I am teaching an Entrepreneurial subject to Year 8 students. At the beginning of the semester I worked hard to develop a democratic-style classroom and to make the class feel comfortable working with each other. In the first week we all took a social styles survey and discussed how social styles may help or hinder communication, especially in group work. We used a whole lesson (70 minutes) talking about how our social style results are our own perceptions of how we communicate. I challenged students to consider how we could change our focus, or our predominant social style, to help work more effectively with certain people. The main take-away is that our social-styles are NOT fixed, we can learn how to work more effectively with others.
I recommend that teachers try teaching about social styles in their classroom. I have found it to be a positive experience. In my opinion, the Entrepreneur class I teach is the most empathetic and caring group of Year 8s that I have the pleasure to teach.
There are 4 main Social Styles: Analytical, Amiable, Driver, Expressive. My own social styles result tends to be “Expressive”; however, I give real examples to my students where I have tended to be one of the other types. For example, during my years of study I definitely worked more in the Analytical and Driver styles, when I just want to be liked in a group situation I will focus on being Amiable.
Search “Social Styles” on the Internet and you will get a wealth of great information. I find this site to be particularly helpful: Strategic Direction: Social Styles Self Profile
Can you spot the social styles?
The Platinum Rule, not the Golden Rule (around 4:30) …. love it!
Some other posts I have written about teaching students to think for themselves and to increase their empathy skills: