10 Words to Use and Avoid with Different Personality Styles

10 Words to Use and Avoid with Different Personality Styles

10 words to Use and Avoid with Different Personality Styles

Are you using words that can negatively impact your listener, or worse words that can kill the conversation?

Verbal communication is a natural and easy way to interact with someone. Yet communication skills sometimes need to be a bit more sophisticated. The way you communicate with your child is probably different from the way you communicate with your mother. Then why is it that we don’t use the same logic at work? Most of the times, when communicating at work we use our own natural style without considering if we need to make any adjustment to communicate in a language the other person will understand better. It’s natural, we all do that.

scrabble-925520__340Words are so powerful; it’s worth spending a few minutes discussing the topic. You see, communication does not always go in the direction we want. Why? Because a few things are at play when you are talking to someone; first, there is “what you think you said”, then “what you actually said”, then “what the other person heard”, “what you think the other person heard”, “what the other person thinks about what you said”, and finally “what you think the other person is thinking about what you just said”. The specific words you use may have more impact than you think on what you are communicating as they have different meanings for different people. So today, let’s focus on words we should use and avoid with certain temperament styles. To get the most out of it, you must know a little bit about the DISC Model. If you don’t, read our article “How to Recognize DISC Styles When You Don’t Have a DISC Report in Front of You?

Here are 10 words or expressions for each of the D-I-S-C styles that will not work well, and 10 words or expressions you will want to use of. To help you put those into context, check the examples at the end of this article.

like-2028531__340D Styles don’t like to hear words that are tentative and sound like you have not made a decision: maybe – probably – perhaps – I think – pretty good – I will try – I am not sure – sometimes – I could – I am pretty sure.

D Styles like to hear words that are more definite: bottom line – results – goal – winning – accomplish – confident – dominate – strong – success – action.

I Styles don’t like to hear words that are restrictive and sound boring or like you have no creativity: plan – schedule – agenda – budget – commitment – coordinate – alone – rigid – timetable – repetitive.

I Styles like to hear words that are expansive and leave room for initiative: fun – creative – dream – friendly – variety – flexible – spontaneous – popular – upbeat – entertaining.

S Styles don’t like to hear words that are related to change, or words that will bring stress and uncertainty: conflict – change – rush – risk – surprise – uncertain – a new venture – experimental – confront – difficult.

S Styles like to hear words that speak relationships and increase their sense of security: easy – guarantee – family – harmony – together – loyal – traditional – comfortable – share – team.

C Styles don’t like to hear words that leave too much room for errors or sound disorganized: casual – spontaneous – flexible – unorganized – faster – unscheduled – carefree – small errors – failure – hurry.

C Styles like to hear words that are precise and make you sound like you know what you are talking about: precise – analyze – structure – rules – proven – details – knowledge – accurate – method – quality.

So next time you want to recommend something to one of the styles, refer back to this article and remember the examples below. You’re sure to get better results and will increase the quality of your communications. You will also have more fun being creative using the new words, and you’ll find easier to share your thoughts with your team.

To a… Don’t say Say
D I am not sure, but maybe we could try to finish it sometime this week. I am confident we can do it and I recommend we take action right now and be finished by Friday this week.
I We absolutely need to plan this carefully, and make sure our timetable is precise and we have a clear agenda. We recommend having a flexible plan, which will allow for spontaneous ideas and creativity to enrich the project.
S This project is a new venture and it will create changes; so I recommend we do the difficult tasks first. Let’s work together and share with the team what aspects of the work will remain the same and what changes will be easy to implement.
C We need to hurry and act faster if we want to finish this by Friday; small errors are no problem here.  Here is the process we will follow. With this method, we’re sure to finish on time and to produce quality.


Remember to look at our 2017 Team Development programs and make your 2017 learning plan work for you. Together let’s create the best team of collaborators.

Have a superb week!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *