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Recognizing Behavioral Styles in the Workplace for Robust Team Management

Behavioral Styles in the Workplace

In any work setting, teamwork plays a key role in reaching the desired goals, and understanding behavioral styles in the workplace is imperative to this. The diversity of individual behavior types can often create a hurdle for leaders or managers, as cooperative efforts may not yield expected results if varying behavior styles aren’t understood properly.

As such, we’ve created this extensive guide highlighting the key behavioral styles you may come across in your workplace. Understanding these will allow you to adjust your behavioral style for better collaboration, manage your employees better, and ensure that you meet common company goals. You can also adapt to various workplace behavior styles, allowing you or your management to build a productive and balanced software development team successfully.

Core behavioral styles in a workplace - the DISC model

Have you ever experienced a situation in your organization where you tried your best to motivate an employee, but they barely responded to it? Has it ever occurred that your management style only seems to work with a few employees but misses the mark on a larger scale? If yes, then it is highly likely that these problems are occurring due to not tackling the different behavioral styles in the workplace.

Each employee has their working and behavioral style. How you handle these differences is a key factor in forming a balanced team and managing your workforce effectively. And to tackle the differences, first, it is crucial to understand the core behavioral styles in a workplace. Four main styles can belong to various headers based on the training method implemented. The DISC model is one of the world’s most widely used methods, which states that the four key behavioral styles are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

Dominance

Individuals, often known as the ‘do-er,’ fall under this category of behavioral styles in the workplace. They’re considered the most driven and success-hungry people in a room. Employees in this set are usually observed as direct, target-focused, and adhering to deadlines strictly. They possess a strong desire for achievement and results and are often fast-paced, self-starters, and result-oriented.

To manage employees falling under the ‘dominance’ category, you must provide them with challenges, additional responsibilities, or goals to keep them productive. Simultaneously, you must also concentrate on giving them control over their environment and rewarding them appropriately for achieved results.

Influence

Employees with a strong need for competence and social recognition are known to have influential behavioral styles in the workplace. They usually exhibit extroverted behavioral styles in the workplace and display traits like being friendly, positive, influential, communicative, and not always following details thoroughly. These individuals are typically perceived as creative leaders who can see the larger picture.

Managing employees with an influence behavioral style require ample opportunities to ascertain influence over certain decisions and involve them in vital decisions. If possible, you can give them a project or task they feel passionate about and allow them to shine.

Steadiness

Employees displaying steadiness are often the team players of the organization. They might be introverted but always aim to do the best for others. Such individuals follow the T routine, which is generally known for its consistency and reliability. Moreover, they’re also kind, amicable, dependable, cooperative, systematic, and good listeners.

To manage employees with such behavioral styles in the workplace, you must provide them with a clear-cut idea of your vision and what you want. Additionally, giving them the necessary support and addressing their concerns and questions can be extremely helpful.

Compliance

Individuals falling under the ‘compliance’ behavioral style in the workplace are often passionate about correctness and accuracy. They are meticulous and work precisely, carefully, and to the budget you establish. Such employees typically display character traits of being logical, compliant, careful, and striving to be perfectionists. However, owing to their self-critical nature, such individuals can easily be their worst enemies.

Managing people with compliant behavioral styles in the workplace would require you to give them a general framework of your desired goals while offering the time and freedom to conduct a self-analysis. It’s also important to let them express their doubts or concerns and address their challenging questions.

The various types of behavioral styles in the workplace

Your workplace, whether a large-scale business or a start-up, will contain different kinds of individuals and hence, various types of employee behavior. Understanding these behavior types can help you aid your teams in increasing productivity. Listed below are the 12 major types of behaviors in the workplace.

As the DISC model suggests, there are various types of employee behavior that can co-exist in your workplace. Furthermore, the four core behavior categories can be broken down into multiple types, depending on the traits your employees exhibit, such as creative thinking, playfulness, leadership, aggressiveness, etc.

Listed below are the 12 major types of behavior in the workplace, each with its own key characteristics. By thoroughly understanding them, you will be able to identify which team member is more suited to a certain task and how you can manage them better.

