By Paul A. Douglas, Ph.D, founder & CEO, P.A. Douglas & Associates Inc.
The Behavioral Styles Model is both a very simple tool, describing four basic styles, as well as a fairly complex tool, allowing for the fact that no two people are exactly the same. And herein lies one of its main differentiators from many of the other more common personality profiling tools. Not only will you fall generally within one particular behavioral style, but the model also accepts that you may display different behavioral responses in your various relationships.
Our unique behavioral style is determined by our unique combination of assertiveness and expressiveness or emotional responsiveness.
There are some people who are highly assertive, but who also demonstrate hight levels of emotional responsiveness or expressiveness. These individuals like to work with and around other people. I have chosen the name Dreamer to describe this combination of high assertiveness and high expressiveness.
Dreamers are outgoing, fun loving, individuals. The life of the party. They have the “gift of the gab,” the ability to speak with anyone about anything. Their ability to put people at ease draws others in, encouraging them to communicate. Another facility Dreamers have is their ability to lead others to higher levels of motivation. They can be perceived as coming on too strong, monopolizing the conversation, or being too brash. The greatest single feature of their personality is their enthusiasm, which is contagious.
The Characteristics of the Dreamer:
- Spontaneous and impulsive
- Outgoing and fun-loving
- Generalizes, not detail-oriented
- Seeks involvement
- Dislikes being alone
- Works quickly
- Seeks self-esteem and a sense of belonging
The Supporter is more cooperative than the Dreamer. Dreamers need recognition; they want others to recognize their status and uniqueness. Supporters, on the other hand, do not have this kind of ego involvement and therefore tend to demonstrate higher levels of cooperation.
Characteristics of the Supporter:
- Slow in action and decisions
- Dislikes and avoids Conflict
- Seeks close personal relationships
- Patient, diplomatic, loyal, and dependable
- Good listeners
- Highly supportive of others
- Weak at goal-setting and self-direction
- Seeks security and a sense of belonging
Thinkers are cautious in both actions and decisions. They have to know the rules of the game before they are willing to play. Not only do they seek organization and structure, they demand it!
Thinkers are fact-oriented and ask a lot of questions. They require a great deal of data before they feel comfortable moving forward. They are logical and systematic people. When they do a job, they do it right, utilizing the scientific method. They determine and establish all the alternatives, evaluate each of those, and then choose the most critical path to attaining the optimal solution.
Characteristics of the Thinker:
- Cautious in Actions and Decisions
- Seeks Organization and Structure
- Logical and Systematic
- Dislikes Involvement with People
- Prefers Objective, Task-Oriented Work
- Fact-Oriented Questioning
The final behavioral style is that of the Commander. Commanders are highly assertive and non-expressive. They are strong and independent individuals, firm in actions and decisions. When they set a goal, it is hard to dissuade them from its accomplishment. They not only seek control, but demand it.
Characteristics of the Commander:
- Strong and Independent
- Firm in Actions and Decisions
- Seeks Control
- Pragmatic and Efficient
- Low Tolerance for the Feelings of Others
- Works Quickly, Decisively, and Impressively – ALONE
- Seeks Self-Esteem and Self-Realization
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