Build Better Teams

How to Be a Great Leader (Part 1)

When we mention the word leader, most of us think about politicians, religious leaders, or CEOs. However, we are all leaders in our life.
Whether you are a CEO, a team leader, or simply a parent, each of us has someone we need to lead.

But, leading is not easy. Ask any parent, and they can confirm this.

When leading others, we have to keep in mind their personality, how they react to certain situations, and how they need to be led efficiently.

Here are my secrets of the trade.

You can find all about different personality styles here. If you are unsure about your personality style, or the one of your child, spouse, or employee, take a DISC assessment appropriate to the age here.

Leading high D styles

Disc Model: D type personality

In order to steer your high D in the direction you want them to go, here are the things you need to give them:


High Ds require freedom to make choices. Suppose you need to limit their crazy ambitious ideas. In that case, you need to give them a couple of options but leave them the flexibility to make the final choice.
Even if we’re talking about having a high D child, it will be much easier to get them to bed every night if you allow them to choose their own sleep time from two to three options. They want to be their own boss.


Being micromanaged is not something a D will be on board with. Actually, if you try to do that, you will probably end up in a conflict with them. They want to have the authority to make decisions by themselves, so all you need is to give them the tools to be successful and look at them making things happen!

Varied activities

High Ds don’t enjoy repetitive tasks or doing the same things day in and day out. They need a challenge (and there is no challenge they can’t do!). Their brains, as well as their bodies, are always active and engaged. That’s why they need diversity in everything they’re going towards.
In the business world, you will notice a D in the position of a project manager or an entrepreneur will often start a task and leave it halfway to move on to something more interesting instead of waiting for things to unravel. But it is possible to keep them on task using step number four.

Difficult assignments

High Ds see this as a way to accomplish greatness. And there’s nothing more that they want from being great.
In the workplace, accomplish this by assigning them anything from letting them tackle a software they never worked with before to working with a new person on the team. You have to keep them engaged at all times, as they are looking for ways to move forward. Because they need:

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Opportunity to advance

Whatever a high D is doing, they want to take it a step forward. Keep in mind that whenever you create a task and an expectation for a high D, they will go and do their best to exceed that. And they will most likely succeed in that.

Provide direct answers

Simply put: cut to the chase in most of your communication with a high D.
Ds are self-motivated, so there’s no need to chit-chat before giving them an assignment or trying to make them feel good before getting a task. You need to be clear, provide them with a task, expectation, and deadline, and you’re out!

Stick to business

This is especially useful in the workplace. High Ds react great to leaders who come to work to — work. They want to get stuff done and detest the icebreakers, chit chat and any other aspect of communication at the workplace that is not directly connected to work.

Let them know the goal

When giving out a task to your high D team member or your child, you must tell them what the end goal of that activity is. They need to focus on the result so that they can use their freedom to make choices along the way (remember the first two things on this list). You can trust a high D to find the fastest and most efficient way to reach the goal.

Put in some pressure

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While people-oriented styles dislike the pressure of a deadline, a high D responds excellently to pressure. This makes them rise to the challenge. They will put in extra work and be concentrated and productive. Once again, they want to be seen as successful, and they will use a pressured situation to prove how well they can perform.
If putting pressure on others is taking you out of your comfort zone, keep in mind that by doing so, you will get a high D motivated to do what needs to be done.

Allow freedom for personal accomplishment

High Ds are box breakers, and they will think outside the box whether you like it or not. So don’t box them in in the first place.
Give them freedom for personal accomplishment. If you do that, you might find there is a new process for everyone in your company to use or just an easier way to clean the gutters on your house. It is also exciting to watch when a high D is coming up with something new, as they get really innovative. So, just set the goal and few limits (financial, etc.) and let them work their magic. You will love the end result, I promise.

Leading High I styles

High Is are all about fun, so you need to keep that in mind. Also, if you want to lead them, this is what you need to give them:


Being a center of attention is something a high I enjoy. Suppose they are the best salesperson in the office. In that case, they want to receive a handwritten note, have a bit of a party, and enjoy the CEO shaking their hand in front of an entire company…
Interestingly, high Is is that the more dominant the I style is in them, the more attention they will want. If they are far away from the center of the DISC graph, they will want to be celebrated all day, every day. While if their results are somewhat lower and closer to the center of the graph, they will develop some self-awareness and will not need all the attention.

