Just how flexible are you?
I'm not talking about winning at twister, or being able to climb through a tiny bathroom window….or touching your toes!
I'm talking about that ability to be able to flex and adapt your natural behaviour to a range of different situations or people - whilst still being authentically and congruently you!
'Flexing' is a word we use a lot when we're talking about the DiSC model.
It's important to flex your behavior, flex your style, flex into another persons' style in order to build rapport, connection and trust. It's respectful and helpful to be able to meet other people's needs if your outcome is to build a positive relationship with someone.
- But how easy do you find it to flex?
- Just how flexible are you?
- And how far are you willing to flex in order to connect effectively?
If you're someone who finds it a challenge to flex at times, you're not alone. Many people find that it's something that needs some dedicated thought and practice.
The great thing is that signposting from the DiSC model can make the whole thing more straightforward for us. It helps us to understand what particular behaviours we need to attend to and modify in order to build better relationships with different people.
Of course there still needs to be the will to flex and when you allow yourself to properly consider the benefits to you, the people you work with and the collective outcomes you are working towards, the motivation to make some changes can start to emerge. Equally, a consideration of the 'pain' of not flexing whenever some relationships are clearly 'not working' can also help motivate you to take some ownership, get in the driving seat and make the kinds of changes that can make the journey smoother - for everyone!
It is all about choice of course and the question 'to flex or not to flex?' can only be answered by weighing up pros and cons and costs and benefits within the particular circumstances you are considering.
The awareness that comes from understanding the DiSC model provides you with the route map that can guide your next moves if you choose to proactively improve things through flexing your own behavioural repertoire.
A question we get asked frequently is 'how far should I go?'
Again this is all about personal choice related to the circumstances you are in and what you want to achieve.
If you've ever played with a rubber band and pulled or twanged it as far as it can go (a bit like pulling on a catapult) you'll know that it can reach the point where it feels like it might snap. In my view, that's a flex too far. It feels too far removed from who you are and you may start to feel incongruent.
The thing is that you can actually tweak it quite a way before it gets to that stage - (go on…if there's a rubber band handy give it a go!)
The point is that you are probably a lot more flexible than you give yourself credit for and you can speak to other people's preferences and meet their priorities and needs really well without having to have a 'personality transplant' or show up as totally different to your own preferred style.
Just putting more emphasis on 'results' in your conversation with someone with a strong 'D' style or showing a little more personal interest in the human being if they have an 'i' or 'S' style or turning up more prepared and organised for a meeting with someone showing a strong 'C' style … all of these things, even if done moderately, will be steps in the right direction and can make a tangible positive difference in your day-to-day connections.
In short, flexing will help you to get along better with others … and that means better results, better connection and more enjoyable times!
So if you're not quite sure what to flex or how the DiSC model works…have a look at our video 'What is DiSC?' for some tips and ideas.
As always, let me know how you get on … and….
Find out more about Everything DiSC profiles and products by visiting us at the World of Learning exhibition (at the NEC, Birmingham, UK) at Stand B160 (Wiley)
By Julie French at 26 Jun 2014, 15:36 PM
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