Behavioral Style

It’s been said that knowledge is power. The more you know about yourself and the better you understand your behavior, the more you will know about others, and the better you’ll be able to understand their actions and choices.

So what is your behavioral style; are you task-oriented or people oriented, are you proactive or reactive? Are you more analytical or amiable, or are you more expressive or a driver?

Imagine a chart divided into four quadrants, with a horizontal line in the middle representing assertiveness with the far left being reactive, and the far right being proactive. Now make a vertical line through the middle (forming the quadrants) with the top being ‘people oriented’ and the bottom being task-oriented.

The upper left quadrant is the amiable (or wimp) quadrant. The upper right quadrant is the expressive (or bozo) quadrant. The lower left quadrant is the analytical (or nerd) quadrant. And finally the lower right quadrant is the ‘driver’ (or jerk) quadrant.

Like it or not, we all fall within one of those quadrants; wimp, bozo, nerd, or jerk. That may seem odd but it’s not. What would be odd would be if you were in the exact middle where the vertical and horizontal lines dissect.

Let’s look at the four groupings.

Amiables or wimps tend to cooperate with others, make sure people are included, and generally feel good about process. They place importance on relationships, and their time reference depends upon who they are with at that time.

Expressives or bozos bring others into agreement or to create motivation and excitement for results. They rely on intuition, and tend to be future-oriented.

Analyticals or nerds work with existing circumstances and conditions to promote quality. Their mind-set is strong towards the power of thinking and their time frame is past-oriented.

And finally, drivers or jerks shape the situation by overcoming opposition to get instant results. They are action-oriented and focus on the present.

In future articles we will focus on specifics for these four groups, along with tips for communicating better with each of the different styles.

Interacting with Analyticals

OK, you’re an employer, employee, or in sales and you find yourself in a situation where you’re interacting with an individual who shows analytical-type behavior. How do you know s/he is really analytical, and what are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to having a successful outcome with communication with this person?

Analyticals (nerds) given the choice between being perfect or the best, prefer to be perfect. Emotions and feelings are not part of their style, nor is risk or quick decision- making since they want to make sure they have all the information necessary to make the right decision. Analyticals focus on data, numbers, logic and they are detail oriented. If and when they offer information, you can be sure it’s accurate. You can forget the ‘warm and fuzzy’, since what they want are simply the facts, and nothing but the facts.

If you want to connect with analyticals, you might want to consider the following:

• Be focused, be direct, and keep it business-like
• Be on time, be prepared, and be precise
• Keep it balanced, showing both sides to a topic
• Have a plan, and a time-table
• Be organized
• Provide facts that are verifiable

And if you really want to connect, then you’ll want to focus on the following:

  • no mess, no clutter, and no disorganization
  • no casual, no informal, and amp down the volume
  • no over-promise and under-deliver
  • don’t push the decision-making process
  • don’t waste time, since time is money
  • don’t be vague or leave loose ends
  • no tricks, no coaxing, and no manipulation

The bottom line is that analyticals, as the name implies, work at their own pace, they analyze all the information obtained or provided prior to making a decision, and once that decision is made, they want to move forward quickly. Analyticals are not looking for friendship; they want someone to pick up an oar and help row the boat.

Interacting with “Drivers”

So you find yourself at a meeting and you’re interacting with someone who is a bit pushy and demanding. Additionally they want to take the lead, and have no desire for socializing, small-talk, or idle chatter. They present themselves as strong, decisive, and results-focused. How do you effectively interact with this type of individual?

Well, what you have encountered is a “driver” type of personality. They want to provide guidance to those who need it, and unfortunately to those who don’t need or want it. They comprise a group totally different than Amiables (wimps), Analyticals (nerds), or Expressives (bozos); your “Drivers” (jerks) have an affinity to take charge and make things happen. Every group needs this type of personality, and every group needs to have a personality that can effectively interact with this type of behavior.

