What to talk about –  Things or People?

Listen to what people talk about. People are either Task focussed or People focussed.

Task focussed people talk about things, activities, work and sport.

People focussed individuals talk about their family and friends and what they did with other people.

For example, let’s say someone is telling you about the restaurant they went to last night. The Task-focussed person will tell you about the difficulty they had finding the restaurant and then finding parking. They might tell you that they liked the décor and the meal and they had a great time.

The People-focussed individual will tell you about how they were catching up with friends they hadn’t seen for ages, they had lots of laughs. The waiter wand it was lovely to see friends again.

These differences between Out-going and Reserved and Task or People focussed  can be summarised in this chart.disc-simple






  • Outgoing Task-focussed individuals have the Dominance  and Powerful style of behaviour.
  • Outgoing People-focussed individuals have the Influence and Popular style of behaviour.
  • Reserved People-focussed individuals have the Steadiness and Peaceful style of behaviour.
  • Reserved Task-focussed individuals have the Compliance and Perfect style of behaviour.

When you are talking to people, listen to what they talk about. Build rapport quickly by asking them questions about what they focus on.


The Answers you get depend on the Questions you ask.

When you alter your pace and volume of speech to match the other person, you build rapport faster. Some people do this intuitively. But what do you do when you are texting or Facebook messaging? We can add a further dimension.

Out-going people are generally open and want to share and talk about everything with you. Reserved people are more closed and they have to like & trust you before sharing anything with you. They will give you one of two word answers. If they feel uncomfortable with the questions they will stop responding, hang up or not return your messages.

There are two types of questions you can ask

Closed Questions

These require one or two word answers especially Yes or No. They typically begin with

  • Where?
  • How many?
  • Which?

Questions such as

  • Have you thought of running your own business?
  • Where are you currently working?
  • How many children have you got?
  • What school do they go to?

Closed questions

  • Keep control of the conversation with the questioner.
  • They give you facts.
  • They are easy to answer.
  • They are quick to answer.
  • Generally they are non-threatening.

Open Questions

These require information to be shared and usually begin with

  • What?
  • How?
  • Why?

Questions such as

  • What are you working at the moment?
  • How are you finding that?
  • Why did you want to join our company?

Open Questions

  • Can make the other person feel threatened.
  • They ask the other person to think and reflect.
  • They will give you opinions and feelings.
  • They hand control of the conversation to the other person.

When getting to know someone, either in person, on the phone, email or messaging start with closed questions so that the other person doesn’t feel threatened. Then move to open questions. Do this slowly with the reserved person.


People Skills – Tip 1

One of the skills that you need to develop in network marketing is the ability to communicate well with everyone and build rapport quickly. Everybody is different. Some you will click with immediately while others take longer to understand.

The first step in building rapport is easy. Be a little like the other person, match their style of behaviour.
Ask yourself if the person is out-going, extroverted, loud or are they quieter, more reserved or introverted.









Then you need to match their behaviour. If you are out-going and a louder speaker but the other person is quieter, you must lower your voice and slow down the pace otherwise you might scare the person off.

On the other hand, if you are normally quiet and reserved but you are speaking with an out-going louder person you must speak louder and speed up otherwise the other person will find you too quiet for them.




In 1858 fingerprints were first used as a means of identification by Sir William James Herschel in India. He initiated fingerprints as a means of identification on deeds and contracts to combat the use of fraudulent signatures. Your fingerprints are unique to you.

So is your mix of the 4 styles. Two high-D people will not behave in the same way because this depends on 2 factors:

  • What percentage of D each person has and
  • Their mix of the other 3 styles.

What’s your phone manner?

One of the things I have observed is that after people learn about DISC, they do very little with it. They say “that’s interesting…” and carry on as before.

The key to success is understanding your own behaviour and its affect on others. Relationships are all about communication so you need to recognise how and when to change your own behavioural style to communicate better.

When you are on the phone……quickly identify if the person you are talking to is out-going and louder or reserved and much quieter. Then it’s up to you to match their style. This will make them feel more comfortable. Your communication will be better.

If you are a D or I-style, make a conscious effort to speak slower and softer with a S or C-style. Conversely if you are S or C-style you’ll be more effective with the D or I-style if you quicken your pace and speak with more force.

It’s a load of rubbish…..

Have you heard that before? On a few occasions that has been the response to a DISC report. There will of course always be the sceptics. A negative reaction can be generated by fear…. fear of something “wrong” being exposed about the person’s personality or not wanting to be labeled the same as someone else.

I think it is important to stress that the DISC model describes behaviour. It isn’t who they are but how they behave in a given situation. And there are degrees of that behaviour, like the D response of anger. It can be a short outburst of anger by shouting or a full-on rant.

We can control a particular behaviour any time we like. The I-style is talkative but they don’t have to fill a quiet space all the time with the sound of their talking. We can change our behaviour whenever we want. It might take practice but a quiet shy S-style can learn to be a dynamic public speaker. The C-style can learn to compromise on perfection in order to get a task completed on time.

Labeling is a mistake. It’s one of the reasons why DISC is preferred to some of the other Behaviour Models. Each person is unique with their own percentage of each of the 4 styles. Its a long time since I did the maths, but a number from 1 to 100 combined four times give a huge number of combinations of percentages. Yes we are unique. So although using the expression”You’re a High-S or a High-C” is quick and useful, it would probably be better to say “you have lots of S or C” so that we don’t stick a label on someone.

Communicating with DISC….

Happy New Year to all my readers. I’m looking forward to a great year…it’s been a good start already with the safe arrival of my second grand child Isabelle. Didn’t think I would, but I am enjoying this grand parent role.

My new book on Happy Relationships is finished and published as an ebook but there is more work to be done on it. (Note to self: next time publish the book after you do a course on being a successful author.)

I am working on a new website where you’ll be able to enter your answers on-line. I’ll let you know when it’s live.

One of the most important thing about DISC is remembering to use it in our communication with others. We all have our preferred medium for communicating but it may not be the same as the person we are communicating with. This can lead to misunderstanding.

A high-C man had an appointment with a client, a high-D. An emergency cropped up so our high-C sent an email to the client apologising that he could not make the appointment that day. Now the high-D client only checks emails once a day, preferring instant communication by talking in person or on the phone so wasn’t happy when the high-C didn’t show up. He thought the high-C should have phoned him to tell him about the cancellation. A misunderstanding simply because the wrong communication was used.

To my coach readers….. have you purchased copies of “DISCovering the Ultimate Tool” to give to your new clients to get them using DISC in the workplace?

It’s now on Amazon
or I can send you copies…. just email me.