Versatility to Maximize Effectiveness
Versatility is the key to making SOCIAL STYLEsm work. It’s the ability to adjust your behaviors in each situation in order to maximize productivity. This TRACOM® concept, similar to the popular Emotional Intelligence, has a proven impact on performance. (See Comparing Versatility to Emotional Intelligence Whitepaper.)
Versatility is not changing who you are; it’s a genuine interest in meeting the needs of others more than your own and a desire to work well with others. It’s being flexible, responsive and adaptable - important qualities in a diverse world of ever-changing situations and environments.
Versatile people make behavioral adjustments based on their ability to determine the SOCIAL STYLEs of others and understand how they prefer to interact. By consciously setting out to build positive relationships and trust, your interactions with others will lead to success over time. Research shows that people with high Versatility outperform their lower-Versatility counterparts across a broad spectrum of performance measures. (See TRACOM's Managerial Success Study.)
Components of Versatility
Research shows that people consider four basic elements when determining an individual's Versatility:
- Image: Dress, grooming and appearance can be critical to making good first impressions. It’s not necessarily
how well you’re dressed, but whether you’re appropriate for the situation. You may lose as much credibility wearing a tux to the company picnic as wearing sweatpants to the board meeting.
- Presentation: Our ability to verbally communicate with others is very important. People are more likely to trust us if we present clear, well-organized ideas and use vocabulary appropriate to the circumstances.
- Breadth of Competence and Understanding: It’s obvious that showing competence and understanding in your work will help you gain respect. But it’s also important to notice what others are interested in, and be able to discuss those topics. The ability to listen and learn helps to build common ground, leading to mutual productivity.
- Feedback: In this two-way process, people send and receive both verbal and non-verbal signals to gain mutual understanding. Make sure you are clear in your communication and sensitive to the signals of others in order to minimize confusion.
By completing a TRACOM® self-assessment or multi-rater assessment instrument, individuals receive low, medium or high Versatility ratings. This score creates a generalization about how you will handle the tension of interpersonal relationships. Are your actions typically focused on your own comfort level, or are you concerned about the tension your behavior can create in others, causing you to vary your actions to create productive relationships?
A person of any style can have low or high Versatility. Versatility obviously includes an element of personal judgment on the part of the observers. In assessing your rating, remember to consider the rating source, the person rated and the situation surrounding the person's activities.
Using Versatility to Maximize Effectiveness
TRACOM's research suggests that your SOCIAL STYLE position counts less than the way you use your style when interacting with others. While your SOCIAL STYLE is not inherently good or bad, and typically doesn’t change, Versatility is based on choice and can be improved.
Through training, you can learn to read others and respond appropriately. You will improve your Versatility as you learn to "know yourself, control yourself, know others and do something for others." You'll gain an understanding of the primary needs and communication preferences of the people you work with, and this will allow you to present information to them in a way that makes them most comfortable. They will be more likely to work productively with you, reducing the effort you spend on conflict management and allowing you to focus on your goals.
Read and purchase TRACOM's Achieving Higher Versatility Resource Printed Guide.
Read and purchase TRACOM's Achieving Higher Versatility Resource Guide CD-ROM.
Read a whitepaper Comparing Versatility to Emotional Intelligence.
Read TRACOM’s latest Versatility research, the Managerial Success Study.