Consider these tips for communicating successfully with the ‘driver’ type of personality:

• Stick to business and eliminate idle chitter-chatter
• Be prepared, be organized, be specific, and be to the point.
• Present facts in a logical format
• Provide solutions and defer to the ‘driver’ to make the decision.
• If you disagree, take issue with the facts, not the person.
• Incorporate persuasion by referring to objective, goals, results, and outcomes.
• Upon completion of discussion, gather your materials and depart quickly

With Drivers make the effort to:

  • Avoid circular conversations or rambling
  • Avoid wasting time
  • Avoid disorganization or clutter
  • Avoid ambiguous concepts
  • Avoid leading the decision phase
  • Avoid over-promising and under-delivering
  • Avoid leading or directing them

Though ‘drivers’ can be challenging, they can also be easy to interact with, if you’re willing to let them take the lead. They provide the inertia of movement, and with just a little tweaking on your part in subtle ways, you can both head in a direction of mutual agreement.

Interacting with Expressives

Whether you’re an employer, employee, in sales, or in your own business it’s a major asset to know how to interact with all types of people. This ‘gift’ of understanding the person or people you encounter can often make or break a successful working relationship; it can be the difference to making or not making the sale. Each group (Amiables, Analyticals, Expressives, and Drivers) requires a different approach. What works with one will not necessarily work with the others.

Let’s take a look at interacting with Expressives, also known as Bozos.

Expressives are very enthusiastic with a flair for creativity, and rely on intuition. They like to have a good time to the point of being party people. They use themselves as benchmarks and have little patience or tolerance for those who are different. They bore easily and because they are creative, they can be seen as somewhat goofy.

Some of the more effective ways to interact with Expressives include the following:

  • Socialize
  • Express energy, be entertaining, stimulating and fun
  • Support their hopes and dreams
  • Solicit their ideas and opinions
  • Listen to their goals and what they find inspiring
  • Focus on the big picture, not the details
  • Provide testimonials from those they consider important
  • Provide thoughts and concepts for implementing essential actions
  • Offer incentives, special deals and extras

With Expressives, make an effort to avoid:

  • being con condescending
  • talking in generalities
  • creating paradigms
  • inaction
  • being dogmatic
  • focusing on detail
  • being aloof
  • rushing forward with facts
  • redirecting their tangents

So when dealing with Expressives its O.K to let them take the lead, and ‘go with them on their trip’. Have some fun with them, and allow ample time to socialize. Let your creative side surface, be a good listener, open-minded to their ideas, and be a supporter of their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Interacting with Amiables

Whether you’re an employer, employee, in sales, or simply just living life, it’s helpful to understand and know how to interact with different types of behavior styles in order to communicate in a manner that the other person will understand and respond to.

Considering behavioral styles consist of amiables (wimps), analyticals (nerds),
expressives (bozos), and drivers (jerks), each have its own set of indicators that can help you define which predominant behavioral style you are interacting with.

Let’ take a look at amiables in this article, and the in future articles we will look at each of the other three behavioral types.

Amiables (wimps) are more ‘touchy feely’ and don’t want to offend anyone, hence they will go to any length to ‘keep the peace’ even it means always putting themselves last in line. Though they have opinions, the choose not to express them, in order to keep things peaceful. They can be easily hurt emotionally, and friendship has a high priority for them.
They like to get others involved in a team type of environment and typically like to show their ability to multitask believing the more they can do, the more others will like them.

There are some do’s and don’ts to consider when interacting with amiables. Some of the do’s include:

• use personal comments to begin conversations
• ask open-ended non-threatening questions
• listen and be warmly responsive to their words
• show a sincere interest in them
• look for commonalities that you both can share
• be informal and casual
• reassure amiables that others can benefit

Some of the don’ts include:

• don’t immediately jump into serious topics or business discussions
• don’t be hasty or hurried
• don’t be strictly business focused
• don’t put amiables on the spot for a decision
• don’t focus on numbers, statistics, and facts
• don’t over promise
• don’t try to overpower, manipulate, patronize, or threaten

Remember that amiables place a high priority on relationships and trust. Friendship is more important than a business partnership, so if you’re attempting to establish a business relationship, make sure you are doing it in a framework of friendship.