Friendly relationships

Is are people-oriented, and they lite to get involved with others.
That means that a cubicle is just a fictional boundary for them in the workplace, and they will be out of it every five minutes to go network and work with others. If you are a leader of a high I, you need to keep this in mind.
However, this can be used when you need some brainstorming or teamwork; as a high I will be happy to share ideas with others and get people to move in the right direction.

Opportunities to influence others and opportunities to Inspire others

These two opportunities might sound the same, but they are not.
Influencing someone is defined as the capacity to affect the character development or behavior of someone or something or the effect itself. So, a high I want to change how others think about something and change the action they’re going to perform.
Inspiring someone means having the ability to do something creative or draw forth or bring out. In this case, we can say a high I will use persuasion to get others to move into action or draw from their potential. 
What connects both situations is that a high I is very optimistic, and they are capable of seeing the big picture that someone can achieve. And they will help them get there!

Democratic leader and a friend

High Is respond best if they have a chance to be involved in the outcomes of what’s going to happen. To be more exact, if they feel you as their leader are their friend too, they will move mountains to do whatever needs to be done.
To achieve that in an I, you must be able to listen to their ideas and give them the recognition they are looking for. Ask them for their statement and feelings often, and they will respond by putting their all into a task you assigned them to.

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Social involvement outside of work

As mentioned before, high I like to engage with people and form relationships. They don’t want to keep them inside of office walls; they want to transfer those relationships outside of work. They like to be involved, and you will lead them easily if you invite them to bowl, a game, fantasy football league, etc.
For a high I, a relationship is significant, and the more you nurture it, the easier it will be to lead them.

Recognition of their abilities

It would be best if you fed the ego of a high I. The easiest way to do that is to recognize what they do well. Every time you speak up about how well they did something, it will put a little extra to your relationship with a high I, and they will return enormously.

Incentive for risk-taking

By nature, Is are not risk-takers, and that’s why they require an incentive to do so. But this doesn’t have to be money; it can be anything from starting a bowling league if they take a risk to go on a nighttime badminton game if that’s what they like. And they want fun more than anything, so keep that in mind.

Atmosphere of excitement

If you want to make an I do something, promise them (and deliver!) fun activity that they can be involved in.

People buy from people (they trust)

So many people in the business world are trying to close sales, and an equal amount of people are tweeting and posting about how to do it. After all, that is the ultimate goal in business; close more sales, do more deals, and gain more revenue.
I consider myself to be the Guru of closing more sales. I don’t care if you’ve got a small or big team: I’ll help you close more sales. I have been doing it for more than 20 years, so hear me out.

Build professional relationships from the get-go

Closing sales will not happen if you only focus on answering objections and following up. What I find to be a successful tactic and what I have been teaching CEOs and managers how to do is look at the professional side of building relationships.

There are a lot of techniques that will help you get to 6, 7, or 8 figures sales. However, none of them will work if you don’t build your foundation:

  • Speaking people’s language.
  • Meeting them where they are.
  • Reaching out positively.

The DISC method is the tool that can help you tremendously in that segment. However, it can help only if used for good.

That is a principle I emphasize whenever I speak in any organization and one code I will not give up on. Understanding DISC lets you understand yourself first and then understand others. So, a devil might appear on your shoulder, pushing you to use that knowledge to manipulate others into making a deal with you. However, it is crucial to shut the devil up and use the DISC tool to predict the reactions of others so that you can adapt your behavior and close that sale. This way, you will build a long-term relationship, and this sale will only be the first of many.

Hunters vs. gatherers

Hunters and gatherers are found not only in agriculture but also in the sales industry.
Hunters are salespeople who go out there to make a kill; they want to close the sale fast and are always looking for fresh meat. These salespeople don’t mind doing a lot of cold calling, being in people’s faces, and always looking for the next business to contact. They want to go out, make their presentation, offer a price, and sign a deal. So obviously, there is no business relationship in this scenario.

