Be Authentic When Networking
Isn’t it surprising that the hardest thing for most people to do when networking or meeting strangers is being natural and AUTHENTIC? Yet, when you are “comfortable in your own skin” and know your own style you are more natural, and people are naturally drawn to you!
This is because you are authentically being yourself, showing kindness and respect to THEM instead of focusing only on YOU! Rather than canvassing the room and exchanging as many business cards as possible, start finding ways to create authentic “connections.”
When you are talking with someone, make a complimentary comment about the event, what the person is wearing, or about something positive in the current economy or cultural environment. And once you can identify and tune in to another person’s style, it is much easier to relate because you can focus immediately on talking about what’s important to them!
This will help you determine if there is something a future meeting could possibly lead to, or if you sense you could help one another in some specific way as a professional. Do you want to know now what to look for to get the best “guess” of the person’s style? Here it is!
First impressions count...
Since it’s the first 30 seconds that count when we meet people for the first time, find ways to build relationships by making your first impression a positive one. It certainly takes a lot more energy to overcome a negative first impression than it does to make a good one in the first place.
So, try making up an image that helps you to remember a person's first name, repeat it, look at their card to remember it, and then give that person your undivided attention. Ask questions, listen to their answers and show genuine interest in them! Everyone loves a listener!
What other people have to go on when they first meet you is:
If you know you have things to work on, make a list on the blank pages at the end of this book so you don’t forget to work on them! And the good news? What makes the most lasting and positive first impression is YOU - bringing a smile and a high level of self-confidence about your own style and the fact that you are picking up clues about the other person during these first initial interactions!
Tune into what the other person is telegraphing through their face, voice, posture, gestures, words, and overall interactions with you. If you can just mirror their body language and compare it to what you learn later about how to do that in this book, it will also give you clues about their primary focus because of what style they are.
The tip here is that not only when you “mirror” their personal body language, but their behavioral style that they instantly feel more comfortable around you. So, if you can adapt yourself into becoming more like their twin, they will automatically trust that you’ll “Do unto them the way they like being done unto” (because you know them SO WELL!)
Our mentor, Dr. Tony Alessandra, calls this tip using the “Platinum Rule” – the one that’s the opposite of the Golden Rule which is “Do unto others as YOU would want them to do unto YOU.” Can you see the difference?
You might be thinking, “How do I do that?” Great question. And the answer first starts with, “Do you know yourself and how others see you?” If not, as you master the art of “people-reading” you become more people-literate, meaning you will become familiar with what makes up the concept of personality styles and you just might be surprised to realize that you are indeed unique! You will also realize that each style-type is a result of dozens of different needs, emotions, and fears, plus each has preferred ways of doing things.
But once you know yourself, you will be able to stand in confidence, with who you are and be ready to DISCover who the other person is! You will know what motivates you, what your preferred types of life situations are and what you feel most comfortable doing?
You’ll DISCover things about yourself you knew but didn’t realize might be getting in the way of your relationships. From taking a DISC assessment, you will quickly see that what everyone calls your weaker traits are only “weak” because they are actually the opposite speed and focus of your strengths!
Therefore, seeing your weaker traits is GOOD NEWS, and will help you avoid applying for the wrong job or getting into the wrong relationship or business deal! Not that you cannot adapt and adjust your style... you can... for a short period.
But don’t plan on having to maintain that opposite style for a long, long time! It would drive you bananas if someone required you to be different from who you truly are for more than a couple of minutes - like during networking events – yet people choose the wrong jobs just to get the pay check, and even worse, the wrong relationships!
Don’t worry about the word “weaker” either, because you can develop and adjust any part of your style when you need to, and your primary style shows up the moment you walk into a room!
You might want to purchase our E-Book Mastering the Art of Networking, as it has some great tips on how to read people for building rapport and how to adapt your style when networking. We also highly recommend that you purchase a DISC Personal Style assessment for identifying the strengths and communication preferences of your style. GOOD LUCK! We wish you an abundance of success at all your networking events.
Kids and Us Parents - Part One
Teach children well to bring out the best in them...
So, how do we as parents bring out the best in our children? Well it takes a willingness to become self aware by knowing our DISC parenting style, and a commitment to keep learning and growing as parents. We are all born with a longing for mastery and meaning. Inherently children are learners, and research has shown that their brains begin learning, actually processing information even before birth. Both you and your child are on this journey of learning together and you can either make it joy-filled or arduous, the choice is yours.
