Improving Interpersonal Effectiveness at Work




Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, DiSC, Hogan, HEXACO. I’ve taken so many leadership and team development assessments, but within weeks of having the outcomes explained to me I never seem to remember how I can use the results. Then, last summer, I learned about the SOCIAL STYLE behavioral model. It related to the work I did on my dissertation and was so easy to immediately apply that I used it in my Communication for Entrepreneurs course in the spring and the Executive Education course I taught this summer.


The SOCIAL STYLE assessment measures people’s observable, verbal and non-verbal, behaviors. Research behind the model suggests people are one of four styles, and people within each style has their own preferred way of acting, thinking, and making decisions. You can use the model and the following four steps to improve your interpersonal effectiveness.


  1. Know yourself: Understand how others tend to perceive people with your style.

  2. Control yourself: Neutralize your behavior and understand how it could contribute to interpersonal tension.

  3. Know others: Identify other people’s styles by observing them in various situations and looking for patterns to emerge.

  4. Do something for others: Adjust your behavior in ways that allows others to act comfortably according to their own style.

The assessment identifies your SOCIAL STYLE and gives you a Versatility score. SOCIAL STYLE becomes fairly stable in early adulthood, but Versatility can be taught. Interestingly though, there is gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. In fact, over 50% of the time self-perception for SOCIAL STYLE differs from the perception of others, and 65% of people see their Versatility differently from others. This suggests there’s great value in 360° surveys.


I recently became a SOCIAL STYLE & Versatility Certified Instructor. Contact me if you are interested in learning how this tool can help improve you and your organization’s effectiveness.