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Gatherers or farmers are on the other side of the spectrum and all about the relationship. When they are trying to close a sale, they maintain a high level of rapport with a person and a high level of enthusiasm and awareness. They make a sale by always being present and providing value to customers. Once customers need something, they will come to a gatherer knowing they have always been there. They have provided an image of an expert.

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The most important thing to know is both styles can be successful salespeople. But job benchmarking is crucial, and different styles take different roles.

Typically, suppose you talk about a hunter salesperson. In that case, you want to lean more towards a D or a C personality style. They are based in the world of facts, and that’s what a hunter needs to be successful.

A farmer will be thinking about how an action will affect them and their employees, so you should look for a high I or a high S. They live in a world of relationships where they can be fully people-oriented.
There is a way for anyone to act in these roles. You can learn more about how to adapt to the other style here.

How to pick the right job in Sales?

When you’re looking for a job in sales, and you’re a D or C, you don’t want to be on the other side of the equation, the farmer row.
I know you are not interested in the private life of your potential customers, nor do you really want to know how they feel on a particular day. You want facts, percentages, and data. Dealing with people who want to exchange pleasantries is easier for Is and Ss. By the time they reach a sales deal, they’ve already established a relationship. And they’re sharing information, just like they would with a friend. As opposed to: it’s a potential client. And it makes it easier for them.

How to pick the right person for the job in Sales?

If you are in charge of a sales team, before thinking about a sales process, consider: how quickly do I want to close a sale? Do you prefer your salespeople to get in and get out, or do you choose them to develop a relationship?

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Ds and Ss are task-oriented folks, so they will treat a sale as a task. Checking the boxes and doing a lot of work drives them. So if you’ve got a quick turnaround and a shorter sales cycle, Ds and Ss will be perfect for you.

Is and Cs will take their time to develop a relationship with a client and have a good time. The more they get to know the client, the better they feel about their product and prospect and will be able to close the sale, but not as fast as Ds and Ss.

Be careful if you try to put a high I or a high C in a hunter role and cut down their time with a client. What this will bring out in them is a sense of inadequacy. If they just met someone and they need to make a pitch and sell something, Is and Cs will feel fake, and unnatural and will have a lot of difficulties while presenting your product or service.

Do you know who is your target audience?

As in many other aspects of business, the target is essential when making a sale. I’m not talking about an industry here; I’m talking about knowing who is the decision-maker in a company that you want to close a deal with.
Who are they? What are they like? What motivates them, and what makes them make a decision the way they do? If you can tap into that knowledge and understand that human behavior has a pattern, you will close a sale.

People buy from people (they trust)

You must have heard that saying that people buy from people. And the one that people buy from people who they trust.
Trust is established differently on different sides of the circle. Knowing who you are selling to is key to closing a sale. Here are some examples.

Is and Ss have to like you before they trust you.
Is are people-oriented, and they like to have fun. So, they work best with people they feel are relatable, engaging, with a good sense of humor, and with comfortable people. Once you’ve made them feel comfortable and smile, that automatically links them to the following: this person is representing a company, and they must share the same core values. I know they will take care of me because they are concerned about me. As a customer, the rule for Is is: I like this person and want to do business with them.

Ss need time to relate to a person and get the trust going. Quick sales are not for them, as they will feel pressured to make a decision, and they don’t like to do that fast. Ss need time to process, and they might even need a salesperson to come back for a couple of meetings. What they really dislike are changes. So, if you are trying to introduce something new, they will think about its effect on them and their people. So, for selling to Ss, the rule is to give them time to get to know you and your idea, let them know the next steps and what will happen, and the sale is yours.

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We find our Ds and Cs on the other side of the spectrum. They have to trust you before they like you, and if they don’t trust you, you will never make a sale.
How do you create that trust? Give them facts and data; they want to see that evidence. Unlike when trying to sell to an I, you are history if you start telling jokes to a D or a C. If you don’t talk business, they will see you as a fake.