Over the next few weeks I will be introducing you to the four DISC Parenting Styles, some tips to survive step-parenting and character virtues for developing people-literacy in yourself and in your children. Once you know how to create an environment at home that encourages learning and mastery in a self-aware and joy-filled way watch your relationships start to blossom with your children.
You see it's not about getting it right all the time as a parent, it's about bringing out the best that is in all of us as human beings, and becoming authentic with our children. It's about respecting differences of style and acknowledging your feelings as they arise.
The late Dr. Edwin Louis Cole, stressed nine attributes that should be adopted by parents if they were going to raise emotionally healthy children. Steven Sisler author of The For PeopleTypes, has taken these attributes and given them definitions.
Here are the nine attributes and their definitions and I have also added what I feel are character virtues that all parents can practice and develop for each attribute (Source: Virtues Reflections Cards App):
GUIDE: Assisting children through potential difficulties in traveling through the formative years in an effort to ensure they reach their destination by practicing...
The virtue of PATIENCE - "Quiet hope and faith that things will turn out right. We trust the process of life and have a peaceful heart."
GUARD: Keeping children safe from harm or danger; carefully watching over them by practicing...
The virtue of PERCEPTIVENESS - "Clarity of insight. It is being observant of what is beneath the surface and looking for the deeper meaning."
GOVERN: Exercising a directing or restraining influence over children in order to provide better outcomes through times of peer pressure or difficult decision-making by practicing...
The virtue of ASSERTIVENESS - "Speaking one's truth with peaceful confidence."
DIRECT: To manage and supervise, or to assist in directing the course of children by practicing...
The virtue of KINDNESS - "Having genuine care for the welfare of others that springs from compassion. We listen for the needs beneath the words."
PROTECT: To defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, or insult by practicing...
The virtue of COURAGE - "Doing what must be done even when it is difficult or risky. Allows us to face adversity with confidence."
CORRECT: To scold, rebuke, or teach in order to improve the effects of ones behavior on self and others by practicing...
The virtue of EMPATHY - "Having the ability to put ourselves in another's place and to understand their experience."
CHERISH: To hold and treat as dear or to care for tenderly or cling to fondly by practicing...
The virtue of LOVE - "Cherishing others, treating them with tenderness. Love thrives on acceptance and appreciation."
NOURISH: To strengthen, build up or promote by practicing...
The virtue of ENDURANCE - "Not giving up or feeling hopeless about our child, and practicing perseverance and patience."
ADMONISH: To caution, advise or counsel against poor decision making by practicing and demonstrating...
The virtue of RESPONSIBILITY - "The willingness to be accountable for our choices."
Steven goes on to say that, likely children who have received a good healthy dose of all nine attributes during formative years will have a better chance at emotional health and sustenance, compared to those who lack at least three of the nine attributes.
Parents who see their role as teachers and guides while considering their children as learners are more apt to produce socially healthy citizens. So be willing to practice and demonstrate the above virtues by using the language and behaviors for each one, so that your children can also develop these for themselves.
Linda Kavelin Popov author of The Family Virtues Guide, says that being a parent is the most complex and important activity on the planet. Parents are a child's first and most important educators, yet we receive little or no training in what to do or how to do it.
I remember when my first child was born I thought my whole life had changed forever and it seemed a rather daunting journey I was about to embark on! As Linda says in her book, "children don't come with instruction manuals".
Here's the Basic Principle...
In social situations, behavioral styles that are similar are attracted to each other. People with similar interests and habits are drawn to one another as friends and acquaintances. There's a sense of satisfaction in knowing you're among people who prize what you prize, enjoy what you enjoy, play by roughly the same rules as you do.
If you're a Steadiness Style or Cautious Style, you're a more structured person who's not fond of surprises. Thus, you find stable, predictable relationships more satisfying.
Or maybe you're a faster-paced, more outgoing person, a Dominance Style or Interactive Style who thinks life's too short to worry about whether your tyres are properly inflated, or your socks match your tie. Who the heck's going to know or care 100 years from now, right?
The Big Ten... And How They Perform SOCIALLY
So what happens when these sometimes-contradictory types get together? Well, the four basic behavioral styles mix and match into ten combinations. Behavioral science research shows clearly which combinations mesh or clash naturally.
For starters, people with similar tendencies are most compatible with one another socially. That's because those with common interests, habits, and approaches help reinforce each other’s self-esteem.
So it won't surprise you to learn that the most naturally compatible combinations in SOCIAL situations are:
That pairing does, however, show up in the following moderately compatible category:
Dominance Styles and Interactive Styles share an outward focus and often-similar interests. Steadiness Styles and Cautious Styles, on the other hand, are both inward-oriented and may like the same kinds of activities.
