March 6, 2008

Managing Behavioral Styles

How do you handle the differences in style among your employees? Do you wonder how to motivate someone who seems not to care? Are you dismayed when your management style seems to work with a few beautifully, but misses the mark with others?

To answer these questions Paula Switzer’s -a Certified DISC trainer- write an article about how we can manage employee’s behavioral styles.

First, you must come to grips with a rather tough realization: you really cannot motivate another person. Perhaps you can cause them to get motivated for the short term ("If you are late one more time, you are fired!"), but we all know the motivation for true, lasting behavior change must come from within.

Yet you can do much to create an environment where people will become self-motivated. Understanding different styles of behavior and what each style needs is the key. You also can begin to create a high performing team when you use these principles.

A behavioral-based model such as DISC can be helpful in learning about different styles. DISC is a model that has been used by more than 40 million people worldwide, and it has been translated into more than 17 languages.

In the DISC model, there are four main styles of behavior. Everyone has a bit of each behavior, and often a primary as well as a secondary style of behavior. The four primary styles are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.

Obviously, as human beings, we are much more complicated than the four styles of the DISC, but the instrument can be a start in helping us understand how to create an environment where others are self-motivated.

As the war for talent becomes more pronounced, you must do everything you can to build a loyal, engaged team. Understanding these style differences, and incorporating these strategies can help in hiring and retaining key employees.

As a manager or a small business owner, you may have limited financial resources or career options with which to reward an employee, but you can work hard at understanding what makes your employees tick. When you appreciate and capitalize on employees' strengths, you provide them with a sense of pride, involvement and contribution that increases job satisfaction and retention.

Here are five tips to get moving in the right direction regardless of individual styles:

* Be clear about expectations up front - Let people know what is important to you and what you expect from them. Share your own style and needs with your employees.
* Walk the talk and lead by example - Step in to support your employees at every opportunity. Maintain your own sense of personal integrity at all times.

* Get to know your people and what makes them tick - Be a student of understanding differences, and adapt your style to meet their needs. Provide opportunities for people to operate from their strengths.
* Provide honest feedback, and continuous coaching - Encourage an environment where team members can learn from one another, including from you, and you from them. Tell the truth.
* Encourage and reward accountability - Provide reinforcement when people take initiative. Be the poster child for personal accountability. Admit mistakes and learn from them.
Source: BestManagementArticles

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  1. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Great tips.

    Simple, basic leadership that so often gets overlooked for more complex or fashionable approaches. Best of all, they're Free.