Tag Archives: social styles

The Connection between Style, Productivity, & Morale: Why it is Essential to Understand and Respond to Different Styles


How often do you get frustrated or upset as a result of how others have delivered their message or treated you? What about the times you’ve tried to communicate your point, but just don’t seem to get through to your audience? What’s the price you’ve paid for these disconnects in communications? How has it affected relationships and collaboration? What would be the benefit if it improved?

Anyone who has ever worked with others knows people approach situations differently. At times, these differences can create fresh perspectives, balance, and innovative solutions. Understanding personal style, and acting on that knowledge, can lead to improved performance, productivity, and morale.

Unfortunately, the converse can also be true. Often the differences in style lead to misunderstanding, mistrust, and frustration. This can then lead to lowered productivity and undesirable outcomes. Consider the following short (true) example:

I was requested by a client to coach an employee who was “having issues” with a team mate. As I sat down with the employee, something immediately became obvious… he was a matter of fact, direct, results driven guy. He acted quickly in an effort to hit his goals. His team mate, on the other hand, was relatively quiet, less direct, and seemed to take the words and actions very personally.

May not seem a big issue, but in this instance, they were required to collaborate on business opportunities. The bottom line… misinterpretations of styles and lack of insight into how to work with one another drove the two apart and cost the organization a deal worth more than $1M.

While this scenario might be extreme, conflicts, difficulty communicating with others, and less than optimal working relationships, are an everyday occurrence.

Your ability to understand your own characteristics/style, as well as those around you, can help you:

1.      Identify personal tendencies

2.      Adapt for improved communications and interpersonal relationships

3.      Effectively meet the needs of yourself and others

4.      Understand and respond to information and interactions more appropriately

5.      Get things accomplished!

For many of us, it’s likely that you’ve been using information about social style on an intuitive level for many years. Formalizing that understanding is a next step to taking actions.


Author: Sue Cooney

Check out Sue’s upcoming Webinar – Foundations of Style: Behavior and the Bottom Line – premiering November 19, 2009 at 2PM (EST)

Managing Professional Relationships at Work

Title: Managing Professional Relationships at Work

Location: Online Workshop

Date: January 11 – 29, 2009

Register: Click here

Description: Do you have a mix of all four styles going on your at your workplace? For example, a co-worker may appreciate the data. Your annual proposal has 25 pages, but that may not be enough information. Other co-workers may want you to get to the bottom line – Yesterday. Or you may work with someone who values an unhurried appointment with a focus on close relationships and peace, and perhaps someone else will want a fast pace with plenty of interaction and please do not be boring!

The good news is you can improve upon your relationship building skills. You can begin to understand the techniques but the real learning is OTJ (on the job)—practice in real-life with ongoing learning, coaching and feedback. Boosting your relationships, along with learning your style and comfort zone leads to improved professional relationships yielding a significant ROI! Learn More>

Success Through Emotional and Social Intelligence

Title: Success Through Emotional and Social Intelligence

Location: Online Workshop

Date: January 11 – 29, 2010

Register: Click here

Description: We can no longer afford to pretend that emotions are not part of the workplace. In fact, ignoring emotions can result in costly lawsuits, lack of productivity, contentious bargaining, and loss of good employees. But the good news is that we can not only measure emotional intelligence but also learn ways to enhance it. We can improve our skills in managing our emotions, we can learn effective ways to cope with that difficult employee or that insensitive boss, and we can build resilience despite the inevitable stresses and changes in our lives.

This workshop provides an opportunity to begin a journey toward your vision of success by developing and enhancing your Emotional and Social Intelligence. You will also learn the importance of maintaining your own balance and resilience despite the stresses of the workplace—and stresses from outside work that may affect your performance. Learn More>

Foundations of Style: Behavior and the Bottom Line – webinar

Webinar: Foundations of Style: Behavior and the Bottom Line

Location: Webinar – Online

Date: November 19, 2009

Start Time: 2:00 PM (EST)

Register Now: Click here

Description: Using the Social Styles model as the foundation, this workshop provides an introduction to four personal tendencies: Analytical, Driver, Amiable, and Expressive. Through this awareness, participants are more prepared to understand, and adjust, when interacting with others.

While it is true that “we are who we are”, the ability to adapt our style of communicating and interacting is essential for achieving the results we desire. Learn More>

Nancy Stetson

Nancy Stetson

Nancy E. Stetson, Ed.D., was the founding president of Company of Experts.net (COE.net), a highly successful firm she founded in 1989 primarily to serve the professional and organizational needs of colleges, community colleges, schools and universities. She and her business partner, Charles R. Miller, sold the business to COE.net principals Jim Pulliam and Kathy Becker in 2005. While mostly retired, Nancy occasionally serves as an Expert on Call for COE.net.

