Customers vary in the way they approach us, talk to us (or don’t talk to us) and make decisions. Just as we differ in the way we deliver service to them. Most of the variety comes from different social styles we all use in contact with the outside world.
What is a social style, anyway?
The social style is our public “I”, that we use to interact with people. Our social style is our best, most comfortable and easiest way of dealing with others. It’s like our favorite clothes we put on in the morning while getting ready to go through the day.
Our social style is developed when we are babies and toddlers. At that time, some of our behaviors are reinforced while others are repressed. This way, we learn that some behaviors are more likable than others. Here’s the tricky part: other people, on their journey to adulthood, get different messages about their behavior and develop different styles of communication.
When we grow up, we meet with a variety of behavior expressed by other people, feeling “likes” and “dislikes” towards each other due to our own social style.
The key to understanding each other better is to understand ourselves first. As you go on reading, try to place yourself in one of these styles. Then take a look at how you can approach customers that differ from you.