Mirroring Others' DISC Types To Build Trust

By Shanna Bennell on July 19, 2016

If you use DISC in your business or personal life, you already know the benefits it can provide when it comes to communicating in a way others will receive more effectively. What about taking the concept one step further and extending your knowledge to include body language and speech patterns? Mirroring the behavior of others, while speaking in person or on the phone, can make communication easier and more effective.

It is important to distinguish between mirroring and mimicking. Mirroring picks up on the subtleties of body language, such as tone and stance. Mimicking copies their behavior directly and may come across as ridiculing.

Mirroring means being aware of the nature, mood, and feelings of those around you. It can bring people closer and build trust when applied effectively.

Don’t Steamroll the Conversation

When approaching an introvert (sometimes an S or C personality type), match their vocal patterns, volume, and mannerisms so you can avoid putting them on edge. If you are a D or an I personality type, this may require some practice. Taming your natural instinct of telling in a conversation and switching it to an asking conversation will allow an introvert to participate more comfortably.

When you share information, following with a trailer such as, “Does that make sense?” or “Does that work for you?” gives them a chance to be heard and to engage. You may also choose to lower your voice, if they speak quietly, and slow down the flow of information to give them time to process and formulate questions.

Don’t Be Long Winded

When communicating with a D personality type, provide the information necessary and ask if they need any further direction. By the time you finished your first sentence, your D personality type was already likely making plans on how to accomplish the task or come to a conclusion. Bantering on and on will only slow down their momentum and cause frustration. They will let you know if they want further clarification. Welcome them to call on you later if any questions arise.

Appeal to the People Person

Your I personality type friends and coworkers are likely notorious for being great with people. Be sure to tell them the many benefits of what you are asking of them so that they can carry that inspiration with them. I personalities will be your greatest assets when selling products or pitching ideas. They are passionate about concepts or products they believe in and can motivate others to feel the same excitement.

Constantly Be Mirroring

Though DISC is a guideline for communication, people’s motivation, needs, and engagement changes constantly. Be ready to adjust your DISC to match those of others at a moment’s notice.

You can practice this with everyone you meet, in the grocery store line, at the coffee shop, or on a flight across the country. When you meet someone new, mirror their behavior and watch as they become more at ease and friendly with you. Mirroring on the phone will also create a greater sense of comfort in communication, even though you may never speak face-to-face.

Understanding DISC personality styles through the study of behavioral analysis can help you learn how to mirror those around you for reducing conflict and improving relationships and communication. Learn more about our Introduction to Behavioral Analysis course for a better understanding of your self and the behaviors of others:

Learn more about the DISC Intro Course

About the Author: Shanna Bennell

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