Social Style and Versatility
Whether you’re building relationships with colleagues, prospects or clients, focusing on outcomes or closing the sales deal, Social Style and Versatility can help you close more sales, be paid more, and be get on better with people.
At our brilliant Virtually Yours conference the Social Style and Versatility was the second of three sessions, linking networking and pitching – because what do those involve, if not people? And it’s the people with whom we need to make the emotional connection, and who will buy us – or not.
A reminder about Style and Versatility. It’s:
- A model based on people’s patterns of external behaviours i.e. what they say and what they do, most regularly, that gives them a Style profile (Driver; Expressive; Amiable; Analytical)
- We have developed patterns because we’re trying to behave in a way that’s comfortable for ourselves, meet a certain need and relieve tension
- Our Style patterns aren’t fixed. They’re about behaviour, which can be changed. We should change our behaviours when we’re dealing with a person and/or situation that demands it, for better outcomes for all
- The more we practise different behaviours, the easier they become and the more natural they seem. Then we’re seen as more Versatile
- Versatility is a sign that we’re doing something for others i.e. putting their needs alongside ours. People higher on Versatility are considered more emotionally intelligent (EQ). IQ is important, as is technical skill and knowledge. EQ is the final jewel in the crown, the one that lifts you head and shoulders above the rest
Here’s a quick overview of the four Social Styles.
And here are the behaviours each Style uses most frequently. Think of someone you know well. Which table best describes them?
So, so what? What if what you’re approaching a person/situation isn’t working? Enter Versatility. It’s the ability to focus on other Styles and what matters to them, demonstrating behaviours that are familiar to and make sense to them, as they try to meet that key need:
- Driving – results
- Expressive – personal approval
- Amiable – personal security
- Analytical – to be right
If we do that enough, the other Styles usually reciprocate by using behaviours that make sense to us.
The four pillars of Versatility are:
- Image Dressing appropriately for the occasion versus your own comfort and presenting a good general demeanour to the outside world
- Presentation Comfort presenting information and tailoring it to each person's/ group's level of comprehension
- Competence Helping others achieve their goals – flexibly, creatively, optimistically - keeping going when times are tough and doing a job well
- Feedback Practising and demonstrating empathy; listening and interacting well effectively and give them time even when – especially when - you don't feel like it
Some ways to show Versatility.
It was fascinating to watch the screen last week (we were in the Zoom Room for this part of the conference) and see how much, or how little, people gave in the way of cues and clues as to whether or not they were enjoying the session.
For some it was immediately obvious, and for others came via the comments in the chat function that we used for capturing people’s thoughts, as well as their responses to LinkedIn invitations. People taking the time to say in writing how much they’d enjoyed the session was hugely appreciated, and a salutary reminder that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – those people who don’t show emotions/reactions too readily are experiencing the same range internally.
Building relationships and rapport fast has never mattered more. Giving cues and clues – whether through the background against which you’re working (bin those screen filters unless you absolutely can’t) – and/or your behaviour is invaluable. Ask yourself whether you need to ramp those cues and clues up or down, and remember that this isn’t about sacrificing your sense of self or your authenticity. It’s about doing something for others, and helping yourself in the process.
See you at our next online conference!