When we apply our knowledge from the DISC, the StrengthsFinder(tm) profile, the Keirsey, and the
EQ-Map, we can eliminate a lot of the stress
in the holidays.

How does this work?

Well, if you're going shopping for the tree with someone who is ambitious, forceful, decisive, strong-willed, independent and goal-oriented, be clear, specific, brief and to the point. Schedule a specific time to take the trip and appear well-organized. Know where you're going, what height tree you want, what type, and how long you plan to spend. Don't leave anything cloudy, i.e., either plan to stop for snacks on the way home or don't - no spontaneous "Hey, let's stop and get some hot chocolate on the way home!" Talking about things not relevant to
the issue will cause tension, so make this trip totally and only about the purchase of a Christmas tree. If you need to buy a stand, well that's another trip!

Have an idea of what you want, but, since they're the decisive one, it would be a lot easier to leave the final decision up to them. They'd like it a lot!

Remember that they're comfortable making decisions, so give them chances to do this and then don't double think their decision. If you go in for a spruce, come out with a spruce!

If you're planning a holiday party with someone who's magnetic, enthusiastic, friendly, demonstrative and political, don't bug them with the details. Make a list, write it down, and keep it warm and friendly. Ask "feeling" questions to draw their opinions or comments -- "How would you feel if we made our own eggnog?" or "Do you feel like it would be fun to invite everyone we know for an Open House?"

Don't attempt to control the conversation; let it
have its own pace and life perhaps talking about the idea of the party for some time before you get down to the actual nitty-gritty.

Now, what if you're planning the office holiday party with someone who is patient, predictable, reliable, steady, relaxed and modest? Well, "how" questions are their favorite, as they like to know how it is all going to work out. Ask them how to handle the invitation RSVP, the coat check, the door prizes. Go over each detail carefully and slowly. Begin the meeting with personal conversation, to break the ice; don't rush into the business part. Being domineering and demanding with them will cause tension, and
they'll also appreciate lots of time to ponder what you propose. Keep things low-key and reassuring.

And what if you're going holiday shopping with someone who is dependent, neat, conservative, perfectionist, careful and compliant? This can be tricky because they like to stick to business, and you may think it's a holiday, but you can count on them to be accurate and realistic about time and budget. Prepare your "case" in advance. Make those lists! It makes them unhappy when things appear to be disorganized or you appear to get giddy, so think more in terms of "getting the job done." Plan with them a nice
realistic time frame (unrealistic deadlines bug them), list exactly whom you'll be shopping for and what the budget is. They'll make sure you stick to it and that's a real asset this time of year.

Moving on the strengths now -- if you're planning
Hanukkah with someone who's got these themes:
Positivity, WOO (winning others over), Empathy,
Communicator and Activator, well you have the Perfect Host, so make use of it. They're long on "let's do it" and short on the lists and the planning. Their cheery disposition and Empathy put everyone at ease, and of course, with the WOO, the more the merrier! Expect a guest list of their 200 closest friends.

On the other hand, if you're planning a trip to the in-laws with your spouse who's got Deliberative, Strategic, Intellection, Input and Achiever, there will need to be a lot of discussion about what might go wrong and how to prevent it or plan for it, and lots of "making a list and checking it twice." Give them lots of time to, well, deliberate, being supportive and encouraging and gently nudging when it's time to stop strategizing and start doing. Oh, and remember, they're happiest when they end each day with a sense of accomplishment, so if you notice when something has been accomplished, you'll make them very happy.

Now as to introverts and extraverts! Well, the
holidays were made for extraverts, so all you have to do is bring on the food and drink and get the people there! To keep the introverts comfortable at a family gathering, give them quiet chores to do -- setting the table, being in
charge of the music, or - a real favorite - being in charge of photography.

Extraverts are puzzled by introverts, so you be the one to tell Uncle Paul that Taylor is quite happy wandering outside occasionally "for a breath of fresh air," and to let her be. She'll come back in and mix when she's ready to!

Accommodating to the personal needs and preferences of the individuals involved in your holiday celebrations is the emotionally intelligent thing to do. If you use your interpersonal skills, and are flexible and creative, you can enjoy yourself and help others enjoy themselves as well. And don't forget your Intuition. It's your guide as to when things are going well and when they aren't.

And don't forget the most important person-you! Make your needs and preferences known; they count too. If you don't speak up, how will people know?

Author's Bio: 

Susan Dunn is a personal and professional development coach. Individual coaching, Internet courses, ebooks, and EQ products for licensing. Visit her on the web at www.susandunn.cc and mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for FREE ezine.