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3. Use self-knowledge as an insight, not an excuse. By knowing your style, you'll see your strengths and weaknesses as others do. But don't use this as a crutch to justify unacceptable behavior, thinking thoughts like, "I'm a Director. So I'm naturally impatient and domineering." Or "It's okay if I don't follow up because I'm an Socializer."

4. Learn to motivate by style. Whenever you face a task-at the office or in the home-it's likely that a big chunk of your effort involves attempting to motivate others. You can use your knowledge of The Platinum Rule to inspire each style:

Directors: Be straightforward: Here's what's wrong, here's how it came about, here's how it's likely to affect us.

Socializers: Explain that while meeting this challenge may be difficult, it'll also distinguish those who do.

Relaters: Support their reluctance toward change, see if it's had a negative impact on them, and work with them to remedy that.

Thinkers: They want to know the reasons behind the change. So be organized, thorough, precise and provide documentation of any new plan.

5. Tailor your criticism by style. Telling someone they need to improve is difficult but often necessary at work and at home. Here's some possible approaches:

Directors: Stress the result wanted and let them come up with ways to achieve it.

Socializers: Don't be vague. Have the Socializer repeat the agreed-upon changes back to you so there's no chance of miscommunication.

Relaters: Focus on performance, not personality. Go out of your way to explain that there's nothing wrong with them personally.

Thinkers: Be specific. Say precisely what's being done wrong, outline the steps for correcting it, and set a deadline for completion.

Dr. Tony Alessandra, CSP, CPAE has authored 13 books, recorded over 50 audio and video programs, and delivered over 2,000 keynote speeches since 1976. Dr. Tony Alessandra is recognized by Meetings and Conventions Magazine as... "one of America's most electrifying speakers." For information about Tony’s keynote presentations, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@frogpond.com.

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