Becoming an Effective Networker Using DiSC

 

You have a networking function coming up – you want to make a solid first impression and you want people to genuinely like you.

Remember, everyone you shake hands with has their own unique DiSC profile, it’s your job to understand their style and adapt to it!  Luckily, there is a “quick and easy” way to effectively asses someone’s DiSC profile.  When using this people reading skill, most of the time you will accurately assess their primary style, and if you are off a little you will have their secondary style, which will still help you a lot.

The DiSC map is divided into four quadrants, D-i-S-C.

The “quick and easy” DiSC assessment requires you to focus on two things:

  1. Is the person you’re meeting more face-paced and outspoken or more cautious and reflective?  This helps you determine if the person you’re meeting is on the top half or bottom half of the DiSC map.
  2. Is the person you’re meeting more questioning and sceptical or accepting and warm?  This helps you determine if the person you’re meeting is on the left or the right side of the DiSC map.

Once you’ve answered both questions; you will have successfully narrowed down this person’s style to a specific quadrant.

Once you understand what the DiSC profile is of the person you are meeting, you can adapt your communication to reflect their style.  Generally, we like people who are like us, and we certainly like people who speak and communicate with us according to our DiSC style and tendencies.  Below are some general tendencies of each style:

Dominance

Dominance: People high on the “D” scale will possess these characteristics:
Emphasize: Shaping the environment by overcoming opposition and challenges
Tendencies: Getting immediate results; taking action; accepting challenges
Motivated By: Challenge; power and authority; direct answers
Fears: Loss of control in their environment; being taken advantage of
You will notice: Self-confidence; decisiveness; risk-taking
Limitations: Lack of concern for others; impatience

 

influence

influence: People high on the “i” scale will possess these characteristics:
Emphasize: Shaping the environment by persuading and influencing others
Tendencies: Seeking involvement with people; making a favorable impression
Motivated By: Social recognition; group activities; relationships
Fears: Social rejection; disapproval; loss of influence
You will notice: Enthusiasm; charm; sociability
Limitations: Impulsiveness; disorganization; lack of follow-through

 

strong

Steadiness: People high on the “S” scale will possess these characteristics:
Emphasize: Achieving stability; accomplishing tasks by cooperating with others
Tendencies: Showing patience and loyalty; being a good listener
Motivated By: Infrequent change; stability; sincere appreciation; cooperation
Fears: Loss of stability; change and the unknown; unpredictability
You will notice: Patience; calmness; desire for teamwork; methodical approach
Limitations: Overly willing to give; putting personal needs last

 

Conscientriusness

Conscientiousness: People high on the “C” scale will possess these characteristics:
Emphasize: Working within circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy
Tendencies: Attention to standards and details; analytical thinking
Motivated By: Clear performance expectations; quality and accuracy being valued
Fears: Criticism of their work; slipshod methods
You will notice: Behavior that is cautious, precise, and reserved
Limitations: Overly critical of self and others; indecision while analyzing data

 

Learn more about the person you’re meeting than you share about yourself.  Just like you love learning and reading about your own DiSC style and natural tendencies – people love sharing and talking about themselves.  Allow them to do this – encourage them to do this and ask “how”, “why” or “who”.  Be impressed and complimentary – remember, it’s not a competition about who is better!  Admit your weaknesses or failures – don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability.  The person you’re meeting will appreciate this.When you’re shaking hands, relax, step forward, tilt your head towards them slightly, smile – if you show the person you’re meeting that you’re genuinely happy to meet them, they will instantly start to like you.  The proper handshake should be firm, with an energy that communicates sincerity, strength and professionalism.  This will give you an opportunity to begin assessing the person’s DiSC style.

The close – offer a genuine “nice to meet you”, “I really enjoyed talking with you”.  If you have an opportunity to get the business card of the person you meet – be sure to jot down their DiSC style on the back of the card – it will make your follow up calls and emails that much more effective!

 

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