Leadership behavior

A team member who undertakes responsibilities and readily volunteers to help is exhibiting leadership behavioral styles in the workplace. These employees usually focus on project directions and accomplishments. You must evaluate how your organization’s natural leaders communicate with other team members. Additionally, managers can mentor employees who exhibit strong leadership traits and train them to network.

Isolating behavior

Certain team members are introverted, deemed isolationists who want to work alone, and often excel at independent tasks or project management. Managers can encourage such team members to experiment with new things and complete project deliverables by collaborating with other teammates. However, assigning them tasks they can execute independently is still essential.

Creative thinking behavior

Some employees with excellent creative thinking skills can quickly develop solutions to potentially impossible problems. Individuals with such behavioral styles in the workplace tend to be innovative, and to manage them; you must give them a structured workspace and clearly explain task expectations. Plus, you can balance their workload by assigning innovative and routine tasks to maximize their contribution.

Playful behavior

Some members may exhibit playful behavior styles, focusing more on fun than work. Such playfulness can help motivate other team members to enjoy their work more and perform better. However, managing playful employees can be confusing, and a great way to do so is by making the team participate in team-building activities to establish team cohesion.

People-pleasing behavior

People-pleasing workplace behavior is often exhibited by those trying to avoid conflict where they work and focus on building relationships with their team members. They want to please everyone so that the entire team likes them and remains positive no matter what. To manage employees showcasing such behavioral styles in the workplace, you must acknowledge their achievements. Help them by ensuring that they learn to focus on significant and high-priority tasks before undertaking additional responsibilities.

Analytical behavior

An analytical team member prefers analyzing every situation and challenge. Such individuals enjoy working on predictable projects, determining bottlenecks, obstacles, and possible complications more than assessing how to overcome them. To manage employees with such behavioral styles in the workplace, you can encourage them to consider creative thinking and determine solutions for identified problems.

Introverted behavior

Introverted team members usually prefer staying quiet and working independently. They tend to perform well when a detailed task list is provided. You can manage such behavior by encouraging employees to collaborate with their team members and providing detailed instructions for assigned tasks. It would also be helpful to give them work they can do independently to keep them stimulated through what they prefer to do.

Aggressive behavior

An aggressive employee often exhibits unplanned intimidating or angry behavioral styles in the workplace, only to fulfill their needs. Certain circumstances can demand this behavior style for task success, such as an emergency where rapid decision-making is needed. However, that may not be the case for other scenarios where a calm and collective mindset is needed. Managing employees with aggressive behaviors in the workplace would require you to be patient and understanding. Communicating with such team members is critical, ensuring that they feel safe and comfortable in their team.

Referent leadership behavior

Referent leaders are individuals who are natural leaders in an organization, a member who others admire for their skills, confidence, charisma, and capabilities. Other team members may follow such employees with absolutely zero resistance, helping them improve a team’s efficiency. Individuals with such behavioral styles in the workplace operate seamlessly within a team but often need new challenges to implement their fantastic leadership abilities.

Passive communication behavior

Employees unwilling to express their workplace feelings to others to ensure everyone is happy are deemed, passive communicators. A passive behavior style can be valuable in situations where emotions run high. To manage such team members effectively, it’s important to regularly discuss progress and opportunities they might be interested in and ensure their contribution during meetings by asking for their views.

Passive-aggressive behavior

Team members with passive-aggressive workplace behavior incorporate elements from both the aggressive and passive communication styles. Such employees might appear passive. However, they can express their anger indirectly, for instance, by delaying their project/task completion or not doing them when they’re supposed to. As a team leader or manager, encourage feedback and open communication. Try to remain calm when you communicate, clearly defining expectations of their behaviors in the workplace.

Assertive behavior

Team members with assertive work style behaviors express their work-related desires and feelings most appropriately. They communicate directly, respecting both the receiver’s and the communicator’s rights and opinions. Assertive behavioral styles in the workplace often help maintain relationships, and an effective way of managing members with this behavior is to be direct and transparent with them.

The importance of employers understanding workplace behavior

As a manager, team lead, or any authority figure, it’s vital to understand behavioral styles in the workplace to manage your workforce as effectively as possible. Here are the top reasons why recognizing behavioral styles in the workplace is key.

