Issue No. 343 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting quotes the counter-intuitive Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.” And this reminder: click here to check out my 20 management buckets (core competencies) and recent issues/book reviews on this page.
If you’re a long-time reader of my eNews, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of the four social styles—and why 75 percent of the world thinks your style is nuts! I prefer the social styles system over Myers-Briggs, DISC, Birkman, and others, because the four styles describe the behavior. (There’s no decoding involved—and after basic training, people do remember their own style and the styles of others.)
For example, note how each style approaches decision-making:
• Driving: “Any decision is better than no decision.”
• Analyticals: “No decision is better than the wrong decision.”
• Amiables: “How will this decision affect my relationships?”
• Expressives: “If we move ahead on this decision, will there be a platform and a microphone—and what time am I on?”
In my opinion, The Tracom Group features the leading resources on social styles. Their research reveals, for example, that in the nonprofit sector:
• 30% are Analytical
• 26% are Expressive
• 25% are Amiable
• 19% are Driving
While I’ve reviewed numerous books on social style, I like to keep this competency on the front burner so here’s one more resource: Social Style: The Ah Ha's of Effective Relationships. In just 109 pages, this fast-moving story features a clueless manager (driving style) who discovers that the other three styles actually do matter—and no style is right or wrong.
Alex, the clueless one, prides himself as a bottom line guy—but his career counselor introduces him to a personal board of directors approach where he learns about the top line to success: “Relationships, relationships, relationships, all there are, are relationships.”
With the help of his board/mentors, Alex discovers numerous “Ah Ha” moments as he observes the social style of a veterinarian, a high school principal, an attorney, and an antiques entrepreneur (one style each). With little enthusiasm for this journey, he does however appreciate his “board chair”—a highly regarded community leader and fellow driver.
By observing the daily interactions of each style in their own work settings, Alex learns more, begrudgingly, about the three big dimensions of behavior in social styles:
• Assertiveness (the degree to which you tend to ask or tell)
• Responsiveness (the degree to which you tend to control your emotions, or emote your feelings)
• Versatility (the extent to which a person appears to be working to make relationships mutually productive)
The book helpfully highlights the all-critical versatility theme, including researcher David Merrill’s Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.”
This book is perfect for leaders and managers who need a quick-reading tool when coaching a team member. If you couple it with the numerous training and assessment tools at The Tracom Group (like this You Tube short video), you’ll enjoy exponential results.
By the way, the “Improving Personal Effectiveness With Versatility™ Concepts Guide” notes an important differentiation between behavior versus personality. “Style is like the crust of the personality pie. It is the part that can be seen—the observable behavior. Personality includes inner qualities—attitudes, aptitudes, dreams, values and abilities.”
And in response to the question I’m asked often, what’s the difference between social styles and the Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, The Tracom Group has anticipated your question with a free eight-page white paper, “Social Style and Strengths Based Leadership.”
I saw the following on Facebook recently (so it must be true!):
CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
To order from Amazon, click on the graphic below for Social Style: The Ah Ha's of Effective Relationships, by Gerald L. Prince and John R. Myers.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) In the story, Alex asked his coach, “I really have to be aware of what I do and the impact it has on other people. If I am adjusting my behavior to fit the person’s style and the situation, doesn’t that make me seem like a chameleon?” What would you say to Alex?
2) Highly versatile people rely on feedback (one of the four sources of versatility) to make others feel comfortable. Alex’s coach asked, “How good of an active listener are you? Do you attempt to see things from another person’s point of view?” Who do you know that has high versatility without being chameleon-like?
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You’ve heard me preach this often—delegate your reading. But have you ever delegated your reading based on a team member’s social style? Read “The People Bucket,” Chapter 7, in Mastering the Management Buckets for a detailed overview of the four social styles—and how versatility will improve your relationships.
Then read these social style book reviews and discern which book would best align with the social styles on your team. Analyticals want details. Drivers want the bottom line—fast. Amiables value relationships. Expressives appreciate fun, action and an exciting future.
The Delicate Art of Dancing With Porcupines: Learning to Appreciate the Finer Points of Others, by Bob Phillips
The Social Styles Handbook: Find Your Comfort Zone and Make People Feel Comfortable with You, by Larry Wilson
Versatile Selling: Adapting Your Style So Customers Say “Yes!” by Larry Wilson
How to Deal With Annoying People: What to Do When You Can’t Avoid Them, by Bob Phillips and Kimberly Alyn
7 Seconds to Success: How to Effectively Relate to People in an Instant, by Gary Coffey and Bob Phillips
For more resources on social styles (including two free “cheat sheets” on social styles), visit the People Bucket webpage.
P.S. Read John’s governance blog here, “Your Leader’s ONE Thing,” with more than a dozen quotes on what leadership gurus think your “ONE” thing out to be!
Your Weekly Staff Meeting is emailed free two to four times a month to subscribers, the frequency of which is based on an algorithm of book length, frequent flyer miles, and client deadlines. We do not accept any form of compensation from authors or publishers for book reviews. As a board member and raving fan of Christian Community Credit Union (a non-profit), we proudly list the credit union as a sponsor at no charge.