You have a "user interface." Yes, you do! Just like computer software, you radiate an "interface" that influences people to interact with you in certain ways. Think about all the different computer interfaces you've experienced: drop-down menus, forms, scrollbars, buttons, etc. By way of metaphor, can you imagine which of these features are part of your personality?
Berens Interaction Styles is based on observable behavior patterns that are quite similar to the popular social styles models and DISC®. Interaction Styles tells us the "how" of our behavior. It refers to patterns of interaction that are both highly contextual and yet innate. Knowing our interaction style helps us locate interpersonal conflicts and situational energy drains. It gives us a map for greater flexibility in our interactions with others.
The seeds were sown for the Interaction Style Model in the 1920s. In 1928, William Marston wrote about the emotional basis for our behavior. John Geier built on Marston’s work and developed the DiSC® instrument. Geier looked at traits and clusters of traits that would help us understand how we behave in the “social field.” Then came a long string of frameworks and instruments that described the social styles of people. These frameworks yielded descriptions similar to Geier’s interpretation of Marston’s work.
Many of these authors referenced the work of Carl Jung, Isabel Myers, and Katharine Briggs. Their primary focus, in contrast to Jung, was on outer behavior, not inner states. Some even reference Keirsey’s temperament theory. They seemed to not realize they were referencing separate models.
All of these models suggest that these styles or types are inborn. In the meantime, studies continue to be conducted on the various “temperamental” traits that can be identified and tracked over time with physiological measures. Many of these traits seem to relate to the Interaction Styles patterns.