Building a high-performance team

Diversifying the various types of employee behavior can help you strengthen your team effortlessly. Different behavior types have distinct benefits, and certain behaviors combine productively. When choosing potential candidates to add to your team, determine workplace behavior styles that can be advantageous and seek new team members who can build on your team’s capabilities.

Individualizing feedback using types of employee behavior

if you discover one of your team members having consistent behavior or performance issues, the best solution is to have a one-on-one conversation with them. Understanding their behavior styles in the workplace, you can customize your feedback in better ways to help the employee figure out and tackle the issue. Additionally, you can work together to devise a plan to help the team member improve their performance.

Rewarding top-performing employees appropriately

When your employees perform well, you must correctly reward their contributions and efforts to the organization’s goals. Hence, you must consider that team members with different work style behaviors may expect different rewards. Appropriate rewards can go a long way in keeping your workforce happy and productive.

Customizing your management style

Getting the most out of your workforce depends on how well you understand their behavioral styles in the workplace. Hence, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the team members to recognize their behavior styles, weaknesses, and strengths. This will help you guide and customize your management style for each employee.

For instance, you may find a team member to be a referent leader. You can start assigning new responsibilities by mentoring this individual and training them for new skills, knowing that the other team members will be more agreeable to policies/terms supported by this referent leader.

Determining which behavioral style suits your new employees

Say you’ve hired fresh IT graduates or new developers for your team. Their behavioral styles in the workplace can be seen in who they’re spending time with, what they’re doing in their spare time, how they present themselves, their body language, and what they wear.

Several organizations opt for psychoanalysis to evaluate their employees’ behavior and what percentage of each behavioral style they represent. Psychoanalysis can usually be conducted via tick-boxes, short tests, or quizzes, where the answers can help you understand a worker’s behavioral styles in the workplace. Another method you can use is psychometric testing, which usually involves a similar tick-box style test, but a longer one than that of psychoanalysis. Psychometric testing is mostly a preferred choice for graduate recruitment.

As an employer, you can conduct such tests during a candidate’s interview and assess the patterns in their answers - checking if they answer in a way they assume they should be and if the same answers change when you word things differently.

How to adapt your management to different work style behaviors

The best way to adapt management to various behavioral styles in the workplace is to provide training about different workplace behavior types - including their own. It is key for employers, hiring managers, team leads, etc. to determine the behavioral style to recognize their employees' behavior better. Once managers know their natural style, they can easily adapt their behavior to get the best out of their teams, create efficient teams, and achieve people effectiveness.

In conclusion

Simply hiring elite talent doesn’t automatically translate to creating a high-performing workforce. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses is key to building an effective team, which is only possible when you recognize their behavioral styles in the workplace. How each employee behaves, what motivates them, and where they require training for improvement are vital to efficiently managing a complete team and ensuring they contribute to the company’s goals.

If you’re looking to build a stable and collaborative team of developers with sound behavioral styles in the workplace, choose Turing. In addition to making IT recruitment seamless with our Intelligent Talent Cloud, we also groom developers as per their behavioral styles, providing you with a balanced development team. Hire top developers with us without having to undergo the hassles of hiring yourself. We do the heavy lifting ourselves, from sourcing and vetting candidates to matching them with your exact requirements.

Author

  • Author

    Soumik Majumder

    Soumik is a technical content writer at Turing. He’s experienced in creating content for multiple industries, including B2B, Healthcare, Tech, and Marketing. Beyond that, he loves Formula 1, football, and absolutely anything tech-related.

Frequently Asked Questions

Behaviours are important in the workplace because they can impact how you interact with others and how well you perform on the job. When you behave in a way that demonstrates respect for others, it can help build a positive work environment that is conducive to productivity and creativity.

When people feel comfortable about their interactions with each other, it makes them feel more willing to speak up when something needs to be done or discussed. This can help improve teamwork and communication, which are two key components of high performance at work.

The six important employee behaviors are:

  • Leadership behavior
  • Isolating behavior
  • Analytical behavior
  • Creative thinking behavior
  • Agressive behavior
  • Assertive behavior

Professional behavior at work is a combination of appearance, attitude, and manners. It encompasses the way you speak, look, act, and make decisions. The most important principles of professional behavior are: Project a positive attitude that treats your boss, colleagues, and customers with respect.

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