Examiners: Can You Give Me More Information?
A step-by-step walkthrough ...
If that is your response to someone telling you about their business, then you are exactly the sort of person I want to address in this week's blog post ...
If you're an examiner then you're going to want to know the detail!
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I will give you a step-by-step walkthrough on how understanding the psychology about behavioural styles will enable you to work with those annoyingly emotional people who will insist on asking you personal questions instead of focusing on what you met to discuss.
As this is a blog post, I will only be able to give you an introduction to the subject of DISC behavioural style profiling. Along the way, I will give you some suggested reading if you want to get into more detail.
For those of you who want to relate to people who seem, to you, to be too detailed and reluctant to engage with you in any personal way then do read this.
These are great people to have in your contact list as long as you understand where they are coming from. They need all the components of the issue at hand in order to assess how to respond to you.
The roots of our understanding of how people behave differently to the same stimulus goes right back to antiquity; however, in modern western psychology, it was first formally codified by Dr. William Moulton Marston in 1927 and has been researched by many others ever since.
It is now a standard assessment tool used widely across the globe and validated across many different cultures to help people learn how to relate and influence each other.
In essence, the observation is that while each of us has a unique mixture of different priorities in the way we behave, we tend to have a preference to make decisions and respond to others in one particular way. It is the way that seems most natural to us.
Dr Marston's insight was that this was across two axes. First, some people are fast paced, making instant decisions and reacting on instinct, while others are more measured, preferring to collect more information and analyse it first. Secondly, some people focus on the people first while others focus on the task first.
This blog post is designed to appeal to those of you who fall into the category of measured-paced and task-focused preference. We have a generic name to describe this, we call people with this style 'examiners'.
They like to collect and analyse the facts and evidence before reaching a conclusion and choosing how to act. They have a distrust for merely acting on impulse and intuition and allowing emotion to colour their judgement.
There is a lot of sense to taking this stance, however, relating to others being this focused can mean they miss opportunities or get frustrated with others who don't have the same style as they do. They may also have something to add to the debate that would aid you.
A good first choice to learn more about this is called The Platinum Rule: Discover the Four Basic Business Personalities and How They Can Lead You to Success by Dr. Tony Alessandra and Dr. Michael O'Connor.
More cutting edge research into neuroscience and psychology is demonstrating the value in integrating both the conscious, intellectual and accurate powers of our human brain with the equally powerful, faster (although less accurate) circuits of our unconscious emotional brain. A really good lay book to read on this subject is Daniel Goleman's Social Intelligence.
I 'm going to focus on giving you just four tips to bring your emotional side into play a bit more when relating to other people in order to gain new business opportunities.
This is, after all, my area of expertise and the point of my blog post:
Acknowledge that other people refer on emotion ... and so do you. You get a punch of exasperation (or more) with people who openly express their feelings at what seems an inappropriate moment. You probably rationalise it as unprofessional. Well, you are reacting emotionally, but unlike them, you just don't express it out loud.
Engage in pleasantries at the start and end of your conversation. Other people need them to establish a bond with you. Professor of Anthropology Robin Dunbar calls it 'social grooming' in his book Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language.
Be interested in their world and let them into yours. You value privacy highly; however, a little self-disclosure will help people to establish trust with you. They are sharing with you for the same reason.
Wait until they ask before you go into the detail about what and how you do what you do. You may not notice, but others will glaze over long before you get bored. Research shows (again from Daniel Goleman) that you only have someone's full attention for four sentences. So practice being succinct and giving an overview.
If you have a different style and find Examiners hard work then do read on. Examiners are a fount of information and great people to bounce your ideas off as they will ask the detailed questions and check your assumptions.
Once on your side, they will give you high-quality introductions as they will have checked them out properly first. So how can you adapt?
Be reserved. Examiners don't do high emotion. So tone it down a bit and leave out the drama. They value their privacy so wait for them to offer personal information rather than ask for it. The same goes for sharing your personal information.
Be accurate. They will take you literally so the expression "be careful what you ask for as you might get it" applies here. They are also really hot on spotting grammar and typos so do proof read your written communications.
Provide the detail. They will not act on suggestions and, as my title suggests, these are the people who when they ask for more information really want it. Check with them what information they need don't assume you know.
Allow them to give you lots of information. They will think you're not interested if you don't allow them to explain the detail. They believe you should not make a decision without the full facts. Be prepared for long conversations and if you don't have the time there and then, say so and arrange how you can get the information. Remember this is information on business not on personal subjects. Examiners find it hard to join in with small talk and gossip.
Report back the evidence on what worked. Examiners work on evidence so supply the data on what actually happened as a result, more than just proclaiming "it was fantastic!". It will stimulate them to help you further.
There is a lot more I could add to this blog post, but I've already gone way over the recommended word count! If you're interested to learn more about how to influence people with different styles do come on my workshop this January.
Here's where you can get more information and reserve your place.
Until next time ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those “aha” moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forwards. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!