DISC: Learn to Discern their Style


We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop Mark Twain there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again – and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.

Finish this sentence: I can’t stand talking to him/her because s/he always:

  • Hears a challenge and sees a contest in every situation
  • Is easily distracted and gets off topic
  • Won’t make a decision alone
  • Becomes insulted and defensive over the slightest disagreement

Before I understood how DISC helps me understand where other people are coming from, I would become frustrated, even angry, when I was confronted by someone in their style as they reacted to a statement I made or situation I was involved in.

I think it’s human nature to expect people to treat us in our style. Problems arise when we are in our style and they are in theirs, and their style is not the same as ours. Many times I’ve said:

  • I’ll never do that again!
  • I’ll never talk to them again!
  • That’s the last time I’ll have anything to do with them (or that company)!

Now that I know how to discern other people’s style and how their style influences their response, I have learned the key to communicating with people. As a result, I am a better communicator. When I am really good at it, the person thinks I am the same as them, when in truth, I may be a polar opposite!

You, too, can learn this highly valuable process to become more successful and less stressed in your business, your relationships, and your life. Start today with a DISC like the KITE DISCtest247.com because you need to know your style first. When you and I review your results in the debrief, I’ll help you understand how to put your discerning tools into action.


Business Growth: Being Extraordinary

Extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people.
– Reepicheep

Reepicheep from NarniaI had the opportunity to watch the third installment in the Narnia series with our 8-year-old granddaughter recently. Reepicheep is the mouse character pictured at the right. At one point in the story, he says to Eustace that extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people.

I firmly believe that Reepicheep is right, and I’ll let you in on a little secret. I see this in the people I meet every day. Your story is phenomenal. You’ve done some remarkable things.

You see, I think that we are all extraordinary people, without exception. If you think you are common, ordinary, and not worthy to be called extraordinary, I hope you will read on and consider my argument as to why you are, truly, extraordinary and why you should use this to guide your business tactics.

Right now, today, are you where you thought you’d be when you graduated from high school? College? Discharged or retired from the military? From my conversations with many of you and my personal experiences, we have all made choices during our lives that have brought us to this point. These choices and the resulting experiences are what makes you extraordinary. There is no duplicate of you. You are the only one who has your unique combination of life experiences and personality. This gives you a unique perspective that you should use to your advantage.

How can you use your perspective to your advantage? By designing business tactics customized to take advantage of your experiences. This might require some introspection on your part, but it will be worth it if the exercise moves you toward the outcome you want.

We all know we have to be different from our competition. What makes you extraordinary is what will serve you as your differentiator from your competition. Sometimes, our differentiator is so different from our competition that we have difficulty believing that we can be successful. If you are in doubt, step back and analyze everything – your feelings (including your doubts), the true reality of the situation, and how your experiences will make you the better option for your target market.

It’s a well-known fact that YOU are the biggest impediment to your success. You’re wasting precious time. You have to get on with being extraordinary.

Business Sustainability: The Advantage of Risk

Juggling catsRisk avoidance. Risk aversion. Risk management. Call it what you like. In today’s world, we trend towards viewing risk as a negative instead of as an advantage, maybe even a condition to be pursued and planned for in order to take us to our next level.

The status quo is comfortable. When we are in status quo, things are flowing smoothly and that’s where the trouble comes in. We become complacent. That’s when growth stops and we move into a protective mode where we do what we can to protect the status quo. Talk about stressful! Have you ever fought to protect yourself from risk only to learn later that you missed out on a huge opportunity? That’s not a good feeling.

Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone is how we get ahead. Ever move up the ladder at work? Congratulations! You took a risk. Ever purchase a home? Congratulations! Another risk taken.

My point is that we all need an element of risk to propel us forward. Planning for risk helps us advance and grow. We manage risk through the establishment of metrics to monitor how our planned risk taking is going and then adjusting our plan to continue our forward progress towards our ultimate desire. The flow looks something like this:

  • Select the outcome we are most interested in achieving
  • List the risks we perceive to be associated with achieving that outcome
  • Rank or rate these risks on their potential to impact us resulting in a risk priorities listing
  • Plan for addressing each risk to develop the metrics we will use to monitor if or when each risk is impacting us
  • Adjust our progress towards the desired outcome to capitalize on the advantage the risk brings to us
  • Keep moving – don’t quit, and above all, don’t give up

The Barr Associates Groups: How will it work?

