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Start with Hello: How to Convert Today's Stranger into Tomorrow's Client by Linda Coles

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Chapter 13

Behavioural profiles

We considered behaving, but it’s against our nature.

O.R. Melling

In any business communication, whether it be in person or virtually, it really helps to know what sort of person you’re talking to, and by that I mean their behavioural style, which makes up their behavioural profile.

Determining people’s behavioural profiles fascinates me and I believe everyone should have a basic understanding of it. Not only can this information give you a better understanding of why you do some of the things you do and feel the things you feel, but you can understand other people more clearly too. I think it’s a great skill to have in business, but also one that anyone living with a partner or family should also understand.

The concept of profiling behaviour was developed in the 1920s by psychologist Dr William Marston, who had a theory that there are four basic personality types, characterised by the following letters: D for Dominance, I for Influence, S for Steadiness and C for Conscientiousness (or DiSC®). Incidentally, Dr Marston was also credited with developing the first accurate lie detector.

There are many behaviour profiling tools available and they all work on the same principle; they just use different icons or names. One adaptation of DiSC® is BEST (bold-expressive-sympathetic-technical). Another adaptation, Dr Gary Couture’s version, uses bird names (dove, owl, peacock and eagle) and others use four different colours, shapes and so on. They’re all ...

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