Archive for March, 2011

Communicating For Successful Outcomes – Building Relationships Through Understanding

Communicating For Successful Outcomes – Building Relationships Through Understanding

Successful people and effective teams accept and value the diversity of others. In today’s diverse workforce, we have to set aside prejudices, preconceived notions, biases, assumptions and judgments about others. By appreciating the contribution of diverse talents and uniqueness that each of us brings to the world, we can truly respect people and maintain effective relationships.

People see the world differently. Respect and appreciate those differences. They are no more right or wrong than you are. They are just different. It does not make it good or bad — just different. Our interpretation of situations is influenced by our personal paradigms, values and needs. No one else has the same unique combination.

The more we can understand about others, the more we can set aside the need to judge their behavior by our personal standards. Once we understand the basic styles, we can adapt our communication and actions in ways that will enhance understanding and develop better relationships.

Here is a guide to improving communications with each DiSC Behavioral style:


To communicate effectively with the Dominance style, realize that their main interest is in controlling for results.

  • Get to the point; be specific
  • Do not waste time, speak and act quickly
  • Keep the conversation focused on business
  • Provide options
  • Provide an overview, but have details ready
  • Be decisive and self-confident
  • Let them make the final decision


To communicate with the Influence style, realize they value interaction, new ideas and recognition.

  • Let them do most of the talking
  • Allow time
  • Avoid arguing; look for alternate solutions if you disagree
  • Make your presentation stimulating and exciting
  • Look at the big picture without getting bogged down with details
  • Be open to their new ideas


To communicate with the Steadiness style, realize their main concern is relationships.

  • Spend time on relationship before jumping to task
  • Be patient; draw out their ideas and concerns
  • Be cooperative, not pushy
  • Show sincere interest in them and their feelings
  • Gently explore areas of disagreement without open conflict
  • Be encouraging, building their confidence


To communicate with the Conscientious style, realize their main interest in analyzing for risk avoidance.

  • Present facts and data rather than ideas
  • Give them time to work through the details before making a decision
  • Avoid surprises; minimize risks
  • Ask them to help in finding facts
  • Be organized and logical
  • Be patient and cover each point thoroughly
  • Give them time to be comfortable with the situation

“Another leadership quality that contributes to all this is the willingness to see the other’s side of a question, and not must have your own unshaken views. Conviction in your beliefs is important, yet you also need to be open to everyone’s creative input.” ~ Kathy Keeton

Optimism Rebounding

Optimism Rebounding

A 2010 Survey Shows 61 Percent Feel the Health of the U.S. Economy Is Improving

When the first signs of life appear from the most challenging economic environment in decades, it will be critical for businesses to think and act quickly to capture opportunities. A 2010 survey of members of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) shows that women business owners believe that time is now. A 61-percent majority of NAWBO members surveyed feel the health of the US economy is improving, and will be better at the end of 2010 than it is today. This is up from 54 percent in 2009 and just 26 percent in 2008.

Other NAWBO survey highlights include:

  • With respect to their own business prospects, 65 percent expect improvements in 2010, while 11 percent expect them to worsen and 24 percent remain about the same. Last year in contrast, 54 percent believed things in their business would get better, 15 percent thought they would worsen and 30 percent thought they would hold the line.
  • Plans for employment are likewise on the rise: 34 percent of NAWBO members will hire new workers this year, compared to just 24 percent who said they’d be adding jobs last year. Just 9 percent will be trimming staff levels in 2010, compared to 17 percent who said they would be doing that in 2009.
  • NAWBO members’ capital investment plans are also on the rebound: 21 percent plan to increase capital investment this year, while 33 percent will stay the same. In early 2009, just 17 said they would be increasing capital investment, while 40 percent were planning on holding the line.

NAWBO logo“This year’s NAWBO survey is an excellent example of the growing optimism among women business owners in particular,” says NAWBO President & CEO Helen Han. “While women business owners are optimistic about the year ahead, they remain concerned about key issues such as the state of the economy, business tax issues and the cost and availability of health care. Issues like access to capital, national security, education policies, federal contracting opportunities and immigration reform also rank high.”

For example, when asked what President Obama and Congress should address in 2010, health care prevails (at 51 percent), followed by:

  • The economy (37 percent)
  • Reducing taxes/tax cuts (24 percent)
  • Access to capital for small business (17 percent)
  • Reduce government spending/less government/reduce deficit (16 percent)
  • Jobs/unemployment (14 percent)
  • Terrorism/national security (12 percent)

As the unified voice of more than 10 million women-owned businesses across the country, NAWBO—in partnership with international advocacy services firm Hogan & Hartson—will be addressing many of these issues that impact women business owners in 2010, beginning with access to capital and federal procurement opportunities “The mission of NAWBO encompasses propelling women entrepreneurs into political spheres of power worldwide,” says NAWBO Public Policy Committee Chair Kelly Scanlon. “We are excited to be in a strong position to actively engage in the political process to make an impact for women business owners both now and in the future.”