Value through group synergy

You’ve joined one of The Barr Associates’ groups. Congratulations on taking a positive step towards your future! Now you want to have some idea of how the group sessions will work and what you can expect. Good questions! And I’m glad you’re asking. Your time is valuable, your investment in your group is important to you, and it’s important to me that you receive high value for your investment in The Barr Associates’ group you’ve joined. At the end of the day, odds are you selected a group in order to grow your business. As an adult learner, professional development through groups offers you new avenues  to explore your options and get a grip on the best steps for business growth.

You can have confidence in the materials you will be using. As an affiliate of Resource Associates Corporation, any of the materials I use in any of my groups or individual sessions are constantly used by thousands of people around the US and continuously updated to be current and relevant to the current business real world.

There are two sources for information and reinforcement for you in your group. The first is through the listening or reading that you will do outside of our group meetings and the written exercises you will complete in between sessions. The second is through the synergy you will find in the group meetings. These two sources combine to give you optimal results for the growth of your business you desire. Whenever you are considering a learning environment, you owe it to yourself to be sure you have quality written steps to follow along with the synergy of people to serve as neutral sounding boards.

Can you make the changes you desire without assistance? No. If you could, you would have done so by now.

Can you make the changes you want? Absolutely. As humans, we are versatile learners with the capacity to change and grow as individuals.

Whatever your reason for joining The Barr Associates group, welcome!

How People Buy

This information comes primarily from a blog post by my friend Jay Niblick, founder of Innermetrix (http://www.innermetrix.com/index.html), the company that provides the DISC Index, Values Index, and Attribute Index tools I use. Thank you, Jay, for this great assistance!

The topic is sales. I don’t think it matters what you do, you are selling in some way even if your title does not include the word “sales” in it. Whether you are leading a team of people or trying to get someone to do something, you are trying to persuade the person to take action.

Many times we encounter people who seem reluctant to buy or who make decisions quickly. What’s up with that? The answer might be that their buying style is governed by their type of personality. Read these descriptions below to understand the different buying styles. When you recognize these styles, you will also know how to respond to people to move them through your sales process.

Buying Style #1 – The Decisive
The first buying style is called the Decisive. These buyers have a clear picture in their mind of what results they want. They are often seen as “Type-A” people, preferring to make buying decisions very quickly. They are more often interested in “winning” or “promoting their own agenda” so they like to buy when they feel they have “gotten their way,” so to speak. They are attentive to actions or communication that will speed up those results. Discussions about details and minutiae are distracting to these individuals. They prefer to discuss top-line, big-picture concepts when considering the value of any offering.

Buying Style #2 – The Interactive
The second buying style is called the Interactive. These buyers want to shape and mold events and enjoy “getting their way” when it comes to negotiations or buying something. Unlike the High D, however, High I’s tend to go about this by working with or through people – much more collaboratively. They are interested in people and like to interact with others, understand others and to be understood by others. They are most receptive to making a buying decision when they feel a sense of connection with the person, are in a more social environment and have had the opportunity to express their emotions, thoughts, fears or excitement about the offering first. Like the High D, this person is also particularly inattentive to details, preferring to stick to the big-picture and emotional benefits of the solution.

Buying Style #3 – The Stabilizer
The third buying style is called the Stabilizer. These buyers are more passive and introverted and interested in the how and why of a solution (i.e., the details and minutiae that the I and D couldn’t care less about). Their primary interests are in maintaining stability within themselves and whatever situation they find themselves in. Messages that don’t address the specifics, or that champion radical change, are likely to alienate rather than resonate. They prefer to buy things that will increase the stability in their lives, provide more security, and are well known and well proven. They prefer to “take their time” more than any other dimension so any offering should give them plenty of time to decide.

Buying Style #4 – The Conscientious
The fourth and final buying style is called the Conscientious. These buyers are also more passive and introverted. Like the High S, they too take a much more detailed (the most) and accuracy-based approach to their buying habits. Their buying decisions are very much driven by questions of accuracy, detail, reliability, level of proof, etc. Without sufficient data to prove any statements made to a High C, you will fail to achieve their buy in. Why is a favorite question for a high C buyer. Prove it is the second most common one. They are very concerned with doing things accurately. They are receptive to offerings that provide proof that the solution works, proposals that are meticulously detailed and absent of ANY grammatical mistakes or typos.

In my practice, understanding this type of information about the people I work with is invaluable to me. Approaching people in their style makes me more effective and makes their results better for them. I think this is a key to being a good business coach.

For more information or clarification on this, drop me an email at sbarr@thebarrassociates.com.