Emotional Intelligence

Less than 30% of people speak YOUR language

People often refer to Emotional intelligence as a soft skill. And while it may be a soft skill, I think it’s one of the most fundamentally important things we can teach anyone. Regardless of age, the line of work, or any other parameter: we all need to understand people better.
In fact, I think every institution of higher learning, whether that be colleges or high schools, should be teaching some thoughtful emotional intelligence classes.

I believe each and every one of us should encounter and know more about emotional intelligence because it gives us a better understanding of the world in general, starting from ourselves.

If we can better understand ourselves and then branch that out to understand others, how much better will our communication be? How much better are our personal and professional relationships going to flourish?

Shocking statistics

Suppose you think you are a good communicator without emotional intelligence. In that case, I have a newsflash for you: only up to 30% of people you communicate with daily speak YOUR language.

Here’s how we all function: we are all a unique blend of traits, which sets us in one of the personality style groups: D, I, S, or C. (Check links on the right-hand side for more information about each style.)
Each of these styles takes up a certain percentage of the human population. The highest one is an S personality style, with up to 30 percent of the population being part of it. That’s why we can deduct that no more than 30 percent of people you talk to every day speak your language.

Communication can get even more difficult if you belong to the D personality style. The human population has only about 10 percent of High Ds, so if you are one of them, every time you open your mouth, you’re going to be speaking in a way that’s not going to work for 90% of the population. That’s a huge number!

Communication is a two-way street!

The key to understanding others is understanding ourselves

Statistics are there to give us a breakdown of the situation, but we can work on it. Obviously, it is almost impossible to change your personality style (and why would you do it? You are unique and amazing just the way you are.) However, by getting to know yourself, you become more aware of how other people perceive you.

The key to understanding others starts with understanding ourselves. It is essential to know that I view the world a certain way, and I give and receive information through the lens of my view of the world. On the other hand, you have your lens, brought to you by your culture, geographical position, family, religion… you name it. And this diversity of lenses applies to every person on the planet. So, how do you know your message that’s being set out to the world through your lens will be perceived just like you intended it to?

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The only answer is self-awareness. To gain it, the first step is taking a personality assessment. It’s not a test, it’s an assessment that will allow you to see to which percentage of the world you belong. It will give you your strengths and blind spots that you’re not even aware of.
You’ll find out why you talk the way you do or behave the way you do. Why do things that motivate others don’t do the trick for you?

DISC assessment, which you can find here, can be done by you, your family, teens, and children… Even for leaders or salespeople specifically (it helps so much in the workplace!)…
It costs less than one month of Netflix, while your results will last a lifetime. It will help give you more self-awareness, which will provide you with more awareness of others and then give you the ability to adapt your behavior to meet others where they are.

Give emotional intelligence a chance, and it will come back to you tenfold.

Does a High D Make the Best CEO?

People ask me all the time does a high D make the best CEO? The truth is, most CEOs are a high D personality style. However, that is not necessarily a pre-requirement to become a great CEO.

We find so many high Ds among CEOs because they don’t take no for an answer and see a climb up the corporate ladder as a challenge. And they do love the challenge!

In reality, any personality style can be a successful CEO. But most will lack the drive to do whatever it takes to hold on tight to the corporate ladder while climbing it. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of your strengths and your blind spots.

Suppose you are lacking Emotional Intelligence Component as a high D CEO. In that case, you will have blind spots that will prevent you from being successful.

A blind spot means something you don’t see but everyone else does. So, buckle up and get ready to find out what they are and how to work on them to climb the corporate ladder even faster.

I’ll start with your strengths as they are equally important to be focused on, as they are your wings to success.

High D Strengths


High Ds want to do everything possible to meet the objective. Whatever you set up as a goal, you will get there each time. And you expect your employees or colleagues to work toward that goal, too; fewer excuses, more results is their motto!

Innovative mindset

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Whatever goal you reach makes you think about the next big idea. The way you think in every area of your life is strategic, forward-looking, and innovative. They not just think, but they know they and their organization can always do better. High D likes to think about the future and imagine what can be done, and then come up with a crazy idea to get to what they imagined.
If you work for a high D, know they think outside of the box, so be ready to hear about things that have never been done if you have a High D in your workplace.

Direct communication

When a High D wants to tell all about an out-of-the-box idea for the next goal set, they will do so in a straightforward fashion. People probably won’t get a lot of extra information; just a big, scary goal is set, followed by “I know you can get it done. “
As a colleague of a high D, if you expect a bit of chit-chat before setting a scary task for you, think of this blog as your wake-up call!

Initiating activity

As we mentioned, high Ds want to get things done, so they are all about execution. They want to do as much as it is humanly possible (sometimes even more than that) in a day. They make quick decisions, sometimes based on facts, sometimes on their gut, and sometimes based on a combination of the two. But, they never sit around and wait for things to happen. They make them happen.
If you don’t like to wait for a decision to be made so that you can continue to do your job, you’ll love a high D in your company. They can turn a whole project in a completely different direction in a matter of minutes. They make quick decisions because they see an opportunity. And when they see an opportunity, they go after it!

High D blind spots

Setting too high standards

The big, scary goals that I have mentioned a High D will put in front of others can sometimes be too big and too risky. Sometimes, what they have envisioned may not be doable in the real world or in real-time. This can sometimes be a good thing, but in most cases, a high D needs to be aware that some things are not doable. If you explain that a goal is not realistic, but you will chase it, they will be okay with that. And they must be aware of unrealistic goals because if they set high standards for too long, their staff or colleagues might feel worn out, and that can result in a decrease of employees in a company. We don’t want that, right?

Loving the change

Change is inevitable is a phrase that a high D takes too literally. That’s why they make changes more frequently than it’s necessary. As they don’t like waiting around, they constantly make small changes in objectives, little course corrections, they put out new incentives… So as a high D, you need to be reminded from time to time to slow down.
If you are a high D, make it your priority to tell people why you’re doing what you are doing when making changes. And in doing so, be mindful of your blind spot no. 3:

Lacking tact and diplomacy

As a high D, you are busy getting things done, so you tend to forget that others don’t move at the same speed and need a bit of context and encouragement to work on their tasks. Remember that “losing “a moment to explain what’s going on to your colleagues will give you better and faster results.

Appear angry

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Being a High D means being passionate. But what happens is that while you believe you are showing passion, others just see anger. You are fired up, and full of ideas, and others think you are aggressive.
If you are a high D CEO, remember that your passion can and is misperceived as anger and frustration. A smile and a kind word will always open more doors for you.

A great solution for any High D CEO is to have a High S or some type of S blend as one of their administrative assistants. This person can filter the message and smooth things ower. You need someone who will translate the message you are trying to convey and speak in terminology that’s closer to people-oriented folks at your workplace.

Create a corporate filter in one of the positions close to you, which will make your team more productive. You’ll have more effective communication as it will be coming from a different angle.

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.

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