When selling to a D, you need to tell them what your product or service will do for them in terms of percentages. What’s it going to do for their organization? Is it going to improve something in their life again if you’re going b2c? Or is it going to prove something in an organization if you’re going b2b? You get the point.

A high C as a customer will want to know why they should buy it, does it makes sense to them? Is it going to have a logical progression if they start where they are right now and add your product? What is it going to look like? You can convince Cs as long as you give them the facts and that logical progression. The glass is always half empty for them, so you need to fill it up with logic.

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The story is the key

Regardless of who you are selling to, you need to be able to tell stories, and they are the key. If you can tell a story about your product or service, or experiences you’ve had, you can touch both sides of the graph.

In D and C customer situations, you must address stories about the data, the process, and the logic of something that happens. Whereas for the other side of the circle, the Is and Ss, you got to stir emotions and really tell a story about people and something about your product or service that impacted someone and made a positive change.

Remember: you need to know yourself and others to make a sale. When you know how to recognize a different personality style (and you can learn all about that here), you will be able to communicate without difficulties.

Even if you are in sales right now, reflect on who you like to sell to. And how do you want to do it: are you a hunter or a farmer? Connect the two, and the sale is yours.

Discover the Secrets of Body Language

It is a well-known fact that almost 93 percent of human communication is non-verbal. That’s why body language is so important, and it can tell you a lot about a person you are with or meeting for the first time. We’ll discover the secrets of body language to use that tool to avoid miscommunication at work, home, or at school.

When you meet someone for the first time, a person will likely have to look at you and shake your hand while being introduced. And those couple of seconds will right away tell you who did you just met.

Look me in the eyes

Body language is many things, but the first key point you need to watch is eye contact. If you get immediate eye contact, you know you are dealing with an outgoing type right away. So, you probably just met a D or an I person.
Secondly, keep your attention on the handshake. Steady eye contact with a firm handshake tells you that this is a D person. Granted, you might have met some D personalities in your life who were looking everywhere but in your direction. If they are not interested in the topic or current activity, Ds will do that. But, if they are engaged, they will be right there penetrating your eyes.
All of this will be accompanied by pointing. Ds do not shy away from delegating, and they will point in the direction of a person they want something out of very often. While doing so, they will move fast as if they are impatient, which is another clear clue of a High D.

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When you notice all these body language characteristics, remember that High Ds dislike being casually touched. They are not huggers, not even when a big day is in question. While they will sometimes get up in your face and cross personal space boundaries, they do not handle physical touch very well. Most you can expect from them is a pat on the back.

There is always room for comedy

D’s aren’t the only ones who use big gestures and eye contact. You can expect this from a High I as well, and however, you will notice a much friendlier posture from an I right off the bat.
Unlike Ds, who will point at people, Is will use their hands to communicate and keep open palms. They rarely cross their arms and like to keep their hands on the side of their body.
Their amusing mentality and posture will give them away because the need for people to like them is at their core. You are definitely dealing with a High I if you meet someone for the first time and get a joke or two, funny punchlines, or even a little stand-up comedy performance.

Cool Hand Luke

As mentioned at the beginning of this text, eye contact is the first point that will help you decide whether a person is outgoing or reserved. The second crucial part is gestures. If they are big gestures, motioning with their hands a lot and moving around, that tells you they are expressive. However, if they lack minimal gestures or have none at all, you are working with a reserved style: S or a C.

Ss will be very cool, to the point where they don’t try to stand out. The way they speak and move is general; they are welcoming and friendly, but a lot of that is set to mute. Their gestures are reassuring, gentle, and harmonious. Their face will be a poker face. If you can’t see anything in their expression and struggle to figure out what they are thinking, that’s an excellent clue that they are a High S.

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Another tell for an S is if they ask good questions, but they sit there, nod, and listen. They are, at their core, great listeners and will make you feel great after the conversation due to that. No drama, just listening and helping others.

