappointed when conflict arises. They often climb into their shell, hoping the disagreements will disappear.

They are by far the best listeners and often are cornered at social events by the influencers.

Tips to get along better with steady personalities:
  • Provide a sincere, personal and agreeable environment.
  • Focus on answers to “how” questions. Assure them that you will personally follow up.
  • Be patient and draw them out by asking open-ended questions, being careful not to thrust them into the spotlight where they are not comfortable. Show them through your actions that you are trustworthy.

(C) Conscientiousness (Careful) types make sure things are done right.

Usually, they think they can do it “most right.” Conscientious people are analytical, quality control types. In management, they tend to have sticky fingers and micro-manage.

They have computers in their heads and compare what is said to what is in their database, only keeping what fits and discarding the rest. They spend a great deal of time processing, and
therefore are not social types at all.

Tips to get along better with conscientious personalities:
  • Prepare your case in advance and logically present pros and cons.
  • Be careful - they will read everything you present to them.
  • Help them see the “whys.”
  • Forget the small talk - provide lengthy well-informed explanations.
Within each of us is a combination of all the above four styles. One will be more dominant, usually the one we're most comfortable being. By better understanding what makes us and others tick, we become more empathetic, which will improve our relationship skills no matter how bad they may be.

Understanding your personal preference(s) and those of others will help you improve your career prospects and the success of your company as a collection of individuals.

Abby Rubin is the principal consultant at Abby Rubin Personnel, a Vancouver employment agency.

Since 1989, Abby has been providing corporations throughout Western Canada with expert employee recruitment services in administrative, property management, sales, marketing, finance and executive management positions. Abby Rubin Personnel was founded in 2007 to provide select clients with personalized service.

Contact Abby today at 604.836.2672 or email