Both Interactive Styles and Steadiness Styles aspire to be in a supportive relationship. Usually, though, it's the Steadiness Style who's in the giving role and the Interactive Style who's the receiver.
Meanwhile, the fast-paced, extroverted Dominance Styles and Interactive Styles commonly find it hard to develop rapport with the easygoing, quieter Steadiness Styles and Cautious Styles, who are less decisive and enthusiastic. And the Steadiness Styles and Cautious Styles, in turn, find the Dominance Styles less desirable because they're too pushy, too loud, and often demand too much of them.
Therefore, of all ten combinations, these three pairs are often the least naturally compatible SOCIALLY:
What's more, even when relaxing, the Cautious Style wants to do all things right. Whether it's just grilling hot dogs, chatting about politics, or setting up the croquet wickets, the Cautious Style sets standards and judges himself and others by how they meet them. The Cautious Style, in the eyes of the Dominance Style or Interactive Style, is not living as much as he is just serving time. By and large, never the twain shall meet - at least unless and until The Platinum Rule is practiced - Do unto others as they want done unto them.
Learning from each other
On a positive note, there is a fascination factor in these three pairings, and bridges can be built. Given positive energy, the natural differences can fuel attraction, particularly when one style sees what it can learn from another. A Dominance Style, for example, may see how he can become more patient and responsive to others by taking a cue from a Steadiness Style. A Steadiness Style, meanwhile, may be able to draw on the Dominance Style's strengths for taking charge and accepting risk.
It all comes down to not judging another’s behaviour. Just observe it and then demonstrate it if you are looking to adapt your style for being a certain way in a situation.
Similarly, a sensitive Interactive Style can see how she can learn discretion from the Cautious Style, and the Cautious Style perceives that she can become more relaxed and sociable by being around the Interactive Style.
Perhaps the most difficult hurdles socially are posed by the Dominance Style-Cautious Style relationship. For it to work, both must yield their personal control needs, with the Dominance Style deciding to give the type of space the Cautious Style needs, and the Cautious Style learning to be much more direct and open about their concerns with the Dominance Style.
It's Different when it comes to TASK
When it comes to tasks, whether it's doing a project at work, purchasing a family car, or just balancing the checkbook the dynamics differ dramatically. Here, the “likes” who are drawn to one another socially don't necessarily attract as much as they compete or even conflict.
Now their similarities can get in the way because they have the same needs. After all, to complete a task, one must have resources, rewards, time, space, and attention. But there are only so many of those to go around.
So when those needs aren't met, tension and conflict can result. When one partner feels a need to “win,” for instance, the other one may sense he or she's been shortchanged. The frequent outcome: resentment.
But, before getting into which pairs clash, let's look at the most naturally compatible combinations TASK wise:
See a pattern here? You bet!
The Steadiness Style gets along with everybody in a task situation. He or she's the universal antidote for disharmony. It's the Steadiness Styles' most distinctive trait. They're supportive workers who exert a calming, stabilizing influence. Naturally interested in others and in making a contribution, they enjoy being productive partners. No wonder they're everybody's favorite.
The moderately compatible combinations, as far as working on TASKS together, are:
Interestingly, Cautious Styles figure in many of the least compatible combinations socially, but among the highest in tasks. This suggests that others appreciate the quality and thoroughness of their work, even if the Cautious Styles aren't always viewed as being a lot of laughs.
Last come those combinations that are least compatible because they tend to see one another as competitors:
As for the Dominance Style-Cautious Style, there's a fundamental clash in the Dominance Style's need for speed and control versus the Cautious Style's penchant for being slower paced and systematic.
Notice that while the Interactive Style-Interactive Style pair was ranked as among the most socially compatible, now they are likely to be the least productive as far as working together on tasks. That's because neither is motivated to deal with task details.
Similarly, Dominance Styles and Interactive Styles also have moderately high social rapport but plummet to the lowest rungs of compatibility when tasks are involved. That's because they both tend to want to delegate.
But don't give up yet on those whose personal style may not be a perfect fit with the situation. With some effort at understanding and applying The Platinum Rule, you can adapt your compatibility so that you can work successfully with anyone.
Some of you might like to purchase The Platinum Rule a book written by Dr Tony Alessandra by CLICKING HERE
Sandra is very passionate about supporting others to be the best they can be through sharing her stories and experiences she has gained along the way...