Turn that frown upside down

Another member of we-don’t-gesture-a-lot-team is an S personality style. What will differentiate them from an S is they will stick to the facts and data in their conversation. They won’t make much eye contact, and you can recognize them by a scowl they have. You might think that the person you just met is unhappy with what they are hearing but most likely: they are an S personality. Due to being data-driven, they think a lot while listening and assessing everything all the time. Because of concentration on this, their face automatically frowns. Those frowns are normal. That unemotional side of things is kind of where they live. Don’t worry; you are doing okay (unless you tried any sort of physical contact. Just like Ds, they are not good with that).

Keep in mind that somebody can fake a lot of body language. We are taught that a firm handshake is essential in the corporate world, so that alone doesn’t have to tell you a lot about the person. A High C can learn to smile broadly and give a firm handshake when meeting someone as a sign of respect and authority. So, that’s why it’s essential to look at the whole picture.

Also, as body language says a lot about others, it says a lot about you. And you can learn how to manipulate it to get a message you wish to convey across. What can help you is lessons from Tudor Alexander. He is a professional ballroom dancer and coach who knows the importance of body language more than anyone. You can listen to his advice HERE.

Understand Colleagues by Their Photos in the Office

After two long years, it is slowly time for us to return to the office. That means it is time to take parts of your home that provided comfort to you during the pandemic and strategically put it around your office.
By doing so, you will show your coworkers or employees what kind of personality is yours. This works in another way as well. Maybe you have someone new in the team who joined the company during the pandemic, and you are unsure of their personality in real life. Look at their office or cubicle, and you will get your answers.

Note that office décor can tell you a lot about someone, even if your company doesn’t allow many decorations or changes to the workspace. Seeing a spotless desk or piles of papers will show you the difference between D and S. This will allow you to adapt your communication with that person and avoid conflicts at the workplace and missed deadlines due to miscommunication.

What to look for?

Even though we are talking about mysteries office décor can reveal about a team member, it is crucial not to snoop. These are hints about what you can notice while passing someone’s cubicle or while stopping by for a friendly chat.

What you can notice is:

  • is the workspace nice and tidy, or you are struggling to see the person behind stacks of paper
  • are there any pictures of family, friends, or pets
  • did the person bring any plants to their desk
  • can you notice any diplomas or certificates standing proudly on the wall
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Signs of success and sticking with the classic look

Imagine a traditional corporate lawyer office: big mahogany desk, leather chair, plaques, and awards all around. That is a typical High D office. These people tend to have an ego on the bigger side, and they love to win.
So it is no wonder they like to show their signs of success. Any award they won (especially connected to work) will be framed and will find its place on their office wall. While the walls will be neatly arranged with framed certificates and bookshelves, you will see a completely different image if you look down at the desk.
The desk of a High D is usually filled with different documents and papers, and it might even look a bit messy. However, rest assured that this person knows exactly where is which form. They might have to shuffle through their stacks, but they will find what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds.
Once you see this classic, formal office look in front of you, find the tips on successfully communicating with a  D personality here.

Colorful sticky notes and search for…anything

Have you noticed some awards on the walls of someone’s office or cubicle? This person could also be a High I. They will put up some awards, but it will most likely be the Employee of the month kind of thing.
What will separate them from others is personality. They want to make their space their own, so you can easily spot monogrammed Tervis cups, for instance. But an essential part of the workspace of a High I is the one that signals they are not most detail-oriented. That’s why there will be sticky notes on top of sticky notes, with the whole desk being on the messy side. They will often go through everything on their table to find something and keep bumping into things they were looking for just yesterday and couldn’t find it. And it was under their nose all that time.
Putting things in a specific place not to lose it, then lose it anyway, find it by accident and then remember why it was set at that place in the first place is a classic I characteristic.
They are people that are all about fun, so here is how you can communicate with High I in the most effective way.

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Warm and cozy space

While we all enjoy having a piece of home with us in the office, High Ss are the ultimate champions of this sport. They are all about making their space warm and cozy, a space that will give them a homey feeling. This is not a surprise as High Ss dislike conflict and enjoy having peace surround them. So they try to achieve exactly that in their office. They might not be excited about coming to the office every day, but they want to create space to make them feel safe about coming in every day.
Look for family pictures from a trip to Disneyland they took, or even notes from their children. It might easily be World’s best mom or dad award if you see any awards around. The space will tell you a lot about their family, while it might not tell you a lot about the person behind the desk.
The desk will tell you about their process of work. One side will have a stack of inbound emails and documents that are yet to be handled, while another pile will have everything that’s outgoing from them. Daily routine: starting from A and finishing with Z is evident on a High S desk. Please make sure not to disturb the peace and routine they cherish so much by following tips on communicating with a High S here.

