Improve Productivity, Teamwork, Communication and Sales Growth
As business owners, we are always looking for ways to further improve our business. In my experience the way in which we work together and communicate with our customers or clients is often an area of potential improvement. While many organisations may undertake productivity reviews, teambuilding exercises or sales training programs, they often fail to translate this into sustainable business improvement. This is often because they don’t address the key for improving how people communicate and work with each other, which is understanding self-awareness (knowing yourself) and how to better read and adapt your behaviour to others.
In my experience, we’re taught to treat others as we want to be treated ourselves. This is useful from a broader values perspective though fails to help us deal with the challenges of diverse operating styles that often occur in business from different personality types. The secret is to be able to flex or adapt to different people’s operating styles, not necessarily to treat them as you like but rather as they like. So, how do you prepare yourself to accommodate the different interest or priorities that other people might have towards you and your project, idea or proposal?
While there are various ‘tools’ that may help you do this; for example, personality type indicators like Myers Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI) or Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), in my experience there are very few organisations that actually apply their learning using these types of tools to improve the way they communicate internally and externally.
I have found one of the most useful tools to apply is the DISC profile, in both internal work group settings and in an external sales context. This is about firstly recognising the operating style that best describes you and how your behavioural strengths and weaknesses often play out. Secondly, recognising the operating style of others. Thirdly, learning how to flex your style to better suit the other person’s preferred style and the situation.
The profile uses 4 behavioural types DISC (directing, influencing, supporting and contemplating). These can often be more easily remembered and applied as bird types – Eagle, Peacock, Dove and Owl respectfully. The Eagle type is about overview, direct, action, options and being in control. The Peacock type is about vision, ideas, big picture and being inspired. Dove type is about warmth, support, caring, being secure and sure. Owl type is about cool, distant, logical, detailed, being accurate, being right.
So next time you or your organisation are preparing a submission, making a presentation, pitching an idea or talking to a customer; consider the range and nature of personality types that might be present or are involved in making the decision. How and what you present will make a difference. Do your homework. Find out what you can about each person at the meeting or about the person or group assessing your submission and appeal to their interests. Finally, try and match the operating styles or personalities of your presentation team with those of the assessment team. Your point of difference will be the most important aspect of your business, your people.