Of all the wonderful self discovery assessments and tools out there, my personal favorite is the one I’ll call Interpersonal Styles. I first came across it in the form of an assessment called Social Style and put out by The Tracom Group. Like many other such tools, it’s used in many different forms by many different organizations using different names. I prefer to call it Interpersonal Styles, since it deals primarily with how people work and communicate with others.
One of the primary things that distinguishes it from Myers Briggs or DISC is that it focuses on how others see you rather than how you see yourself. Done in full format through The Tracom Group, it includes a 360 assessment. It also includes a “versatility rating,” which measures the degree to which others see you as flexing your style to meet the needs of another.
The best thing about it for me is that the model is very intuitive. I can present a 10-minute overview to a group of people and have them grasp it immediately, and even make references to it throughout the rest of the meeting.
The model includes two rating scales, one for “assertiveness” and one for “responsiveness,” the latter measuring the degree to which a person shows emotion. Combining the two scales, there are four distinct styles: expressive, driver, analytical and amiable. While there are many parallels to the four DISC styles, there are differences also.
When I was first introduced to the model, about 10 years ago, it helped me make an important self-discovery: that while my natural interpersonal style was “expressive,” my colleagues saw me as “amiable,” and this was because I was deliberately cultivating a style I thought was expected of me as an HR person. I came to realize that it was much more effective to be myself and focus my energies elsewhere.
How about you; what’s your favorite personal discovery tool or assessment and what stories do you have about it?