BLUF: I am seeking advice on how to soften my communication style.

after receiving some feedback recently I am looking for advice, guidance, reference material on how to soften my communication style. Being a high D I can be abrupt and rather terse at times. Any comments welcome.

mattpalmer's picture

The best possible recommendation I can make is to attend an MT ECC.  You'll learn how to identify the other person's preferred communications style, and adapt how you communicate to bring yourself closer to theirs.

Absent that, here's the 10 second version.

If you're talking to a high I or a high S, smile a lot and talk more about feelings and people rather than tasks.

If you're talking to a high S or high C, take a couple of decibels off your voice, don't wave your arms around so much, and avert your laser-beam death gaze every now and then.

If you're talking to another high D, enjoy the fight!

- Matt (7114)


pegman's picture

 I hope the chaps come down to wellington New Zealand. Have you read any good books on the topic?

mattpalmer's picture

I recall that Mark was in New Zealand just before the Sydney conference last year; I don't recall if that was a conference or just a chance to play golf.  There are two conferences in Sydney next year (May 13/14, and TBA in October), and I know there were a number of NZ people who came over just for the conference last year, so that's an option, too, if there isn't enough interest in a purely NZ conference.

I haven't read any good books, because I got pretty much all I needed to know from the ECC.  I'm sure other people will have lots of useful recommendations, though.

svibanez's picture

The Effective Communications and Human Relations course ("The Dale Carnegie Course") set me on the path to overcoming the same issues you describe.  I found Manager Tools after that, in my search for more guidance.  The two of them combined have made me aware of my natural style, and allowed me to modify it as necessary for the situation.

The main text for the course is "How to Win Friends and Influence People."  It's a great book in its own right, but you'll get so much more out of it if you take the course.

I haven't made it to an ECC yet, but I believe the Carnegie course will give you a good foundation if you need to wait for a conference that's convenient for you.


DiSC 7114

pegman's picture

 Good call Steve,

I have not picked that book up for many moons. Time to get back Into it.

I am keen to hear more details about your Dale Carnegie course. What did you learn about and how did they teach the material?

svibanez's picture


The DC course is based on Carnegie's 30 human relations principles, which the book explores in depth. They also have a handy pamphlet available for download from their website that serves as a daily reminder (for me), or your local DC trainer will probably give you one when/if you meet with them to determine whether the course can help you achieve your goal.  The course gave me a great foundation that made it easier to implement all the new things I've learned from Manager Tools.

You'll typically have reading assignments each week, along with giving a couple of short talks.  There will also be exercises during each session to help drive home the concepts you're covering.  It's a pretty intense experience, and you'll learn a lot about yourself in the process.  My instructor briefly touched on the DISC model, but just left it for us to explore on our own if we so chose.

The course has changed some since I took it about 3 years ago (down from 12 weeks to 8 weeks), so it's a bit more concentrated. They didn't remove any content, it just takes a shorter time to complete.  The key to successfully implementing the teachings is to keep them fresh in your mind and work on applying them every day.  It also helps to have a support network of some sort - I meet a friend occasionally for coffee and to discuss how we're applying the principles.  We also give each other challenges to complete before the next meeting (typically ~3 months apart).

Note: I do not work for, nor have I ever worked for, Dale Carnegie in any capacity.  I'm just a highly-satisfied customer. I took the course once and assisted in teaching the 8-week course once.

I know this is a bit rambling, but I hope it gives you some idea of what to expect.


DISC 7114

GlennR's picture

I took the Dale Carnegie course back in the 80's. It was a great ROI then and I'm sure a great one now. I highly recommend it as it has both professional and personal benefits. In talking with fellow graduates, we've found that we all took it for one reason, but found ourselves benefiting from it even more for other reasons. For example, I took it to become a better speaker and found that I benefited more from its stress reducing techniques.

Even today, I find myself frequently quoting one of his human relationship principles. It complements MT completely.