A good way of developing your understanding of the different types of behaviour is to consider what clues might suggest that someone else is either favouring or avoiding each dimension.
Clues can be divided into four areas:
- Voice. Often the pitch, pace, and tone of voice will give you a clue about which type of behaviour is in play.
- Expression. Faces are mobile features of the human body and often tell a story all on their own.
- Body Language. In a more general way, how an individual makes use of their body can provide valuable clues about what is really going on.
- Words and Phrases. Okay, they may only represent 7% of our communication, but they are still worth paying attention to!
Below is a link to a page containing the high-level description of the sort of behaviours you might see for each dimension (both favouring and avoiding). What they don’t give are the individual little clues which you might observe.
Study each one and add as many other clues as you can think of, using the four areas described above. For example, what would you notice about the voice of someone who favoured Tact and Diplomacy? Use the space provided to note down your thoughts.
- Someone who favours Tact and Diplomacy might have a soft voice and ask lots of questions.
- An individual who is avoiding Determination may shrug their shoulders and say “whatever” or “I’m not bothered one way or the other”.
- If you meet someone who avoids Sociability and Networking, they may avoid eye contact and look at their shoes.
Just try to come up with as many ideas as you can, as this will help you to learn how to spot these dimensions in the behaviour of your colleagues and stakeholders.