6.7: Social Style Descriptions

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The Dimensions of Style II
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Background

Everyone acts according to their basic behavior pattern. This means that it is possible for you to predict people’s reactions in many situations.

Moreover, it is also possible to predict someone’s reaction to your own style of behavior. In recognizing and becoming attuned to different social styles and, therefore, to other people’s needs, you are more likely to create an atmosphere of understanding. No one style is “better” than the other. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses. In good teamwork we need all four styles to balance and complement each other.

The Steady Style
Steady types are concerned with emotions and their point of view is often personal. They often ask who has done what to whom. They look for private reasons in people’s behavior. That is why they find it hard to believe they are only acting on principles or practical considerations or simply to make life more exciting. They are concerned with happiness, warmth, social activities and personal relationships and they usually contribute to these. Often steady people are interested in folklore. traditions and even mysticism. They are reluctant to change their minds about things concerning themselves. They prefer comfortable familiarity rather than the risks of the unknown. They avoid decisions that affect this “comfortableness”. In business, their strength is their ability to be accepted by everyone. Subdued determination and sensitivity in dealing with other people are inherent in the steady style. They should sometimes realize the need for better structure in their work and be prepared to be more assertive at times.

Key strengths: Personal relations and support.

The Conscientious Style
Conscientious types determine their behavior according to facts, figures, principles, logic and the consistency they find in reality. They make plans and organize and manage systematically from start to finish. This interest in fact gathering sometimes slows down decision making and gives the impression of disinterest or lack of enthusiasm. But in order to avoid the risk of an unreasonable decision, all possibilities must be analyzed first. Faith in principles, facts, and logic may be more important than friendship or personal satisfaction. In business, they are concerned with structuring their environment. They are detail “specialists”. They put vague assignments in order, provide statistical evidence, plan schedules, organize manpower and draw up budgets. They are not very assertive and sometimes need the “symbols” of authority to compensate for lack of natural leadership.

Key strengths: Systematic thinking and analysis.

The Dominant Style
Dominant types seem to know what they want. They seem to have no difficulty in stating their opinion, especially on matters concerning themselves. Their slogan could be, “Do it now and do it right!” Dominant people live in the present and are action oriented. Their style is quick, precise and efficient. They sometimes seem to be indifferent to people’s emotions and private affairs, which may give the impression of coldness, harshness or criticism. Delays make them impatient. They try to influence situations and make them more to their own liking. In business they are highly assertive, often with an inborn authority. This may suppress the creativity of people around them. Their quick decisions may cause resentment or frustration. They often grasp the overall picture very clearly but can be impatient with those that don’t. As “control” specialists they should try to loosen their hold on structured assignments and delegate more.

Key strengths: Independent action and control.

The Influencing Style
Influencing types often focus on dreams of the future that sometimes makes them seem unrealistic, impractical and irresponsible. But they can rouse people’s enthusiasm and stimulate and excite people. Restless in their search for the future, they sometimes jump from one idea or action to another. Their ideas are often intuitive and therefore creative and imaginative. But they can go wrong if their actions are based solely on opinions and emotions rather than facts and the current situation. In business they have natural leadership qualities and are people oriented. They suffer if they have to work within narrowly defined rules or structures. They need some help in organizing and analyzing their work. They can inspire teams to reach their goals but sometimes need to delegate to others and better structure their own work.

Key strengths: Intuition and inspiration.

 

< Back to 6.6
The Dimensions of Style II
        Next to 6.8 >
The Impact of the Styles