The Social Style Model (TRACOM Group) is an interpersonal skills effectiveness model that designates patterns of behavior in the workplace. Organizations and training professionals can utilize the model to demonstrate how others perceive a person’s behavior, and to improve individuals’ relationship-building performance by being aware of the unique social styles of those around them.
This model is based on two behavioral dimensions:
1. Assertiveness is the degree to which an individual asks questions versus makes statements. Those low on the assertiveness scale tend to make requests (more asking), while others higher on the assertiveness spectrum make demands (more telling).
2. Responsiveness refers to how individuals express emotions. People low on the responsiveness scale tend to exert high self-control over their emotional displays, and those high on the responsiveness spectrum are more emotionally expressive.
The combination of these two dimensions forms the four types of Social Style.
The 4 Social Styles explained:
- Amiable individuals prefer to ask questions rather than give orders, and feel at ease expressing their emotions.
- Analytical individuals control their emotions to a high degree and also prefer to inquire rather than make demands.
- Driving individuals display high emotional control and are highly assertive, so they are comfortable with giving orders.
- Expressive individuals feel comfortable expressing their emotions and are also highly assertive.
There is no “best” social style, because each style has both positive and negative characteristics.
Why do Social Styles matter? The role of versatility
Recognition of Social Style has many benefits, as being able to identify others’ social preferences allows you to be more versatile in the workplace. Awareness of Social Style can enhance several dimensions that are crucial to success at work, including teamwork, conflict management, communications, sales performance, and leadership performance. For example, managers with higher versatility perform better at leading teams, coaching others, and are more likely to be promoted.
Understanding the social styles of your coworkers and leaders helps you modify your behavior and respond to others in appropriate ways based on their unique style. This can lead to more effective interactions in any social setting, particularly in the workplace.