The Secret to getting on with Everyone – Well mostly Everyone


The Secret to getting on with Everyone – Well mostly Everyone

Think about the people you encounter during your working day. Customers, potential customers (or clients), employees, service providers, suppliers, the person you buy your coffee from each morning…

Are there people that you come into contact with that you get along really well with? Are there some that you don’t get along with, you know the people you’d rather not see? Have you stopped and thought why it’s so easy to work with some of these people while others can be challenging?

What about the people who you annoy? Be honest, some of your behaviours must be painful?

Understanding different communication styles, including your own, gives you the insight to be able to adapt the way you work and communicate with others. Believe me, it makes an enormous difference. Those annoying people may not be as bad after all.

We’re all a combination of styles, but let’s identify what your predominant style is.

Choose one of the following:

Active – fast paced, assertive, dynamic, bold.

Thoughtful – moderate paced, calm, methodical, careful.

Choose another one of the following:

Accepting – people focussed, empathitic, receptive, agreeable.

Questioning – logic focussed, objective, sceptical, challenging.

Now combine the two statements you chose to decide which style you are. D, I, S or C

Active and Questioning                                    =                D               Dominance

Active and Accepting                                         =                I                 Influence

Thoughtful and Accepting                               =                S                Steadiness

Thoughtful and Questioning                          =                C               Conscientiousness

This is the DISC model which shows four basic behaviours styles that describe how people approach their work and relationships. The activity you just did is a simple explanation of the differences.

Remember you are a combination of these styles but much stronger in some behaviours than others. There are no good or bad behaviours just different. Understanding your own style then identifying and understanding other people’s helps you to value the differences of each person and to bring out the best in you and in them.

This may appear confusing at first. Here are two real examples of how this works when you understand the different styles.

1. A legal practice with three partners and 15 employees spent a day of unpacking each other’s styles. One of the partners, Thomas, found he was a strong D (Dominance), his legal secretary, Jane, was a C (Conscientiousness).

Thomas was often extremely frustrated with Jane, in fact sometimes outright rude to her. He would ask for a task to be done immediately on giving an instruction whereas Jane needed time to think about the best way to do the task plus always confirmed she had all the details correct.

Thomas realised that Jane was simply just a different behavioural style, in fact her style fitted perfectly with the type of work she does. He had to learn to adapt his behaviours to allow Jane to do her best work. His parting comment, “Now I know why she is a pain in the proverbial, but I respect her for that now’.

2. Personally, I’m a D (Dominance) and Michael, an employee is an I (Influence). Now I’ve worked with the DISC model for years so I know how to adapt my behaviours however this guy annoys the hell out of me. (It’s okay, Michael knows all this, plus I’ve changed his name)

He loves a chat, he loves the sound of his own voice and takes forever to get to the point. Me? Well just give me the facts I need and get on with it.

I have to remember his job revolves around relationships leading to sales. He is well suited in most of these situations, plus Michael has learnt how to read people so he can adapt accordingly. I must remember to listen and be patient.

 How to ‘read’ people’s styles

The statements below will help you people ‘read’ so then you can adapt your style to suit theirs. This is especially effective in sales.


There is so much more to the DISC model, we have only touched the surface. As I said earlier, we are all a combination of styles, however, the more self-aware you are the more effective you will become.

I would love to hear your thoughts, comment in the section below.

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  • Tegan Mathews

    Thanks Alison for such a simple explanation of how our differences are our best asset and by understanding our differences we can all get along better. I love the DISC profile and have used it in my businesses successfully and the examples you gave were perfect. I love how it helps me to understand my staff better and armed with the DISC information, they support each other better too. Love it 🙂

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