File folders in alphabetical order

A desk filled with file folders and trays that are color-coded and alphabetized will, without a mistake, be a desk of a High C person.
They are hyper-organized and functional. These people can always find what they are looking for since they have logic behind everything on their desks. They’ve got those 42 tasks they’ve got to get done today. Everything in their destiny needs to be created and set up to be the most efficient way to get those 42 things done.
They actually think about the most efficient way to set documents, pens, and papers around the table. This will go as far as thinking that if they are right-handed, anything incoming document should be placed on their left side. In contrast, right-hand side piles will be divided into done, for now, to be forwarded and done. Think: super organization, and you will see a High C desk.
Another tell they have is that instead of having awards and plaques on their walls, High Cs will most likely have a set of graphs all around.
An important thing to remember is not to mess up the system, while the other tactics for good communication with a High C can be found here.

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Check out what Liz Parker, a certified behavioral and strategic growth consultant has to say about office decor:

Five Secrets to Successful Hiring – Part 4

Hiring is very challenging in this day and age. Finding and keeping good people seems to be harder than ever. But if you follow a few easy steps and use emotional intelligence, your next hire might be the best one you ever had.

You can find previous steps in narrowing down the number of candidates for a position HERE, and then move to step No. 4:

Asking the right questions.

To manage to hire the right person for the role, your interview questions need to match the personality style you are talking to. I suggest using the DISC method for this purpose, as I have been using it in my own company for two decades and have had amazing results with it.

But to put things in perspective, it is good to know what percentage of the population what style is taking. The results are in, and they say:

D style = 10% of the population

I style = 25 – 30 % of the population

S style = 30 – 35% of the population

C style = 20 – 25% of the population

With simple math, we can see that Ss and Cs combined makeup up around 60 % of the population. That means:

60 % of the population of the planet Earth is the reserved kind.

That means most people on the planet don’t want to be the first to speak and they don’t like to talk about themselves a lot.
What do most HR people lead with as a first question in an interview? “Tell me about yourself”.
That is an EPIC fail. It’s a bad idea.

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“Tell me about yourself” is a question that works well only with about 40 percent of the population. So, we need to have tools in place that allow us to ask the appropriate questions.

Dividing the interview into two segments

Naturally, a lot of questions will be specific to your industry and the role you need to find. However, before you dive into role-specific questions, you should spend the first 10 to 15 minutes of an interview getting to know the person sitting across from you.

To help you with that, I have prepared example questions for you to use for different personality styles. It’s completely free and you are free to use these questions in your recruitment process and as a base for forming questions that will be more specific for your line of work and the core values of your company. The link for your “Best rapport-building questions for different styles” is HERE.

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Remember, you want to follow job benchmarking so that you can match the people to the role, and that has to be applied to questions as well.
If you follow my question guidelines and steps that I have laid out in previous posts, you can create around 45 minutes worth of conversation with solid questions that will show you what kind of person is sitting across from you and how well will they fit in the company and the role that you see them in.

The more specific question you can get, the better.

Think of this when you are thinking of the questions to ask.
The rule of thumb is to have the first 10 or 15 minutes of the interview orientated towards hitting their personality style that you got in one of the first steps, and then you will go to the question that will be directly connected to the role. This will be the time to check their past experiences and see can they show you where they showed their core values that are aligned to your companies core values.

How all this looks in practice can be seen in the video below. I’m sharing my tools and the step-by-step process I’m using in my own company. Glad to help!

Concise Adult Version

This 6-page report provides essential feedback with an accurate measurement of your personality blend. Your report will include the following:

  • Words that describe you
  • Your strengths
  • Keys to Excellence
  • Your value on a team
  • Your DISC personality graphs