Adapt to People to Build Relationships


Have you ever received a gift and thought, “that person doesn’t know me at all!” Imagine if you were a teetotaller and one of your best friends bought you a case of wine for your birthday, or you were allergic to milk and were given a beautiful box of chocolates. Adapting to people is one of the main ways to build a relationship. Not only when giving a gift but when you are communicating with them too. Behavioural Styles is one of the most powerful tools I have used to understand people, and how to communicate more effectively to adapt to them and build a relationship.


Dr Tony Alessandra bases his work on Behavioural Styles around his quote, “treat people the way they want to be treated.” I believe this in every aspect of my life. If I am having friends over to dinner, I think about what food they would like and what they would enjoy drinking. If a chocolate lover is coming to dinner for example, I will make one of my ‘famous’ chocolate mud cakes.


How can we use this in business? If I’m emailing someone, I think about their behavioural style and adapt the email for them. For some people, I will be more chatty and use excitable words, for others I will be more to the point, using short, sharp words. And others very detailed and explain every step. In a client meeting, some people want a long icebreaker and introduction, getting ‘warmed up’ before the questions come. Then when you are questioning them, you need to be very considerate and calm. Others want the meeting to be quick, to the point, noting the actions. Others will ask you question after question after question.


All of these quirky ways are not personal, they are their behaviour. If we adapt to people’s behaviour we will build a stronger relationship, people will remember us and we will be able to build our business because we are gaining more sales quicker.