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SOCIAL STYLES Conclusion: Moving forward!

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills, and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

In a series of blog posts this month, I've introduced the SOCIAL STYLE ® methodology for identifying four interaction styles of most workers. They are: 

Today I will summarize and help you and your team gain higher versatility. 


SOCIAL STYLE is the world’s leading behavioral style model. It has been used by thousands of organizations to improve leadership performance and sales results. Each of the four Social Styles have positive and negative characteristics when working with others, but research shows that people of any Social Style can be successful in any profession.

If someone’s Social Style is not inherently good or bad, what is the point of studying these behavioral preferences? Understanding Style allows you to identify the preferences of others and modify your behavior to make others more comfortable. This is known as versatility, and it is strongly linked to career and business success.

In this series I focused on what type of fuel each Style needs to be successful. The more we understand the fuel of those around us, the more proactive we can be in meeting their needs, developing a productive relationship and, most importantly, getting results.

What fuels each Style?

  • Driving Style people are fueled by getting results. They are assertive, independent and focused, but can be seen as cold and impatient. These are the members of your team who are focused on getting things done.

  • Expressive Style people are fueled by attention and approval. They are relational, enthusiastic, and creative but may not manage their emotions appropriately. These are the members of your team who get others excited about what's happening.

  • Amiable Style people are fueled by stability and security. They are relational, supportive and adaptable, but may not speak up or share their feelings if they perceive they will create conflict or won't be well received. These are the members of your team who will bend over backwards to make sure everything is OK and have a bad habit of putting others' needs ahead of their own.

  • Analytical Style people are fueled by making the right decision. They are logical, organized and detailed, but can be indecisive if they don't feel they have enough information. These members of your team will cross t's, dot i's, and make you think about things you never thought of.

Each Style has positive characteristics that make them valuable to your team, while also having negative characteristics that can make them challenging to work with. SOCIAL STYLE is all about understanding others' Style, making an effort to fuel others correctly,and getting desired results together. 

Achieving High Versatility

Versatility is our ability to adapt to people and situations as needed. If we have low versatility, we expect others to adapt to us. When we have high versatility, we recognize the value in meeting people where they are and working together to get results.

I am an Expressive Style which means I'm assertive and emotional. I'm fast-paced, creative, and relational, but can become frustrated when things aren't moving at the pace I want or I don't feel my ideas are being considered or respected.

I achieve versatility when I am able to get out of my own way and adapt to the Styles of others and fuel them properly. When I work with people who have a Driving Style I am less "fluffy" and more direct. When I work with others who have an Expressive Style, I am creative with them, but I try to be more detailed and logical. When I work with people who are Amiable, I try to be more steady and compassionate while making them feel like they can do anything. When I worked with people who have an Analytical Style, I know I need to be more thoughtful and organized and they are likely going to ask me questions about things I either don't find important or I haven't thought of.

Low versatility is becoming annoyed with others for whatever reason and allowing that to affect the level of trust and respect we have for them, ultimately impacting how we work together. High versatility is understanding people are different, appreciating what everyone brings to the table and fueling them properly because we know that is the best way to achieve results and achieve success skills mastery.

Things to think about:

  • Are you owning your Style? (the good, bad and ugly)
  • Are you fueling the people around you properly? (if not, don't get mad when their performance suffers)
  • What do you need to do to achieve high versatility? (It is a choice to be made.)
  • What if your whole team achieved high versatility? (That is leadership.)

I've been fortunate to work with hundreds of leaders across the United States. There is a difference between people who strive to achieve high versatility and those who expect others to adapt to them because of their ego or position. As you might imagine, their results are quite a bit different too. Commit to high versatility.


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