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  • Writer's pictureJason Kiesau

What is SOCIAL STYLE?


(Originally posted at TRACOM.com)


Grounded in over 60 years of research, SOCIAL STYLE is a behavioral model and learning & development experience that helps individuals, teams and organizations communicate and collaborate with greater effectiveness. It teaches learners about behavior, human needs & stressors and how we can be Versatile with others and achieve more together. Versatility is a predictor of success.


Research shows that over 90% of our thought, behavior and communication patterns are automatic; we do them with little to no active thinking. These are our subconscious thoughts, good and bad habits, biases and stress triggers & responses. These automatic patterns are responsible for how we develop relationships, achieve goals, communicate with others and manage stress and insecurity. The # 1 goal of these patterns is our short-term security and comfort when we experience perceived threats and stressors. And though our automatic patterns do help us feel more secure and comfortable in the moment, they may actually hurt our relationships and make our lives harder in the long run.


Question: The last time you were stressed, did your response contribute to healthy relationships and goals?


SOCIAL STYLE teaches learners about dominant patterns of behavior; theirs and others. We call each dominant pattern of behavior a SOCIAL STYLE and there are four of them:

  • Driving Style

  • Expressive Style

  • Amiable Style

  • Analytical Style


Each SOCIAL STYLE has a unique set of behavioral tendencies, characteristics, strengths & weaknesses, needs, preferences and stressors. Our needs and preferences drive our behavior and communication. When a person’s needs and preferences are met, they tend to be more secure, comfortable, confident and focused. When needs and preferences are not being met, this will raise their tension and lead to stress, insecurity and distraction. The reality is, how one person naturally behaves and communicates to meet their need, may be in direct opposition of another person’s need.


Question: Would you rather have team members that are secure, comfortable, confident and focused, or tense, stressed, insecure and distracted?


Let’s take a quick look at each SOCIAL STYLE


Driving Style

Needs results, wants to take action, tends to be direct, less relational, faster paced and may struggle with patience and empathy.

Expressive Style

Needs approval, wants partnership, tends to be more relational, spontaneous, faster paced and may struggle with consistency and emotional control.

Amiable Style Needs security, wants predictability, tends to be more relational, slower paced, cautious and may struggle with change and difficult conversations.

Analytical Style Needs to be right, wants accuracy, tends to be detail focused, less relational, slower paced and may struggle with empathy and flexibility.


Each Style has strengths that are needed in every team and organization. At the same time, each Style has weaknesses that may hurt team and organizational dynamics, as well as sabotage their own personal and professional success. SOCIAL STYLE provides experiences and opportunities to learn more about us, so we can succeed. But the reason SOCIAL STYLE is powerful is because it helps us understand others in a way that leads to Versatility and more thoughtful decisions, healthier relationships and better results for everyone.

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