With the best will in the world we sometimes end up being misunderstood. Communication goes wrong without reason.
An innocent comment causes a flare up. Or, recognizing the sensitive nature of a situation we prepare a cautious approach that we feel is guaranteed not to ruffle feathers. However, the communication still gets messed up.
Communication appears to be a matter of chance. Different people receive and interpret the same bit of information in unique ways.
In fact, the same individual will respond differently to identical information presented in similar circumstances.
Isn’t communication then just a hit or miss endeavor?
Human interaction is not a definitive science. We can’t even guarantee that we send the message that we had in mind let alone be assured that it will be received as we intended.
That is why there is so much misunderstanding and conflict.
We tend to have patterns for how we send and receive information. We have preferred communication styles.
Identifying those styles and learning how to respond to them makes a huge difference to interactions and effective communication.
Those communication styles have been classified and provide the foundation for our DISCerning Model of Communication.
Understanding our preferred style and being able to identify and adjust effectively to other communication styles takes a lot of the guess work out of communication.
Practical Application of DISCerning Communication
You advertise your car for sale.
Scenario 1: Buyer calls and asks you to meet him at a nearby mall in a ½ hour.
DISCerning Insights: Tone and authoritative appointment setting suggests this buyer has a preference for Dominance (D-Style). You can adjust and opt to maintain control by offering to meet at another location in an hour.
During the negotiation buyer pointedly asks “So how much do you really want for the car?”
You steel yourself and respond in D-Style “I don’t play games with prices. I know what this car is valued and that is the advertised price.” She would not be here if she did not think this was good value for money. If I blink too early she will have my lunch.
She says “Well this is beyond my budget so, thank you for your time.” She’s good!
You calmly say “OK. But it is interesting that you have not made me an offer. I thought you were serious about buying”
Due to space constraints we summarize by indicating that the deal is concluded when the expensive custom rims that you have on the car are taken out of the deal to meet her target price. You sell the rims separately and come out ahead. Win-Win
Scenario 2: Buyer calls early. Wants to come with his mechanic at 10: 20 am. He asks you to verify that all the details in the ad are correct.
DISCerning Insights: This buyer appears serious. The precision of the appointment time suggests that they have a preference for the C-Style in the Extended DISC Framework (reserved/task-oriented). Concluding this sale will be dependent on the quality of the evidence presented.
You apply C-Style tools by pulling out the service book or receipts from your garage to provide evidence that you have serviced the car regularly and that there are no problems with it.
Scenario 3: Buyer calls and establishes where the car can be viewed and that you will be there all day. Buyer turns up and engages in a discussion about your fruit tree and their preferences.
Buyer goes on to share who they are and what they do and solicits the same from you. No mention of the car to this point.
DISCerning Insights: Buyer seems to be using the I-Style (outgoing/people-oriented). Relationships are relevant.
You loosen up and engage buyer. When you shift the discussion to the car, you refer to it by a pet name. You are looking for someone worthy of owning “Ninja”. You are no longer selling just a car but parting with an icon…. a trusted friend.
Scenario 4: Buyer makes appointment and comes with a support team. They go through a pleasant but thorough investigation of your history with the car and the reasons why you are selling it. They maintain eye contact and you get a feeling that they are move interested in evaluating you than the car.
DISCerning Insights: Buyer appears to have a preference for the S Style. This sale is going to go through on the basis of TRUST. You have to convince the inner circle that you are trustworthy and that your testimony is genuine.
DISCerning Communication is fun and extremely useful!
Trevor E S Smith is a Director of the Success with People Academy home the SHRM-accredited 3-D Team Leader Certification: Leading Difficult, Dominant and Diverse Personalities and the ICF & SHRM accredited Certified Behavioral Coach program.
The Success with People Academy applies DISCerning Communication while improving Leadership, Team Performance & Recruitment. It prepares Personal & Team Behavioral DNA Analyses and 360 surveys on the revolutionary FinxS Platform from Extended DISC.