Since 1979, Nancy personally has provided hundreds of consulting, executive coaching, facilitating, keynoting, and training services to more than 125 organizations-corporations and businesses, educational organizations, governmental organizations, and non-profit organizations-and, within those organizations, to many groups and individuals.

Nancy has made more than 100 presentations at international, national, and state conferences. She also has published dozens of professional articles and monographs. She is the co-author, with Miller, of Appreciative Inquiry in the Community College: Early Stories of Success, published in 2004 by the League for Innovation in the Community College; and author of Stories of Positive Change in the Community College: Appreciative Inquiry in Action, published in 2008 by Company of Experts.net. Her publications also include light verse, poetry and short stories, and she is currently seeking an agent for several “picture” books for preschoolers.

While working as a part-time consultant, Nancy also worked full time from 1972-91 for several colleges, holding a variety of executive-level management positions including Vice President for Planning and Development and acting Vice President for Student Services. From 1991-97, she taught college courses full time. From 1997-2001, she taught many part-time undergraduate and doctoral-level courses in business, communications, education and leadership/management/supervision, face-to-face and online, at six different two and four-year public and private colleges and universities. She continues to be a Mentor/Assessor in Walden University’s Ph.D. in Education online program, specializing in Community College Leadership.

Jane Magruder Watkins and Ralph Kelly of Appreciative Inquiry Unlimited trained Nancy as an Appreciative Inquiry practitioner. She holds a doctorate in higher education from Nova Southeastern University, and did post-doctoral work in higher education on classroom assessment at University of California at Berkeley with K. Patricia Cross and Thomas A. Angelo. Nancy earned a Master of Science degree in individualized studies/organizational behavior from Central Washington University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and development from The Evergreen State College, and an Associate in Arts degree from Wenatchee Valley College. She also attended Swarthmore College for several years before taking a 13-year break in her education in order to be a full-time parent to her two daughters, Laurel and Nancy Lee. She is the proud grandmother of Laurel’s two sons, Connor and Brendan; and pays motherly and grandmotherly attention to some of her former husband’s children and grandchildren.

Nancy’s honors and awards include:

  • 2008 – Marquis Who’s Who in America; 2001 – International Who’s Who of Professionals; 1990, 2007 – Marquis Who’s Who of American Women; 1993, 2007 – Marquis Who’s Who in American Education [Marquis Who’s Who is the definitive biographical resource of top professionals. Selection is based on leadership positions, educational attainments, significant publishing or public speaking experience, or contributions to the communities]
  • 2003 – Lorraine Barry Individual Leadership Award from the California Community College Council for Staff and Organizational Development (4C/SD)
  • 2002 – With Charles Miller, Western Region John Fry Individual Merit Award from the National Council for Staff, Program, and Organizational Development for outstanding contributions to staff, program, and organizational development at the regional and local level 
  • 1998-2002 – Executive Board Outstanding Service Award from the California Community College Council for Staff and Organizational Development
  • 1997-98 – National Leadership Award from the National Council for Staff, Program, and Organizational Development for outstanding contributions in writing, research and advocacy that promoted the goals of staff, program, and organizational development at the national level
  • 1997 – Commendation Resolution for 15-1/2 years of dedicated service to the students and staff of College of Marin, Marin Community College District Board of Trustees
  • 1993-94 – Certificate of Appreciation for service on Commission on Trustee and Staff Development, Community College League of California
  • 1990-91 – Certificate of Appreciation for service on Commission on Research, Community College League of California
  • 1990 – Practitioner’s Hall of Fame by Nova Southeastern University for excellent contributions leading to the improvement of educational practice (shared governance work at College of Marin and state-wide publications in shared governance)
  • 1983 – Certificate of Appreciation, The Small Business Center, College of Marin
  • 1982 – Board Service Award; 1983 – Vice President of Programs Award, National Council for Resource Development
  • 1979-81 – City of Wenatchee for service on Parks Board
  • 1980-97 – Recognized eight times by the student governments and honor societies at Wenatchee Valley College and College of Marin for outstanding service and dedication to students
  • 1979 – Individual Supporting the Arts award from the Allied Arts Council of North Central Washington
  • 1977 – Co-chaired a Bicentennial year project that roofed the courtyard of a building at Wenatchee Valley College for which the Allied Arts Council of North Central Washington received the Washington State Governor’s Arts Award
  • 1954 – Edwin S. Fulop Public Speaking Award for commencement address at Union High School (NJ)

Hire This Expert >


  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training
  • Appreciative Process
  • Change Management
  • Consulting
  • Creative Thinking
  • Enneagram
  • Executive Coaching and Counseling
  • Goal Setting
  • Institutional Effectiveness
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Management Consulting
  • Organizational Development
  • Social Styles
  • Process Consultation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Teaching Effectiveness
  • Team Building
  • Trust Building
  • Vision