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Getting What You Want from People:

Using Personality Type Insights to get Buy In, Follow Through and Enthusiastic Participation on Projects, Task and Goals

By Patti Wood MA, Professional Speaker
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In the last newsletter you may have taken the smile personality test to discover your DISC personality style. If not check it out at …. This article will tell you how to figure out other people’s personality types and use that information to be persuasive.

Your boss walks into your cubical and says, “I need that project from you by 2:00” turns around and walks out. How do you feel? Well if you’re a get in done kind of person, you might appreciate that he didn’t waste your time with niceties and was in out. But if that is not your style you may get pretty mad. You’re really excited to tell your team you have a new project. It will require a lot of work and the deadline is almost impossible to meet without everyone putting in extra hours but your pumped. You go in smiling and read to rock.  Speaking with an enthusiastic voice and lots of gestures and rah rah language you tell the team about the project. How do they respond? Well if they are fellow expressive types they might jump on the band wagon with equal enthusiasm, but if they are get it right analyzers they are sitting there shaking their heads thinking of all the details that need to be taken care of, in other words all the mistakes that they will need to fix and how they will be spending every waking hour for the next three weeks. Different people need different delivery styles.

If you have an important idea to communicate to someone at work and you need other people's buy in, you have a task to assign to some one and you want to make sure they follow through, or you want to make sure you will enthusiastic participation what’s the best way to present your message? You need consider the personality of the person you are going to talk to and form a message and delivery style that suits them. We often go in to persuade someone using the style of communicating that is comfortable for us.  What we need to do is consider is the personality type of the person we are speaking with! Below are the four basic personality types of the DISC personality inventory and their characteristics. Read what each one likes and prepare you message and delivery style to match your communication recipients needs. Understand the underlying traits of the four main types, but know that most people are a combination.

The Supportive, also called the Amiable or Get Along. This type of person wants to be your friend. They respond to heavy use of the word "you" and the promise of an ongoing relationship. They like warmhearted friendly conversations and a relaxed pace. Ask about their weekend and their kids before you ask for work from them. In fact, you should build relationship credits with them every week so when you really need them you have relationship credits to draw on when you are in dire straights. Also know a warm Hello and a sincere thank you are as necessary as food and water to the Amiable. Amiable think carefully before taking any action and they don’t like change so you really need to talk them through any new projects or changes in old routines to get them to buy in and follow through otherwise they will keep doing it the old way or what they may consider the way that has “always worked before.” They need to feel a sense of security before moving forward. They best way to get work from an amiable is to become their friend.  Make your body language warm, smile, and your voice soft and relaxed.


The Influencer also called the Expressive or Get Appreciated. This type of person wants to be challenged they enjoy learning about new, exciting things. So if you present them with a new project they may jump on it just because it is new.  But because they loves new stuff they are easily bored and may not follow through on work that requires details or lots of small print forms and multiple steps. If you need that kind of detail work from them, you may have to check back with them or provide some sort of social interaction or pat on the back feedback when they do. For example, when they turn in their monthly time sheets or travel vouchers on Fridays let them know that they will get to sit and have coffee with you. Or instead of emailing in work have them present it at the weekly meeting! Or whenever they email those kinds of detailed projects to you, you send them a cartoon or funny photo or a personal email. They burn hot and cold, so keep your face to face or over the phone delivery lively. They like bold statements, new directions, initiatives, bright ideas and enjoy a good sense of humor. Expressive types like to lead and influence others so if you give them tasks where they can get other people on board you will have a highly motivated worker.  And if they are hip to your project they will be your rah rah cheerleader and supporter. They liked to be noticed and appreciated that is like food and water for them and feeds them deeply.

So now you know how to present you ideas projects and tasks to others. You can get more accomplished with a lot less stress. Make your body language energetic and open and your voice up beat and fast paced.

The Analytical also called the systematic or get it right.This type is smart careful and accurate. They crave facts and more facts and they have trouble making decisions but they have so many details to consider. They welcome documentation, lengthy testimonial and statistical evidence that proves your point. Explain until you are blue in the face, and they'll ask for more. They have great insights and opinions and don’t always get a chance to express them out loud so ask for them before you tell them, “Do it this way.” and you will get more buy in. Whether you give them a task face to face or through email they will email you back with problems mistakes and why it won’t work. Be prepared and if possible make sure you deal with their criticisms face to face or your project will drag out and weigh down with back and forth conversations and emails with what not analytical would consider minutia. Even when you think the “deal is done” they will want to come back with one more fix.  Analyzers are cautious because they want to make sure it is done the right way and produces the perfect result. They typically think if you just give them more time or let them do it their way they can make it perfect. To avoid delays you may even give a deadline for criticism and say, “Get back to by this date with problems and after that no matter what we will go forward. To make sure they are receptive, don’t interrupt them, they like their solitude and prefer to know you will be coming to talk to them rather than having you just drop by. Make your body language appropriate and reserved and your voice slow and low volumed and allow long silent pauses for them to think before they speak.


The Driver, also called The Bottom-liner or Get it Done. This type of person values brevity and makes quick decisions. They want you to tell them short and sweet what you do and what you want them to do. They like summaries and they want to be told their task.  Forget the boring details, and for goodness sake don’t repeat yourself. Make your email requests to them in bullet points. They can juggle multiple tasks but like the feeling of getting a task done. You may want to break long term detailed projects down into mini projects for them. They like to get things done and then move on. So don’t be wishy washy and give them something to do then change your mind about it. They fear a lack of control so they need to know they are in charge of their part of the project. They gain energy from being in charge and meeting challenges and forceful and commanding so know what you want say it and stick to it. Make your body language confident and your eye contact direct and your voice strong and fast paced.