With everything going on with the pandemic and the skyrocketing unemployment numbers, of course, everyone is advising to network, network, network. And of course, I hear everyone saying "It's so hard!" Well, yes. It is. This post isn't going to lie to you and say it's easy. But the reason I believe we find it so difficult is that we go into networking opportunities under the impression that we have to be a certain way to do it successfully. If you know your DISC style, then here are some quick networking tips to help you network much more effectively. But Ayanna? Wait a minute! I don't know my DISC style! Keep reading my friends!
Our Dominant EAGLE friends (D in DISC) possess traits such as being results-oriented, persistent, and daring. They need control and prefer taking on challenges. Networking for them is not as difficult. They know what they want and whom they should go talk to. What I caution our Eagle friends on is to be sure to actively listen to the advice they are receiving and don't assume you know better than the person that is trying to help you. Remember, you reached out to them, and they are trying to help you.
Our Interactive PARROT friends (I in DISC) possess the traits of being sociable, trusting, and enthusiastic. They need approval and prefer people-related tasks. Networking for them is a breeze! They love to chat, engage, and exchange information with others. What I caution our Parrot friends on is to be sure to actively listen during the conversation. Stop that habit of sharing those "oh yeah, me too!" stories, and actually take action on the advice they are given. (Disclaimer: I'm a Parrot. I'm guilty of this, so I know!)
Our Supportive DOVE friends (S in DISC) possess the traits of being a team player, are sincere, and great listeners. They need stability and prefer tasks that are standardized. Networking is a bit more challenging for our Dove friends. To be their most effective, they will definitely have to be more assertive and be clear and direct about their networking goal (spend time ahead of the conversation developing a plan). When they score that connection, their great listening skills and the ability to show sincere appreciation will definitely work in their favor.
Our Conscienctious OWL friends (C in DISC) possess the traits of being objective, diplomatic, and analytical. They need standards and prefer to work on structured tasks. When it comes to networking as an Owl, they will have all their questions laid out in advance, pen, and pencil at the ready during the conversation. I caution my Owl friends to not look to receive every single detail of information in the networking conversation. Be sure to have an open mind about the advice and guidance that the connection gives you. They may not have all the answers, but they can probably be of assistance, still guiding in the right direction. If Owls appear to have all the answers to the connection, why bother networking in the first place?!
So which style resonated with you most? Which made you shudder? Which one did you say "Yep, that's me!"? Networking can be challenging. I get it. But it can be a lot easier if we embrace and understand our specific DISC style, be aware of our areas of opportunity, and use the strengths of our style to have a successful networking strategy.
If you'd like more information on how you can learn about your DISC style, how it applies to career, interviews, networking, and even your family interactions, hop on over to my website which can answer all your question. ayannaejackson.com.
Ayanna E. Jackson is an HR Professional, Career Coach, Adjunct Professor, and Speaker. She helps women of color find their Authentic Vocation, so they can stop despising work and start loving their careers. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn for up to the minute career advice or connect at firstname.lastname@example.org.