Leverage Your DISC Communication Style

The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer was published in January after surveying more than 33,000 people ages 25 – 64 across 27 countries. Read more about it here. One of its questions centered on how people perceived spokespeople from a variety of functional backgrounds. Respondents ranked eight professions on trustworthiness. Government officials (36%) were ranked as least credible, CEOs next to last (43%), a “person like yourself” (62%) was close to the top, and academics (67%) were most trustworthy. As evidenced by the survey and as Isaac Watts once said, “Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.”

If academia isn’t your chosen profession, then attempting to build trust with others will be heavily correlated with your ability to amend your verbal and non-verbal communication to match that of those you are with. The more you seem like the other person, the more that person will like and trust you. Through taking the DISC assessment (free version here) and thoroughly understanding your natural communication and behavioral styles, you’ll not only be able to shape your future, you’ll be able to better assess the behaviors, motivations, goals, fears, and intentions of others. In the most basic of senses, leveraging your communication style will improve your ability to engage with others in a productive way, generating value for them, and producing positive results.

In his book, The Speed of Trust, Stephen M. R. Covey argues that trust is the key leadership competency of the new global economy. And, I’d agree. As Covey mentions, trust builds relationships quickly, accelerates performance, increases productivity, and drives cost down.

When I wrote my career development manual, Incorporate You™, I built it with the DISC being the foundation. We have entered what I call Globalization 3.0, citizens having the ability to travel to or communicate with most any country at any point in time. In the new economy, knowing yourself (your DISC, your personal brand) and knowing exactly what you can do to generate value for the person you are communicating with is the linchpin to your success. In chapter four of the manual, I published the following charts to help readers identify another person’s DISC profile through everyday cues such as emails or how his/her office is organized.

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If you are still unsure what the person’s DISC profile is, you can also ask questions tailored to the below chart. As the person answers the question, you will then have an idea how to amend your communication moving forward.

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Being able to change your communication and behaviors to mirror the other person takes practice. Once you know his style, use the above charts to more succinctly communicate with him in the way he prefers to communicate. You’ll build trust… and you’ll build it quickly. And when someone trusts you, it becomes considerably easier for that person to offer you opportunities aligned with your personal intention. Whether you are seeking a new full-time job, a part-time job, consulting projects, volunteer opportunities, or board seats, learning how to get people to trust you will open doors faster.

“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Understand your DISC profile. Amend your communication. Unlock your potential.