Many years ago, I was part of a company where a key account manager instructed her administrator to call together a number of internal staff for a project meeting, to which the client was also invited. The administrator made the comment in the email invitation that she had attached a copy of the agenda. I replied saying that Bill, a colleague of mine who shared a similar sense of humour to me, would bring his own “Hidden agenda”. Later that afternoon I received an email message from the key account manager saying that my reply was entirely unprofessional, particularly given that I had used “reply all” to an email that included the external client.
At this stage of my professional journey I had just become familiar with the four quadrant Behavioural Styles model, and I knew that I was dealing with an account manager with a Red behavioural style (which some models described as a Driver). Now, I had every right to defend myself, because the key account manager had failed to notice that my “Reply all” email did not include the external client, so the unprofessionalism that she was accusing me of with copying in the client was actually unfounded. Not only that, but I had worked with the external client and with Bill in a previous company (a fact which the key account manager was familiar with), and even if the client had been copied in, he had a great sense of humour being a Yellow like myself, (or an Expressive) and Bill would have been fine with it as a Green (or an Amiable). So, it would have been very easy for me as a Yellow to dismiss the Red’s tendencies, but instead I knew from the Behavioural Styles model to stretch myself to understand and appreciate perspectives that differ from my own. I realized that this Red account manager was much more task-oriented than me, placed much less value on humour in relationships, and more value on professionalism than I did as a Yellow. That stretch on my part to understand her perspective meant that rather than getting defensive, I instead made every effort to validate her concerns, and offered to apologize to the email recipients, but primarily make a genuine commitment to increase professionalism in my written communications.
Understanding some of the flaws in my behavioural style and some of the strengths in hers helped me to adapt my style to accommodate her perspective. As a result the trust in our relationship grew immensely (when it could have been seriously derailed) and we are still friends to this day, many years later.
Behavioural Styles is by far my most popular and entertaining workshop content that has been requested by businesses over the years in presentation form. My delivery of this presentation has people moving around the room and laughing at each other and themselves in such a way that leaves people talking about their “colours” long after the conference has concluded.
This Behavioural Styles presentation achieves three main outcomes:
- Firstly, it provides a very simple system for understanding your own behavioural style including your strengths and challenges
- Secondly the simple system can be used for easily categorizing the behavioural style of others, sometimes within minutes of meeting someone for the first time
- And thirdly when you understand your own behavioural style and can categorize others, then you can identify the potential areas for conflict in the relationship and adjust your style accordingly, especially if you’re behavioural styles are opposing in nature
This presentation can be delivered as a standalone subject, but is often combined with other complimentary presentation content such as courageous conversations. It can also be delivered as longer, more in depth workshop content.
As with all of my presentations I customize this Behavioral Styles presentation to the specific industry or professional realm that I’m speaking to. I do this by initially consulting the client to understand the needs of the audience. I then solicit both the names of senior leaders and those closer to the front line to conduct interviews to ascertain pain points and specific challenges. This provides invaluable information for me to customize my presentation specifically to the audience in question and in doing so I’ll make at least 25 references specifically to their world in any 60 minute presentation.
And one thing I can guarantee with all of my presentations- that no coroner will ever provide a ruling of “death by PowerPoint!” I have my audiences laughing, on their feet, interacting with each other, and have audience members on stage with me doing live demonstrations! And all of this mixed in with thought-provoking, and riveting stories that keep the audience engaged the entire time!
Feel free to give me a call to discuss the Behavioral Styles Presentation further!