December 15, 2006 Vol. 5 No. 11

Your Behavioral Style is Showing
by Barbara Metzger

Many of you are familiar with personality tests, particularly the DISC Behavioral Type assessments. DISC is an acronym standing for Direct, Influencing (or Interacting), Steady, and Compliant (or Conscientious) - in other words, how people respond to problems, people, pace and procedures. While many people try to avoid "taking these tests" in an attempt to hide what they feel are their deepest, personal secrets, let the truth be known that these behaviors are very obvious even to the casual observer.

DISC is the universal, observable language. Even if you never have heard of DISC before, you willl certainly recognize a few relatives, friends or acquaintances who exhibit these classic behavioral styles, representing D-I-S-C.

To High D behavioral types, Christmas (or P.C. – Holidays) is an event to be managed. An opportunity to problem solve and a way to incorporate several strategic business events. They are last minute shoppers and are not fond of waiting in lines. A bad combination as one will get you the other. The higher the stress the shorter the fuse and they may just tell the other shoppers or store staff exactly what they think. They don’t have lists, just will know a good deal when they see it. Quick decisions. Just go with it.

For High I behavioral types, this is the very BEST season of the year. How could one not love party season? They insist on only one rule - NO business talk! Gift shopping is an experience – the crowded stores are just a place to socialize and meet people. I-behavioral types may spend more time in the party store picking up holiday table cloths, napkins, dishes and decoration more than they do in the grocery store. They carry dozens of coupons, torn (not cut) from newspapers and magazines, stuffed in no particular order into an envelope or purse. I-behavioral types know where everything is in the store, whether you ask them to tell you or not. Their list includes family, friends, neighbors and anyone who might otherwise be alone. I-types can't remember everyone so they may have a couple of extra gifts wrapped just in case.

High S behavioral types are all about family. They begin weeks or months ahead by preparing lists. Next, they begin to clip coupons, even ones they don't need, just in case they meet someone at the store who doesn't have the right one. Shopping takes weeks or even months. They may even have gifts wrapped weeks ahead of time. S-behavioral types either have the cards done way in advance…. Or they are way behind the power curve and VERY stressed. The Christmas/holiday dinner is prepared from scratch using his/her favorite recipes, including special foods for the kids and anyone on a special diet. Often times the recipes are family traditions, handed down through the generations. They don’t want it to change. Keep the traditions the same.

High C behavioral types prefer just the immediate family. Consumer Report was used for research on any large purchases. Many ads and internet site was searched for the best buy. They have a budget and click off items on a calculator as they work through their lists for gifts. C-types shop with coupons which are organized by store and aisle. Dinner is more like a tradition or ritual than a celebration. They follow recipes exactly as written using measuring cups, utensils and timers. C-behavioral types would never think of substituting an ingredient, not even one brand for another. Guests may have assigned seats and name cards are typed at each setting. (The cards are saved after each meal and re-used at future family events.) Rarely do C-types have any food left over - that would mean they made a mistake. If food is left over, they store it by meals in compartmentalized containers, just like the old "TV dinner".

A most important take-away from understanding behavioral types is that no one style is right or wrong. Likewise there is not one right way or one wrong way to prepare for the Holidays. The main element is to remember friends and family and let them know we appreciate them. Enjoy the holidays and look for those patterns of behavior. It is really pretty fun to observe each way as they all have advantages and disadvantages. Except for your way, of course. Sure, sure…..it IS the best way.

To learn more about selecting the most accurate and reliable assessments, please be sure to write us at Barbara@maxproductivity.com and please include your name, company, and best time to contact you.


The Worst Example of Customer Service
by Dr. Ira Wolfe

Businesses who thought they had loyal customers are discouraged to find their customers poached by competition across the street or around the world. In my case, I just walked out the door and no one noticed.

Just a few days ago, I closed 3 checking accounts in the bank I did business with for over twenty years...and no one cared. The silence was deafening.

Maybe I'm being overly sensitive. Maybe I was expecting too much. After all, I'm sure I wasn't the largest customer for this bank. But in an economy that thrives on the lifelong value of a customer, this business plainly doesn't get it. (For instance, Hewlett Packard doesn't make money from its printers - an occasional purchase; it sells printers in order to sell print cartridges - residual transactions. As a twenty-plus year customer, I deposited millions of dollars into accounts and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments. At one time, these bankers were almost a member of our family. Like kid's getting allowance, I borrowed and paid off mortgages and loans like clockwork, never missing a single payment.

But times change. Familiar faces in the bank moved on, moved up and moved out. My "community banking officers" changed faster than an impersonator changes voices. Then they just disappeared. For the past five years, I've been called upon by competing banks and courted to move my accounts. At first, I resisted. After fifteen years at "my bank," I felt a loyalty to the business that helped fund my business ventures and loan monies to purchase our homes, cars and education.

But loyalty has a way of fading especially when only one party remains engaged. After several years of being ignored, the competition started to look more friendly than my own bankers. Last year I transferred my first account. More recently I stopped making deposits into the others. Finally I closed them...and no one noticed!

What is incredible is that after twenty years of doing business with this bank, I wouldn't even know whom I should call if I wanted to deposit money or request a loan. I have dozens of business cards from nearly every bank in town......but none from my own bank. Despite closing one account after another, I received no phone calls and zero sales visits.

Effective last week, I closed the book on this bank. I don't feel relieved. I don't feel vindicated. I don't feel angry. I just feel sad that after so many years of being a good loyal customer, I didn't even register a blip on their customer satisfaction radar.

True to form, the final chapter was unceremoniously scripted. After approaching the teller that I wanted to close three accounts, I was directed to see the manager. Despite my expectation to be asked, "can I ask you why you are closing the accounts?" or "is there anything we can do to keep your business?" I heard nothing. The only question I was asked was my name and account numbers.

Within minutes I was delivered a check and some cash and asked "if there was anything else I can help you with?" I replied, "no," stood up, and shook hands with the manager's limp hand. After all those years, I didn't even receive a firm handshake.

On the way back to my office I stopped to pick up my mail. I received an invitation from my former bankers, extending a special offer to new customers. Irony has a way of making you smile.

Do you know how satisfied your lifelong customers are?

To learn more about selecting the most accurate and reliable assessments, please be sure to write us at Barbara@maxproductivity.com and please include your name, company, and best time to contact you.


Perfect Labor Storm Alerts #598 to #600

Fact #598: The annual additional health care cost of a smoker is $3,383 ($1,623 in medical costs and $1,760 in lost productivity). (Source: CDC)

Fact #599: If an employee develops cancer from smoking, the average cost to treat cancer is $65,000. The average cost to treat lung cancer is $15,000 excluding the costs for radiation therapy and lost productivity. (Source: Harvard and UCLA)

Fact #600: Getting an employee to exercise for 20 minutes two or more days per week can lower annual healthcare costs by $500. (Source: University of Michigan Health Management Research Center)


The featured article and labor storm facts are written by Ira S. Wolfe, founder of Success Performance Solutions, and is distributed here by MaxImize with permission.