If you were to think of someone with a dominance-style behavior, who would come to mind? Last week we discussed the DiSC behavior model and described the Dominance style as someone who is fast-paced, action-oriented and generally somewhat skeptical.
Donald Trump, Gordon Ramsay, and Simon Cowell seem to fit this style, don’t they?
Now, think about the TV show The Office. Who best exhibits a Dominance style?
Did Michael Scott pop into your head? He is the regional manager after all. It would be easy to assume that the one in charge is the “D.”
Actually, the character that best exemplifies Dominance behavior is the Assistant to the Regional Manager (and beet farmer extraordinaire) Dwight Schrute. Here’s how he once described in himself: “hard-working, alpha male, jackhammer, merciless, and insatiable” – all classic Dominance behaviors.
Dwight is also not very adept at interacting with people. Though he attempts to please Michael, his inability to relate to others in the office is a common theme.
Now, what about the Steadiness style? As you may recall, individuals with strong Steadiness behavior are slow, deliberate and trusting.
Examples include Jimmy Stewart, Mr. Rogers, and Charlie Brown.
What about The Office? The two best examples of the Steadiness style are Kevin and Pam. One of the defining storylines for Pam in the early seasons of The Office was her long engagement to Roy who was never willing to commit to a date.
So, let’s put Pam and Dwight together. If Pam needed Dwight’s help with something, what should she do? Her best approach is to cut the small talk and make the request directly and with confidence. In other words, she needs to adapt her style to match his.
On the other hand, what would happen if Dwight needed Pam’s help? Simply marching up to her with demands won’t work. Instead, he needs to adapt by slowing down and showing a genuine concern for whatever Pam is currently working on.
Communicating well with others doesn’t mean ignoring your personal characteristics, but it does mean being willing to adapt your style to get things done.