People Success

Invite other people to satisfy your needs and passions.

People success means inviting other people to satisfy your needs and passions by satisfying their needs and passions.

People success keys are relationship keys, because the key actions focus on improving  relationships.

Relationship keys may spark immediate satisfaction and may spark future success.

Relationship keys provide moments of dignity. Deliver dignity to receive respect.

Giving people sincere moments of dignity in front of witnesses is a form of self-protection. Sincere moments of dignity demonstrate respectful behavior and protect you from accusations of bullying, slandering, backstabbing, etc. Moments of dignity must be sincere to be believable.



Improving a relationship

Restoring a relationship

Investing in a relationship for future returns

Think of every action you take to satisfy someone else’s needs and passions as a deposit in a savings account. Your savings add up until someone you satisfied gives you a return on your investment with interest. It is difficult to know who will pay you back with interest, so keep making deposits wherever and whenever possible.

The degree of success for any people success key depends on two factors:



You have to speak and act sincerely and the other person has to be open-minded to your words and actions. If the other person chooses to close or slam their door to you personally, the relationship will not improve. Understanding DISC behavior styles and Spranger guiding values will help you decide when to stay and when to walk away.

The time it takes to improve a relationship depends on a variety of factors, including:

Type of relationship

Situation surrounding the relationship

Outside pressure to improve the relationship, if any

Outside pressure to end the relationship, if any

Frequency of success key actions

To Improve relationships, you have to be consistent with key actions. Make sure you choose key actions that satisfy the behavior style needs and guiding value passions of the individual, then keep taking those actions. Building trust takes time and consistency is necessary for trust to be possible.


People Success #1

Improving a mother/daughter relationship

After Paula learned about DISC behavior styles, she understood why her daughter sometimes expressed her feelings in a negative way. Paula helped her daughter understand that negative behavior makes satisfying her own behavior style needs more difficult. Now Paula and her daughter have a code word they use to refer to that behavior. Since identifying the behavior, Paula’s daughter has learned more successful ways to satisfy her behavior style needs. Neither Paula nor her daughter has used the code word in years.

Relationship Keys

Identifying negative behavior and using a code word to draw attention to it

Satisfying her daughter’s Knowledge guiding value passion for information that solves problems

Immediate Satisfaction

Using the code word ended the negativity quickly

Ending the negativity improved the rest of the day

Future Success

More success for Paula’s daughter from taking actions that satisfied her behavior style needs

A more enjoyable relationship between Paula and her daughter

People Success 

Paula’s relationship keys helped her improve her relationship with her daughter and helped her daughter improve her relationship with herself.


People Success Example #2

Restoring a coworker relationship

On one of her earliest jobs, Paula became friendly with a woman who went through a difficult week. During the worst day of that week, Paula found a quiet and private place for her coworker to cry. Days later, however, the coworker was distant to Paula. Paula realized that someone had said something negative about her to the coworker. Paula continued to be as friendly to the coworker as she had ever been, even when the coworker ignored her. After another few days, the coworker was friendly again. The coworker somehow learned that the statements about Paula had been false. Paula and her coworker stayed friendly for the rest of the time they worked together.

Now that Paula knows about DISC behavior styles, she recognizes that her troubled coworker was a people-oriented, reserved High S Steadiness who found loyalty important. By continuing to be friendly while her coworker doubted her, Paula proved her loyalty to their friendship.

This relationship is an example of the importance of learning the other side of the story. Asking for the other side of the story can discourage bad and ugly gossip.

Relationship Keys

Showing respect for a High S Steadiness need to keep emotions private

Showing loyalty by continuing friendly behavior in the face of a misunderstanding

Immediate Satisfaction

Satisfying the coworker’s needs for privacy and loyalty

Satisfying Paula’s guiding value passion for helping people

Future Success

Maintaining a friendly working relationship

For Paula, knowing what to do in similar situations

People Success

Paula’s relationship keys gave her coworker reasons to restore their relationship to its former friendliness.

Note About Closed-Mindedness and Consistency

The coworker went from being open-minded to close-minded to open-minded toward Paula. While the coworker was close-minded toward Paula, none of the key actions Paula took had any effect on the relationship. When the coworker’s open-mindedness returned, Paula’s key actions were again effective in sparking success for both of them. The coworker was able to be open-minded again because Paula’s actions remained consistent. Paula’s consistency repeatedly gave the coworker reasons to trust Paula.


People Success Example #3

Improving a husband/wife relationship

A woman asked Paula what to do about her husband who was crabby every day after his stressful job. The husband’s behavior style was people-oriented and outgoing High I Influence, meaning he needed acknowledgment and approval. Paula explained this to the woman and told her to thank her husband for any little thing he did that made her day easier. After the first thank you he was less crabby. By the third thank you he was happy again.

Relationship Key

Saying “Thank you” sincerely and repeatedly

Immediate Satisfaction

Improved mood

Calmer home atmosphere

Future Success

More pleasure in each other’s company

For the woman, knowing how to improve her husband’s mood

For the husband, having his wife give him recognition and acknowledgment when he needed it

The wife’s relationship key improved her husband’s mood which enable him to
improve their relationship

People Success

A simple relationship key gave the wife the ability to ease her husband’s stress    and improve her own daily life.


