Tips for Learning to Read People like a Book Online.

There are over a billion people on Facebook and more joining each day! 

With the increase of interest in social media, millions of people communicate through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This means that these people are tuned in to everything from notifying people what’s going on in their lives, to just keeping up on the latest information in the industry, every day! 

Your kids are also interacting with their social media friends, and wouldn’t it be great to be able to see and work out, what personality types they are hanging out with online?  Well, keep reading and your going to find out how it’s done. 

If your’e a business owner, wouldn’t it be helpful to know how to “read” people when on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites? Wouldn’t it help you to increase your business and productivity and ultimately, not only increase your cash flow, but also improve your personal and business relationships?

So how does one learn this art of people reading? First before I tell you how, my DISC partner and dear friend Carol Dysart happened to mention to me about this guy she saw on the news one night on TV. This guy had worked as a flight attendant for 20 years and had lost his cool with a surly passenger, who got up before he was supposed to. The grumpy passenger hit the attendant on the head who was trying to prevent him from pulling down his luggage, in getting ready to exit the plane! 

The attendant got so mad that he shouted a rather not so nice word, grabbed a beer from the galley, opened the emergency door, deployed the chute, and then out he jumped! He slid down and off of that airplane before anyone knew what had happened!

When Carol told me how she could read what she saw from his behavior and that she predicted why it had happened, it just fascinated me and I asked her to tell me more.

Carol said, “Here’s what I got…When I looked at him, I read his style as somebody who was what we call a High C – or someone who puts most of their energy into doing a great job by complying to rules. 

Since the report said that he’d been 20 years in that field I also knew that this meant he had been dealing with all types of people for many, many years – something that is not too comfortable for people with that personal style. He had to have had some social interest, but what I could observe was that he didn’t have an open, smiling face. He displayed a furrowed brow and a scowl. I was guessing at his “C-ness” which is compliance to rules, and that he was a cautious style. Because he had blown up at the customer showed me that he was also at the end of his patience.

I have always been intrigued about the fact that the DISC model is something that you can use anywhere, because it’s about observable behavior. The man that invented the system called DISC, Dr. William Marston in the 20’s said, “You can tell what motivates a person if you can observe their presenting style.” 

But just to finish the attendant’s story, part of his style is that he’s a High C – the Compliant, cautious type of style, and he holds things in. He doesn’t like to share personally, he’s very efficient, probably he does his job extraordinarily well, and yet when things bubble away too long and are held in, yep that’s right, he exploded! That was what happened. He just exploded for no reason, supposedly, in the moment.

But who knows what was going on in his personal life before that? It was just a quick observation. The art to “people reading” is to look and watch somebody, and ask a few questions. When someone asks you to join their networks or be their friend on Facebook, do you read their personal profile? If I’m on Facebook I can start to see who a person is in their profile just by the kind of words they use.

In the past it used to be how you looked on paper for example on your resume, the credit report, or in the newspaper, all those things. But now it’s more about how you look online. 

For those reading this that know nothing about the four DISC personality styles, here is a snapshot. DISC is an acronym for the following words:

  • “D” stands for dominance,
  • “I” stands for influence,
  • “S” stands for steadiness, and
  • “C” stands for compliance.  

D and I people are both outgoing and direct, and they’re more proactive. The C and the S people are the more cautious types. They’ll choose a more indirect approach. If you can imagine them at a party… the C and S will not rush into a brand new group of people and start introducing themselves. At a networking event you can spot them. They’ll be cautiously in a corner or sitting down at the table or they’ll be really grateful if you take the initiative and go and introduce yourself and introduce them around.

Recognizing a DISC Style Online

So the question is how do you recognize the different styles on Facebook or Twitter? 

Let’s first talk about the outgoing, extroverted and direct types, and then the introverted and indirect types of people. It’s in their faces, first of all. If they put their face right in the middle of a picture of themselves up close, you know that they have a strong and outgoing personality. These styles want you to see them and they probably have what we call strong ego strength. Now that doesn’t mean ego, like a bad thing. Ego strength means they have a strong sense of “I am,” (who they are).

The S and the C styles may know who they are but they won’t tell you. They’ll let you find out about them.

So the C and S photos online will be a little more reserved. They might be cautiously smiling; you can see it coming through their eyes. They’ll have, maybe, a pleasant look on their face if they like having their picture taken. 

Usually if you see in a picture someone that isn’t smiling looking very powerful and indirect, it’ll either be the C style or the D style. Remember in this model, the D and the C types focus on the task. Again, D is dominance to problem solving, I is influence with people, S is steadiness to the task, and C is compliant to the rules. These four types each have very different qualities. We have each type in our personality, and we use them in different levels of intensity, depending on the situation.

Because DISC is NOT a psychological model but rather a way to predict one’s needs-motivated behavior, once we understand and can recognize which one of the four major styles is primary for them – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness or Compliance, then our chances of accurately guessing what interests them and what things they focus on increases. 

The D’s and C’s are focused on task rather than on winning friends. It isn’t that they aren’t able to be friendly.  It is just that other things have higher priorities – like getting the job done quickly or getting it done right! They are bottom line people whereas the I and the S are more focused on people, so that makes them more open, they smile more and are more interested in how people feel. You could say that the I and the S-style of people are into aspects of BEING-ness while the D and the C are more into DOING-ness.

So, look at their online profiles. You can start to look for clues in what they say or promote.  They are giving out clues if you know where to look.  What types of things do they report doing? What are they proud of? Are they talking more about things of a bottom line or technical nature?  Or is it more about people or teams or ways people like being supported?

Dominance – High “D” Style...

D types will focus just on telling the facts without too much feeling. A post from a Dominance Style tends to be brief, dynamic, and to the point. They may mention highlights of conversations or materials. They may give specifics or raise questions they want answers to now. Even comments can take on abbreviated forms and may show little or no indication of feelings. 

Influence – High “I” Style…

The Influence Style tends to speak in a stimulating, energetic way, and does the same when posting on social media. They will tell a story when posting, and she may also throw in an image-provoking personal anecdote or reference to some mutually satisfying experience. “I’ll never forget our adventure on the freeway en route to Los Angeles – in rush hour, of course!”

Steadiness – High “S” Style…

The Steadiness Style tend to write in a slower, more methodically paced manner, their writing tends to follow a systematic outline pattern. You’ll likely always see the start of the post or message addressing how others are doing.  There is as great a likelihood that they’ll end the message with an offer of support or provide an opportunity to connect, should it be helpful.

Compliance – High “C” Style…

The Compliance Style typically post messages to clarify or explain. Consequently, the post may become rather long and filled with data, and unlikely to have very much personal or emotional flair to the message. Whether they prefer the long or short form, they usually concentrate on processing data. They like to cover their bases, so they are neither misinterpreted, incomplete, nor incorrect.

Start being open to what DISC is really saying about you and know that your style is walking through the door with you (it’s nothing you can hide)! People go, “Oh I don’t want to have people see my online profile” and I go, “Why not? You see, they already know it the moment you come through the door or post online!” 

To learn more about the four primary DISC styles why not take our A Journey of Self DISCovery – Level 1 Course at PeopleSmart Academy, to learn all about the Four DISC Styles and how to create magnificent relationships in all areas of your life! And the good news is we have an Easter special on right now, with a massive 75% off! Go to: