Friday, September 19, 2008

Social Styles

Last week I participants in a leadership boot camp. It was an intense 2 1/2 days. Mentally draining. Challenging. Well worth it!

One of my favorite exercises that we did was figure out what social style each of the 14 participants fell into. There are 4 quadrants: Analytical, Driver, Expressive, and Amiable. And within each of the 4 quadrants it breaks down further into sub quadrants with the same categories analytical, driver, expressive, and amiable. What you are depends if you ask/tell and how you control/display emotions.

So who would like to guess what I am? Come on, I know you want to. Fine! I'll tell you. I am a Driver Amiable. Which means that the main quadrant that I fall into is amiable, and sub quadrant is a driver.

So what does that mean you ask? I know it's all confusing and Greek I'm sure. Below is a list of my working style strengths...

  • People-oriented; sensitive to others
  • Concerned about others
  • Encourages cooperation
    -serve as harmonizers
  • Consensus-seekers
  • Involve others; attend to group process
  • Patient
  • Good listener
  • Team builders
  • Good coaches/counselor

and potential blindspots...

  • Too indirect, too nice - beat around the bush
  • Passive-agressive (may not speak up to someone directly, but whine to others)
  • Seem wishy-washy (too easily influenced) try to agree with everyone to avoid conflict
  • Don't say no when they want to/should
  • Overly seek consensus and others' approval
  • Overly sensitive

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! The only thing I don't agree with...patient. If you know me, then you know that all of that is true. Can I get an AMEN?

So that is what I am, amiable. But I also tend to be a bit of a driver when I need to be. So what are the driver working style strengths you ask...

  • Barrier buster - get results
  • Have a sense of urgency
  • Efficient in their work
  • Appear confident...sure of themselves
  • Clearly communicate expectations
  • Willing to express their opinions
  • Concise - direct and to the point
  • Like challenges
  • Willing to take charge/impose control
  • Able to make decisions/take calculated risks
  • Have high expectations of themselves

and potential blindspots...

  • Push too hard with their own ideas
  • Don't ask for or appear to listen to ideas from others
  • Expect too much too fast from others
  • Insensitive to concerns of others
  • Intimidating...impatient

Yeah, I can get that way sometimes when needed.

Ok, so what does this all mean you ask. It means that I'm a people pleaser that can get a little bossy at times.

I also learned that we tend to be attracted to what is opposite of ourselves. Hummm...this made me curious. So I decided that I needed to ask Dennis (Mr. Alaska) the questions to find out what he falls into. I think it took him all off a minute to answer the questions as I read them off to him. Everything was one side or the other, no middle ground answers. See, now I've got your attention. Now you're curious. I'll report back another day with what Dennis falls into.

Just kidding! That means I'd actually have to remember to post a continuation to this blog. Too hard! So here you go...

Dennis is an Expressive Driver. So his main quadrant is Driver and the sub quadrant is Expressive. You already know what the driver strengthes and blindspots are, so I'll quickly tell you what they are for expressive, working style strengths...

  • Energizing
  • Motivating
  • Upbeat - enthusiastic - positive
  • Offer reinforcement
  • Generate enthusiasm
  • Visionary...often initiators of change
  • Create excitement and involvement
  • Share ideas and dreams
  • Good brainstormers
  • Fun

and potential blindspots...

  • Too much, too high energy; can be draining
  • Too big picture - don't provide enough details
  • Too open to change (scope busters on projects)
  • Move too quickly for others and/or without checking out assumptions or attending to details
  • Like to work more on fun stuff vs. routine work
  • Easily bored by slower paced communicators

From what I can tell, yes, that is Dennis! He's spontaneous, while I'm more thought out and planned.

Sorry this is long. It's good stuff. Really!

That means read it! I know, lots of words. Just do it!

For more information on social styles go here, or google it.


Mel said...

So, does this mean Mr. Alaska COULD be Mr. Right???? HMMMMMMMMMM
J/K this is really interesting stuff actually. I think I will have to figure out my own SOCIAL STYLE!!! I will let you know the outcome. :) :)

Teaseburger said...

I DID!!! I read the WHOLE THING!!! Good stuff... I need to test myself.... I'll keep you posted.

Kaitlin said...

I read the whole thing. I'm not planning on taking the test too many tests for school this week don't need to take 1 more.

I agree with your results though, it decribed you by a lot!