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A simple model to connect, relate and engage with each other

When you think about your work and the things that really mean something to you, you probably think of the big moments: the promotion you got or didn't. The setbacks. The big wins. And, even though we tend to think of our work life in terms of these big moments, it's really a collection of small ones: the interruption that throws off your meeting, a harsh comment that lingers long after the other person has moved on, small words of encouragement that turn your day around. Like most people, you might take these small interactions for granted. But the way you feel about them has more to do with your day-to-day happiness at work than almost anything for a pretty simple reason.

You're human.

We're wired to care deeply about our interactions.

Each one is an opportunity no matter how subtle or short to connect, to relate, and engage with each other. They're often what makes the difference between a good day and a bad one. And those negative interactions, the ones that drain us or just keep us up at night...well, what they're often about is two people not seeing each other clearly. Sometimes we misread each other's intentions because we come from different starting places. Other times we get stuck thinking our way is the only way. But when we make the effort to really see the people around us...where they come from, what matters to them, what they struggle can change the way we think about those interactions. And there's a simple model called DiSC® that can help us take a clearer look at the needs and priorities of the people around us. It starts with four basic styles: D, i, S, and C.

Take Ellen, who has a D, or Dominance, style. She's direct and outspoken, which is pretty common for people with a D style. She has a strong drive to achieve, so she's not afraid to make the tough calls or urge the team toward a goal. And when she has a clear vision of how to get there, she can become frustrated if things get bogged down in red tape or take longer than they should. Then there's Anthony, who like others with the i, or Influence, style is outgoing and enthusiastic. He thrives in a lively, fast-paced environment where people come together and collaborate. And because that sense of connection means so much to him, he can be left feeling discouraged and drained when it's missing from his work life.

Oliver, like others who share his S, or Steadiness, style, is patient and accommodating. He has a calm, supportive way about him that helps others feel welcome. And though his colleagues know he's dependable, they don't always get how invested he is in not letting them down. Or how important it is for him to keep things on an even keel.

Finally, there's Nadia, who has a C, or Conscientiousness, style. She's analytical and precise and likes having personal space to dig deeply and logically into a topic. Like others with the C style, she puts a lot of pressure on herself to get things right. So, even though she presents a calm face to the world, she gets stressed out when she doesn't have the time or stability to do her job properly. Now, of course, there's a lot more to people than their DiSC® style. But what the DiSC model can do is help you take a fresh look at the people around you. And once you get where people are coming from, you can choose to engage in ways that are more productive and comfortable and fun. DiSC also helps you take a fresh look at those small moments, like the person who just really needs a break from all the heavy stuff in their life right now. Or the person who didn't realize how harsh they sounded in that last meeting. Because when we really see people, and they see us, something happens to those day-in-day-out moments: we notice how much they actually mean.

Thanks to © by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

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