Monday, June 27, 2011

Social Styles Redux

Back when Leif was little, I was pulled into a program at work where one of the courses that I took was Social Styles. I remember watching the descriptions of the styles, reading the descriptions of the styles and yes (because these classes are ALL about repetition) then hearing about the styles. And I knew I was an analytical. And I blogged a lot about it here, just search Social Style on this blog.

Ask vs. Tell?

Ask. Easy. I never TELL anyone what to do, I ask them to do it. And I get into humongous trouble doing what comes naturally to me with my kids. I can ask my kids to get their shoes on 572 times, but I only have to tell them to get their shoes on 43 times. See? There is a benefit to being more direct.

Task vs. People?

Task. Easy. I am not a people person, I struggle (since I was a kid) with eye contact, but have worked really really hard at that over the years. I prefer to hide in my office and I don’t feed off of people interactions. Oftentimes they make me nervous.

Ask + Tell = Analytical

No surprise.

What happened then was they subdivided the quadrant and lo and behold I was shoved even further out there – Analytical Analytical.

Oh and my versatility score? Abysmal.

Over the last few years I have worked on my style. Yes, I could sit and push my way, taking forever to make a decision, waiting until I had ALL the facts. Or I could try and learn from the class.

Flash forward 6 years later and while in another program I was given an opportunity to take the class again. I jumped on it hoping to have increased my versatility and see if I am really, really that bad. I mean, I know I am Analytical, but I am not *that* Analytical, right?


Because this time, I came out to be a medium versatile Amiable. That would be Ask + People = Amiable.

Amiable? Me?

I have struggled with this diagnosis nearly as hard as I struggled with labeled Analytical Analytical. I am so not Amiable.

So how did I get there? It is funny actually because the first time around I had only 3 respondents (you are supposed to have 5) and they were each from far ends of the spectrum themselves. Well duh, compared to those two Expressives and that Driver, of course I would be viewed as the far end of Analytical. That’s it, it was my respondents fault!

So this time around I carefully selected my respondents making sure to hit all the social styles. Everyone I selected I have known pretty well for the last three years at least.

So, larger pool, better statistics. People who know me better, better precision. All this makes for good accuracy, right?

Except that I don’t feel it. Not at all.

Ok, well there was that day at Home Depot…

Back Up Behaviors… an Amiable when pushed will acquiesce. Pushed further will attack. Even further you have avoid. And push them to their limit and they become autocratic.

At Home Depot with AB…

“Fine do whatever you want.”

“You never listen to me, you want my input, but you don’t listen and you do whatever you want anyway. I don’t know why I am here. This is ridiculous.”

“I am going to go get the paint now.”

“Ok I am back and this is how we are going to do it and that is final.”

Acquiesce, Attack, Avoid, Autocratic.

Point taken.

And further understanding as to how I routinely end up getting my way… my husband is a Driver and his back up behavior is opposite of mine… Autocratic, Avoid, Attack and finally Acquiesce.

And now that I have realized this I can use it to my full advantage... right?

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