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How the Four Styles Set Goals in Groups

When working in groups, where people with completely different personalities can be thrown in together with the expectation of accomplishments, miscommunication can occur. People of different behavioral styles often have different goals. Even the number of objectives can differ. So, it's up to everyone to understand other peoples' goals so everyone's objectives can be taken into account and effectively addressed.


Indirect and Open

Relaters tend to favor multiple goals. If they must choose just one, it would be one that opens opportunities for themselves and others to work well together. So, for example, they might favor dividing the problem into parts and then assigning sub-groups to handle each part.

Direct and Open

Socializers may have many loosely-defined objectives and those may change in the course of the process. If there's a consistent theme to their goal-setting, it's getting the job done by being nimble, by changing as much or as often as needed.

Indirect and Guarded

Thinkers strongly prefer a single goal for the group. They especially like goals that put the greatest emphasis on accuracy or quality - say, deciding to produce the best item, rather than one of lesser quality which might be made quicker or more cheaply. They also favor goals that promote the growth of something - size, profit, efficiency, customer satisfaction, or anything that can be reflected in an upward trend line.

Direct and Guarded

Directors prefer to focus on one specific goal. Ideally, it involves an action that's also efficient, productive, and cost effective.


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