The Key to Working With Anyone

Ever heard of the Rosetta Stone? It’s the black granite stone that provided archeologists with the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphics. The artifact was such an important discovery that we now use the term “Rosetta Stone” to refer to any discovery that unlocks mystery and makes new understanding possible.

Recently, one of my new clients expressed his exasperation over communicating with his team by saying, “Even though we all speak English, I often feel like I can’t get through to everyone. It’s as if I still need a translator.”

“Something like a Rosetta Stone for working with people?” I offered.

“Yes!” he replied.

That’s when I told him the good news.

There is a tool for translating people’s behavior. The DISC model connects behavior to one of 4 different communication styles: Dominant (D), Influence (I), Steady (S), and Compliant-to-Standards (C). Once you know how to use this tool, you can learn how to adapt to potential clients, team members, family members--anyone with whom you need to build collaborative relationships.

Pitching a business idea to a panel of venture capitalists like those on the ABC show Shark Tank? If you recognize that those panelists prefer Dominant Style, you can adapt your presentation and increase your chances of success.

Surprised that the analyst you promoted to VP of Finance is failing miserably as a team leader? His Compliant-to-Standards style indicates that he prefers focusing on tasks, not people, so he may not be a good fit for the role.

I could easily outline a 100 situations where knowing the communication style can impact job performance, selling success, and team collaboration. The bottom line? If you understand communication styles, you can take the guesswork out of how to interact with people.

That’s why I have created mini guides to help you practice people reading and adapt to the communication styles of others. Each link will take you to a different chart that describes what someone with that communication style should know when interacting with other styles.

Not sure what your style is? Read “Step 1” in each chart and see which one best describes you. Or contact me to take an online assessment that will identify your communication style.

Find the chart that fits your style, print it out and keep it handy so you remind yourself to practice people reading and rapport building with all the stakeholders in your organization. Want more detailed information about communication styles? Read Conversations That Get Results and Inspire Collaboration.

Ultimately, discovering the DISC model of communication will do for you what the Rosetta Stone did for the study of ancient civilizations: it will provide the key to understanding others and open new insights into culture, conflict, and communication.