People Success Example #4

Improving a coworker relationship

Coworker A had a behavior style that was opposite Coworker B. Coworker A and Coworker B had never gotten along and had managed to mostly avoid each other for years. Because of downsizing and department crunching, they suddenly found themselves working together. Coworker A asked Paula for help.

Paula asked Coworker A some questions and realized that the two coworkers were opposite behavior styles. Coworker A was a people-oriented and outgoing High I Influence. Coworker B was a task-oriented and reserved High C Conscientiousness. Paula explained a few High C needs:

Some control of their surroundings

Respect for their work

Interest in their thoughts

Paula told Coworker A to figure out what Coworker B could control in their office. Paula told Coworker A to show respect by saying what she liked about how Coworker B took control. She also told Coworker A to ask Coworker B about her thoughts.

Coworker A was not in management, so she did not have much ability to give Coworker B anything to control. But she realized she could give Coworker B control of a set of files they shared. She told Coworker B what she liked about the newly arranged  files. And she asked Coworker B about her thoughts on issues related to their work.

Coworker A chose words she could say and actions she could take with sincerity. Because Coworker A was sincere with her, Coworker B learned to trust Coworker A. She responded with similar sincerity and learned how to satisfy Coworker A’s needs. Despite their opposite behavior styles, they became friendly coworkers to each other.

Coworker A’s success with Coworker B was more than either she or Paula expected. Just by chance, Paula’s advice satisfied Coworker B’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. Taking control of the files satisfied Coworker B’s physical need to have some control her surroundings. Hearing respect for how she managed the files satisfied Coworker B’s emotional need to have her work respected. Being asked about her thoughts satisfied Coworker B’s mental need to hear interest in her thoughts. Since then, Paula has found multiple examples of how satisfying physical, mental, and emotional needs at the same time can be remarkably successful.

Relationship Keys

Satisfying Coworker B’s high behavior style needs physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Coworker A’s efforts to satisfy Coworker B’s needs were invitations for Coworker B to satisfy Coworker A’s needs

Immediate satisfaction for Coworker A

Effectively handling a difficult relationship

Immediate satisfaction for Coworker B

Having needs satisfied

Future satisfaction for Coworker A:

Coworker B learned to satisfy her needs

Future success for Coworkers A and B

More effective careers within the company from an improved working relationship

Coworker A’s relationship keys gave Coworker B reasons to use success keys with Coworker A.

People Success

Both coworkers learned relationship skills that they can take with them to any
part of their lives.


People Success Example #5

Opening a slammed door and reaping an unexpected reward

Paula worked at the local branch of a corporation for a number of years. The executives at this corporation knew little about the reality of working conditions, workers’ needs, supervisors’ needs, or customer desires. The executives put unrealistic pressure on both supervisors and employees.

Paula had a contentious relationship with one supervisor in her department. Since other employees had similarly contentious relationships with the supervisor, Paula wrote a letter to the human resources department. She later discovered a second employee had written a similar letter. The supervisor was understandably upset with both Paula and the other letter writer.

Paula knew that the supervisor’s behavior was shaped in part by the unrealistic pressures coming down on her from corporate executives. Because Paula wanted to improve her relationship with the supervisor, she went out of her way to create moments of dignity for the supervisor. Paula recognized that the supervisor had a High D Dominance behavior style. She asked questions in her supervisor’s area of expertise. She have her supervisor a heads up about problems so the supervisor could take control before the problems got worse. Because the supervisor was outgoing, Paula worked at getting her supervisor to laugh. It took Paula months to get her supervisor’s slammed door open, but she did get it open.

Years after both the supervisor and Paula left that corporation, Paula contacted an organization seeking help. The one person at the organization who could help Paula was her former supervisor. When Paula recognized her former supervisor’s voice, she immediately and sincerely expressed congratulations for finding a better job with a much better organization. The former supervisor took every step possible to help Paula. This included doing some research to make sure how to best get Paula what she wanted. Paula ended up with far more than she had expected, a huge return on the investment she made in her relationship with the supervisor while they were still working together.

Relationship Keys

Showing respect for the supervisor’s authority by asking questions

Helping the supervisor maintain control by letting her know about problems

Tapping into the supervisor’s outgoing nature with shared laughter

Paula’s efforts to satisfy her supervisor’s needs were invitations for the supervisor to satisfy Paula’s needs

Immediate Satisfaction

Getting answers to her questions

Hearing gratitude in the supervisor’s voice for advance knowledge of problems


Future Success

Getting more than what she expected when she contacted that organization seeking help

Paula’s relationship keys turned out to be an investment. At the time, Paula merely wanted to improve her working relationship with her supervisor. But the investment Paula made in the relationship paid off with an unexpected reward.

People Success

Paula learned that staying positive with people paid off in goodwill. The potential relationship disaster of a difficult situation instead became a respectful connection with unexpected rewards for Paula.

When you are able to recognize behavior styles, you will also be able to improve interactions with people you encounter throughout your day. You could also find yourself reaping unexpected rewards.


© Paula M. Kramer, 2010
All rights reserved.
Last updated July 31, 2018