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SOCIAL STYLE Found to be the Most Effective Interpersonal Skills Training Program Evaluated by a Colorado State University Study

Journal of Psychology Research on Comparison of IET Programs

The TRACOM SOCIAL STYLE training model is easier to understand and use than either DiSC or Myers-Briggs, according to a research study from Colorado State University and Regis Learning Solutions comparing the leading interpersonal training programs. The study is the first-ever comparative study of the three leading training programs in interpersonal skills.

The study evaluated more than 200 people participating in training programs featuring the DiSC model from Inscape Publishing, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) model from CPP, Inc, and the SOCIAL STYLE Model from the TRACOM Group. It found that while participants in all three programs held very positive reactions to the training programs, participants in SOCIAL STYLE training scored significantly higher in terms of understanding and retaining course concepts and in using those skills to understand and relate effectively with others. The results indicate that employees who participated in SOCIAL STYLE training were far better able to put what they learned into practice than those who took either DiSC or MBTI training.

Understanding and responding to the unique social or interpersonal styles of others is an important skill for working professionals. Research has shown that in addition to cognitive ability and technical knowledge, interpersonal skills strongly predict business and professional success (Goleman, 1998; Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2006). An analysis of job competencies at 286 organizations worldwide found that 18 of the 21 competencies for distinguishing superior from average performers were interpersonal in nature (Spencer & Spencer, 1993). A recent survey of 726 human resource (HR) and performance professionals indicated that the top three most valued competencies in organizations were management leadership, technical knowledge, and people skills (BPM Forum and Success Factors, 2007).

Analyzing and responding to the interpersonal styles of other’s challenges the skills of many professionals and other adults in the workplace. Accordingly, understanding one’s personal behavioral styles and training in assessing and interpreting others’ interpersonal styles improves one’s chances of success. Supported by this knowledge, adults in the workplace can then better adapt to others’ styles, improving relationship management, teamwork, and productivity.

A study conducted among managers of an international publishing company also demonstrated a strong connection between SOCIAL STYLE skills and 48 specific managerial competencies including; leading teams, generating organizational commitment, managing conflict and overall performance.  Learn about this and other research studies here.

Learn more about the Interpersonal Research findings here.

Read additional TRACOM research and related thinking.