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Understanding Other People

I just finished reading Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior by Beverly Flaxington. It had some great ideas to improve on personal  communication, persuasion, and influence.

  1. It's all about me.
    • For each of us, everything we see, hear, and do is filtered through our own personal filter with "me" in the center of the World.
    • The filter we pass the experience through determines how we will experience the outcome.
    • Learn to recognize the "me" in everything, and try to put it aside in relationships and interactions. Watch what other people do to predict their future actions based on their "me" filter
    • Find your triggers, watch your own reactions and how predictable you are
    • Try to be no one for a while, not yourself.
    • Practice being an interested observer - just find the facts and only facts. Focus on the other person.
  2. Our Behavioral Styles come between us.
    • The 4 P's of behavior (DiSC):
      • Problems (Dominance) - Dominant and Decisive - Tend to be confident and place an emphasis on accomplishing bottom-line results. A person primarily in this DiSC quadrant places emphasis on accomplishing results and “seeing the big picture.” They are confident, sometimes blunt, outspoken, and demanding.
      • People (Interacting) - Inspiring and Influencing - Tend to be more open and place an emphasis on relationships and influencing or persuading others. A person in this DiSC quadrant places emphasis on influencing or persuading others. They tend to be enthusiastic, optimistic, open, trusting, and energetic.
      • Pace (Steadiness) - Supportive and Steady - Tend to be dependable and place the emphasis on cooperation and sincerity. A person in this DiSC quadrant places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, loyalty, and dependability. They tend to have calm, deliberate dispositions, and don’t like to be rushed.
      • Procedures (Compliance/Rules) - Cautious and Conscientious - Tend to place the emphasis on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency. A person in this DiSC quadrant places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise and competency. They enjoy their independence, demand the details, and often fear being wrong.
    • Most people see the world, prioritize their activities, communicate with others, and act according to relatively predictable patterns of behavior.
    • Recognize what your Behavior Style is and try to recognize the behavior style in others to better understand their point of view.
    • No DiSC style is "better" than any other, and we all use each of the four styles as we go about our daily lives. DiSC simply helps us find out which style we tend to gravitate toward most — our comfort zone. With that knowledge, we can understand our underlying tendencies and preferences and adapt our behaviors to interact with others more effectively.
  3. Your values speak louder than you do.
    • 6 Attitudes of Spranger (Values):
      • Utilitarian (ROI): Every investment of time, talent and resources must have an adequate return.
      • Individualistic (driven by ego): I will advance to the highest position in life and gain the greatest power.
      • Theoretical (lifelong learning): I will use my cognitive ability to understand and discover truth.
      • Social (doing good for others, serving): I will give of myself, time and resources to help others achieve their potential
      • Aesthetic(looking for beauty in the world): I will enjoy and experience the beauty around me and allow it to mold me into all I can be.
      • Traditional (family values, religious like, right or wrong): I will pursue the highest meaning in life.
    • Focus on your top 2 values and the top 2 values of others
    • Remember that not everyone shares your own values and their priority
  4. Don't assume I know what you mean
    • Seek to understand not to assume
    • Put information in the context that matters to the other person not the context that matters to you
  5. I'm OK, you're not ok.
    • You cannot change anyone else. You can only change yourself.
    • Learn to step out of the theater (of your own life) - become an interested observer of your own conversations
    • Deep down, none of us think we're ok, and we don't think others are either
    • Work on practicing the feeling that you are ok


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