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The study of behavioural styles has long been a focal point in management theory. Understanding these styles allows managers to not only build trust, but also to form highly productive teams. Managers can harness the power of behavioural styles to foster effective collaboration by delving into the elements of behaviour. 

What are behavioural styles? 

Behavioural styles are divided into four main styles, each of which people have to varying degrees. While everyone has elements of several styles, one tends to dominate their approach: 

Managers: How to Choose Behavioural Styles to Build Trust

The four main behavioural styles managers can use to build trust are: 

  • Director/Go-getter: Target-focused, direct, work to deadlines, and will want to achieve results at any cost  
  • Socialiser/Promoter: Sociable and extroverted, influencers, who communicate assertively and loudly to achieve goals.  
  • Thinker/Analyst/Examiner: Conscientious and meticulous, work carefully, precisely, and to budget.  
  • Nurturer/Relater: Caring and friendly, steady people who like routine, and are known for their reliability and consistency.  

No single behavioural style surpasses the other. We need the combination of all four styles within a team to allow cohesion and success. A diverse range of styles promotes a harmonious and dynamic workplace. 

Building Relationships to Build Trust 

Being a manager is really difficult. If you want to build trust, you need to build relationships. It is powerful to understand the people on your team’s behaviours to build relationships.  

Thinking about why your team members do what they do, so you can trust each other. If you adapt to others behaviour, you will enhance your relationship and won’t be as frustrated. Behavioural styles serve as a guide to understanding how your teams work, allowing managers to address issues and thrive in their roles. 

Building Relationships to Build Trust

Do you treat people the way YOU want to be treated or the way THEY want to be treated? 

My mother always taught me to treat everyone the way I would expect to be treated. Yes, this is a good ethic to have, but does it work when you are trying to influence others as a manager?  

If we treat people the way we expect to be treated, we are not understanding how they work and adapting to their needs. While treating others as you would like to be treated is a noble principle, it may be ineffective when attempting to influence others as a manager. Change your focus to managing the team, identifying their needs, and then building relationships. 

As Dr. Tony Alessandra, who based his work on Behavioural Styles said, “Treat people the way THEY want to be treated.” As a manager, you must understand the unique needs of your team members in order to foster comfort, likability, and trust. This understanding, derived from behavioural styles, provides managers with the insight to effectively cater to individuals’ preferences.

Do you treat people the way YOU want to be treated or the way THEY want to be treated?

Behavioural Styles in Real-life Situations 

Allow me to tell you a story about a manager I coached recently on the topic of Behavioural Styles. Despite being a successful manager, he was frequently frustrated by two members of his team. When he felt frustrated, he often would become emotional. What appeared to be minor irritations escalated to the point where he reacted negatively instead of cooperating with them. 

Just Get on With It! 

I’ll tell you about one situation he had recently. In meetings, one particular person would ask question after question after question, needing to know all the information in detail. At first, the manager was fine with this, however as time passed, he would become very angry and not want to answer the questions. He just wanted to get on with the meeting because he had so many other things to talk about in the meeting. The situation escalated with the questioning really niggling him until he snapped and became aggressive, telling him to ‘just get on with it.’ 

What the manager didn’t realise was that this team member had a thinker/analyst/examiner personality driven by a desire for specifics and details. The manager, on the other hand, was a director/go-getter who prioritised efficiency and saw the detailed questions as a waste of time. 

I went through an exercise with this manager about ‘How to Connect with a Thinker and you can learn some top tips I mentioned in this YouTube video.  

Giving it Time 

After coaching him, he realised he had to give this more time, more details and ask them if they had any more questions. In changing his thought process and his approach to the situation, his frustrations stopped. He became more patient, and he understood why each member of his team behaved in certain ways. 

The Power of Understanding 

By understanding individuals’ behavioural styles, managers can establish more effective connections, thereby improving working relationships. This understanding also helps managers and team members improve their mental health. A more constructive work environment is created by cultivating positive relationships, allowing for smoother goal achievement and increased productivity. 

If you want to delve deeper into this topic or explore tailored strategies for your team, book a strategy call with me here. You can also learn more about NOVA Associates’ A-Star Programme which aims to help managers enhance a culture of positive mental health to think, feel, communicate, and manage like a leader. Visit www.novaassociates.co.uk/management-programme  to know how this programme can help your management team achieve unshakeable power, passion, and productivity.